William Duncan Thomson Black

Biography of William Duncan Thomson Black

William Duncan Thomson Black graduated MA from the University in 1903, and became a United Free Church minister and army chaplain.

Black was born on the 10th March 1881, in Glasgow, Lanarkshire. His father, also William, was a master Pastry Baker. In 1900 he began studying at the University, taking courses covering the broad range of the Arts during his time here. English was his strongest subject: in his final year he finished second in the English Literature class.

After graduating MA in 1903, William was called to ministry. He continued his education at Glasgow College of the United Free Church of Scotland (now known as Trinity College) from 1903 to 1906, and assisted Reverend Adam Renwick in Cowcaddens United Free Church. William Black then moved to the South United Free Church at Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire. In March 1913 he became Minister of the West United Free Church at Rutherglen.

During the First World War William Black became a Chaplain to the forces, 4th class, attached to the 6th Bn. Cameron Highlanders. His battalion took part in the Battle of Passchendaele. Because of the advances made, William Black was allocated a new post on the 21st August 1917. The following day he walked up to his new post with another Chaplain. After stopping to attend to the wounded, they continued walking along the track. A shell hit the track, and William Black was killed by the fragments. He was 36.

Reverend William Black was survived by his wife Jenny and his two sons. He is remembered with a plaque in Rutherglen West and Wardlawhill Church, and on the memorial wall in Trinity College. His grave is inscribed with the words of 1 Corinthians 13:13 – ‘Faith, hope, love. And the greatest of these is love.’


William Duncan Thomson Black
Born 10 March 1881.
Died 22 August 1917.
University Link: Graduate
GU Degree: MA, 1903;
Occupation categories: ministers
Additional Information: R3/1/1 (vol 2)
Record last updated: 9th Jan 2018

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