Roll of Honour

Surgeon Lieutenant

Robert William Brander


Robert William Brander was born in the Maryhill district of Glasgow on 9th June 1892, son of George Brander and Marjory Manson Maconachie Brander. He was the third of four children, although the two elder siblings were children of his father's first wife Eliza Grant Leslie who died on 29th March 1889. His father was Depute Procurator Fiscal in Glasgow, and later Procurator Fiscal for Fife, based in Cupar.

Image of Robert William Brander

The family were living in Kelvinside, in Glasgow, and Robert attended Glasgow Academy where he was an accomplished swimmer, and the school’s best shot. He also achieved the examination passes to enable him to enter the University Medical Faculty.

He was an outstanding student gaining prizes in most of the subjects he studied, including medals in Anatomy (the Sir George MacLeod Medal) , Surgery and Operative Surgery.

Sir William MacEwen had been his Surgery Professor, and so it was natural that on Graduating in 1914, he joined Sir William's staff at the Western Infirmary in Glasgow, as house surgeon.

Once war was declared there was a call for doctors, and he put himself forward. On 24th October 1914, the Admiralty appointed Robert as Surgeon for ‘Temporary service in His Majesty’s Fleet’ . This was when they still believed it would all be over by Christmas.

He served in various theatres including the West Indies as well as the North Sea, in shore stations such as Mount Stuart Naval Hospital on the island of Bute, and lastly on HMS Crescent, a Cruiser which had been decommissioned as a fighting ship and acted as depot for the fleet. He was injured in an accident when returning from duty in Burntisland, when the motorcycle he was riding was in collision with a train of waggons in sidings at Rosyth. He was taken to a hospital in North Queensferry where he died on 1st May 1918. He was 26 years old, and his death was all the more tragic in that he had just been appointed to an onshore medical supervisory role which should have been much less dangerous. He is buried at the Glasgow Western Necropolis.

His younger sibling Albert was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, and was killed in fighting at Beaumont Hamel on 13th November 1916, and is buried in Mailley Wood Cemetery. He was only 21.

As well as the University Roll of Honour, Robert is remembered on the Glasgow Academy Roll of Honour, the City of Glasgow Roll of Honour, and on the War Memorial in Cupar in Fife.