2nd Lieutenant David Lindsay

Biography of 2nd Lieutenant David Lindsay

David Lindsay was born on the 13th August 1891 in Airdrie, Lanarkshire, the son of Alexander Deucher Lindsay, a Procurator Fiscal in the District of Airdrie, and Jessie Lindsay (nee Shanks). David went to school in the Border town of Moffat where he was a pupil at Warriston School, a small private school founded in 1899. After his secondary education he set out to become a Solicitor and worked at the firm of Kerr and Barrie.

In 1912, aged 21, he matriculated at the University of Glasgow to study Scots Law and lived at 48 Gibson Street during term time. The following year he enrolled in the class of Conveyancing. In the spring of 1915, however, he left his career and studies behind to take a commission in the 7th Bn. Highland Light Infantry. He served first as a machine gun officer in the U.K. and in 1917 was transferred to the Indian Army.

The Cameronia left Marseille in lovely weather on the 13th April and sailed through the Straits of Messina. The ship, built in Glasgow and first launched in 1911, was owned by the Anchor Line and was part of its transatlantic passenger service before it was requisitioned as a troopship. It was carrying 2,650 troops to Alexandria when a German U-boat torpedoed it east of Malta on the 15th April 1917. It took forty minutes to sink and the great majority of men were rescued, either by the ship’s own lifeboats or the accompanying destroyers, HMS Rifleman and HMS Nemesis.

Lieutenant Lindsay was so nearly one of them. According to a witness he swung on a rope from the boat deck to reach the destroyer, but along with another couple of officers fell into the sea. He then grasped a rope which had been thrown to him and reached the destroyer’s ladder, but he turned to help a lad who was struggling and was crushed between the two vessels. He was one of 127 officers and men who lost their lives when the ship sank.

Lieutenant David Lindsay is remembered on the Chatby Memorial in Alexandria, Egypt, to the 700 who died when their vessels were torpedoed. His name is also on the Warriston School War Memorial and on the headstone of the family gravestone at New Lanark Cemetery, Lanarkshire. He was twenty five.


2nd Lieutenant David Lindsay
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Regiment: 7th Bn. Highland Light Infantry and Indian Army
Degree: Alumnus
Awards: N/A
Comments: Killed in action, 15 April 1917.
Note/Press Clipping: Ch 4/4/2/3/749, 1094
Photo ID: Ch 4/4/2/2/127


University of Glasgow Registry records.

De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour 1914-1919, vol 3.

Burial Place: Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Find War Dead

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