Lieutenant William Erskine Shearer

Biography of Lieutenant William Erskine Shearer

William Erskine Shearer was born on 29th June 1889 in Glasgow, where he grew up with seven brothers and sisters. His father, William Shearer, was a warehouse clerk and his mother was Margaret Shearer (née Kerr).

William studied drawing and painting at the Glasgow School of Art from 1908 to 1915, being taught by Mr Artot and Professor Britten. In October 1913, he enrolled at the Glasgow Provincial Training College, forerunner of Jordanhill College of Education, now the University of Strathclyde, to train as a teacher of drawing.

William Erskine Shearer’s connection to the University of Glasgow was through his membership of the OTC, which he joined as a cadet in 1915. He was the son of William and Margaret Kerr Shearer and lived at 149 Arlington Street, Glasgow. He was training or had trained to become a teacher at the Glasgow Provincial Training College, later to become Jordanhill College of Education.

William’s career path ended with the war, however. He took a commission in the 4th Lowland Brigade Field Artillery and served in France. Lieutenant Shearer was 28 when his unit was caught up in the fighting during the German advance on the Somme in 1918. He was killed in action and is buried at Harponville Community Cemetery Extension, dug out by fighting units as the last resting place of 137 casualties. The inscription on his headstone reads, ‘Until the Day Break and the Shadows Flee Away’.

Lieutenant William Erskine Shearer is remembered on the University of Glasgow Roll of Honour in the memorial chapel, the University of Strathclyde Roll of Honour in the Stow Building, and the Glasgow School of Art's Roll of Honour.

Summary

Lieutenant William Erskine Shearer
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment: 4th Lowland Brigade Royal Field Artillery
Degree: N/A
Awards: N/A
Comments: Killed in action 8 June 1918. Member of University of Glasgow OTC
Note/Press Clipping: Ch 4/4/2/3/885
Photo ID: Ch 4/4/2/2/262

Sources

University of Glasgow Roll of Honour Ch 4/4/2/2/262 (image only)

CWGC Debt of Honour

University of Strathclyde ROH, Stow Building

Glasgow School of Art's Roll of Honour

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