Two local officers, both aged 21, died of wounds on 27th September 1915. Second Lieutenant Archibald Ure Buchanan, who lived in Olton, died in Flanders whilst serving with the Gordon Highlanders, and Lieutenant Albert William Buchan Carless, who had been a boarder at Packwood Haugh school, died in France whilst serving with the Middlesex Regiment.
Archibald Ure Buchanan was born at 58 Seafield Road in Dundee on 3rd December 1893, the eldest child of parents Robert Buchanan (a commercial traveller) and Elizabeth Dunlop Buchanan (nee Gartshore), who had married earlier that year in Glasgow. He was given the middle name ‘Ure’ which was the maiden name of his maternal grandmother.
His sister, Rebecca Maynard Fraser Buchanan, was born three years later on 16th December 1896, by which time the family was living about 80 miles away from Dundee at Spring Villa, Waterside, Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire. This address is listed in De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour as being the home of Alexander Gartshore, Elizabeth’s father.
By 1901, the family had moved some 300 miles away, to Birmingham, where they were living at 20 Oakfield Road, Balsall Heath. Robert was recorded as a commercial traveller for a Scottish ironfoundry. According to De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour, Archibald was educated at King Edward’s Grammar School, Birmingham. By 1911, the family was living at Clarinnis, 5 Kineton Green Road, Olton, and 17-year-old Archibald was articled to a chartered accountant.
Archibald joined the Warwickshire Yeomanry in June 1914, and volunteered for active service after the outbreak of war. He was gazetted 2nd Lieut. 11th (service) Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, on 3rd April 1915 and went to the front, being there attached to the 1st Battalion. He died on 27th September 1915, of wounds received in action at Hooge on the 25th. He is commemorated at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery (the second largest Commonwealth war cemetery in Belgium) and on war memorials in Olton at St Margaret’s Church and Olton United Reformed Church.
Albert William Buchan Carless was born on 13th October 1893 in Marylebone, London, the eldest son of Albert Carless (a consulting surgeon) and his wife, Ada Bridger Carless (nee Dobbie). His local connection is that he attended Packwood Haugh School, before becoming a boarder at Clifton College, Bristol. He also studied at Caius College, Cambridge. He gained the Warneford entrance scholarship and attended King’s College, London 1910-1914 where he studied medical science. During this time, he was a member of the university’s Officer Training Corps.
He went to the Front in November 1914 and was wounded on 26th April at the Battle of Loos. He died of wounds at No. 1 Casualty Clearing Station in Chocques. His only sibling, younger brother Second Lieutenant Hugh Dobbie Carless, born in 1897, also died of wounds during the war on 24th April 1917, aged 19. Hugh had matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1916, and intended to take Holy Orders.
Albert is buried at Chocques Military Cemetery and is commemorated on Packwood Haugh’s Roll of Honour.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian