Campbell, William Twaddle

RankPrivate 15545
Medals1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal
Regiment17th & 2nd Highland Light Infantry, Attached 9th Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
Military Service

William Twaddle Campbell began his military service in the 17th Battalion Highland Light Infantry (Glasgow Chamber of Commerce). His previous employment as a clerk may have been a factor in his joining this specific battalion. The Regimental History of the 17th HLI lists William as a volunteer who joined sometime between the Battalion’s formation on September 12th 1914 and its embarkation for France on November 22nd 1915.

Although William’s service record does not survive, the date of his enlistment can be narrowed down using his service number. As both the earlier number 15527 and the later 15554 enlisted on the 13th of September, it is probable that William enlisted on that day as well. The record of Soldiers Who Died in the Great War states that he enlisted in Glasgow.

William’s medal index card confirms that he accompanied the 17th HLI to France, landing on the 22nd of November 1915 after over a year in training. As it is unknown which Company William served with, it is uncertain which events he personally took part in. His first experience of trench warfare would regardless have been in the vicinity of Bouzincourt, just north of Albert, either on the 1st or the 3rd of December. These trenches had suffered heavily from a hard frost followed by heavy rain and literally collapsed and there were reports of men drowning in the mud.

Information supplied by the Royal Highland Fusilier Museum intimates that William remained with the 17th HLI until the summer of 1916, when he was wounded for the first time. The exact circumstances and timing of William’s injury is uncertain, but it is possible that he was wounded on July 1st when the Battalion lost 460 men attacking the Leipzig Salient on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

William’s wounds were serious enough to see him removed from the fighting for a time as he left the 17th HLI. However, they were not serious enough to keep him out of the war and he was transferred to the 2nd HLI. By late 1917, for reasons unknown, he was attached to the 9th Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) with whom he was once again wounded. Again specific details are unknown, but it is possible that William was wounded in the 12th of October attack near St. Julien, during the Battle of Passchendaele.

His injuries from this engagement may not have been as bad as those of the previous year as by 1918 he was once again back in the trenches. According to the Imperial War Museum’s record of the Glasgow Pals Battalions, William was finally killed in action while serving with the 2nd HLI. However, on his official date of death, April 4/5th, the 2nd HLI War Diary states that the battalion was in Billets, well behind the line and records no casualties on those days.

The circumstances of William’s death, is thus as uncertain as those of his wounding in 1916 and 1917. It is possible that he was wounded or killed in heavy fighting between the 24th and 28th of March, when the 2nd HLI took part in resisting the German ‘Spring Offensive’. With no known grave, it is conceivable that William was not reported killed until his death was verified over a week later. However, lacking further detail on his service, the exact circumstances remain unknown.


Statutory Birth Records of Scotland register William was born on December 4th 1893. At 14 Taylor Street, Glasgow.

Death (if not known )Scotland’s National Probate Calendar lists William’s death as April 4th 1918 in France. However, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission states his death as the April 5th.
Circumstances of Death

William Twaddle is listed as killed in action, however it is possible that he in actual fact died of wounds sustained in late March, during the heavy fighting of the Second Battle of the Somme.

MemorialThe CWGC states he is commemorated on Panel 72 of the Pozieres Memorial in the Somme Region of France.
CWGC Information

The CWGC lists William as: Private no.15545 of the 2nd Battalion Highland Light Infantry. Attached to the 9th Battalion Cameronians (Scottish Rifles). Died on the 05/04/1918. Aged 24. Son of Richard and Margaret Campbell, of 251 High St., Glasgow


The CWGC lists William’s parents as a Mr. Richard Campbell (b.1851 – d.1923) and a Mrs. Margaret Campbell (b.1854 – d.1929) who were married in 1877.

Father's Occupation

The 1911 Census records Richard Campbell’s occupation as a Plumber. William’s Birth Record notes him as Plumber (Foreman).


The 1891 and 1901 Censuses lists William as having three older brothers:
James (b.1880), Richard (b.1886) and Archibald (b.1888)


William was never married.


It is unknown what schools William attended. His absence from the records of higher education institutions like the University of Glasgow or Royal Technical College, suggest that he may not have continued past the school leaving age of 14.


William’s occupation in the 1911 Census was listed as a clerk working for an estate agent.

1901 Census

Sunday, March 31st
Listed as aged 7. Scholar. Living with Mother and Father and two older brothers at 83 High Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

1911 Census

Sunday, April 2nd
Listed as aged 17. Working as a Clerk, House Factor. Living with Mother and Father at 266 High Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

Home Address

266 High Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

Glasgow NecropolisCompartment Quartus Lair 356
Other Memorials

William Twaddle is listed in the Roll of Honour of the Citizens of Glasgow.

Acknowledgements and Sources

Much of the information on which this profile is based is drawn from various internet sources which are listed below. The Friends of Glasgow Necropolis also wish to make full acknowledgement and thanks for the permitted use of any information or images generously supplied specifically for exhibition, publication or display in connection with The Roll of Honour and accompanying profiles to:

City of Glasgow (1922) The Roll of Honour of the Citizens of Glasgow who died in the Great War 1914-1918. Glasgow: City of Glasgow Council.

Special thanks to the Royal Highland Fusilier Museum for supplying information on William’s deployments and injuries.

Further thanks to the Royal Highland Fusilier Museum for the provision of a copy of the 2nd HLI War Diary for 1918.



Compiled by a Euan Loarridge, University of Glasgow

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