World War 1

Search the known records to date of those lost from the wider Alnwick area in World War 1

Generally showing where they are commemorated, when they died and some basic facts about each person. There are gaps, however, so if you can fill in any missing details do please contact us.

William Marshall Beattie

William Marshall



Service Number:

2nd Lieutenant

Highland Light Infantry, 1/9th (Glasgow Highland) Battalion Territorial Force



Ploegsteert Memorial (Berks Cemetery Extension)

Service History:
Enlisted as a Private at Ayr in February 1915. After a period of thorough training at Dunfermline, Glasgow, Stirling, & in Essex, Beattie was commissioned & gazetted to his own regiment on 1 March 1917.

Served with the Expeditionary Force in France from the following October. Beattie fell in battle at Neuve Eglise successfully preventing a German breakthrough during their 1918 Spring Offensive. Casualties over the 3 days were heavy & over 300 officers & men became casualties, with 71 dead.

Buried where he fell. His Commanding Officer wrote:

'He was indeed a splendid fellow, & such a soldier as we can ill-afford to lose at this critical time. The way in which he led & fought his platoon was magnificent. He always enjoyed the confidence of all ranks under his command, a quality which stood the test when the real trial came last week. His comrades - officers & men - all mourn his loss.'

Another officer wrote:

'His death came as a great blow to us all. He was killed while gallantly reconstructing the line... He was loved & admired by his men, & his qualities were esteemed by us all. In his death we feel that we have lost a true friend & a very gallant gentleman. Yours is the satisfaction of knowing that he considered it sweet & pleasant to have died for his country.'
(Sources: 'UK, De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour, 1914-18', Part 5, pp.11-12. Also, Coldstream & District Local History Society; June 2013)

Born on 30 May 1895, at Wooler, Northumberland, the son of the late Jonathan Beattie (a Building Contractor) & his wife, Isabella (daughter of the late George Arkle, of Seahouses, Northumberland), of Glendale Road, Wooler.

Educated at the Duke's School , Alnwick. He was a keen lover of sports.

Beattie began his working life as an Apprentice with the British Linen Bank at Wooler before being transferred to a branch at Ayr where he joined the 9th Highland Light Infantry, a Territorial Force unit, on 26 January, 1915.
(Sources: 'UK, De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour, 1914-18', Part 5, pp.11-12. Also, Coldstream & District Local History Society, June 2013)

Local Memorial:
Alnwick, Memorial Plaque in former premises of the DukeÂ’s School (Source: Dudley George; August 2018) Wooler War Memorial