Granton War Memorial
James Merrylees was born in 1890 and at the time of the 1891 Census was living with his parents, James and Margaret Merrylees at 13 Wardie Square. His parents were still living at that address when the Commonwealth War Graves Commission register was compiled after the end of the First World War. His father’s occupation was shown as ‘craneman’ in the 1891 Census and as ‘labourer (railway)’ on the 1901 Census.
Before he joined the army James Merrylees worked as a baker. His service records do not survive and, therefore, we do not know exactly when he joined the army. He enlisted in Edinburgh and joined the 9th (Service) Battalion of the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders). This was part of Kitchener’s New Army which was originally raised at Perth in September 1914 and which went to France in July 1915. Since James Merrylees’ Medal Roll Index Card does not indicate that he served overseas in 1915 it is assumed that he arrived in France in 1916.
He was killed in action on 17th August 1916 and is buried in Adanac Military Cemetery, Miraumont. He is also commemorated on the war memorial of Wardie Parish Church.