Far from the Front

West Calder and the Great War

Email: jamesfanning@icloud.com



W. Y. Drummond

On Saturday last sad news reached Mr and Mrs Agnes Drummond, Kindrochet, West Calder, that their son, 2nd Lieut. William Drummond, of the 10th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, had been killed in action. The news cast quite a gloom over the village where Lieut. Drummond was well-known and highly respected.


He was home on leave only a few weeks ago and looked the picture of health and strength, despite the fact that he had come through some arduous work on the Western front.


Lieut. Drummond was educated at West Calder Public and Higher grade School, where he proved himself a bright and successful student.


His career at Edinburgh University was also a promising one, and he graduated with honours.


He early came to a decision to enter the Christian ministry and he was studying with a view to be a Minister of the Church of Scotland when the war broke out. He responded promptly to the call for men and after a period of training in the OTC he secured a commission as 2nd Lieut. In the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.


From the first he was very popular with his men and he accompanied them on active service.


There had been some heavy fighting previous to his last visit home. Not far from where he was stationed the enemy broke into a part of the British first line trenches and got off with a few prisoners, two of whom belonged to West Calder. In a chat we had with him on this point, he said they always had to be ready for such surprise attacks and danger might be said to be ever present from stray bullets or well directed shells. Even in the dug-out a man was not safe, as the high explosive shells which were now being used wreaked havoc.


He never had a doubt about the final issue of the struggle, but he saw clearly the great price that would have to be paid by our men before victory could be secured.                           Midlothian Advertiser, 21st July, 1916

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