Armadale & District War Memorial Association

Registered Scottish Charity No. SC044493

William Coventry

Distinguished Conduct Medal

4778 Corporal William Coventry

1st Cameron Highlanders


DCM. (LG 22/01/1916)

For conspicuous gallantry and resource near Hulloch on 13th October 1915.

When in charge of bombers he kept reorganizing the parties in two different saps, saw to the supply of bombs and kept touch with Battalion Headquarters. It was greatly owing to his efforts that the enemy bombers were kept back.


William resided West Main Street Armadale, he was employed by United Collieries at Southrigg Pit. William’s parents resided Westrigg as does his married sister Mrs Bradley.


William and his brother Walter had both previously served with the Cameron Highlanders and they were both Boer War veterans, they were called up as reservists at the outbreak of War.


William was well known in Armadale where he lived, but he grew up in Blackridge and Northrigg.


William was discharged on the 26th April 1916 because it was the end of his Reserve Service contract.


Medal entitlement of Corporal William Coventry

Distinguished Conduct Medal

Queens South Africa

1914 Star & Bar

British War Medal

Victory Medal



William Yuill Dow

Distinguished Conduct Medal & Military Medal


Compant Sergeant Major

William Yuill Dow

409th (Lowland) Field Company

Royal Engineers (TF)

MM. (LG No 59)




DCM. (LG 10/01/1920)

For marked gallantry south of Catillon on 4th November, 1918.

His section Officer and Senior Non – Commissioned officer becoming casualties, he led the remainder of the party forward, successfully placing his bridge under heavy fire. Noticing another bridging party had been put out of action, he took his own party back through the enemy barrage, and successfully brought forward and launched the second bridge.


William was the son of Robert & Annie Dow Woodhead, Armadale. William was born at Slammanan in 1893, prior to coming to Armadale the family resided Craigview Cottage, Blackridge.


Medal entitlement of CSM William Dow

Distinguished Conduct Medal

Military Medal

British War Medal

Victory Medal



Hugh Friel


Distinguished Conduct Medal & Military Medal

278859 Corporal Hugh Friel

7th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders


DCM. (LG 03/09/1918)

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. This Non Commissioned officer remained in a most exposed position under heavy fire for hours covering the withdrawal of troops with the fire of the Lewis gun of which he was in charge. He did not retire until almost surrounded by the enemy, whose advance was disorganized and delayed by the heavy casualties he inflicted on them. He set a fine example of coolness and courage throughout the operations.



MM. (LG 23/07/1919)




Hugh was the son of the late James Friel who resided East Main Street Armadale.

Hugh was employed at Bathville Colliery prior to enlisting.


Hugh was well known in junior football circles, he moved to Whitburn Road Bathgate with his Stepmother after his father died, he enlisted in the Argyll’s shortly after war was declared.

His DCM was awarded for his Action in March 1918, at the withdrawal from the Cambria Sector.


Hugh Friel and Group at the Edinburgh Military Hospital (Bangour, near Broxburn)


Medal entitlement of Corporal Hugh Friel

Distinguished Conduct Medal

Military Medal

1915 Star

British War Medal

Victory Medal



James Keddie

Distinguished Conduct Medal & French Military Medal

46188 Sergeant James Keddie

84th Battery

11th Brigade Royal Field Artillery


DCM. (LG 19/08/1916)

For conspicuous gallantry in continuing to work his gun, under shell fire, in a badly damaged pit for three days and nights. His courage and example on many occasions greatly encouraged all ranks with him.


Sergeant Keddie was awarded the DCM for his actions on June 3rd 1916, on the Ypres salient.



French Military Medal (LG 14/07/1917)

Sgt James Keddie DCM RFA

On the 24th April 1917, whilst the gun pits were being heavily shelled with lachrymatory shells, Sergeant. Keddie and five men endeavoured to save the position by throwing out the burning shells. The five men were all killed, and Sergeant. Keddie was wounded in the breast.

An official letter was received saying that the French Military Medal would be sent to his home address.

Capt E W Busk MC


James was born in Haddington, East Lothian in 1891, he came to Armadale as a very small boy with his uncle Thomas Watson, hairdresser, with whom he became an apprentice.

Later he became a carter for the late Thomas Johnston, where he gained knowledge of horses, in 1906 at age 15 and shortly after he had passed his 15th birthday James left Armadale to join the Army, he enlisted into the Royal Field Artillery.

During his ten years service up to 1916 he has spent a large part of it in India.

After being awarded the DCM he was offered a commission but this he declined.


Medal entitlement of Sergeant James Keddie

Distinguished Conduct Medal

1914 Star

British War Medal

Victory Medal

French Military Medal


James left the Army in the early 1920’s, he became a school attendance officer, and later Janitor at Kilmarnock Academy until he retired in 1959.



John Lambie

Distinguished Conduct Medal & Military Medal

6511 Private John Lambie

1st Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders

Later 86383 Sapper John Lamie

171st Tunneling Company Royal Engineers


DCM. (LG 23/05/1915)

For conspicuous courage and resource on the night of the 10th – 11th April, 1915, while engaged in operations in a mine gallery full of poisonous air, in going to the assistance of a man at the head of the gallery who had been rendered unconscious, and although nearly overcome himself, he dragged him along to the shaft, thereby undoubtedly saving his life.


MM (LG 23/02/1918)


John was born in 1876, and he had his schooling at Armadale Public School, his name appears on the Armadale Public School Roll of Honour.

John was a Coal Drawer before he enlisted into the Army, he served with the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders for over 17 years.

After leaving the Army John settled in Longriggend near Caldercruix, it was whilst he was residing here that he re-enlisted once again into the Army.


