Alexander Meikle McCALLUM

Highland Light Infantry, 16th Btn; formerly 9th Btn  

Rank & Number:   
Captain; formerly Private, 3948  

01 December 1885; Fairlie  

Died:                      03 April 1917; Somme, France (died of wounds)  

Buried Foreste Community Cemetery, France
                              Brother of Andrew, Daniel & Malcolm McCallum
                              Cousin of Allan, Daniel, John & William McCallum

ALEXANDER MEIKLE MCCALLUM was born 01 Dec 1885 in Fairlie, to parents John, a master joiner and Elizabeth Wark (who married in Tillicoultry on 18 Jun 1878).  He died of wounds at 92 Field Ambulance on 03 Apr 1917 at the Somme, France, and was buried at Foreste Communal Cemetery, Aisne, France.  He is commemorated on the Fairlie War Memorial and in the Pollokshields East Church Book of Remembrance.  

Born and brought up in Fairlie, on leaving Largs Higher Grade School Alexander went into the office of Messrs J.M. & J.H. Robertson, writers, Bath Street, Glasgow.  Continuing his studies at Glasgow University, he qualified as a solicitor.  A member of Cartha Athletic Club, he was a Scottish international hockey player.  

In the early 1900s, the whole family moved from Fairlie to Pollokshields.   

In the 1891 Census, Alexander, aged 5, is living Oakbank, Fairlie with parents John (42, b. Fairlie, ship carpenter) and Elizth (39, b. Bonnybridge) and siblings Malcolm (11), Christina (8), John (6), Daniel (4) and Andrew (1)  

In the 1901 Census, aged 15 and a law apprentice, he is living 21 Melville Street, Pollockshields, Glasgow in the household of his uncle Alexr Meikle.  Parents and siblings are living Oakbank, Fairlie  

In the 1911 Census, he is a law clerk, aged 25 and is living 73 Kenmure Street, Pollokshields with parents John (62, joiner) and Elizabeth (59, m 32 yrs, 11ch/10 living) and siblings, Eliz. C (30), Christine F (28), Daniel (24, joiner), Andrew LW (21, clerk), Janet (19), Agnes W (16) and Lilias F (15)    


Enlisted as a Private on 8 Mar 1915, and commissioned Captain on 7 Apr 1915.  His medal index card shows the first theatre of war entered as France on 12 Feb 1917, where he died of wounds at 92 Field Ambulance only six weeks later on 3 Apr 1917.  He received the British War and Victory medals.

Extracts from the Largs & Millport Weekly News:-  

14 April 1917  
The Toll Of War; Capt. Alex. Meikle McCallum, H.L.I.:  There was universal sorrow and regret in Fairlie when it became known that the name of another of Fairlie’s sons was added to the list of those who have died for King and country.   
Capt. Alex. McCallum was the third son of Mr. John McCallum, late of Fairlie, and now residing at 78 Kenmure Street, Pollokshields, Glasgow.  At an early age he showed signs of ability, and on leaving Largs Higher Grade School he went into the office of Messrs J.M. & J.H. Robertson, writers, Bath Street, Glasgow.  Continuing his studies at Glasgow University, in due course he became qualified as a solicitor.   
Early in 1915 he received a commission in the H.L.I., and his sterling qualities and ability at various schools of instruction secured him his captaincy in a very short time.  His battalion leaving for France early in 1916, he was left in charge at headquarters.  Subsequently he was transferred to another battalion of the H.L.I., and had only been in France five weeks when he was killed.  No news are yet to hand of how it happened, the telegram to his parents, for whom much sympathy is felt, merely stating that he had died of wounds.   
Of a kindly and genial disposition, his ready wit made him a favourite with all, and there are many today who mourn his loss.      

Extracts from other newspapers:-  

10 April 1917, Evening Despatch

ALL SORTS OF SPORT:  Captain A.M. McCallum, a Scottish international hockey player, has died from wounds in France.  

6 April 1917, The Glasgow Herald

Deaths on Service:  McCALLUM.- Died of wounds on 3rd April, Alexander Meikle McCallum, Capt., H.L.I., third son of Mr and Mrs John McCallum, 73 Kenmure Street, Pollokshields and Fairlie.  

7 April 1917, The Glasgow Herald
CASUALTIES;  Notes on Officers; CAPT. A. M. McCALLUM
Mr and Mrs McCallum, 73 Kenmure Street, Pollokshields and Fairlie, have received intimation that their son, Captain Alexander M. McCallum, died of wounds on the 3rd inst.  Captain McCallum was a solicitor with the firm of Messrs. J.M. and J.H. Robertson, 120 Bath Street, Glasgow.   He was well known in athletic circles being a member of the Cartha Athletic Club.  Perhaps he was best known as an international hockey player.

 Foreste Communal Cemetery
 Images © War Graves Photographic Project

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Fairlie Community Association SCIO
Scottish Charity No. SC028785