Roll of Honour

Captain (Temporary Commission)

James Towers Kirkland

Military Cross, Mentioned in Despatches


James Towers Kirkland was the youngest son of Archibald Kirkland, a merchant of Viewfield, Newmains. He was born there on 18th December 1881. His school years were spent at the High School of Glasgow and from where he went on to study Medicine at the University of Glasgow in 1900. He graduated MB ChB in 1909. His academic record showed commitment and persistence.

Image of James Towers Kirkland

His name was included in the prize-list of 1909, with a first class distinction in Clinical Medicine under Professor Samuel Gemmell. After graduation he held appointment at the Royal Infirmary and later at the Department of Gynaecology at Glasgow Maternity Hosputal, where he was House Surgeon. He was doing locum work in England when war broke out, and he obtained his commission in November 1914.

His war began at Edinburgh Castle, and afterwards at Gailes as Medical Officer to the 16th Service Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry. In March 1915 he was transferred to No. 19 Hospital, Boulogne, and later to the 22nd Field Ambulance (7th Division), where he was in charge of one of the first clearing stations at Festubert. Next he was transferred to the 2nd Royal Warwickshires, and was with them in the trenches till after the Battle of Loos. He was Mentioned in Despatches (MID) by Sir John French and at the beginning of 1916 was awarded the Military Cross (MC) for services at Loos.

During the Battle of the Somme, he suffered a breakdown and was home for some time. Later he was appointed Resident House Surgeon at Craigleith Military Hospital, Edinburgh and returned to France at the beginning of December 1917. He was attached to the field ambulance and saw service from Flanders almost to St Quentin. He was home on leave in March 1918, and on his return was attached to the 141st Field Ambulance. On 17th September, he was transferred as temporary Medical Officer to the 1st Gloucestershire Regiment, and while advancing towards St Quentin the following day, the 18th September, he was instantly killed by a shell burst. Captain Kirkland is buried in the Harcourt British Cemetery at the little village of Estrees-en-Chausee.


Comments and Citations

University of Glasgow Registry, Faculty and General Council Records

University of Glasgow Roll of Honour Records (GUAS Ref: Ch 4/4/2/3/1271)

Obituary: The High School of Glasgow: the book of Service and Remembrance