Appeal launched to trace Aberdeen family of WW1 soldier after remains found in France

The remains of a soldier killed during WW1 have been found in Northern France and it’s believed he could be from Aberdeen.

Able Seaman James Cameron Robertson lost his life during the Battle of Gavrelle on April 28, 1917.

His body was never found and he is currently commemorated on the Arras Memorial in France.

Today, the Ministry of Defence’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) have launched an appeal for James’ family to get in touch after human remains were discovered near Garvelle in Northern France.

Born in Aberdeen in 1891 to John Mckay Robertson and Helen Cameron, James joined the Royal Naval Division, which was created by Winston Churchill at the beginning of the First World War.

This division consisted of two brigades along infantry lines and ended up fighting in almost all the major battles during the war.

At the beginning of the war James served with the Hood Battalion, fighting in Gallipoli and Northern France.

After recovering from a combat related injury, James was drafted to the Anson Battalion in January 1917.

According to his service record, his last known address was 27 Raeburn Place, Aberdeen.

Do you think you could be related to James, or do you know someone that might be? Get in touch by e-mailing

The JCCC have launched an appeal to find any living family in the hopes of performing a DNA analysis to confirm his identity.

If the remains are indeed James’ his family will be invited to attend a full military burial service in July.

Nicola Nash from the JCCC said: “Extensive research has managed to narrow our search down to just two sailors, so there should be a very good chance of identifying him.

“He is to be buried in France in July. Rather than bury him as an unknown sailor, I would love to be able to confirm an identity so that his headstone may bear his name.”

She added: “There are still so many thousands of men lost in the Great War who have no known grave.

“To be able to identify just one of them takes a huge amount of research.

“Most importantly, it brings their individual story to an end and fills in the gaps in their family history.”

If you can help trace James’ family please call Nicola on on 01452 712612, extension 6063 or via email: