2nd/28th London Regiment (Artists’ Rifles), 13th May 1918
Aberdeen University Roll of Service
Extract from the above publication:-
LARG, ALEXANDER: Cadet, Artists’ Rifles ; son of Peter Larg, music-seller ; born Aberdeen, 21 April 1891 ; educated at Ferry hill Public School and Robert Gordon’s College; for some time employed with Messrs. Leslie & Co., Shipping Agents, Aberdeen. He matriculated in October 1912, gained a high position in the Bursary Competition, and graduated M.A. in 1915 with First Class Honours in modern languages.
In November of the same year he enlisted as a cadet in the Artists’ Rifles but was discharged in 1917, having broken down under training, and took up teaching in modern languages in the City of London College. He died on 13 May 1918 from the effects of illness contracted on service. An indefatigable scholar, Alexander Larg had acquired a wide range of knowledge of the literature and languages of Europe and gave promise of a fruitful career. At the time of his death he was preparing a thesis for the London M.A.
Further Military and Civilian Research
Further to the above information from the Aberdeen University Roll of Service, the following information has been ascertained:-
Alexander Larg was born on 21 April 1891 at Old Machar, Aberdeen to Peter Larg and his wife Margaret Glass or Larg. He was the eldest of three children.
He enlisted on the 15 November 1915, into the London Regiment where he was allocated the 2nd/28th Battalion, (Artist’s Rifles) and given the service number 5061. This unit had just recently been merged into that Battalion from the 3rd/28th Battalion and the unit was primarily based at Hare Hill Camp, Romford.
Although there is little information in his Attestation Papers it does show that on enlistment, he was:-
- Age: 24 years and 8 months old.
- Height: 5’7″.
- Chest: 38″ with an expansion of 5″
At some point he was clearly seen as having officer potential due to his educational ability and transferred on attachment to the 4th Officer Training Battalion who were based at Oxford.
Alexander however, was to perform all his duty in Britain and on the 8 February 1917, after 1 year and 86 days of service, he was discharged, in terms of Paragraph 392 xvi of Kings Regulations as being ‘No Longer Physically Fit for War Service’. Although it is not wholly apparent what the cause of his illness was as the record is nearly unreadable, one of his symptoms appears to have been asthma the other illness may be emphysema.
He was soon to gain employment, and, in March 1917, began as Modern Language Master at the City of London College. A year later on the 30th March 1918 at London, he was married on Special Licence to Isabella Beaton Michelson, daughter of Mrs Michelson, 21 Thomson Street, Aberdeen. His wife had also been an honours graduate of Aberdeen University. At this time they were residing at 6 Gloucester Crescent, Regent’s Park, London.
Around 6 weeks later, he was to die at that address from the illness which caused his military discharge.
He was laid to rest at New Southgate Cemetery, Barnet, London in a family lair of his uncle (mothers brother), where two of his cousins, who also died in the Great War are honoured. They are:-
- Captain David William Glass, 5th Border Regiment, died 18 September 1916 aged 25 and buried at Adanac Military Cemetery, Miraumont, France, and
- Rifleman Cecil Robert Glass, 11th London Regiment (Finsbury Rifles) died 19 April 1917 aged 24 and remembered on the Jerusalem Memorial, Gaza, Palestine.
On 15 November 1919 at Aberdeen, Probate was granted in favour of his wife to the value of £185, their address being given as 61 Watson Street, Aberdeen, although it also mentions that Isabella, his wife was teaching at Clapham School, 63 Southside, Clapham Common.
Alexander Larg was born at Old Machar, Aberdeen, on the 21st April 1891.
His family is shown as follows :-
- Wife: Isabella Beaton Michelson or Lang (Teacher).
- Father: Peter Larg, born c.1858 at Perth, Perthshire (Music Seller).
- Mother: Margaret Ann Glass or Larg, born c.1861 at Perth, Perthshire.
- Sister: Annie H., born c.1893 at Aberdeen.
- Brother: David G., born c.1894 at Aberdeen.
In the 1901 Census there was also a General Servant in the household, a Harriet Smith.
Alexanders Obituary also mentions that his brother David, who was also an honours graduate of Aberdeen, had been serving in France for two years, and his sister Annie was French mistress at Dornoch Academy.
Te following addresses have been ascertained for Alexander :-
- 1915: 28 Southwood Avenue, Highgate, London.
- 1917: 28 Southwood Avenue, Highgate, London.
- 1918: 6 Gloucester Crescent, Regent’s Park, London.
- 1919: 61 Watson Street, Aberdeen (address given in Probate).
Alexander Larg did not serve in a Theatre of War, and, as such, was not awarded any service medals. He was however, awarded a Silver War Badge, number 119944.
Alexander Larg is honoured and remembered on the Aberdeen Roll of Honour.
Links to Additional Information
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Alexander Larg
- Lives of the First World War – Alexander Larg
- A Street Near You website – Alexander Larg
- Find a Grave – Alexander Larg
- Imperial War Museum Memorials website – Aberdeen City Memorial and Book of Remembrance.
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
- 1901 Census.
- British Army Attestation Papers.
- Ancestry: Scotland’s National Probate Callander.
- Aberdeen Weekly Journal dated 5 April 1918.
- Aberdeen University Roll of Service.
- Silver War Badge Card and Roll.
- Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms.
- Ancestry: England and Wales Registration of Marriages.
- Aberdeen Press and Journal dated 18 May 1918
- Vincent Stuart