Sergeant Daniel Kerr

Biography of Sergeant Daniel Kerr

Daniel Kerr was born on the 15th December 1888, and was the son of Daniel - a Grocer and Provision Merchant - and Elizabeth Kerr. The family, including Daniel’s brother William, lived at 218 Kilmarnock Road in Shawlands, where Daniel attended Shawlands Academy and Bellahouston Academy. After finishing his elementary education, he served indentures as a Pupil Teacher at Annette Street School. Pupil Teachers were boys and girls aged 13 or over and of suitable moral and intellectual capacities, who were paid to teach younger children throughout the school day and received their own lessons from the school teacher before or after school hours. These lessons were intended to prepare them for progression to teacher training college.

In 1908, Daniel applied to the Glasgow Provincial Training College, forerunner of Jordanhill College of Education, now the University of Strathclyde, for a three-year course of teacher training offered in conjunction with the University of Glasgow. Students on this course were required to take some of their classes at the University, and others at the College. Those who completed successfully gained the Teacher’s General Certificate, entitling them to teach in primary schools. Most such students also qualified for a University degree, but Daniel, though a diligent student, did not.

In his first year at University he took classes in Mathematics and Chemistry; in his second year, he studied Natural Philosophy; and in his third year he took further classes in all three subjects, but did not achieve the grades required to graduate.

Daniel was granted an extra, fourth year of study at the Glasgow Provincial Training College, and completed his professional training in the summer of 1912. He was recognised as a certificated teacher from the 1st August 1912, and gained an additional qualification to teach physical exercises in primary schools. He was appointed to Kent Road Higher Grade Public School from the 10th September 1912 and subsequently taught at Strathclyde Primary School in Dalmarnock.

When war broke out, Daniel joined the 12th Battalion Highland Light Infantry almost immediately on the 5th August 1914. He joined up as a Private, but was quickly promoted, and was Company Sergeant Major by October 1915. Daniel trained at the Dunfermline, Maldon and Curragh Camps, but - keen to get involved in the action abroad - forfeited his rank and left for France as a Sergeant. Sergeant Daniel Kerr was killed in action in Maricourt Wood near Montauban on the 25th March 1918, aged 29. On hearing of his death, Captain Hamilton wrote, “From 1914 till 1916 I commanded the Company in which your son served whilst with the 2/6th Highland Light Infantry. Sergeant D. Kerr came to me , I think, as Lieutenant Corporal, but my opinion of him was such that in a very few months I had made him my Company Sergeant Major. I can honestly say that I have never had the pleasure to meet a more upright and through and through man, and I can feel in some small degree how dreadful the loss to you must be”.

Sergeant Daniel Kerr is commemorated at the Pozières Memorial at the Somme in France. He is also remembered on the University of Glasgow Roll of Honour, on the Roll of Honour of the Glasgow Provincial Committee for the Training of Teachers, and on the Glasgow Provincial Training College War Memorial, located in the David Stow Building on the former Jordanhill Campus.

Summary

Sergeant Daniel Kerr
Rank: Sergeant
Regiment: Highland Light Infantry
Degree: Student
Awards: N/A
Comments: Killed in action 25 March 1918
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: N/A

Sources

University of Glasgow Registry Records

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The Scottish Military Research Group

With thanks to Anne Cameron for additional information from the University of Strathclyde Archives

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