- Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood
- Parcelle: VIII
- Rangée: C
- Tombe: 2
Distinctions et médailles
In some documents we find his name written as “John Tomlie Gourlay”
Private John Tomlie Gourley served in the Cameronian (Scottish Rifles) 5th/6th Battalion, part of the 19th Brigade, of the 33rd Division.
The 33rd Division participated in the Battle of Polygon Wood (26 September – 3 October), a phase Third Battle of Ypres. The Division relieved the 23rd Division in the frontline, between Polygon Wood and the Menin Road, on the 25th of September. The 98th Brigade was on the left flank of the divisional front, just south of Polygon Wood, and the 100th Brigade was positioned on the right flank near the hamlet of Veldhoek.
On the 26th the 33rd Division attacked with the 98th Brigade covering the right flank of the Australians, who advanced through Polygon Wood. The 100th Brigade had to recover the ground, which they had lost the previous day. The (Scottish Rifles) 5th/6th Battalion were attached to the 98th Brigade and were in Divisional reserve on the 26th of September 1917. Most of the ground lost, due the a German counterattack on the 25th of September was regained. Though the 98th Brigade didn’t manage to capture the German strongpoint at Cameron House and the attack was held up short of the Red Line, the 1st objective.
In the early morning on the 27th of September the 98th Brigade launched another attempt to capture the objectives of the attack on the previous day. “D” Company of the 5th/6th Cameronians was ordered to attack with the 2nd Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Their job was to secure and consolidate the Blue Line, the 2nd objective, in Cameron Covert. They advanced at about 12.30 p.m. “D” Company managed to take out a pill-box near Joist Farm. During the afternoon they silenced another two German machine guns by fire from two of the Company’s Lewis Guns.
“D” Company and the 2nd Royal Welsh Fusiliers consolidated the Blue Line running from Joist Farm, through Cameron Covert. The Battalion was relieved by the 8th Yorkshire Regiment around 11.00 p.m. The Battalion’s positions were heavily shelled till right up to the relief.
Private John Tomlie Gourley was killed in action on the 27th of September 1917. He was buried in the field near Jerk House. His remains were exhumed after the war and interred in Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood.