Company Sergeant Major Henry Lachlan McLennan

Biography of Company Sergeant Major Henry Lachlan McLennan

Henry Lachlan McLennan was born in Dunach, Kilmore and Kilbride, Argyllshire, on 9th June 1889. His mother was Mary McKay and his father was Murdo, a gamekeeper. The family lived in Dunard Terrace in Oban and Henry was educated at Oban Higher Grade Public School, where he followed the Junior Student’s Certificate course. As well as taking regular school subjects, Junior Students received training and practice in the art of teaching, and the Junior Student’s Certificate was one of the main qualifications for entry to teacher training college. Henry completed his course in the summer of 1908, but did not do well enough to obtain the Certificate.

Despite this setback, in the autumn of 1908 he was accepted at the Glasgow Provincial Training College, forerunner of Jordanhill College of Education, now the University of Strathclyde, for a three-year course to become a primary school teacher. Students on this course were required to matriculate concurrently at the University of Glasgow, and to take some of their classes there and others at the College. Those who completed successfully gained two qualifications: the Teacher’s General Certificate, which entitled them to teach in primary schools, and a University degree. The College student register records Henry’s full name as ‘Henry Lachlan McDonald MacLennan’ and his date of birth as 27th June 1889, which differs from the date noted in the University’s matriculation records.

When he came to Glasgow, Henry lodged at 5 MacLean Street, Partick. In his first year, he took University classes in Latin and Maths. He made slow but steady progress towards an M.A. degree, enrolling for Higher Maths and Natural Philosophy in his second year, and Education and Roman Law in his third year. In the summer of his third year, he completed his professional training at the College and was recognised as a Certificated Teacher from 1st August 1911, with an additional qualification to teach Physical Exercises in primary schools. He was appointed to a teaching post at Elmvale Public School, Glasgow, on 2nd October 1911. Although Henry’s enrolment in University classes also finished in 1911, one or two resits delayed his graduation. By 1913 he stood on the brink of finishing his studies, with just one subject left to pass.

When war came, Henry was quick to enlist. In October 1914 he signed up with the 11th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, rising to the rank of Company Sergeant Major. He was 28 when he died of wounds on 30th May 1918 at Casualty Clearing Station 57 in France. He is buried at Aubigny Communal Cemetery, north-west of Arras, where his headstone is engraved with his mother’s choice of remembrance: ‘Rest in his Redeeming Blood Rest in Perfect Peace with God’. Sergeant Major Henry Lachlan McLennan is also remembered on Oban’s War Memorial, the University of Glasgow Roll of Honour, the Roll of Honour of the Glasgow Provincial Committee for the Training of Teachers, and the Glasgow Provincial Training College War Memorial, located in the David Stow Building on the former Jordanhill Campus.


Company Sergeant Major Henry Lachlan McLennan
Rank: Company Sergeant Major
Regiment: 11th Argyll And Sutherland Highlanders
Degree: Student
Awards: N/A
Comments: Died of wounds 30 May 1918
Note/Press Clipping: Ch 4/4/2/3/770
Photo ID: N/A


University of Glasgow Registry Records (R8/5/29-31) (R6/59)

University of Glasgow ROH Ch4/4/2/3/770

Scotland’s People

CWGC Debt of Honour

University of Strathclyde, War Memorial, Stow Building

Scottish Military Research Group, Commemorations Project (online)

With thanks to Anne Cameron for providing additional details from the University of Strathclyde's archives

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