Major John Alexander Findlay

Biography of Major John Alexander Findlay

John Alexander Findlay was born on October 16th 1883 to Joseph, a cotton merchant, and Jessie Findlay. He grew up with his brother James (born 1881) and his sisters Margaret (born 1882), Agnes (born 1886), Anna (born 1886), and Catherine (born 1890). He grew up in considerable wealth and the household employed five servants in 1901.

He first enrolled at the University of Glasgow in 1900 originally studying Latin and Greek. He completed his MA on the 21st of April 1903 and continued on to complete his LLB on 18th April 1905. In the academic year 1902-3 he came 14th in the list of prizes in Civil Law awarded by James M Irvine. During his postgraduate studies he won numerous prizes for his academic work including: 6th place for Eminence in Class Examinations in Scots Law by Professor Alexander Moody Stewart (1904-5), 2nd place for Eminence in Examinations for prizes given by the Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow (1904-5), 4th place for Merit Certificate in Jurisprudence (1904-5), Eminently Distinguished for Conveyancing in the prizes given by the Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow (1905-6), and was awarded First Place Medallist for First Class Certificate in Forensic Medicine by Professor John Glaister (1905-6).

In 1904, whilst studying, Findlay was also working as a Law Apprentice at 115 St Vincent Street, Glasgow. He was admitted to be a law agent in Scotland on April 1st 1912.

On May 8th 1906, Findlay was granted the position of Second Lieutenant and was later promoted to the position of Captain of the Highland Light Infantry on June 5th 1912. Findlay led the D company of the 5th Battalion. During the Battle of Gallipoli, he was wounded by shrapnel but quickly returned to the front. On the July 20th 1915 Findlay was promoted to the rank of temporary Major. The 5th Battalion went on to fight in Egypt. Findlay was killed in action defending a hill near Herbieh on November 8th 1917 at the age of 34. On this hill 10 other officers and 190 men were dead or wounded alongside Findlay.

For his efforts in the war, Findlay was Mentioned in Despatches (MID) multiple times and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) on the 1st of January 1918. He is buried in the Gaza War Cemetery with a headstone that reads ‘encompassed by the love of God in the world that is invisible’. He is also memorialised in the Glasgow Necropolis.

Summary

Major John Alexander Findlay
Rank: Major
Regiment: 5th Highland Light Infantry
Degree: MA LLB
Awards: Distinguished Service Order
Comments: Killed in action in Palestine 8 November 1917
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: Ch 4/4/2/2/75

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