David William Laird YOUNG

Royal Flying Corps, 53 Squadron  

Rank & Number:     
2nd Lieutenant; formerly Airman, 15120  

18 February 1897; Skelmorlie  

Died:                        06 January 1917; France  

Buried Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension

DAVID WILLIAM LAIRD YOUNG, known as William, was born on 18 Feb 1897 in Skelmorlie, to parents David, a farmer, and Harriet Hewitson (who were married in Ripon on 28 Oct 1891).  He died on 06 Jan 1917 in France, at No. 2 Casualty Clearing Station, of a fractured skull sustained as a result of an accident while flying on duty.  He is buried at Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension – headstone inscription “He was lovely and pleasant in his life” He is also named on his father’s headstone at Kirkliston Cemetery, West Lothian.  On 12 Jan 1918, the Largs & Millport Weekly News reported that a brass memorial tablet in Fairlie Parish Church had been dedicated in his memory.  

In the 1901 Census, the family are at Nether Whittlieburn, Largs, but when David enlists in 1915 the family are living in Johnstone.  His service record also gives the family’s address as Beach House, Fairlie, although they moved to Edinburgh after the war.    

He enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps as a 2nd Class Air Mechanic in November, 1915 at Paisley (aged 18, next of kin father), and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in September, 1916.

Extracts from the Largs & Millport Weekly News:-    

12 January 1918
Fairlie Parish Church; Memorial Tablet:  On Sunday last a beautiful brass memorial tablet surmounted by a cross was solemnly dedicated to the glory of God and in loving memory of David William Laird Young, 2nd Lieutenant 53rd Squadron R.F.C., only son of David and Henrietta Young, Beach-house, Fairlie, who gave his life for King and country in France on 16th January, 1917, aged 19 years.  The dedicatory service was very simple but very impressive.  After praise and prayer, Mr. Allan made touching reference to the passing of the brave young soldier, who had so nobly made the supreme sacrifice.  His life, though cut off at such an early age, had not been lived in vain.  It will be for ever enshrined in our hearts in sacred memory, and will be to us and all who knew him, a divine inspiration to imitate his example of fortitude and devotion in many an hour of trial.  “We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths.  He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.”  During the service the young soldiers favourite hymns were sung, and the service was attended by his father and mother, a sister, and several other relatives

  Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, France


Fairlie Community Association SCIO
Scottish Charity No. SC028785