McWilliam, Andrew

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McWilliam, Andrew

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Andrew Ritchie McWilliam was born in Shawlands, Glasgow on the 8th May 1894, one of two children of Margaret McWilliam (née Sorley) and William McWilliam, a ship steward. McWilliam attended The Glasgow School of Art from 1911 to 1914 as a part time student of architecture. During the First World War, McWilliam served as a Lance Corporal in the Cameron Highlanders 7th battalion. This battalion was formed in Inverness and landed in Boulogne on the 9th of July 1915. It appears that McWilliam may have been part of a Pals Battalion as he attended GSA on the same semesters as students such as John McGirr, Donald McLeod and James Drummond who also fought in this battalion. McWilliam was killed in action on the 28th August 1916, aged 22. His death is likely to have occurred at the Battle of the Somme which took place from the 1st of July to the 18th of November 1916. The Battle of Pozieres took place within the Somme, between the 23rd of July and the 3rd of September 1916, where battalions fought for a small village on high ground which gave occupiers an advantage of sight. It is possible that his comrade Donald McLeod also lost his life at this battle. A memorial is in place for McWilliam at Thiepval Memorial, France, located westward of Pozieres. McWilliam is commemorated on The Glasgow School of Art's First World War Roll of Honour.

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Sources: Scotland's People: http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/; Ancestry: http://www.ancestry.co.uk; The National Archives: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/; Every Man Remembered: http://www.everymanremembered.org/profiles/soldier/734996/; Commonwealth War Graves Commission: http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/804041/McWILLIAM,%20ANDREW%20RITCHIE; The Long, Long Trail: http://www.1914-1918.net/cameron.htm; http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/battles/battles-of-the-western-front-in-france-and-flanders/the-battles-of-the-somme-1916/; Imperial War Museums: http://www.iwm.org.uk/history/the-pals-battalions-of-the-first-world-war

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