Roll of Honour

Lieutenant

Frank Alfred Williamson

Student

Frank Alfred Williamson was born at Villa Rica, Paraguay, on 1st September 1893, son of Joseph Williamson, a Mechanical Engineer, and Agnes Thomson Williamson (nee Stevenson), who had married on the 11th June 1879 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He came to Glasgow at an early age, and spent all his schooldays at the High School of Glasgow.

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

During the winter of 1911 Frank commenced study for the Forestry Department of the Indian Civil Service, and entered the University with a view to obtaining a degree in Science. Frank had passed his final degree examinations in Geology and Zoology in March 1914, and was on the eve of taking his final examination for the degree of BSc when war broke out.

While at the University he was appointed Student Demonstrator in the Botanical Department. He represented his year on the Students' Representative Council, and during 1913 was appointed Finance Manager of the Students' Handbook. For three years he was a member of the University OTC, during which time he gained his Certificate 'A' and attained the rank of Sergeant. His Certificate of Service bears the endorsement, 'An excellent, most keen, and capable NCO'.

Frank volunteered for active service immediately on the outbreak of war, and on 15th August 1914, was gazetted to a commission in the Special Reserve and posted to the 4th Bn. The Scottish Rifles. In February 1915, he was attached to the 1st Bn. Kings Own Scottish Borderers (KOSB), and in the following April took his part in the landing of the 29th Division on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

He was engaged in all the subsequent fighting untl the 4th June 1915, when he was posted wounded and missing. On that day the battalion had suffered heavily owing to both its flanks being exposed to enfilade fire. The order to retire was given, but after retiral it was discovered that some machine guns had been left behind. Mr. Williamson volunteered to retake them, and fell during the attempt. On 11th June one week after his death, he was gazetted to full Lieutenancy.

Lieutenant Frank Alfred Williamson is commemorated on the Helles Memorial on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey. His brother, Charles Percival Williamson died two years later in the run up to the Battle of Arras.