Bridge of Weir

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Second Lieutenant Alexander (Alister) Duff

7th Battalion, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)

missing presumed dead 28th June 1915

aged 28

Helles Memorial
St. Machar's Church Memorial, Bridge of Weir
Ranfurly Castle Golf Club Memorial
High School of Glasgow Memorial

Son of James Duff and Mary Deans
Corrievreck, Bridge of Weir

His Life

Alister Duff was born on 13th August 1887 in Corrievreck, Bridge of Weir, and was registered as Alexander. He was the youngest of a family of three born to James Duff from Kirkmichael, Perthshire, a wine and spirit merchant and Mary Deans, from Cardross, Dunbartonshire who had married in Crosshill, Glasgow on 29th June 1876. James was proprietor of Macleay Duff & Co., Renfrew Street, Glasgow.

In 1881 James (32), Mary (28), and their first daughter Helen were living in 58 Albert Road, Cathcart, Glasgow.

By 1891 the Duff family, now with three children including Alister (3), had been living in Corrievreck, (now in Montrose Terrace), Bridge of Weir at least since 1887. They employed a general servant, 22 year old Joan Clark from Glasgow. Charles Duff, commercial traveller in wines and spirits, was visiting.

In 1901 the Duff family was still living in Corrievreck. Alister was a pupil at the High School of Glasgow, probably around this time. The family had a housemaid, Margaret Smaill from Haddington and a cook, Jane Davidson from Wigtown.

By 1911 the family had moved back to Glasgow and were living at 18 Eglington Drive (now Cleveden Gardens), Kelvinside, Glasgow. James was still a wholesale wine and spirit merchant and the sisters Nelly and Moira were both single. Alister (23) was working as a merchant's export clerk. The family had three servants, Margaret McFadyen the cook, Lizzie Anderson the housemaid and Marjorie Hinchcliffe the laundrymaid.

Alister was a Territorial with the 7th Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) and first joined a theatre of war on 4th June 1915 en route to Gallipoli, and his record states "Death Assumed on or since 28th June 1915". That date matches the launch of the Battle of Gully Ravine by the Territorial Army's 156th Brigade, 52nd (Lowland) Division which included the 7th Scottish Rifles. The inexperienced soldiers lacked artillery support and were massacred by Ottoman machine gun fire. Despite this, they were ordered to press the attack and the support and reserve lines were sent in. By the time the attack was halted, the 156th Brigade was at half strength and 800 had been killed. Second Lieutenant Alexander Duff is one of the 21,000 names on the Helles Memorial at Gallipoli.

After the war, James and his two daughters Nelly and Moira kept their seven businesses, including Macleay Duff & Co., trading until 1933, when they wound them up. Nelly and Moira were still single. James would have been 84.

Gallipoli The 156th Brigade of the 52nd (Lowland) Dvision's advance on 28th June 1915, the first day of the Battle of Gully Ravine. Two companies of the 7th Cameronians took a small piece of Trench H12a and were then enfiladed from their right.


1891 Census 1901 Census 1911 Census Birthplace
Name Age Name Age Name Age
Helen13 Helen Jane23Nelly33 Glasgow, Lanark
Moira9 Moira19Moira20 (sic) Glasgow, Lanark
Alister3 Alistair13Alister23 Bridge of Weir


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