Lieutenant Douglas Alexander Bannatyne

Biography of Lieutenant Douglas Alexander Bannatyne

Douglas Alexander Bannatyne was born on 7th January 1878, in Glasgow. He was the third, and youngest, son of Mark and Kate Bannatyne, who lived at 18 Lynedoch Crescent in Glasgow. His father was a lawyer, with his own firm, and a writer to the signet.

Douglas received a bursary to study at Rugby School, and was there from 1891 to 1896. He was an outstanding student, obtaining the school’s Tait prize for Divinity, and prizes in Latin, Greek, French German and Mathematics. He was also a keen runner and featured in the school athletics team.

In 1896 he won a ‘Major Exhibition’ which entitled him to study classics at Exeter College, Oxford, from which he emerged with a First Class Honours degree in Classical Moderation. He then returned to Glasgow, where he studied Law at the University. He graduated in 1903, with distinction.

He entered his father’s Law firm , Messrs Bannatyne, Kirkwood, France and Co, and in 1905 was made a partner. He did not however abandon links with the University, being an examiner in Conveyancing for many years.

His links with the University went deep - his great great grandfather (John Millar) had been Professor of Law, and his great grandfather (James Millar) had been Professor of Mathematics.

Douglas was heavily involved in outreach in the East End of Glasgow, being instrumental in the building of Scottish Episcopal mission churches in the area, and through his work with young men, as District Commissioner in the Boy Scout movement.

Despite his age, he volunteered for service soon after War was declared, and trained with the Inns of Court OTC, a common route for those in the legal profession.

He was gazetted to the Royal Scots in March 1915, with service in all parts of the UK until the spring of 1918, when he was sent to France.

His regiment was stationed in the Arras area, and in July they were engaged in the Soissons-Rheims Salient, where they relieved an American Division. On July 28th they captured the heavily defend Chateau of Buzancy, and it was while advancing beyond this towards Aisne, that he lead a charge at Villemontoire, near Soissons. He was killed in this charge, on 1st August 1918. Douglas was 40 years old.

The French General Mangin, was effusive in his praise of the British part in these actions, which lead directly to a general retreat by the German’s in that sector of the front.

He is buried in the Raperie British Cemetery, in Villemontoire, close to the place where he fell.

Douglas is remembered by Rugby School, both on the wall of their Memorial Chapel, and in a Specific Biography held in the School. He also appears in Roll of Honour of Exeter College, Oxford.


Lieutenant Douglas Alexander Bannatyne
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment: 9th Royal Scots
Degree: LLB
Awards: N/A
Comments: Killed in action in France, 1 August 1918
Note/Press Clipping: Ch 4/4/2/3/625, 626, 955
Photo ID: N/A


Rugby School Archives

University of Glasgow Registry Records

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