City of the Dead

Lambhill Cemetery, Western Necropolis and St Kentigerns Cemetery, Glasgow, Scotland

by Evelyn McKechnie

There are three vast cemeteries north of Glasgow, all adjoining which are the final resting place of 1027 souls who fought in two World Wars. Four servicemen are also buried in the Hebrew Burial Ground. One soldier from WW2 and three from the Great War. The cemeteries are the final resting place of burial for soldiers from other wars – the Zulu Wars and the Indian Mutiny.

Why Glasgow?

During both world wars the United Kingdom became a fortress island, many soldiers were trained in land, sea and air operations. Glasgow was one of the most important ports for soldiers leaving for all fronts during the Great War and World War Two. Many soldiers and servicemen and women died on active service, many were wounded and later succumbed to their wounds when returned to hospitals in the UK. During the Great War, Stobhill hospital was converted into two military hospitals known as the third and fourth Scottish General hospitals with 1200 beds each. A railway platform was built at the hospital to receive these patients directly.

The Recreation Ward at Stobhill Hospital which treated injured service personnel during WWI.

There are many graves of nationalities from other countries. Throughout the three cemeteries there are Polish, German, Belgian, New Zealanders, Australians, Canadians, a Norwegian sailor and two Italian civilians. For these casualties of war, they lie in a foreign field.

Victoria Cross Recipients

Throughout the cemeteries, there are three Victoria Cross recipients. One soldier from the Zulu Wars, one from the Indian Mutiny and one recipient who fought in the Great War. Only one of those soldiers, Sergeant Robert Downie, of the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Dublin Fusiliers had a marked headstone, until very recently when in 2014 a headstone was placed over the unmarked grave of Private Fitzpatrick VC who fought in South Africa.

Headstone place over the grave of Private Fitzpatrick VC in 2014, 81 years after his death.

Duncan Millar VC, 42nd (The Royal Highland) Regiment of Foot  was 32 years old when he saw action in India at Maylah Ghaut on 15th January 1859 that merited the award of the Victoria Cross. He died on 7th July 1881 and lies buried in an unmarked grave in St Kentigern’s cemetery in Glasgow.

Duncan Millar, VC

Sgt Downie VC, Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Major Kathleen Laura Prendergast

Major Kathleen Laura Prendergast was born in Australia in 1910. Specialising in palaeontology, she was awarded her PHD from the University of Cambridge in 1939. Then got her MD in 1944.

The grave of Major Predergast of the RAMC

She was appointed to the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR), with the rank of captain. Soon thereafter she was assigned as Resident Medical Officer (RMO), with the rank of major, to the Black Watch Regiment (BAOR). This was the first ever RMO appointment to a serving military unit made to a female by the British Army and the first ever to the Black Watch.

She diagnosed her lung cancer six months prior to her death in 1954, she was 43 years old.

Major Prendergast was reinterred alongside 10 Australian soldiers from the Great War in the Western Necropolis in Glasgow. A request had been made by her family to rest alongside them.

She was an amazing woman and what an extraordinary epitaph.

Request for reburial
Request for reburial granted
WW1 Australian Burial plot – Western Necropolis. Major Prendergast’s grave is middle of back row

Glider Pilot Sergeant Gerard McAleer

Glider Pilot Sergeant Gerard McAleer, killed when Hotspur BT659 hit trees on dive approach, 6 November 1942 at RAF Shobdon, Hertfordshire. The Glider Pilot Regiment was established during the war in 1942, the regiment was disbanded in 1957.

Sgt McAleer, Glider Pilot

WW1 graves of Australian soldiers in Western Necropolis, Glasgow, Scotland.

Private Upton’s grave front right

Private George Stephen Upton, AIF

Died on this date – 13th November……Private George Stephen Upton was born at Anna Bay, near Newcastle, New South Wales, in 1896. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (A.I.F.) on 26th April, 1916 as a 20 year old Farmer.

Private Upton left Sydney on 17th November, 1916 & was hospitalised in Ship’s Hospital with mumps from 22nd November to 7th December, 1916. He was re-admitted to Ship’s Hospital from 13th to 28th December, 1916 after having contact with Cerebro Spinal Meningitis. Private Upton disembarked at Devonport, England on 29th January, 1917.

Private Upton was sent to 9th Training Battalion at Durrington, WIltshire for further training but was admitted to Hospital with Influenza (Bronchitis) from 13th February, 1917 to 7th March, 1917. He joined 34th Battalion in France on 19th June, 1917.

Private Upton was transferred to 9th Australian Light Trench Mortar Battery & sent to Hospital on 25th March, 1918. He rejoined his Unit on 30th April, 1918.

Private Upton was sent to Hospital on 16th May, 1918 with Scabies & rejoined his Unit on 20th May, 1918. Private George Stephen Upton was on leave to England from 21st October, 1918. He was admitted to 4th Scottish General Hospital, Glasgow, Scotland on 5th November, 1918 – cause N.Y.D. (not yet determined), whilst on leave. He died at 13.00 hrs on 13th November, 1918 from Pneumonia.

Multiple lair grave of the Great War from 1918 and 1919
Dual lair including a heart wrenching epitaph from the Royal Marine’s mother. Lest we forget Corporal Hylsop of the Cameronians
More multiple lairs from the Great War mostly 1918 and one from 1917
Two German graves from 1917

While most of the graves are scattered throughout the three cemeteries and some are isolated, the plots maintained by the CWGC are very well kept.

CWGC maintained plot of soldier’s gave at Western Necropolis

Sadly that cannot be said for the rest of the cemeteries. Many headstones are pushed over as they have become unsafe. But that could be said for many cemeteries through Britain today.

These three cemeteries are a place for nature and for those who fought in so many wars to finally be at peace. While you can see an abundance of birds and wildlife, be on the lookout for some deer too.

Deer running free at Lambhill Cemetery

Glasgow Crematorium stands within the Western Necropolis and a memorial in the garden of rest commemorates one servicemen of the First World War and 72 of the Second World War whose remains were cremated there.

Lest We Forget

If you would like to find out more about the Great War, please download my app

The Great War Battlefields of the Western Front iPhone App –

The Great War Battlefields of the Western Front Android App – http://bitly/1wo4qBp

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Many thanks, all donations gratefully received, however small. Evelyn

WW1, Normandy DDay 1944 and Scottish Battles and Castles

Published by spotonlocations

Scottish based company designing travel apps for historical locations. Travel apps that will take you on amazing journeys to destinations in history where famous events took place. Scotland, Castles, Clans, WW1 & WW2

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