Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1915, Captain William Bacon Johnston Reid, 3rd Battalion (Reserve), Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, the Duke of Albany’s), attached to 2nd Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, was killed in action at La Bassee on the Western Front.
He came from a long line of military men - one of his great-grandfathers, Sir William Bacon Johnston of Hilton, 7th Baronet, had raised a battalion at Waterloo. Educated at Trinity College, Glenalmost, Perthshire, Captain Reid received his commission in January of 1900 in the 3rd (Militia) Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders – he served in India, and South Africa during the Boer Wars. After returning home he was appointed as Adjutant of the 1st Highland Cadet Battalion, the Royal Scots, and for two years from 1912 he managed the Naval and Military Veterans’ Residence in Edinburgh.
For the first four months of the Great War Captain Reid was training cadets at Cromarty, then went to France in November, involved in the fighting at Neuve Chapelle and other actions. He was grievously wounded at La Bassee on the 16th of May, 1915, and sent home to England, but passed away four days later at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London.
William, from Thomanean, Milnathort in Kinross-shire, was 34 years old.