Roll of Honour

Second Lieutenant

James Matheson


James Matheson was born around 1895 in Golspie. He was the son of James and Annie Matheson, and was the youngest of their four children. He grew up with his siblings Hugh, John and Bessie (known as Annie), and the family lived at Fountain Road. His father was from the nearby town of Dornoch, and was a trained Chemist.

Memorial chapel at the University of Glasgow
The Memorial Chapel at the University of Glasgow

Potentially inspired by his father’s career in the sciences, James enrolled at the University of Glasgow to study Medicine in 1913. Taking classes in Chemistry, Physics, Zoology and Biology in his first year, his success in these subjects allowed him to progress onto second year. In his second year he took classes in Anatomy and Physiology, however his studies were interrupted by the ongoing war on in Europe. He left before his studies were completed, and joined the 4th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

The 4th Battalion was never posted overseas, however James’ work ethic meant he gained both promotion to 2nd Lieutenant and transfer to the 10th Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. On the 26th of March 1916, James was sent out on a bombing raid – the objective was an area of German trenches called Birdcage. The artillery and supporting guns worked well and the torpedo (designed to destroy wire) went off successfully. However enemy shellfire wounded Matheson and he was lost in the attack. Several patrols went out to find Matheson but to no avail. He was recorded as having died on the 26th of March 1916 at the age of 21.

Comments and Citations

University of Glasgow Registry Records: R8/5/35/6

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

British Genealogy & Family History Fo