Sapper James Ferrigan, Royal Engineers, born in 1883 at Edinburgh, was the eldest son of James Ferrigan, a Cook, and Mary Ferrigan, of 27 Upper View, Craig Row, Edinburgh.


His siblings were Isabella, Eleanor, John and William.


By the age of 17, he was describing himself as an 'apprentice architect', and, from approximately 1899 until 1904, he was articled to the Edinburgh practice of Peddie & Washington Browne. He worked briefly with Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh from May 1904 to March 1905.


Honeyman and Keppie were a major architects firm based in Glasgow, created by John Honeyman and John Keppie in 1888 following the death of James Sellars in whose architectural practice Keppie had worked. Their most famous employee was Charles Rennie MacKintosh who started as a draughtsman in April 1889 and rose to partner level. The creation of the new Honeyman, Keppie and MacKintosh spelt the next phase in the evolution of the practice which as Honeyman and Keppie existed from 1888 to 1901. Whilst often viewed independently, Mackintosh did much of his most famous work while employed in the firm.


On 4 March 1904, he married Mary Russell, they lived at 146 Houston Street, and before the war had two children, Mary and Eleanor.


He was working as an architectural draughtsman, for architects J. W. & J. Laird, Bath Street, Glasgow, when he enrolled in a Territorial (part-time) battalion of the Royal Engineers in April 1908. His engagement ended in 1910.

 

The Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society's Building Department was established in 1885 or 1886 and James was included in the list of SCWS staff who served in the war, suggesting that he began working for them before he was called up on 24 June 1918 and posted to Calais. His skill as a draughtsman was utilised in the Inland Waterways and Docks unit of the Royal Engineers, which dealt with infrastructure and supply-logistics, including building temporary wharves and loading-docks.

 

He was discharged on 28 January 1919 after a short period as a 'proficient' draughtsman in Calais. He was 'despatched to UK for disposal as a pivotal man', a class whose early release was deemed essential for resumption of civilian industry after the war. He had resumed work with the SCWS office in Glasgow by 1919 where he continued until his death in 1947.


From original research by Morag Cross, commissioned by Glasgow City Council (GCC) for their First World War Centenary Commemorative website 'Their names will be remembered for evermore' at

http://www.firstworldwarglasgow.co.uk/

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