WWI Students of Glasgow Necropolis

Glasgow NecropolisToday The Friends of Glasgow Necropolis is hosting a Civic Reception to mark the work being done on their First World War project. The project aims to compile a detailed Roll of Honour for Glasgow Necropolis by researching individuals buried or commemorated in the large historic Victorian cemetery, who lost their lives in the First World War, of whom there are over 150.

We are delighted to join in partnership with The Friends of Glasgow Necropolis in their undertaking, and research has started on those already identified as students of the University of Glasgow.  This partnership is also providing an interesting opportunity for current students to explore the archives, develop their research skills, and fill-in the missing biographical information about these students for the Necropolis, and in doing so, to tell the stories of their fellow students of 100 years ago who found themselves in very different circumstances.

First-year History student, Bethany Garry, along with second-year History student Emily Sharp, were the enthusiastic volunteers who embarked on this collaborative project – despite being so close to exam time. Here we feature just a few of the stories about individuals that struck a cord with our students.

MB ChB 1911

Emily chose medical graduate James Elliot Black as she was able to uncover a lot of detail of his extensive war service. “His story has stuck with me due to his courageous nature which was mentioned in numerous dispatches and led to him being awarded the Military Cross. His efforts during the war, and his eventual death as a consequence of this, truly brought out the realities of war for me.” You can read Captain Black’s detailed biography researched by Emily at the International Story.

For Bethany Garry, one former student really stood out, intellectually and emotionally, throughout her project.

“Lt. Rev. Herbert Dunn particularly captured my imagination and attentions as a researcher, not least because we share a significant area of interest. I am a Theology & Religious Studies student; Herbert Dunn studied Theology and achieved a Bachelor in Divinity. I found his story resonated so deeply because I can easily picture myself writing the same essays or taking the same classes. He won a class prize for an essay on Ecclesiastes in 1907. One of my first essays, although not prize-worthy, was also about Christian scripture. After leaving the University, Dunn went on to become a parish minister in Stranraer, Galloway, until the War began and he joined the 7th Battalion Cameronians (Scottish Rifles). Although the University records can tell me what he studied and the awards he won, I cannot know his motivations for his choice in studies. Although military records can tell me where he was stationed or how he died, I cannot know what it felt like to leave Galloway for the Egyptian theatre.

Grave Q535, Chatby Military and War Memorial Cemetery in Alexandria

Grave Q535, Chatby Military and War Memorial Cemetery in Alexandria

Dunn died in Alexandria on 25 October 1915, of gastroenteritis. He is buried at the Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery in Egypt and is memorialised at home in Scotland, both at the Glasgow Necropolis and at Stranraer parish church.

An estimated third of all military deaths in World War I were from disease, for all belligerents, and, although the traditional historical narrative remembers those who fell in action, I believe it is equally important to remember and honour those who went so far to die so needlessly, just like Herbert. I am very honoured to continue to remember a fellow Theology student and to have helped the University to continue to remember him.”

By Bethany Garry, 1st year student of History, Theology  & Spanish, WWI Students of Glasgow Necropolis

Captain Binning, MB ChB 1907 (DC225/1/5)

Captain Binning, MB ChB 1907 (DC225/1/5)

In addition to those biographies provided by Bethany and Emily, others that have been added for Glasgow Necropolis include Lieutenant Charles Coventry Anderson, Captain Robert Inglis Binning, 2nd Lieutenant Robert Hood Brechin, and Fleet Surgeon Adrian Andrew Forrester.

We look forward to continuing our collaboration with The Friends of Glasgow Necropolis, and commemorating the University of Glasgow staff and students who served during First World War.

Lieutenant Charles Coventry Anderson

Lieutenant Charles Coventry Anderson





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