Best, James Savage (No. 6530)

Best, James

Private

No. 6530, 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards

Killed in action on Wednesday 28 October 1914 (aged 29)

No known grave

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium (Panel 11)

Newtownards and District War Memorial

Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s)

Brother of Private Thomas Best (No. 8879)

BIOGRAPHY

James Savage Best was born on 21 May 1885 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards and he was a son of John and Agnes Best (nee Gaw) who were married on 8 June 1878 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s).  John Best, a widowed weaver from Greenwell Street, Newtownards was a son of Robert Best, a weaver.  Agnes Gaw from Newtownards was a daughter of John Gaw, a weaver.

John Best had previously been married to Margaret McNeilly; they were married on 12 December 1873 in Newtownards Registry Office.  Margaret McNeilly from Greenwell Street, Newtownards was a daughter of John McNeilly, a tailor.

John and Margaret Best (nee McNeilly) had two children:

Robert (born 16 May 1874 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)

John (born 22 October 1875 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)

Margaret Best died of puerperal fever and peritonitis on 15 January 1878 (aged 32) in Newtownards Workhouse.

The Best family lived in Newtownards, in Movilla Street, Greenwell Street and George’s Street before moving to Scotland where they lived at 62 Rumford Street, Glasgow.

John Best worked as a weaver (he had at one time served in the Army) and he and Agnes had at least nine children:

Agnes (born 26 December 1879 in Movilla Street, Newtownards)

Eleanor Jane (born 18 October 1881 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)

William (born 18 July 1883 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)

James Savage (born 21 May 1885 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)

Samuel (born 1 July 1887 in George’s Street, Newtownards; died of bronchitis 29 January 1888 in Newtownards Workhouse)

Lizzie (born 7 November 1888 in George’s Street, Newtownards)

Samuel (born 21 September 1890 in George’s Street, Newtownards)

Maggie (born 16 November 1892 in George’s Street, Newtownards)

Thomas (born 25 January 1895 in George’s Street, Newtownards)

James Best enlisted on 24 May 1906 in Glasgow.

He and his wife Elizabeth were married on 31 December 1913 in Rutherglen and they lived at 77 Greenhill Road, Rutherglen, Glasgow.

Private James Best (No. 6530) served with the Scots Guards and he was 29 when he was killed in action on 28 October 1914.

Six months later his brother Thomas was also killed in action.

Private James Best (No. 6530) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium; on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s).