Roll of Honour

2nd Lieutenant

Gilbert McClelland Kennedy


Gilbert McClelland Kennedy was a student of the University of Glasgow and enrolled in summer courses in 1914 in the Medical faculty, studying Theoretical and Practical Botany and Physics.

Memorial chapel at the University of Glasgow
The Memorial Chapel at the University of Glasgow

Gilbert was the eldest son of the Reverend Gilbert Kennedy (1861-1916), parish minister of Cambusnethan, Lanarkshire, and Mary Jane Kennedy (nee Bryars) (1866-1935). He was born in the Manse of Aghadoey, County Derry, Ireland, on the 5th March 1895, where his father was Minister at that time.

He enlisted on the outbreak of war and was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) on 15th November 1914. He served in the 6th Battalion alongside other University of Glasgow men 2nd Lieutenant John Barclay Wilson and Lieutenant Charles Macdonald. All three died in France on the 15th June 1915.

A platoon Sergeant in the 5th Seaforth Highlanders who witnessed the 6th Cameronians go into battle at 18.00 hours on the 15th June described the scene:

"On the 15th we had a most uncomfortable day. The

Boche rose early, having apparently known our plans.

In fact, some of them were heard to call across No Man's

Land, 'Come along, Jocks; we are waiting for you.' And

undoubtedly they were. From early morning we were

subjected to continual shell-fire, causing many casualties to us. As the afternoon drew on the Boche became still more lively, but we still had great hopes. These, however, became fainter as each occasional look over the top showed the German wire unbroken."

The attack of the 6th Cameronians, launched into devastating German machine gun fire, was unsuccessful and costly

The names of Wilson, Kennedy, and Macdonald appear on the Le Touret Memorial along with the names of over 13,000 others who died during fighting in Pas-de-Calais from early October 1914 to mid-September 1915, including the battles of Neuve Chapelle, Aubers Ridge, and Festubert. 2nd Lieutenant Gilbert McCellland Kennedy's name is also recorded on the Cambusnethan War Memorial in Wishaw, Lanarkshire.

Comments and Citations

Biography: Records of the University of Glasgow Registry

Unit history: Bewsher, Major F.W. 1921. The History of the 51st (Highland) Division, 1914-1918. Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons.