2nd Lieutenant Gilbert Fairley

Biography of 2nd Lieutenant Gilbert Fairley

Gilbert Fairley was born on the 21st January 1898 in Hamilton, Lanarkshire. His father was George Fairley, and his mother Margaret Ann Fairley (nee Buchanan). He grew up in a large household, with five brothers (including his twin brother Douglas) and at least two sisters.

By 1905 the family had moved to Glasgow, when his older sisters Elizabeth Fairley and Margaret Buchanan Fairley began their studies at the University. They graduated in 1910 and 1911 respectively, Elizabeth going on to become a Schoolteacher. During this time their father was working as an Ironmonger and a Colliery Furnisher, whilst Gilbert Fairley was at Hutchesons’ Grammar School. There, he was a member of the School Cadet Corps, then the University of Glasgow Officer's Training Corps and finally the 4th Officer's Cadet Battalion at Oxford.

Gilbert and Douglas Fairley both took the University’s preliminary examinations in March 1916. However, the twins received an identical mixture of passes and fails, and neither re-sat the exams. Instead they joined the Armed Forces; all six brothers held a commission in either the Army or the Navy during the First World War.

Gilbert Fairley became a 2nd Lieutenant of the 1st Bn. Royal Scots Fusiliers. He had only been deployed to the Front for a short while, arriving in France on the 17th March 1917, when his battalion took part in the Battle of Arras, a major offensive designed to draw away German reserves in preparation for the larger attacks of the Nivelle Offensive. Lieutenant Gilbert Fairley died on the first day of his first engagement, on the 9th of April 1917. He is buried in Beaurains Road Cemetery, Beaurains, near Arras, France, and remembered on the memorial plaque at Hutchesons’ Grammar School.


2nd Lieutenant Gilbert Fairley
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Regiment: 1st Bn. Royal Scots Fusiliers
Degree: Student
Awards: N/A
Comments: Killed in action, 9 April 1917.
Note/Press Clipping: Ch 4/4/2/3/1028
Photo ID: N/A


University of Glasgow Preliminary Examination Results (GUAS Ref: R10/1/3).

Biography: Additional information contributed by De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour, 1914-1919, Vol 3, p96.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Find War Dead

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