Lieutenant William Lawson Harris

Biography of Lieutenant William Lawson Harris

Born to Marjory and William on 27th September 1892, William Lawson Harris was educated at the Glasgow High School and lived with his family at 8 Hillington Park Crescent, Cardonald.

From 1908 to 1913, William studied engineering at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College (known from 1912 as the Royal Technical College, now the University of Strathclyde). He enrolled as a full-time day student in sessions 1908-09, 1909-10 and 1912-13, and as an evening student in sessions 1910-11 and 1911-12, when the College student registers record his occupation as ‘Engineer’. He gained second-class certificates of merit for many of his classes and a first-class certificate of merit for Mechanics Laboratory II. However, the records do not indicate that he qualified for a Diploma from the College.

William was a member of the Officer Training Corps of the High School and of Glasgow University. Having trained as a marine engineer, he was at sea when war broke out in 1914. He returned from Singapore to join up, and served with the Royal Scots Fusiliers from February 1915.

He was awarded a Military Cross (MC) after the Battle of Loos in 1915 (gazetted 2nd June 1916) and was reported wounded and missing on 30th July in the attack on Guillemont, while in command of 'C' Company. Four of his comrades later testified that they had seen him lying wounded in a German trench, but his body was not recovered. His name is on the Thiepval Memorial. In the attack seventeen out of twenty officers were killed or wounded and 613 out of 750 other ranks were killed, wounded or captured. His ceremonial sword was inherited by a nephew, who used it on active service from 1939 to 1945.

Lieutenant William Lawson Harris is remembered on the Roll of Honour of the Royal Technical College, Glasgow.


Lieutenant William Lawson Harris
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment: 3rd Royal Scots Fusiliers
Degree: N/A
Awards: Military Cross
Comments: Member of University of Glasgow OTC
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: N/A


Biography: Biography contributed by Ronald Land

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

With thanks to Anne Cameron for providing information from the University of Strathclyde records.

There are no comments available.