home | family history | copyright | contact  

william mcbain ...

my grandfather, William McBain, in the uniform of the Seaforth Highlanders - circa 1916
born: 14th December 1877, North Street, Rothes, Morayshire - see a copy of the birth certificate here
Glasgow, Lanarkshire
killed:  in action during the Battle of the Somme, 24th December 1916
buried: Varennes Military Cemetery, Somme, France
regiment: Seaforth Highlanders 1st/6th Battalion
service number: 5208
wife's name: Barbara McBain
home address: 40 Delburn Street, Parkhead, Glasgow
parents' names: James & Devina McBain
awarded: the Memorial Plaque and Scroll - see details below


other information:

  • I was named William after my paternal Grandfather. He was killed in World War 1 on Christmas Eve 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. His regiment was the Seaforth Highlanders  My father never knew him as he was only 8 months old when he died. As the first son of the family I took his Christian name.

  • The commemorative scroll shown below, which hangs prominently in my house, was issued after the war by the then King, George V, to the next of kin of all British soldiers killed in the defence of their Country. Please take time to read these tremendous words. More ...

  • I have included beneath the Scroll a copy of the letter sent by the Army's Casualty Clearing Station to my grandmother after he had died from wounds there - it's in poor condition & difficult to read, but I've included a typed 'translation' below it More ...

  • My second Christian name is Tromans and I have this because it is a tradition of many Scottish families that the first son of the family takes his mother's maiden name which, in my case, was Elsie Lillian Tromans.






the Scroll issued by HRH King George V to the families of all British soldiers killed during the 'Great War'

the letter says:-

No 4 Casualty Clearing Station, France


Dear Madam

I very much regret to inform you that your husband died in this hospital today. He was admitted to us during the night suffering from severe wounds of abdomen & in a very dangerous condition. We did all we could for him but he did not improve & passed away at 11.55am. He was unconscious for some little time before his death so was did not realize any suffering & unable to send you any message. 
With much sympathy to you.

From, yours very truly

Sister "




photos taken on 29th May 1989 - at the Varenne War Graves Commission site - when we as a family took dad to see the grave of his father the first time ever. An emotional time for us all
dad laying a wreath of poppies, with the centre showing the insignia of the Seaforth Highlanders
  leaving dad alone with his own thoughts - 29th May 1985, the day when dad saw his own father's grave for the first time. An emotional time for us all. Dad, shown here, had just laid a wreath at the grave - situated at Varennes Military Cemetery, Somme, France  
  below is an extract from the regimental diary of the Seaforth Highlanders of 23rd/24th December 1916 the night my grandfather as killed by enemy action
  a copy of the Battalion's log showing the date my grandfather was injured [and later died from those wounds]