Biography of Alexander Henry Johnston Lavis
Alexander Henry Johnston-Lavis matriculated at the University of Glasgow in 1910 to study Mining Science, taking classes in Mathematics, Natural Philosophy and Systematic Chemistry. Born in Naples, Italy, Alexander was the son of vulcanologist and physician, Henry James Johnston-Lavis.
The Johnston-Lavis family had connections to the University long before Alexander became a student. In 1895, Henry Johnston-Lavis and Glasgow University’s chair of Geology at the time, John Walter Gregory, were said to have found a particular Eozoon structure in Monte Summa, Vesuvius. Samples of these structures were later spotted in the University’s very own Hunterian collection, as Gregory was at one point Honorary Keeper of the Geological Collections.
Johnston-Lavis himself never graduated but entered the Officer Training Corps as part of the Corps of Royal Engineers and is mentioned in the University's World War One Roll of Honour. In January 1915 he became a temporary Secondary Lieutenant, and during the Second World War, in January 1940, he was appointed Second Lieutenant in the Royal Army Service Corps.