Born: 1869, Deerness, Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland.

Missing: 31st October 1915; age 46; found drowned near Val de Lievre – 22nd November 1915.

Residence: 11, Little Wolsey Street, Ipswich.

Enlistment Location: London.

Date of Entry Therein: 30th May 1915 – France.


Rank: Private; Service Number: SS/11516

Regiment: Army Service Corps, 13th Labour Coy.


Medals Awarded: Victory, British & 1915 Star.


Grave Reference.

Plot A. Row 4. Grave 5.

Calais Southern Cemetery,

Pas de Calais,





1881 Mill Street, Deerness, Orkney, Kirkwall, Scotland.


John was 12 years old and living with his father, siblings, stepmother & stepsister.

William Velzian, 38, a Miller (out of employment), born Walls, Orkney.

Isabella Velzian, 21, born Deerness, Orkney.

Catherine Ann Foulis Velzian, 11, born Deerness.

Hannah Velzian, 8, born Deerness.

Margaret G. Velzian, 1, born Kirkwall, Orkney.


1901   5, Curriers Lane, Ipswich.


John was 32 years old, a Quay Labourer. He was married and Head of the Household.

Gertrude, 39.

Fidies, 10 months.


1911   3, Victoria Place, Black Horse Lane, Ipswich.


John was 42 years old, a Dock Labourer. He was married and head of the household.

Gertrude, 39.

William, 13.


In 1889, Sproughton, John married Gertrude Emma Abbott, born 1871, Sproughton – daughter of William Abbott, a labourer at a chemical manure works, and Elizabeth Abbott (nee Hardwick), of Chantry Row, Sproughton.

Gertrude and John had two children:

William John Velzian, born 1898, Ipswich.

Fidies Octavia Velzian, born 1891, Ipswich – died 1907, Ipswich.


John’s mother was Hannah Cromarty Matches, born 1839, Deerness – died 1874, Deerness.


John’s brother, George Foulis Velzian also lost his life. He was a Sergeant of the 3rd The Royal Scots, Lothian Regiment. Died: 8th February 1916, aged 30 – Diabetes. Residence: 9, Industrial Lane, Leith, Scotland. Tattooed right forearm ‘Highland Dancer’.


John is also remembered on the war memorial at Kirkwall Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney and at

St. Nicholas Church, Ipswich.


 Army Service Corps, 13th Labour Coy

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