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Sergeant Archibald Lang

Biography of Sergeant Archibald Lang

Archibald Lang was born on 31 October 1891, the eldest son of Mr and Mrs John Lang of 49 Polwarth Gardens, Hyndland. He attended Hillhead High School, where he was a good student and participated fully in athletics and games. He was also an enthusiastic cadet, rising to the rank of Sergeant in the Cadet Corps. On leaving school he joined the former pupils’ rugby team, in which he was a prominent figure for some years.

Archibald went on to train as a Naval Architect in the Leven Shipbuilding Yard. At the same time, he studied at the Royal Technical College, forerunner of the University of Strathclyde, taking evening classes from session 1910-1911 to session 1913-1914. The College student registers record his occupation as ‘Ship’s Draughtsman’ and his subjects of study as Naval Architecture, Mathematics and Mechanics. He qualified for several first-class certificates of merit, and in session 1913-1914 took first place in the Naval Architecture class, receiving the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights’ prize. He also resumed his interest in the military by joining the Officer Training Corps, based at the University of Glasgow, in 1912.

When war broke out, Archibald was among the first to enlist for the 17th Highland Light Infantry Chamber of Commerce Battalion. He speedily attained the rank of Sergeant, winning the admiration of his officers and the confidence of his men. His friend and comrade Sergeant-Major Reith, of the same battalion, describes Archibald’s final weeks in the summer of 1916 as follows:

"During the big advance on 1st July, he went on at least once after being hit. Later in the day he was brought in badly wounded in several places. He was, however, expected to recover, but succumbed to his wounds on 28th July, and I lost my closest friend."

Archibald was 24 years old. Only a few days before his death, he had joined some of his old friends from Hillhead High at the Hotel Moderne in Picardy to reminisce about their school days and to celebrate one of their number, Sergeant-Major Steven Reith, who had been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM). Poignantly, Archibald even produced a menu card as a memento of the occasion.

Sergeant Archibald Lang is remembered on the Roll of Honour of the Royal Technical College, Glasgow.

 

Summary

Sergeant Archibald Lang
Rank: Sergeant
Regiment: 17th Highland Light Infantry
Degree: N/A
Awards: N/A
Comments: Died of wounds 28 July 1916. Member of University of Glasgow OTC
Note/Press Clipping: Ch 4/4/2/3/737
Photo ID: Ch 4/4/2/2/121

Sources

Obituary: Hillhead High School War Memorial Volume (War Memorial Committee, 1921)

Burial Place: Commonwealth War Graves Commission ' Debt of Honour Register

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