Roll of Honour

2nd Lieutenant

John Neilson Carpenter

Military Cross


Born on 10 November 1894, John Neilson Carpenter was the younger son of Mr Thomas F. Carpenter, a works manager, of 36 Falkland Mansions, Hyndland. He was educated at Hillhead High School and Glasgow Academy. His outstanding ability in Mathematics and Science pointed to engineering as a suitable sphere of activity, and he became indentured with Messrs Yarrow & Co, Scotstoun. Around the same time, aged 17, John enrolled as an evening student of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College, forerunner of the University of Strathclyde. The College register for session 1911-1912 records his occupation as ‘Engineer’ and his subject of study as Engineering Drawing. He subsequently studied at the University of Glasgow 1912-1913, continuing to study Engineering.

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

In August 1914, John, along with so many of his companions and schoolmates, joined the Highland Light Infantry, Chamber of Commerce Battalion as a Private. There he soon distinguished himself, and had the honour of being awarded a commission in his own battalion. With them he proceeded to France in November 1915. On 23 April 1916, his company carried out a singularly successful raid upon the German trenches, taking back with them many prisoners and several machine guns.

For conspicuous gallantry in this raid and for showing great dash in hand-to-hand fighting, Lieutenant Carpenter was awarded the Military Cross (MC).

Lieutenant Carpenter was killed in action on the 1st July 1916, in an attack upon the Leipzig Redoubt. Lieutenant Carpenter, strong, athletic, fearless, was an excellent soldier. His men were all deeply attached to him and greatly mourned his death.

Comments and Citations

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

Memorial Place: Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Debt of