Lieutenant David Raeside Ferguson

Biography of Lieutenant David Raeside Ferguson

David Raeside Ferguson was born on 30th January 1892 in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, the son of Dugald and Marion Ferguson. His father was a blacksmith and he was the third of their five children.

He attended Paisley Grammar School and, despite not achieving a Leaving Certificate pass in English, entered the Arts Faculty of the University of Glasgow in 1908, aged only 16.

He studied Latin and Maths in his first year. . In his second year, although nominally in the Arts Faculty, the subjects of Chemistry and Physics betrayed a scientific leaning, and David enrolled simultaneously as a day student at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College, later known as the Royal Technical College, now the University of Strathclyde. There he earned a second-class certificate of merit in the Organic Chemistry class, and a first-class certificate in the Physical Chemistry summer class. The scientific theme continued during his third year at University, with Maths and Electrical Engineering, although also including Political Economy. He again enrolled concurrently at the Technical College, taking a day class in Engineering Metallurgy. David did not matriculate at the University in session 1911-12, but instead took evening classes in Telegraphy, Telephony, Experimental Physics Lectures and Experimental Physics Laboratory at the Technical College, gaining first-class certificates for the latter two classes. He returned to the University of Glasgow in session 1912/13 and in this final year, in Engineering Science, studied Engineering and Electricity. At the end of this year, in 1913, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree.

He became a partner in the family firm of Messrs Ferguson Brothers in Johnstone, but did not sever his ties with the University, as he served as Assistant Lecturer in the Engineering Faculty.

He was a member of the OTC and so enlisted as a cadet in the Cameron Highlanders at the outbreak of war, but his expertise was recognised and he was commissioned on transfer to the Royal Engineers on 15th June 1915.

He died on Saturday 17th November 1917, aged 25, and by the time of his death had been promoted full Lieutenant and had been Mentioned in Despatches. He was serving with 135 Army Troop Company of the Royal Engineers.

David is buried in Canada Farm Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, and his family had the inscription “A Dutiful Son and Brother” added to his gravestone.

As well as on the University Roll of Honour, David is remembered on the University’s Engineering Department Memorial, on the Roll of Honour of the Royal Technical College of Glasgow, and on the Paisley Grammar School Memorial.


Lieutenant David Raeside Ferguson
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment: Royal Engineers
Degree: BSc
Awards: Mentioned in Despatches
Comments: Killed in Action 17 November 1917
Note/Press Clipping: Ch 4/4/2/3/1026
Photo ID: N/A


University of Glasgow Registry Records

With thanks to Anne Cameron for providing information about David Raeside Ferguson from the University of Stratclyde's records.

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