Roll of Honour

Private

Thomas Arthur Cleghorn

MA

Thomas Arthur Cleghorn was born on 22nd April 1890 at Forest Gate, near London. His father, George, was a marine engineer. In 1907, when Thomas first matriculated at the University of Glasgow to study for a degree in the Faculty of Arts, the family lived at Colquhoun Street Dumbarton. Later they moved to 'Craigie', Bowhill Road, Dumbarton and in 1911, when he graduated, the address he gave was Barholm Terrace, Dumbarton.

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

Thomas was a good student. In his first year, he took classes in Latin and Greek. In his second year, 1908-1909, he took Logic, Mathematics and English (in which he took third prize). At a time when very few students took Honours degrees, Thomas graduated MA with Honours in Latin and Greek, in 1911. The year after he graduated he was still taking classes at Glasgow and he was awarded a prize in History in 1912.

After he left Glasgow, he went on to Edinburgh Theological College. There his academic success continued. He took a First Class in the Preliminary Theological Examination in 1913, and in the course of his studies won the Urquhart Greek Prize and the Bell Prize.

Thomas Cleghorn became a deacon in 1914, and was ordained in 1915. He was a curate in All Saints Episcopal Church, Jordanhill and also at St.David's Scotstoun. As a clergyman he would have been exempt from conscription but in January 1916 he volunteered for one of the hardest fighting regiments, the 3rd Battalion of the London Scottish (14th London Regiment).

Private Cleghorn trained with them at Richmond Park before being transferred out to France on 13th June with a reinforcement draft to join the 1st Battalion London Scottish in the trenches of Hebuterne. They were just in time for the opening of the Somme campaign. Thomas joined the Company's No 7 Platoon.

He was fatally wounded in the 1st London Scottish assault on the Gommecourt salient on 1st July 1916, just a few yards from fellow Glasgow graduate Donald Kerr. His body, like Donald's, was not recovered from the field. The name of Private Thomas Arthur Cleghorn is etched on the arch gateway for the missing at Thiepval and on a wooden war memorial on the western wall of All Saints Church, Jordanhill, Glasgow.

 

Comments and Citations

Biography: Biographical information about Thomas Cleghorn's military service contributed by Ajax Bardrick

University of Glasgow Registry, Faculty, General Council and Roll of Honour Records

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