Glenfarg War Memorial Project

Wallace Williamson McFarlane

1664 (later 320055) Acting Company Quarter Master Sergeant 1/3rd (Lowland) Field Ambulance Royal Army Medical Corps

Born 5 April 1896, Glenfarg, Perthshire.
Died 9 January 1918, Abassia, Egypt.

 

Wallace Williamson McFarlane is buried in Kantara War Cemetery, Egypt, where he died in the 24th Stationary Hospital on 9 January 1918.

At the time of his enlistment on 26 March 1913, he was living at 36 Roseneath Terrace, Edinburgh (his parents' address), working as an apprentice engineer fitter for Bertrams Ltd, but he was born in Glenfarg, Perthshire. His father was John Bruce McFarlane, a master baker, and his mother Helen (née Thomson) McFarlane who had married on 3 June 1891 in Edinburgh.

The 1901 census shows the family living at The Bakery, Great North Road, Glenfarg; his father aged 44, his mother aged 41, Wallace aged 5, and his siblings, brother John Bruce aged 9 and sister Davida Bryce [sic] McFarlane aged 4. Later in 1901, on 27 September, another son was born: Charles William McFarlane.
The family was still at this address at the 1911 census. Wallace aged 14 is described as an apprentice architect, and his elder brother John, who would have been 19, is not listed.

Wallace's attestation papers show he enlisted for four years' service in the Territorial Force, on 26 March 1913 at Edinburgh with service no.1664. Assigned to the 3rd Lowland Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, he was 17 years and 11 months of age and 5' 10" tall. On 5 August 1914 (i.e. the day after WW1 was declared) he was promoted to Acting Corporal and fully embodied into the army (service no. 320055).

He was on Home Service in Edinburgh from 5 August 1914 until 5 June 1915 and from 6 June was assigned to the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. He was promoted Corporal on 7 June. In September 1914 he had the necessary inoculations for foreign service and, like many in those times, he did not enjoy good oral health –before being passed for foreign service he had twelve teeth filled and five extracted on 25 March 1915. This seems to have been a recurring problem for him, for his service record shows his admission on 8 February 1916 to No.5 Canadian Stationary Hospital at Abassia, near Cairo, for 'Dental Caries'. One wonders if this was a contributory factor to his eventual death, on 9 January 1918, 'from abcess of the tonsil'.
Having served in the army since 1913, making his way up the ranks to become Acting Company Quarter Master Sergeant and now in the last year of the war, it is ironic that he died of an ailment now readily treated by antibiotics.
His Soldier's Will, made on 5 July 1915, left all his effects to 'my youngest brother Charles William McFarlane at present living at 41 Scotland St. Edinburgh'.