William Orr


Service: Army

Unit: 9th Battalion (Glasgow Highlanders), Highland Light Infantry

Rank: Sergeant

Service Number: 331557

William, the youngest of 12 children, was born in Newton Mearns in 1896, son of Mr John and Mrs Elizabeth Orr of Greenside, Tofts Works Newton Mearns. His mother was the daughter of William McKay of Airdrie., His  father, born in Paisley, was a master bleacher in the Tofts Works  and he died in 1913.

John was educated at  Mearns Public School and at Allen Glen's school in Glasgow. He is listed in the 1911 census as still at school. In May 1915, he enlisted and served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from April 1916. He was killed at the Battle of  Selle in  France during the last hundred days of the war, on 12 October 1918, aged 22. He was twice mentioned in Dispatches and was recommended for a decoration for gallant and distinguished service in the field but there is no record on his medal index card that this was awarded. He is buried in Selridge British Cemetery, Montay, North France - Grave reference I. B. 9 and is also commemorated on Newton Mearns Parish Church War Memorial.


De  Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour, 1914-1924.

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Image reproduced by permission of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission