John Begg (1888-Unknown)Subject
Wyndham City LibrariesDate
Private John Begg
Three young sons of local Werribee man, Andrew Begg, and his wife, Jane Begg, served with the British Army during the Great War (1914-1918).
The Begg family’s third eldest son was Private John Begg (1888-19??).
As the World War 1 Service Records for many former servicemen in the British Army are not available, it is difficult to accurately identify this man’s record.
A search of Service Medal Entitlements has four possible matches for Private John Begg.
- Private John Begg, Regimental Numbers 3699 and 240869, with the Scottish Rifles Regiment.
- Private John Begg, Regimental Number 25331, with the Queen’s Regiment
- Private John Begg, Regimental Number 42229, with the Royal Scots Regiment
- Private John Begg, Regimental Number 6699, with the Royal Highlanders
Private John Begg was wounded at least twice during World War 1. The first instance being in June 1917, and was reported in the local press:
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Begg, of Station-street, Werribee, have just received word that their third son, Private John Begg, has been wounded, and is in a hospital in Egypt. This topical young Scotchman was early in the ranks. He is not 20 years of age till September and has been about 18 months in Egypt fighting side by side with Australian soldiers. He has often spoken of the warm affection sprung up between Scotch and Australian soldiers.
Werribee Shire Banner, 21 June 1917, p.2.
Private John Begg was wounded for a second time, one year later. This was reported as:
Mr. and Mrs. A. Begg, of Werribee has received word through the Defence Department, that their son, Pte. John Begg, is severely wounded, and in Hospital in England, suffering from gunshot wounds in forehead. The young soldier was formerly wounded while in Egypt where he served for two years, before being transferred to France last March. He was looked forward to getting furlough this month.
Werribee Shire Banner, 26 September 1918, p.2.
Begg Family History
The 1891 Scotish Census records the Begg Family as living at 7 Houston St, Kinning Park Burgh, Lanarkshire. Members of the household were:
- Andrew Begg, 36 years, Head (1855-1949)
- Jane Logan Begg, 27 years, Wife (1864-1941)
- James Begg, 8 years, Son (1883-19??)
- Andrew Begg, 5 years, Son (1886-19??)
- John, 3 years, Son (1888-19??)
- Elizabeth Begg, 1 month, Daughter (1891-19??)
When the Great War began in 1914, the three eldest boys were already in military service with the British Army. James Begg was 31 years old, Andrew was 28 years, and John was 26 years of age. Andrew and John had enlisted while they were teenagers. Werribee Shire Banner, 16 August 1917, p.2.
The boy’s father, Andrew Begg Senior, formerly of Scotland, sailed to Melbourne Australia from England in 1915. He travelled alone, and left his wife and family behind in the U.K.
ancestry.com - UK Outward Passenger Lists
Andrew Begg Senior then appeared in the Victorian Electoral Roll of 1916 as “Begg, Andrew, Edgar Street, Werribee, Labourer”. He was living alone.
The boy’s mother, Mrs Jane Logan Begg, and the remaining children, sailed to Australia per the Osterley, on 28 July 1916. The family on the ship's passenger list comprised:
- Begg, Jeanie L, Housewife, 39 years, from England
- Begg, Elizabeth, 14 years, from Scotland
- Begg, Hugh, 8 years, from Scotland
- Begg, George, 6 years, from Scotland
- Begg, Alexander, 3 years, from Scotland
- Begg, John L, 12 years, from Scotland
- Begg, Peter, 10 years, from Scotland
In 1919, the Begg family moved to Duncan's Road in Werribee, and Andrew Begg Senior was working as a labourer.
The Electoral Roll between 1921 and 1924 records Andrew Begg Senior and his wife at Duncan’s Road. There is also a John Begg, General Labour, at Synott Street Werribee, who appeared on the Electoral Roll in 1921. It is possible this is one of the sons who fought in the Great War.
The Electoral Rolls for 1924 record Andrew Begg Senior still living at Duncan’s Road Werribee, and Andrew Begg Junior, Labourer, living at Synnot Street, Werribee. It is possible this is one of the sons who fought in the Great War.
In 1924, a Mr Andrew Begg (unclear if it is Senior or Junior), advertised that he will commence delivering milk in Werribee. The milk will come from the farm of Mr G Walls.
Werribee Shire Banner, 24 April 1924, p.2.
He traded under the name “Meadow Dairy”
Werribee Shire Banner, 30 October 1924, p.2.
Andrew Begg (unclear if it is Senior or Junior) advertised that he had sold his milk round to Mr C. Taylor in 1928.
Werribee Shire Banner, 26 July 1928, p.7.
Mrs Jane Logan Begg (his mother) died at Ivanhoe on 10 October 1941, and was buried in the Werribee Cemetery. Aged 68 years. Her death notice recorded her family:
The dearly beloved wife of Andrew Begg and loved mother of James, William (deceased), Andrew, John, Robert (deceased), Elizabeth (Mrs. J. MacAllister), Johan, Peter, Hugh, George, Alexander, Jean (deceased), William (deceased), late of Glasgow, Scotland. Peace, perfect peace.
The Age, 11 October 1941, p.1.
Mr Andrew Begg Senior died at Heidelberg on 6 June 1949, and was also buried in the Werribee Cemetery. His death notices recorded his family:
The loving husband of the late Mrs Jane Begg, formerly of Ivanhoe, and dearly loved father of James, Andrew, John, Elizabeth (Mrs. McAllister), Johan (Mrs. Ash), Peter, Hugh, George, and Alex.
The Argus, 7 June 1949, p.14.
The Age, 7 June 1949, p.2.
A funeral notice was also published.
The Age, 7 June 1949, p.7.
Medals and Entitlements:
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
Discovery National Archive U.K.