Roll of Honour

Lieutenant

Robert McLay Crawford

Robert McLay Crawford was born the 16th December 1889 at Montgomery Street, Tarbolton, Ayrshire. His father was Andrew Crawford, a Letter Carrier, and his mother, Annie Drinnan Crawford (nee Thomson) of Norlea, Tarbolton, Ayrshire, who had married on the 3rd December 1877, also in Tarbolton.

Image of Robert McLay Crawford

Robert went to school at Annbank, where, after finishing his elementary education, he served an apprenticeship as a Pupil Teacher. Pupil Teachers were boys and girls aged 13 or over and of suitable moral and intellectual capacities, who were paid to teach the younger children throughout the school day and had their own lessons from the teacher before or after school hours. In 1909, having completed his apprenticeship, Robert passed the ‘King’s Scholarship’ examination to qualify for a place at the Glasgow Provincial Training College, forerunner of Jordanhill College of Education, now the University of Strathclyde. He took the two-year course for the Teacher’s General Certificate and was subsequently appointed to Boquhanran Public School in Old Kilpatrick on 8 January 1912.

In 1913 Robert became a member of the Officer Training Corps and later he enlisted in the 6th Bn. Cameron Highlanders. Following the Battle of Loos he was transferred to the Highland Light Infantry before being gazetted to the 8th Bn. Royal Scots Fusiliers.

Lieutenant Robert McLay Crawford was last seen on 14 August 1916, calling to his men to follow him from the parapet of a German trench. He was reported missing on that day, although his body was not recovered until 23 August. He was 26 years old and, according to the Highland Light Infantry Chronicle, ‘extremely popular with all ranks’. He has no official grave, but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial and on the Roll of Honour of the Glasgow Provincial Committee for the Training of Teachers.

Comments and Citations

Memorial Place: Commonwealth Graves Commission - Debt of Honour Register