2nd Lieutenant Daniel David Dunlop Crawford

Biography of 2nd Lieutenant Daniel David Dunlop Crawford

Daniel David Dunlop Crawford, or Dunlop as he was known, was born in Kilwinning, Ayrshire, to Agnes and John. He was brought up in Kilmacolm and educated at Allan Glen’s school before setting out on an Engineering course at Glasgow University. His father was a doctor who died before he began his studies. Dunlop was at university for seven years from 1907 to 1914, but left without a degree. His first year went reasonably well, despite a struggle with Maths, and he passed all his exams. Later he seemed to go through a troubled period, cancelling attendance at some classes in 1909 and 1910. Although he passed Mining and Analytical Geometry in 1911-12 , he never mastered Engineering Drawing and Applied Higher Maths to the satisfaction of his examiners. He left in 1914.

When the war broke out he was working as an assistant engineer on the Uganda railway, colloquially known as the ‘Lunatic Express’ on account of some of the challenges it presented. He was credited with service in the Nairobi Defence Force as a Private and, on returning to the U.K. in July 1916 was appointed Private to the Cameronian Highlanders as a brief stepping stone to a commission. He had trained as a cadet in the university O.T.C. from 1909 to 1913, and in August 1916 he was commissioned Temporary 2nd Lieutenant to the Royal Engineers. He returned to East Africa attached to the 25th Railway Company of the Sappers and Miners of the Indian Army Reserve.

Africa was a very different theatre of war from Europe. Almost all the European nations had taken part in the scramble for territory and continued to pursue their colonial agendas. German East Africa, surrounded by British, Belgian and Portuguese colonies became a war zone in the first few days after war was declared, initially taking the form of skirmishes but becoming a full campaign that lasted four years until the surrender of General Lettow-Vorbeck on 23rd November 1918. It cost 300,000 lives. Most were African or Indian. Lieutenant Dunlop Crawford’s death was as the result of an accident. The Uganda Railway, of which he had long experience, was vital to the strategic and logistical priorities of both sides and his expertise would be missed. Aged 28, he was buried at Dar Es Salaam War Cemetery in Tanzania. He is remembered on the Allan Glen’s Roll of Honour, and also on the Kilmacolm War Memorial. His widowed mother, Agnes, now living in Edinburgh, wrote on the day after Armistice 1918 requesting that his name be added to the Roll of the Fallen commemorated at the University of Glasgow.

Summary

2nd Lieutenant Daniel David Dunlop Crawford
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Regiment: Royal Engineers - Indian Army Reserve
Degree: Alumnus
Awards: N/A
Comments: Killed in action in East Africa 10 December 1917. Attended Allan Glens School.
Note/Press Clipping: Ch 4/4/2/3/400
Photo ID: N/A

Sources

University of Glasgow Registry: Matriculation R8/5/28-34/2; Abandoned File R6/18

University of Glasgow R.O.H. Ch4/4/2/3/400

CWGC Debt of Honour

Inverclyde’s Great War, biography

London Gazette, 28th August 1916, Supplement p.8474

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