Roll of Honour

2nd Lieutenant

John Barclay Wilson


John Barclay Wilson was born on the 8th May 1894 in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, the son of John Wilson, a Solicitor, and Isabella Wilson, of Avon Cottage, Strathaven, Lanarkshire. John enrolled at the University of Glasgow in 1911 to study Law, taking courses in Constitutional Law and Forensic Medicine.

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

At the outbreak of war, he was gazetted to the 6th (Lanarkshire) Battalion Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) as 2nd Lieutenant of D Company. He served alongside University of Glasgow men 2nd Lieutenant Gilbert Kennedy and Lieutenant Charles Macdonald. All three died in France on the 15th June 1915. 2nd Lieutenant John Barclay Wilson is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial on panels 15 and 16.

A platoon Sergeant in the 5th Seaforth Highlanders who witnessed the 6th Cameronians go into battle at 6.00pm on the 15th June described the scene:

At last the hour had come for the 6th Scottish Rifles.

Over they went. Then the Germans showed to advantage

the quantity and quality of their munitions. Machine-guns

swept over the parapets and tore them to pieces; the

154th Infantry Brigade were seen to be advancing gloriously in front of the most colossal artillery and machine-

gun fire — their ranks thinned considerably before they

were many yards from their own trenches. But on they

went and entered the German front line, where they were

lost to view.

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.

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).