Ernest Perry: A First World War soldier

The Arlington Baths Club is marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War by finding out more about the men commemorated on our war memorial. Here is what we’ve discovered about Ernest Perry.

Alexander Ernest was born in 1890, the youngest son of May and Robert Perry and brother to Robert, Hilda, Ethel, and Alfred.

He lived at the family home at 11 Queen’s Terrace – later 67 West Princes Street – very close to the Arlington Baths Club, with which they were closely involved.

His father and grandfather were distinguished doctors but, like his brothers, he chose to become an engineer.

Photograph of the proposal form for Ernest Perry, aged 11. He was proposed by Alexander Sloan
Membership proposal form for Ernest Perry, schoolboy, in April 1901. He was proposed by Alexander Sloan and received the number 57J (for junior).

Ernest joined the Baths Club in April 1901 when he was an eleven-year-old school boy, and became a senior (adult) member in 1912. His number was 498.

In 1905 Ernest enrolled as an evening student of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College (now the University of Strathclyde) in session 1905-06, when he took a course in Electrical Engineering.

According to the information on University of Glasgow story he enrolled at the University of Glasgow in 1907 and attended for three years as an Engineering Science undergraduate but did not graduate.

At the same time, he undertook a five-year apprenticeship with Alley and MacLellan, based at the Sentinel Works in Polmadie, which ended in October 1912.

In 1910-11 he was back at the College, this time to do evening courses in Mathematics and Inorganic Chemistry.

Ernest’s war service

Photograph of Ernest Perry in his Army uniform with kilt
University of Glasgow Archives & Special Collections, University of Glasgow collection, GB 248 CH4/4/2/2/220. Reproduced with permission.

Ernest enlisted for the First World War at the University of Glasgow on 15 September 1914 when he was almost 25 years old. He gave his profession as engineer.

His military training thus far was four years in the Cadet Corps at Glasgow Academy. He joined the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders as a Private (number S/14765). He arrived in France on 9 July 1915 as a Lance Corporal in 6th Battalion Cameron Highlanders, attached to the Machine Gun Corps.

He was listed in the Evening Times Roll of Honour of 9 November 1915 as Wounded and Missing.

However the date of his death was later accepted as 26 September 1915, the second day of the Battle of Loos, and is recorded as that by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. His name is on the Loos Memorial, in Dud Corner Cemetery, which commemorates over 20,000 officers and men with no known grave, who fell in the area from the first day of the Battle of Loos to the end of the war.

The Battalion’s War Diary for 26 September 1915 states:

“Battalion forced to retire [from gains made the previous day] owing to flanks being exposed about 10am and retired to German second line trenches from which it advanced 1000 yards. This retiral and advance took place two more times. Battalion very scattered and spread out and losses very great. Remained the night in German second line trenches. About 130 men relieved and sent back to Grenay Vermelles line of trench near Philosophe where they remained all night.”

Photograph from a Club membership list showing erbest Perry's name scored out ad ' Killed' written next to it
Ernest Perry’s entry in the August 1916 membership list was scored out and ‘Killed’ was written next to his name.

His death is recorded in the Arlington Baths Club membership list from August 1916.

The news of his death appeared in the Glasgow Evening Times on 9 November 1915 (pg 6).

In October 1919 his mother received £3 10 shillings and another payment of £2 14 shillings 3 pence which was what the government owed him when he died.

He was posthumously awarded the 1914-15 Star Medal.

Sources used:

  • Arlington Baths Club archive in the Glasgow City Archives

If we discover more we shall update this page. If you have any more information please get in touch.

Researchers: Eunice Crook, Lucy Janes

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