Roll of Honour

2nd Lieutenant

James Watson Agnew


James Watson Agnew was a member of the University of Glasgow Officer's Training Corps.

Image of James Watson Agnew

James was born on the 2nd July 1883 at 8 Blythswood Square, Glasgow, Lanarkshire. He was the son of James Agnew, a Surgeon Dentist, and Elizabeth Agnew (nee Watson), who had married in Glasgow on the 16th April 1879, before moving to Ayr. He attended Ayr Academy and Glasgow High School before pursuing study at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College (subsequently the Royal Technical College), where he became a Lecturer in Chemistry in 1907.

James later taught chemistry at St Mungo’s College, Glasgow, and served as an Examiner in Chemistry at the Royal Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (today’s Royal College) in 1909. Agnew was elected Fellow of the Institute of Chemists (FIC) in 1910. His scholarship included a number of papers on Organic Chemistry, as well as co-authorship of An Introduction to Practical Chemistry (1911) with Dr G. B. Neave.

He was commissioned as a probationary 2nd Lieutenant on the 4th September 1914 and confirmed in that rank on the 13th March 1915. 2nd Lieutenant James Watson Agnew was killed in action in France on the 21st May 1915, aged 31, during the early morning attack on German trenches at Ferme du Bois during the Battle of Festubert. 2nd Lieutenant James Watson Agnew is commemorated on the Memorial at Le Touret on panels 37 and 38.

Comments and Citations

Obituary: The Institute of Chemistry of Great Britain and Ireland. Proceedings, 1915. Part III.

Battalion history: Highland Light Infantry Chronicle, July, 1916. Vol XVI, No 3. P. 117.