Lieutenant Alfred Bryan

Biography of Lieutenant Alfred Bryan

Alfred Bryan was born in Glasgow on 17th September 1893, and was the youngest son of Harriet and her husband Peter - a joiner and cabinetmaker. The family home was at 230 North Woodside Road before they moved to 62 Grant Street when Alfred was a student. He was educated at Glasgow High School, where he joined the school’s O.T.C., an interest that remained with him when he went on to university in 1911 and became a member of Glasgow University O.T.C.

Alfred's academic path to an M.A. should have been entirely smooth, had the war not placed some time pressure on his generation. He enrolled in Latin and Maths in first year, English and Philosophy the following year, and History in third year, by which time he had also embarked on Honours English. In February 1915, the University Senate recognised that some special arrangements would be necessary to allow young men who were in a hurry to join their regiments but still keen to complete their Honours degree to do so. If a student could prove they satisfied the examiners' requirements that they had reached the standard of a second class degree without waiting to the end of the formal exam season, the student would be able to obtain an accelerated graduation. Alfred was thus able to take up his commission into the 3rd Highland Light Infantry Battalion (Special Reserve) in July 1915. He returned to graduate on the 20th November of that year, M.A.(Hons.), already a soldier.

Alfred was a distinguished soldier. In August 1916, after other officers had become casualties, he led his men forward in heavy fire. When he was wounded himself he continued to make careful observations and filed a useful report when he was brought in from the battlefield. He received the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry from His Majesty the King at a ceremony at Ibrox. On the 23rd of August 1918, and now a full Lieutenant attached to the 2nd Battalion, he was killed in action. The Battalion Diary recorded what happened. Alfred was leading his men towards Behaignes in an effort to capture the village when he was killed in heavy machine gunfire just after passing Gomiecourt. He fell at Moyblain Trench and was buried at Bienvillers Military Cemetery, south west of Arras. Lieutenant Alfred Bryan, M.A., M.C was 25.

Lieutenant Alfred Bryan is remembered on the High School of Glasgow Roll of Honour and in the University of Glasgow Memorial Chapel.


Lieutenant Alfred Bryan
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment: 3rd Highland Light Infantry - Special Reserve
Degree: MA
Awards: Military Cross
Comments: Killed in action 1918
Note/Press Clipping: Ch 4/4/2/3/965, 976
Photo ID: Ch 4/4/2/2/30


University of Glasgow Registry R8/5/32-35 and General Council

University of Glasgow ROH Ch 4/4/2/3/965,976

CWGC Debt of Honour

Highland Light Infantry 2nd Battalion War Diary (

The High School of Glasgow, Roll of Honour, Obituary

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