Sergeant William Syme Adams

Biography of Sergeant William Syme Adams

William Syme Adams was born on 13 September 1888 in Hamilton. He was the son of William Adams, a craneman, and Jane Lamb Syme. He and his five siblings, Andrew, Adam, Janet, Lilias and Elizabeth, grew up in Motherwell, where the family lived at 83 Merry Street.

In 1907, aged 18, William enrolled at 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 particular course were required to matriculate concurrently at the University, taking some of their subjects there 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 graduated with an Arts degree, but William did not, although he attended University classes in Latin, Mathematics, Logic and Natural Philosophy.

William completed his professional training at the College on 30 June 1910, and was recognised as a certificated teacher from 1 August 1910, with additional qualifications to teach singing, physical exercises, woodwork, and rural knowledge and school gardening. He was appointed to a teaching post at Muir Street School, Dalziel, on 18 August 1910, and married Marion Brown Murray on 25 February 1915. The couple set up home in Larkhall and had two children, William and Marion.

During the First World War, William served as a Sergeant with the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles).Sergeant William Syme Adams was killed in action on 23 March 1918. He is remembered on panels 37 and 38 of the Pozieres Memorial, as well as on the Hamilton War Memorial and the Glasgow Provincial Training College War Memorial, located in the David Stow Building on the former Jordanhill Campus.


Sergeant William Syme Adams
Rank: Sergeant
Regiment: Cameronians - Scottish Rifles
Degree: Student
Awards: N/A
Comments: Killed in action, 23 March 1918
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: N/A


R8/5/30/1 - Male Matriculation Slip 1909-1910

Additional information provided by Alistair McEwen

With thanks to Anne Cameron for providing information from the University of Strathclyde records.

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