2nd Lieutenant William Joseph Cornwall Laurie

Biography of 2nd Lieutenant William Joseph Cornwall Laurie

William Joseph Cornwall Laurie was born on the 13th August 1884 in Monmouth, Wales, but his father, Donald Laurie, a Surveyor of Taxes, was born in Barbados (the son of a Sugar Merchant). Leonora Laurie (nee Cornwall), William’s mother, came from Aberdeen. She and Donald had two other sons, George Archibald Laurie and Donald Saunders Laurie.

William initially studied an Arts degree (including Latin, Greek, Roman History, Mathematics, Logic and Political Economy) at the University of Edinburgh from which he achieved a second class degree. Afterwards he enrolled at the University of Glasgow in 1905-1906 to study Political Economy, Moral Philosophy and Geology though he did not matriculate in any subsequent years and did not graduate. Laurie then registered at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1907, for one year as an Indian Civil Service Scholar but there is no record of him having taken any exams there.

In 1908 he was appointed to the Civil Service of India though when war broke out William joined the 124th Duchess of Connaught’s Own Baluchistan Infantry - an Indian Regiment with British officers - which was sent to Persia in 1916. 2nd Lieutenant William Joseph Cornwall Laurie died in action in Mesopotamia on the 6th January, 1917 and is buried in the Amara War Cemetery in Iraq. Along with his brother Captain Donald Saunders Laurie, 2nd Lieutenant William Joseph Cornwall Laurie is honoured on a memorial in the University of Glasgow Chapel.


2nd Lieutenant William Joseph Cornwall Laurie
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Regiment: Indian Army Reserve of Officers attd. 2nd Bn. 124th Duchess of Connaughts Own Baluchistan Infantry
Degree: MA
Awards: N/A
Comments: Killed in action, 6 January 1917.
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: N/A


University of Glasgow Registry, Faculty and General Council Records

Biography: biographical information contributed by Linda Hodgson of Trinity High School, Carlisle, England

Burial Place: Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Search for War Dead

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