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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

2nd Lt Alexander Paterson Laing RE


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Hello. My grandfather's cousin, Alexander Paterson Laing, was born in South Africa where his father was working. He went to Scotland to go to school and university in Edinburgh. He studied engineering of some sort and was in the 51st Highland Division. He then went back to SA and became City Engineer in East London (27 years). There is a dam outside East London named after him...The Laing Dam. He also played rugby against the touring British Lions in 1924. My cousin has passed this info on to me and if any members have any further details of military service we would be most interested. Regards, Paul.

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Alexander Paterson Laing was residing at the below address on the 23/08/1920

Langley House



Alexander arrived in France in May 1915, his medal Entitlement 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medal.




Dont Tell anyone that an Ex Rock Ape is Helping an Ex Scuffer :D:P:D

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1st Highland Field Company, Highland Divisional Engineers

Cadet Alexander Paterson Laing, from the Edinburgh University Contingent,

Senior Division, Officers Training Corps, to be Second Lieutenant.

Dated 21st February, 1915.

Follow Title Link for London Gazette page


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Thanks for the info. Tom. I should of thought of the LG. I've only used it to search for info. regards an MC an MM. Good of you to turn up the index card for me. If I still had a 'brain on a chain' I might be better at tracking things down! Cheers, Paul.

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From The Watsonian War Record (George Watson's College):


1895: son of Mr A Laing, Transvaal; 1909-1914: Edin Univ., science, 1914-1915; E,U,O,T.C. (Engineers), Sept 1914 to Feb 1915; R.E. (T), 1st Highland Field Company, 2nd Lt Feb 1915; employed Admiralty.

From Univesity of Edinburgh Record of War Service:


George Watson's College, Student of Science, 1914-15 and 1918-20; BSc 1920. O.T.C. Engineers Sept 1914 to Feb 1915, Cadet. R.E. (T), 1st Highland Field Coy., 2nd Lieut. Feb 1915. France April 1915. Invalided home Feb 1917. Employed Admiralty.



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Could this be a relation, parents prehaps ?:

Name: Mr A LAING

Date of departure: 8 October 1924

Port of departure: London

Passenger destination port: East London, South Africa

Passenger destination: East London, South Africa

Date of Birth: 1867 (calculated from age)

Age: 57

Marital status: Married

Sex: Male

Occupation: Reted C Servt

Passenger recorded on: Page 7 of 12

The following people with the same last name travelled on this voyage: -

Mrs LAING Page 7 of 12 View transcript


Official Number: 129058

Master's name: J H Kerbey

Steamship Line: Union - Castle Mail Steamhip Co. Ltd

Where bound: Beira, Mozambique

Square feet: 4014

Registered tonnage: 7612

Passengers on voyage: 305


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Hello Grant. Could be a conection. Alexander's father was also Alexander Paterson. I know Alexander himself was born 3 Sep 1895 at Maritzburg but my cousin is the expert so i've sent him an email and a link to this post. Thank you very much for looking into this. Cheers, Paul.

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