1. Memorial:Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, FlandersPanel 51-53
2. Book:The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918Pg.135
3. Memorial:The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour8D GQS

Awards & Titles:


Family :

John was born in London on the 18th April, 1874, the son of George Andrew Spottiswoode of Cadogan Place, Londonand his wife, Grace Frances (daughter of Sir St Vincent Love Hammick). Captain Spottiswoode, who was distinguished in radio-telegraphy, married Sybil Gwendolen of 2, Sion Hill Place, Bath, daughter of Dr. Christian David Ginsburg LL.D., J.P., and left two sons : Raymond John, born 1913 : and Nigel Lawrence, born 1915 after his father's death.

Education & Career :

Captain Spottiswoode was educated at Winchester College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He obtained the highest marks ever made in Physics, viz., 1,764 (98.4 per cent, of the maximum) in the entrance examination for the R.M.C. in 1892. Spottiswoode passed with distinction through Sandhurst where he excelled at Physics and was gazetted in 1894 to the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. He served in the South African War with the Mounted Infantry and was twice wounded. In 1901 he retired from the service, and entered his father’s printing firm, but spent much of his spare time in experiments with wireless telegraphy and aeronautics.

Service Life:


Unit / Ship / Est.: 2nd Battalion The Kings Royal Rifle Corps 

2nd Battalion August 1914 : at Blackdown. Part of 2nd Brigade in 1st Division. 13 August 1914 : landed at Le Havre.

Action : The Battles of Ypres 1914 (First Ypres) 

19 October - 22 November 1914. Following the failure of the German Schlieffen Plan in August and September 1914, both sides engaged in a series of linked battles as they sought to outflank each other. The climax of these manouvres was at Ypres in November 1914 when the might of the German Army attempted to break the much outnumbered British Expeditionary Force. The political importance of Ypres, being the last town of any size in Belgium that remained in allied hands, established its importance for both sides and ensured a series of battles over four years.

The First Battle of Ypres in 1914 is characterised by a series of linked heroic stands by outnumbered British soldiers in conditions of confusion and weary endurance. The Germans never knew how close they had come to winning - at one point just the clerks and cooks were the last line of defence for the BEF. By the end of the battle the magnificent original BEF, composed of professional regular soldiers, had been all but destroyed and already the Territorial battalions were called into battle. From the end of 1914 a 'Regular' battalion was in terms of its compostion little different to a Teritorial or later Service Battalion. The professional soldiers had all but vanished.

Detail :

CAPTAIN JOHN SPOTTISWOODE, 6th attd. 2nd BATTN. KINGS ROYAL RIFLE CORPS. Killed in action 31st October, 1914 Gheluvelt, 1st Battle of Ypres.

He joined the 2nd Battalion K.R.R.C. as 2nd Lieutenant in October, 1894. being promoted Lieutenant in January 1898. In May, 1899, he became Captain in the 7th battalion and was with the Mounted Infantry in the South African War where he was twice wounded. He was granted the honorary rank of Captain in the Army in October, 1900, but retired in 1901.

On the outbreak of war he re joined the 6th Battalion of his old regiment and went to France early in the campaign, seeing action from the beginning. He participated in the Retreat from Mons and then in the counter-attack towards the river Aisne. Unfortunately there is no mention of Spottiswoode in the Battalion’s war diary or in personal diaries of other members of 2KRRC, and it is likely he came out with a draft of reinforcements. According to the war diary 91 other ranks and one (un-named) officer joined on 5th September. So, he joined the 6th Battalion in August, 1914, and the 2nd Battalion in September, 1914, at Gheluvelt, in the Battle of Ypres. He fell at Gheluvelt on 31st October 1914 at the head of his company during the First Battle of Ypres. He was originally posted as “wounded and missing” but it soon became clear that he had been killed, although his body was never recovered.

He died with his Masonic brother 2/Lt Frank DEAN of the same battalion.

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : Lodge of Honour No. 379 E.C.Somerset

12th February 1912
10th March 1912
14th April 1912

Source :

The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:

Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2021-08-14 16:37:24