Corporal Robert McDonald Walker

Biography of Corporal Robert McDonald Walker

Robert McDonald Walker was born on the 27th November 1887, and was the son of John and Elizabeth Walker. His father was a train work inspector, and the family lived at ‘Tharsis’ in Burnblea Street, Hamilton, where Robert had four brothers and a sister.

In 1905, Robert became a student of Arts at the University of Glasgow, his first-year classes including Latin and Mathematics. In 1906, he enrolled concurrently at the Glasgow Provincial Training College (forerunner of Jordanhill College of Education, now the University of Strathclyde) for a three-year course of teacher training offered in conjunction with the University. Students on this course took some of their subjects at the University and others at the College, with those who completed successfully gaining the Teacher’s General Certificate, entitling them to teach in primary schools, as well as an Arts degree.

Robert graduated with an ordinary MA degree from the University in 1908. He also completed his professional teacher training in June of that year, having qualified in two years rather than the three for which he was originally admitted. He was recognised as a certificated teacher from the 1st August 1908, with additional qualifications to teach singing, drawing and drill in primary schools, and was appointed to Beckford Street School in Hamilton from the 12th October 1908.

Robert subsequently returned to the University to take Honours in English Literature in 1912. On the 14th October of that year, he also returned to the Glasgow Provincial Training College, where he completed a two-month course to qualify as a teacher of English in intermediate and secondary schools. He was subsequently appointed to Mackie Academy in Stonehaven from the 28th November 1912.

In March 1916, Robert joined the 2nd Cameronians division, otherwise known as the Scottish Rifles. He was wounded in June of 1917, and again on the 24th March 1918. His second injuries were so severe that he died that same day, aged 30. The 2nd Cameronians were heavily involved in operations on the Western Front, so it can be assumed that, given his date of death, Robert was killed during the 1918 Spring Offensive. Corporal Robert McDonald Walker is remembered on the Roll of Honour of the Glasgow Provincial Committee for the Training of Teachers, and on the Glasgow Provincial Training College War Memorial, located in the David Stow Building on the former Jordanhill Campus.

Summary

Corporal Robert McDonald Walker
Rank: Corporal
Regiment: 2nd Cameronians - Scottish Rifles
Degree: MA
Awards: N/A
Comments: Killed in action 24 March 1918
Note/Press Clipping: Ch 4/4/2/3/924
Photo ID: Ch 4/4/2/2/297

Sources

With thanks to Anne Cameron for providing additional details from the University of Strathclyde's Archive

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