During the conflicts of the 20th Century former pupils of the George Watson's Boys' College answered their country's call in their hundreds and many made the ultimate sacrifice.
In World War I 605 died, 19.5% of those who served in the armed forces.
In World War II 202 died, 11.2% of those who served in the armed forces.
In addition, one former pupil of George Watson's Ladies' College was killed in World War I and a pupil died in the Korean War. This Roll of Honour provides the facts and the faces behind the stark statistics. It also includes the six members of staff who died in World War I.
These biographies are not complete and there are also several photographs missing, together with a few records that cannot be traced. If you have any further information we would welcome it, please contact us.
You can view the War Records by selecting one of the following links. Alternatively, you can search the Records using the form below, completing as much information as possible.
Born in 1893, was the son of Mr. R. Anderson, Edin. He attended G.W.C. 1900-8, and distinguished himself then and after as an athlete and golfer. He held the rank of L/Cpl. in the 5th R.S., and took part with his Bn. in the Gallipoli Campaign. Wounded on Apr. 25, 1915, he succumbed to further wounds three days later, and was buried on the Peninsula.
The youngest son of the late W. J. Mnloch Anderson of Messrs. W. Anderson and Sons, Edin., was born in 1885, and attended G.W.C. 1891-1902. He attended Edin. Univ. and qualified as a C.A. He was a golfer of note, and was, previous to the war, Joint Secy. of the Edinburgh Watsonian Club. Enlisting in 1915, he was commissioned to the 5th R.H. Mar. 1915. He was Bombing Officer for his Brigade, 1916-18, and rose to be Capt. Crossing to France in Apr. 1918, he was attached to the 6th R.H., then a unit in the famous 51st Div. In the desperate fighting in the Bois de Courtrai he was killed, July 22, 1918.
The third son of the late A. H. Anderson of Messrs. W. Anderson and Sons, Edin., was born in 1888, and attended G.W.C. 1894-1904. He was employed in his father's business on the outbreak of war. Enlisting in the 15th R.S., he was promoted L/Cpl. and was wounded in France, Apr. 1, 1916. He died two days later in No. 8 Casualty Clearing Station, and was buried at Balleul.
Born in 1880, was a pupil at G.W.C. which he entered in 1889. Thereafter he studied law at Edin. Univ., and later practised as an advocate. He originally joined 16th R.S. as a Pte. in Dec. 1914, but his ability soon brought merited promotion, and he attained the rank of Capt. In July 1916 he was awarded the M.C. for gallantry in the field. A month later he fell in action at Bazentin-le-petit (Aug. 4, 1916).
The elder son of Mr. J. H. Armstrong, Hawick, was born in 1892 and attended G.W.C. 1905-11. He was Lizars prizeman in 1911, and a forward in the School XVs. of 1909-10-11. He graduated M.A. at Edin. Univ. in 1914, and LL.B. the following year. He played in the forward line of the Watsonian XV. Commissioned to the 4th K.O.S.B. in 1915, he saw service in Gallipoli and Egypt. Invalided home, he was attached on recovery to the 6th K.O.S.B. in France, and was killed on Apr. 25, 1918, at Kemmel.
Attended G.W.C. 1909-14. During his School career he was prominently associated with the Scout movement. He left to take up banking. Gaining a commission in the 4th Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), he saw service in France, was wounded, and gained the M.C. Oct. 1917. He rose to the rank of Lt. and was A/Capt., attd. 9th S.R., when he fell in action, Apr. 4, 1918.
The youngest son of Mr. W. C. Bailey, Edin., was born in 1885, and attended G.W.C. 1890-1900. He was the first winner of the School diving trophy. On leaving he went to Ceylon as a tea planter, and then moved to Singapore, where he held an important post under the Straits Trading Coy. He came home to join up, and was gazetted early in 1915 to the 1/8th R.S. He crossed to France soon after and came through much hard fighting, falling in action on May 23, 1917.
The youngest son of Mr. John F. Bain, was born in 1886, and attended G.W.C. 1896-1901. A stockbroker by profession, he practised in British Columbia, whither he had emigrated in 1910. In 1915 he enlisted in 61st Bn. (Western Scots) Canadians, in which unit he was promoted Sgt. Two years later he was commissioned in the 75th Bn. In France, 1916-18, he took part in the fighting at the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, and Arras, and won the M.C. At Queant- Drocourt Ridge on Sept. 2, 1918, he fell in action. He was thirty-two years of age.
Born 1886, entd. G.W.C. 1895. A keen athlete and member of the School XV, he was Gold Medallist at the Exhibition Marathon in 1908. After studying law at Edin. Univ., he emigrated to Federated Malay States. A Sgt. in the Vol. Rifles there, he returned home in 1915 and obtained a commission in 2nd H.L.I. In Dec. 1916 he was promoted Lt. On Aug. 22, 1918, after several months service in France, he was killed in action.
Born in Edinburgh, 1887, was a pupil at G.W.C. 1895-1906. After training in an Edinburgh insurance office he emigrated to British Columbia. On the call to arms he joined up and came over with the 1st Can. Contingent. He later got a commission in the 14th R.S. and in Jan. 1915 was promoted Lt. He crossed to France in Sept. 1915 and was attached to the 11th R.S. In the performance of his duty he was severely wounded, Nov. 1, 1915, and died at Boulogne, Dec. 13. A prominent runner in his day, he won the Crichton Cup and played in the Watsonian XV (1908-9).