Roll of Honour

2nd Lieutenant

Robert McGregor Middlemass

Robert McGregor Middlemass was born on the 6th October 1894, at 30 McLennan Street, Mount Florida, Glasgow. The eldest son of Robert Stevenson Middlemass, a Master Grocer, and Mary (known as Polly) Middlemass (née Petrie) of Braehead House in Cathcart, Glasgow. Robert was educated at Morrison’s Academy in Crieff, followed by St. Mary’s School in Melrose. He then entered his father’s grocery business, J&A Ferguson, purveyors of fine food, chocolates and teas. The business had been taken over by Robert senior in 1905, but continued to trade under its old-established name from its premises in Union Street. While employed there, Robert junior studied at the Royal Technical College, forerunner of the University of Strathclyde, from 1913-1915. He took two courses of evening lectures for grocers on Economic Botany and the study of Tea, which were organised in conjunction with the Glasgow Grocers’ and Provision Merchants’ Association.

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

In 1915, Robert became a cadet in the Officer Training Corps at the University of Glasgow. He was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd Bn. King’s Own Scottish Borderers on the 4th October of that year, joining his Regiment at the Somme. The 3rd Battalion was attached to the 7th and 8th Bn. King’s Own Scottish Borderers, and in September 1916 they received orders to capture Martinpuich, a densely fortified village of strategic importance to the German line. They attacked in the early morning of Friday 15th September, succeeding in bringing the village into Allied hands and taking many German prisoners. However, the action resulted in the loss of 9 officers and 280 men of lower ranks. Robert was wounded and taken to 24 General Hospital at Etaples, one of fifteen military hospitals at the base. There he died on the 29th September 1916, aged just 21.

Second Lieutenant Robert McGregor Middlemass is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery. He is remembered on the Roll of Honour of the Royal Technical College, Glasgow.