Roll of Honour


William Wood McLean

Military Cross


William Wood McLean was born in Glasgow around 1892. He was the second son of Mr and Mrs John McLean, and the family lived at 65 Greenhill Road, Rutherglen. William was educated at Macdonald School in Rutherglen and, from 1905, at Allan Glen’s School before commencing degree studies at the University of Glasgow.

Image of William Wood McLean

William matriculated in the College of Arts in 1911. In his first year he took Maths, Natural Philosophy, and Latin, and successfully passed the Latin and Maths exams. Natural Philosophy presented him with a struggle however, and he was required to retake the exam a number of times before he was successful.

By the time William was taking his final year exams, the war was well into its first year. He passed his final year Astronomy exam in March 1915, but withdrew from the Maths and Natural Philosophy exams he was due to take in October of the same year. In September 1915 he received his commission into the 2nd Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

William was a successful soldier. He was made a Temporary 2nd Lieutenant on the 26th November 1917, and was awarded the Military Cross. On the 23rd September 1918, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders attacked the area of Limerick Post near the Hindenburg Line. They quickly faced a huge counter-attack, which lasted nearly eight house, and ended only when the Battalion ran out of ammunition and were forced to retreat. At some point in the attack, William was killed.

Lieutenant William Wood McLean was killed at the age of 26, leaving a young widow. He is remembered on the Roll of Honour of the University of Glasgow, and also on the Roll of Honour of Allan Glen’s School.

Comments and Citations

With thanks to Anne Cameron for providing information from the University of Strathclyde Archives.