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Lieutenant Steven Donaldson Reith

Biography of Lieutenant Steven Donaldson Reith

Obituary from the Hillhead High School War Memorial Volume:

"No one is more widely mourned in Hillhead High School than Steven Reith, born on 26th September 1891. His death was at a time when we were filled with triumphant expectation rather than anxiety, and has been a heavy grief to us all. He was one who not only worked vigorously in the School's interests himself, but drew their best work from those around him; so that there were many who knew him, and of them there was none that did not hold him in honour.

He played for the first XV (School) from 1906 till 1910, and gained his first XV (Former Pupils) cap in 1912; rose to the rank of Colour-Sergeant in the OTC; and was president of the Literary Society which he had helped found. He also played a leading part in the life of the West of Scotland Agricultural College, and of Glasgow University, where he graduated BSc in 1914.

The brilliance of his military career was welcome as a manifestation of his work, but was in no way surprising. He applied for a commission in the first days of August 1914, but his eagerness sought a speedier way, and the raising of that body of Hillhead men which gave the School its particular pride in the 17th Highland Light Infantry (HLI) was largely his work.

He remained faithful to the duties he had undertaken and held the rank of Company Sergeant-Major when the battalion went overseas. For his share in one of the 17th's earliest exploits he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM). He was wounded on the eve of the attack of 1st July 1916, and after a period of convalescence was appointed to the 6th Officer Cadet Battalion (OCB) Oxford, where he passed out at the head of the list. He was in consequence offered a commission in the Indian Army, and gazetted to the Deoli Regiment with which he served in the Palestine campaign, winning fresh credit for his efficiency and keenness.

He was killed in the advance of 20th September; since death was to come to him, it could have come in no nobler way. No situation, however dangerous, and no responsibility, however great, found him wanting. Always he was true to himself, and the Roll of Honour contains no worthier name."


Lieutenant Steven Donaldson Reith
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment: Indian Army
Degree: BSc
Awards: Distinguished Conduct Medal
Comments: Killed in action
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: Ch 4/4/2/2/231


Obituary: Hillhead High School War Memorial Volume (War Memorial Committee, 1921)

Burial Place: Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Debt of Honour Register

Collection of papers: Robert Pool's Flickr Set

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