Roll of Honour

Intelligence Officer and Lieutenant

(Reverend) Robert Hellier Napier


Obituary from the Hillhead High School War Memorial Volume:

Image of Robert HellierNapier

"Robert Hellier Napier was born at Yoker on 12th August 1884. He entered Hillhead High School in 1898, going two years later to Morrison's Academy Crieff, where he became Dux of School in 1901. He always spoke with great affection of his life at Hillhead High School. At the University he fulfilled all the promise of his school days and proved to be a brilliant and distinguished student.

Having graduated with 2nd Class Honours in Classics in 1905 he entered Divinity Hall of the Church of Scotland, gaining there many prizes and other distinctions, including the Caird Prize in Divinity two years consecutively, a prize in Church History, second prize in Divinity and Biblical Criticism, and a prize in Hebrew and Semitic Languages. At the close of his Divinity course he gained the

href="/alumni/help/abbreviations/#3">BD degree, and the Black Fellowship as the first student of his year.

During his college career his energies were spread over a wide field; he was an enthusiastic volunteer and played a prominent part in the Union debates; he was President of the Christian Union, and his popularity with his fellows was evidenced by his election as President of the Student Representative Council (SRC).

At the close of a short period of service with Dr Menzies Fergusson Logie, he was ordained in 1909 as a missionary of the Church of Scotland, and sailed for Nyassaland. In the mission field he found his true vocation. In addition to his regular work as missionary in Blantyre and Zomba, he shared in the translation of the Bible into the native language, and had the privilege of training the first native missionaries.

On the outbreak of war he took part in the defence of Nyassaland, doing valuable service in charge of the native transport lines; later he served with the native transport in German East Africa. His great linguistic attainments enabled him to take the post of Intelligence Officer to the British Force, and it was while attached as Lieutenant to the 4/1st King's Africa Rifles that he fell in Portuguese Africa on the 11th February 1918. Fearless and zealous in the cause of others he had gone forward to reconnoitre the enemy's lines, when he fell mortally wounded. Robert

Napier's loss can never be rightly estimated. His memory lives and inspires."

Comments and Citations

Obituary: Hillhead High School War Memorial Volume (War Memorial Committee, 1921)

Memorial Place: Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Debt