Royal Engineers (Inland Water Transport)
                                formerly Seaforth Highlanders  

Rank & Number:     
Sapper, 317994 & WR/355344; 14177 (SH)  

02 August 1879; Rutherglen, Lanarkshire  

26 February 1918; lost at sea  

Brother of Peter Duncan

DANIEL DUNCAN was born 02 Aug 1879 in Rutherglen, Lanarkshire, to parents Robert, a master grocer, and Ann Leitch (who were married in Rutherglen on 6 Aug 1878).  He died on 26 Feb 1918, missing believed drowned after being lost overboard en route to Mesopotamia, and is commemorated on the Basra Memorial, Iraq.  Both Daniel and his brother Peter (who died in service in 1917) are commemorated on a plaque in Fairlie Parish Church.  

In the 1881 Census, Daniel, aged 20 months, is living 92 South Wellington Street, Hutchesontown, Glasgow with parents Robert ( 31, grocer & tea merchant) and Ann Leitch (22), uncle Matthew Leitch (25, goldbeater) and grandmother Isabella Leitch (63, Blacksmith's wife, b. Falkirk).  

In the 1891 Census, aged 11, he is living Wardlawhill Cottage, Rutherglen with parents Robert (41, grocer) and Ann (32, b. Rutherglen) and siblings Isabella (8), Robert (6), William (4), Archibald (3) and Agnes (1)    


He enlisted in the Seaforth Highlanders in Dec 1915 (age 36, nok father, address Rutherglen and Alpha Cottage, Fairlie), and transferred to the Royal Engineers in Sep 1917.  His occupation on enlistment was Ship’s Cook, and his attestation papers state that he “left HMS Montague in October, discharged ill health”.  A report from a Royal Navy Captain in his service record says he’d been about 20 years at sea as an Able Seaman, Fireman and, for the last six years, as Ship’s Cook.  His service record shows that he served at home from Dec 1915 to 4 Jan 1918, before leaving on his fateful voyage to Mesopotamia on 5 Jan 1918.   He received the British War medal.

Images © Nick Grigg


Fairlie Community Association SCIO
Scottish Charity No. SC028785