Roll of Honour

Lieutenant

Donald MacKillop

Student

Donald MacKillop was born in Ayr on the 3rd April 1885, the younger son of Mr and Mrs A. MacKillop. He was educated at Ayr Academy and became an apprentice engineer. In 1899, aged 14, he enrolled for evening classes in Magnetism and Electricity at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College (known from 1912 as the Royal Technical College, now the University of Strathclyde). Donald continued his evening studies at the College for the next four years, taking Mathematics, Electrical Engineering Lectures and a further class in Magnetism and Electricity. The College student register records his occupation during this time as ‘Electrical Engineer’.

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

He did not attend in sessions 1903-1904 and 1904-1905, but returned as an evening student every year from session 1905-1906 to session 1912-1913. His various subjects of study included Mechanics Lectures and Laboratory, Motive Power Engineering, Engineering Drawing, Experimental Physics Lectures and Laboratory, Electrical Engineering Lectures and Laboratory, Heat and Properties of Matter Lectures and Laboratory, Dynamics, Inorganic Chemistry Lectures and Laboratory, Mechanics, and further classes in Mathematics. During this period, he initially gave his occupation as ‘Electrical Engineer’, then as ‘Engineer’, ‘Engine Fitter’, ‘Electrician’, ‘Draughtsman’, and finally ‘Engineering Draughtsman’. Donald concluded his education at the Royal Technical College with two years of full-time study in 1913-1914 and 1914-1915. He qualified for the Associateship in Mechanical Engineering (ARTC) in 1915.

A year earlier, he had joined the Officer Training Corps, based at the University of Glasgow. Consequently, in March 1915 he was gazetted temporary 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd Bn. Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), an appointment confirmed as permanent on the 10th August. Donald was posted to Nigg in Ross-shire for further training. The Minister of the Free Presbyterian Church there remembered him as "a quiet, modest, cheerful, Christian gentleman….gentle yet firm in all his dealings." He took communion and the congregation was deeply touched by his presence at the table.

From Nigg Lieutenant Donald MacKillop was posted to the Western Front, where he was killed in action at the Somme on the 20th July 1916. He was 31 years old. Fellow officers wrote to his parents, by then living at 2 Clutha Street, Glasgow. All highlighted his bravery. One, a Captain, is reported as having written:

"I know for a fact that in the midst of many temptations he remained true to his ideals, and set us all an example which we would do well to follow."

Lieutenant Donald MacKillop is remembered on the Rolls of Honour of the Royal Technical College and the University of Glasgow.