University College, Dundee (Now Dundee University)

Dundee Students who fell in the Great War 1914-1918

From Dundee Courier 27th October 1922

University College Memorial Unveiled by Lord Provost Spence


The war memorial erected in Dundee University College in memory of the 37 Students who fell in the war was unveiled by Lord Provost Spence on the 26th October 1922 in presence of a representative gathering of citizens.
The unveiling ceremony was very impressive. Members of the college O.T.C. (Officer Training Corps) in their smart military uniforms took up their position under Captain Boyle, in front of the memorial. The students attired in their scarlet gowns, gathered in the spacious grounds fronting the entrance hall, from the doorway of which they were addressed by Lord Provost Spence. Relatives of the fallen and members of the general public were accommodated beside the memorial, whilst the corridor facing the entrance hall was crowded by members of staff.
Sir George W. Baxter, Chairman of the University College Council, who presided, was accompanied by Colonel W.H. Fergusson; Lieut-Colonel P.S. Nicoll; Lieut-Colonel J. Lindsay Henderson; Major J.S.Y. Rogers; and Captain J. Anderson.
Amongst those present were Mr J. Ernest Cox, Mr J.C. Buist, Mr Joseph Philip, Dean of Guild, Dr. A. MacGillivray; Professor J.F. Gemmell; Professor A.  McKenzie; Professor William Peddie and Professor L.R. Sutherland.
Apologies for absence were intimated from The Earl and Countess of Strathmore, Lord Kinnaird, Lieut-Col H.T.J.S. Steuart-Fotheringham, Lieut-Commander R, Still and Principal Irvine, St Andrews.
Lord Provost Spence who was accompanied by Mrs Spence, was attired in the uniform of Lord Lieutenant.
The scene presented round the memorial was an inspiring one. As the students took up their respective places near the entrance hall the plaintive notes of “The Flowers of the Forest” played by Pipe Major Low echoed through the silent corridors.

A Great Day
Principal J. Yule Mackay in introducing the Lord Provost said they were met that afternoon to commemorate the memory of those who had won great honour and glory and who had died in the service of their country. Even as their personal memory was enshrined in their hearts, so would that day be long remembered as a great day in the University College. There was nothing in the whole history of the College of which it was more proud than of the response which was made by the students and by the younger teachers to the call of their country in their time of danger. Many of the students present that afternoon had themselves borne the brunt of battle. They rejoiced and thanked God for their safe return, and they would ever remember in admiration and gratitude, the great services which they had rendered. There was a deeper note, however, that afternoon in the feeling of overwhelming grief and sorrow under which they were met to commemorate the services of that splendid band of young men who gave up their lives for their country at a time when life was opening to them its full promise.
Lord Provost Spence then read aloud the names of the fallen. The total number of students, he said who had enlisted from the college was 117, comprising 59 students, 30 graduates and 28 members of staff. As they listened to that long list of names of young men of great promise who had been cut off on the threshold of their careers it made their gathering one of great solemnity. Those young men pursuing their studies in 1914, had no thought of the war; indeed, active service was the last thing most of them would have thought of. Yet when they had heard the call of their King and Country they made a magnificent response in that they were not alone. From their own city, from every city, town and village, from their hills and their glens, the young manhood of their country flocked to the colours in their thousands. They not only surprised their own country, but surprised the world by their deeds of valour on land and sea.

Not Degenerates
The losses sustained by University Colleges, great as they were, but a fragment – a mere drop in the ocean – to the misery caused by the Great War. Its’ terrible aftermath compelled them to agree with John Bright, who defined war as an enormous and incalculable crime. Their young men had nothing to do with the crime, yet they did not wait for conscription. Classes were denuded in the early days of the war. Many Students, indeed, enlisted who might have profitably kept to their studies in the interests of the nation. They remembered with considerable pride that these young men comprised that branch of the services upon which the brunt of the battle fell most heavily – the junior officers whose names bulked very largely on their war memorials. It was suggested, that they, as a nation, were an effeminate, and in fact a degenerate people. Possible some of them were effeminate, but their sons were not degenerates. The memory of those whom they honoured that day was enshrined in their hearts, and by the memorial their names would be preserved for coming generations. They extended the sympathy to those bereaved by the war, and whose sore hearts bled afresh at the sound of a beloved name. They would seek to remember the maimed, the wounded and those who so marvellously escaped the hazards of war. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend;” and surely those whom they remembered that day had laid down their lives so that those left behind might live in peace. They had hated war, but had fought to end war, and it was for them to do their utmost to make the recurrence of war impossible. If they accomplished that, it would be a fitting and glorious example to thousands yet unborn. God grant that they never again would the young men of the University College be called upon to make such sacrifice.
Reverently the Lord Provost then drew aside the flags which draped the memorial, whilst the strains of “Lochaber no more floated through the grounds.
“The Last Post” was sounded by Drummer R.R. Smith, followed by the dedicatory prayer offered by the Rev A.W. Fergusson.
Handsome floral tributes were placed on the memorial, including a beautiful wreath of red poppies from the students. The students then formed up in single file, and with bowed heads marched past the memorial. 

The Memorial Tablet
The Memorial Tablet takes the form of a handsome panelled tablet of Cullaloe stone from Aberdour. It is placed in a prominent position on the west wall of the main entrance to the College. Designed by Mr J. Donald Mills, F.R.I.B.A., Dundee, and sculptured by Mr William Young, Glasgow. The memorial is a beautiful piece of artistic workmanship, executed in the Italian Renaissance style. The names of the fallen are engraved on three large panels, inlaid with Iona marble, and are as follows

Patrick W. Anderson William R.N. Annesley
Thomas A. Blackwood Daniel A. Bracelin
Alex Brough John Crichton
James S. Chalmers Robert. C. Cunningham
Charles Gillespie Edward F. Jackson
James M.C. Johnston John  J. Keillor
David A. Kitto John W. Kimber
David A. Lumsden Neil MacVicar
Charles J. Martin Forbes Masterton
James Mechie George P. Millar
James C. Milne David A. Mitchell
James Mudie James R. Nelson
William Oram James H.Y. Paton
David W. Rintoul John M. Sinclair
John W.A. Steggall Jarvey S. Steven
Sidney H. Steven William M. Dashwood
Stirling Strettell Bernard S. Sturrock
Jules A. Videment Frederick J. Watson
Stanley L. Watson Alexander L. Watt


At the base of the tablet is a Latin inscription, of which the following is a translation: -

“In piety and reverence read these things. Hold in honour the memory of these men, who as students went forth from the cloisters of this College in the name of the Lord. Took upon themselves the burdens and cares of the most terrible of wars, and cast their lives away, so that to us, who cannot forget their loss, and to you who read over their names, it will be given to enjoy to the full the liberty handed over by these men who went before.”


The Existing Memorial