Roll of Honour

Second Lieutenant

Henry Biörn Homan


Second Lieutenant Henry Biörn Homan was born on 21 September 1898 in Kroonstadt, Orange Tree State, South Africa, to William and Helen Homan. William Homan was a Civil Engineer, and the family lived at 1 St James Place, Hillhead, Glasgow.

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

Perhaps aiming to follow in his father’s footsteps, Henry came to the University in session 1915-1916, aged 17, to study Engineering Science. In his first year, he took classes in Natural Philosophy (Ordinary), Maths, Chemistry and Physical Laboratory, passing his subject examinations with high marks in March 1916.

Henry returned for a second year of study in session 1916-1917, this time taking classes in Engineering (II). He also registered concurrently as a day student at the Royal Technical College of Glasgow, forerunner of the University of Strathclyde. Under a scheme of affiliation between the University and the College, students aiming for a degree in engineering or pure sciences could take some of their subjects at the latter institution. Henry took full advantage of this provision, enrolling at the College for classes in Mathematics, Motive Power Engineering, Motive Power Engineering Laboratory, Mechanics, Mechanics Laboratory, Engineering Drawing, Civil Engineering, Geology and Geology Laboratory. These subjects constituted the second-year curriculum in Civil Engineering.

As with many other students, the Great War interrupted Henry’s studies and he apparently left the University and the College before the end of his second year. He did, however, achieve a second-class certificate of merit in the Motive Power Engineering Laboratory class.

During the war, he served with the 66th Squadron Royal Flying Corps. Aged just 19, he was killed on 4 April 1918 ‘when flying on active service on the Italian Front…He was Lieutenant (Second pilot), Italian Expeditionary Force.’ Second Lieutenant Henry Biörn Homan was laid to rest at Montecchio Precalino Communal Cemetery Extension in Italy, in Plot 1, Row A, Grave 1. A cross marks his grave, which bears the inscription chosen by his family: ‘He that loseth his life shall find it.’ He is remembered here, by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission; on the University Roll of Honour, and on the Roll of Honour of the Royal Technical College of Glasgow.

Comments and Citations,-henry-biorn/ Matriculation Record 1915-1916- Ref: R8/5/36/2 Matriculation Record 1916-1917- Ref:R8/5/37/2 Letter from father William to the University: CH4/4/2/3/250 Additional information pro