Roll of Honour


James Pairman


Born in 1891, James Pairman was the second child of Mr Andrew and Mrs Mary Pairman. He had an elder sister, Margaret and three younger siblings - Thomas, Flora, and George. The family lived at Auld Manse in Busby, alongside Thomas Pairman, the children’s uncle and a ship-owner. His father worked as a rent collector.

Image of James Pairman

James moved from his childhood home to Glasgow in 1909, taking up residence in Bath Street. He enrolled at the University of Glasgow in the same year to study Mercantile Law. He undertook these classes in order to become a chartered accountant - at the time, there was no degree specifically for the profession. Trainees would only enrol in classes at a university or college for a few years at most, and would then sit their qualifying exams in an external institution. By the time James enlisted in the army to train with the 17th Bn. Highland Light Infantry, he was already qualified in as a chartered accountant.

As part of the 15th Bn. Highland Light Infantry, Private James Pairman was involved in the first offensives of the Battle of the Somme. He survived the devastating first day of the battle but fell just two days later at the age of twenty-six, during the attack on the Leipzig Salient. Private James Pairman now lies in Blighty Valley Cemetery, Authuille Wood, France.

James’ name appears on the University’s Roll of Honour. He is also commemorated around his hometown - in his local church, his name is inscribed on two plaques; in Duff Memorial Hall (built in memory of Busby’s fallen soldiers), he appears on a plaque and in a condolences book. He is also commemorated on a plaque in the Riverside Museum alongside the other members of the 15th Battalion, who were known collectively as the ‘Tramway Battalion’.

Comments and Citations

1901 Scotland Census

GUAS Ref: R8/5/30/6 Matriculation slips 1909-1910, Men M-Q

Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Debt of Honour Register

The Scottish War Memorials Project