Royal Highlanders (Black Watch)

Born 22nd November 1872 to father, William and mother Mary at Arbroath, Scotland confirmed by birth certificate. When he was born the family may have been living at 29 Dishland Street, Arbroath. The only records to show the full alliterative name including “Wallace” are when he is a Freemason, so perhaps this name is not actually his birth name but added later, perhaps, as a reference to Scottish patriotism. That would be contradicted by his military service in the Suffolk Regiment, so perhaps it was the result of military nicknaming.

He is not old enough to make the 1871 census, but his family are recorded as living at 10 Spink Street, Arbroath.

In 1881, now aged 8 he is living at 78 Helen Street, Arbroath, Angus. He is a scholar and living with older sisters Mary Ann (16), Betsy Jane (12) and younger brother & sister David (6) and Flora (1). Joined the Royal Highlanders (Black Watch) on the 25th March 1890 at Perth.

Served with the 2nd Battalion Black Watch Regiment at Maryhill Barracks, Glasgow. He was of full age when he was initiated into Union Lodge No. 332, Glasgow in 1893. Married Jane Gordon on 7th June 1895 at Stracathro (Arbroath), though it would soon be sad times as his sister Flora died soon after in January 1896, aged 16. More positively, later that year later Williamina is born at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, Scotland. Following soon after, second daughter Victoria Jane is born 1897, born in Pimlico, London. Sadly, Victoria doesn’t live very long and is deceased 29th November 1898.

1900 is the year that William Jnr. is born. This would have been prior to embarkation to South Africa and family is in Dover Kent. At the time of the 1901 census, Jane is living as a Boarder at 180 Ann Street, in Aberdeen. Williamina and William are living with her and she is earning a living as a Jute Spinner. She may not have gone to South Africa as she would have been pregnant in 1899, and opted to stay near to what might have been familiar.

In 1902 he is back from South Africa and living in Colchester, the year that John Gordon is born. He is still in Colchester in 1903 as Florence Lily is born that year. Comrades Lodge show him recorded as being with the 1st Suffolk Regiment as a Sergeant and Master Tailor, working out of Meanee Barracks, Colchester.

In 1911 he is living with the whole family at 57 Waterloo Road, Aldershot, Hampshire. He is now 38, and living as an Army Pensioner Military Tailor/Cutter now having been married for 15 years.



Engaged himself in a full career even after joining up aged 21, but, using his previous trade skills throughout. Not a high flyer and probably a family man and taking advantage of any situation that might have presented itself. His loyalty was not necessarily to the Regimental No. 4062 (R.Highlanders) 0213/593 / 5269 (Suffolks)

Second Boer War Entitled to :

  • Queens South Africa medal with the Cape Colony and Orange Free State clasps. Also South Africa 1901 clasp but not the 1902 and not entitled to the
  • Kings South Africa Medal. Award* __ ___ 1901 Awarded to; Queen's South Africa Medal & Clasps "Cape Colony Orange Free State & S Africa."xiii
  • 1908 Awarded the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal (AV 254 of 1908)


    Occupation Soldier of the 2nd Battalion the Black Watch Regiment resident at Maryhill Barracks, Glasgow His age above is confirmed by the D.o.B. you were able to provide, 22nd November 1872. Sadly we have no old photographs of any significance or antiquity due to moving premises in the 80’s and probably loosing many historical items at that time. Office at Consecration: Steward Other: One of the 25 petitioners not named individually on the Warrant of Constitution. 50 Year Mason in Comrades.

    Masonic Milestones

    • L332 Union S.C., Glasgow
      • Initiated 16th December 1893
      • Passed 10th January 1894
      • Raised 7th February 1894
      • Recorded in Grand Lodge (S.C.) 16th February 1894
    • L697 E.C. United Lodge 10th December 1902 – September 1904 (resigned)
    • Grand Lodge Certificate E.C. 4th May 1903
    • L2976 E.C. Comrades (Founder) 6th August 1903 – 9th June 1954 (By death)
    William is recorded has having died in the service of Comrades Lodge 7th June 1954. If this is correct then the only death of a William Wallace in June 1954 was living at 21 Morton Road, Morden, Surrey, having died at St. Anthonys, Cheam, Surey. Jane Welsh Widow and John Gordon Welsh were beneficiaries. It is this key piece of information that reveals a whole lot more about William. John Gordon Welsh was born in Colchester in 13th January 1902 and died December 1969