Lieutenant William Landell

Biography of Lieutenant William Landell

William Landell was an Ironmonger and student at the University of Glasgow. During the First World War he served as a Lieutenant in the 14th Bn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and died of wounds he sustained in fighting on the Western Front.

William was born on the 28th October 1872 in Glasgow, the eldest son and the sixth of seven children of Ironmonger William Landell and his wife Isabella Landell (née Ferguson). William lived and worked for most of his life in Dennistoun and was described as a native of Glasgow on his tombstone.

In 1888, aged 16, William took classes in Engineering at the University of Glasgow. However, he never graduated and by 1891 he had returned to his father’s profession as an Ironmonger. He never married and upon his death his younger brother Thomas handled his estate.

William was 41 when war broke out in 1914, just old enough to still be accepted as a volunteer. He enlisted in Glasgow and was commissioned to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in the 14th Bn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on the 22nd January 1915. He then undertook over a year and a half of training and garrison duty before he and his battalion were sent abroad in June 1916.

In fact, as head of the Billeting party, William was the first in his Battalion to land in France on the 5th June 1916. His first experience of the trenches was in the Hohenzollern Sector on the old Loos Battlefield in what is now the Pas-de-Calais Department of the Hautes-de-France Region.

In January 1917, William was in hospital with sickness but soon returned to his battalion. In July of that year, he accompanied the Battalion as it took over positions near the village of Villers-Plouich. On the 21st July, William was officer on duty and around 18.00hrs the Germans mounted a raid upon his position. William immediately organised a bombing section and drove the Germans back out of his battalion’s trenches. However in the violent battle of hand grenades, he was mortally wounded, his Company Sergeant Major guarded his body and refused to leave him until reinforcements arrived.

William was evacuated from the trenches but died in either the 21st or 48th Casualty Clearing Station. His body is now buried in Rocquigny-Equancourt Road British Cemetery, Manancourt. He was 44 years old. During his time with the 14th Battalion, Ronald served alongside fellow University community members John William Mowat and Ronald MacIver, all of whom were killed in the same area within a period of less than two months.


Lieutenant William Landell
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment: 14th Bn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Degree: Student
Awards: N/A
Comments: Died of wounds, 22 July 1917.
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: N/A


University of Glasgow Registry records.

Biography: Biographical information compiled by Euan Loarridge, Great War Project Volunteer.

Burial Place: Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Find War Dead

There are no comments available.