Glasgow Evening News 14th May 1915


A letter was received from Private J Lambie 6511, 171st Mining Company, Royal Engineers, who has had over seventeen years’ service with the 1st and 2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, stating that he has been wounded.
He came from India to France in the end of 1914, and has been through much of the fierce fighting. He came through the Boer War without a scratch, and he possesses the King’s and the Queen’s medals and clasps.
He is of a fighting stock. One brother was killed at the battle of Paardeberg.
He was a noted boxer in India some years ago, when he won the Army cup.
Private Lambie was at one time Lance-Sergeant in the Argylls and a capable soldier.
His native place is Longriggend. His brother-in-law resides in Kilmaars.



Thomas Lamie

Casualty Type:


Casualty Date:

18 Feb 1900

Casualty Place:





South Africa Field Force


Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders


1st Battalion




Medal entitlement of Sapper John Lamie

Distinguished Conduct Medal

Military Medal

Queen's South Africa Medal (4 clasps:  Modder River, Paardeberg, Driefontein,Transvaal)

Kings South Africa Medal (2 clasps: South Africa 1901, and South Africa 1902)

1915 Star

British War Medal

Victory Medal 

Peter McCallum

Distinguished Conduct Medal

86175 Sergeant Peter McCallum

170th Company Royal Engineers


DCM. (LG 06/09/1915)

For conspicuous gallantry and resource on the 24th and 29th June, 1915, at Cambrin. During the operations of a German working party at the end of a 200 foot gallery, Sapper McCullum, with two other men, listened to and noted the progress of the work, and ultimately placed 200lbs of Gunpowder and over 400 sacks of tamping at the end of the gallery, working at the highest speed in bad air, when the slightest noise would have cost them their lives. He showed a splendid example of devotion to duty.


Peter was brought up in Armadale, and he was educated at Armadale Public School. He was the Grandson of the late Mrs Allison Douglas, who for many years was Midwife in Armadale, where Peters Mother was also born.

Private Peter McCallum was awarded the DCM and Promoted to Sergeant on the Field.

He enlisted as a Private (Regimental No 3/5824) in the 3rd Cameron Highlanders, but was later transferred to the Royal Engineers.


Peter arrived in France on the 15th November 1914.


Medal entitlement of Sergeant Peter McCallum

Distinguished Conduct Medal

1914 Star

British War Medal

Victory Medal



John McMillan

Distinguished Conduct Medal & Bar

16355 Sergeant John McMillan

13th Royal Scots


DCM. (LG 26/07/1917)

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He single-handed attacked an enemy machine gun emplacement, capturing the gun, together with its crew.




Bar (LG 05/12/1918)

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When the enemy put a heavy barrage on the outpost line, lasting half an hour, this NCO, without waiting for orders, brought his platoon up through the barrage to reinforce the posts, and organized and led a bombing party, driving the enemy back and capturing two Machine–guns. He later did good work with a Lewis gun, and set a fine example to his men.


Son of Piper John McMillan also 13th Royal Scots, father and son served together in the trenches of France.

Prior to enlisting in the Army both John (Senior) and John (Junior) were employed at the Blackrigg 3 Colliery.


Sgt John McMillan, his DCM with Bar and War Medal


In September 1915 L/Cpl McMillan as he was then was buried for two days, but escaped with only minor wounds, and again in October 1916 he was wounded.


Medal entitlement of Sergeant John McMillan

Distinguished Conduct Medal & Bar

1915 Star

British War Medal

Victory Medal



Frank B O’Reilly

Distinguished Conduct Medal

58970 Sergeant Frank B O’Reilly

129th Battery

Royal Field Artillery


DCM. (LG 11/03/1916)

For conspicuous gallantry in laying and repairing telephone cables under heavy rifle and shell fire, thus enabling communication to be kept open and the fire of the battery directed during a critical period of the operations. On another occasion he performed similar excellent service.


The following official notices of his work were published in the Courier:


For gallantry in erecting and repairing telephone cables under heavy rifle and shell fire on July 30th and 31st, 1915 about Hooge, thus enabling communications to be kept open and the fire battery directed during a critical part of the recent fighting round Hooge.


W C Staveley

Lt Col

OC 36th Bde RFA


Hooge, August 9th 1915:

Performed excellent service in keeping communication going through operations on August 9th 1915.


E G Deleforce

Lt Col

OC 23rd Battery RFA


Frank was the son of James B and Mary O’Reilly who resided in the Cottages East Main Street Armadale. His parents later moved to Carfin.

Frank was born in America he came to Armadale as a child and had his schooling at Armadale Public School. Frank joined the Army in 1910 after working for a time as an apprentice grocer with Mr Daniel Birrell, West Main St Armadale.

Frank received his early military training as a Private in the C (Armadale) Company 10th Royal Scots. 

Frank was commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery in March 1916.


Medal entitlement of Lieutenant Frank B O’Reilly:

Distinguished Conduct Medal

1914 Star

British War Medal

Victory Medal



Malcolm Ross

Distinguished Conduct Medal & Military Medal

202547 Sergeant Malcolm Ross

2nd / 5th Royal Warwick’s


MM. (LG 21/09/1916)

On the 8th August 1916, Cpl Malcolm Ross was responsible for saving the situation after having been blown up by a mine; he used Bombs to keep the Enemy from entering the crater left by the Mine.


DCM. (LG 06/02/1918)

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in a successful raid. He effected an entry only after severe hand to hand fighting, in which he killed three of the enemy, capturing twelve others. He also carried out three successful patrols' on the night prior to the raid, bringing back valuable information.


Malcolm was the son of Walter Ross Alberta Cottage, James Street, Armadale. Malcolm was born 1895 in Armadale, and as a boy he was a very active member of the 1st Armadale Boys Brigade.

Malcolm was a  member of the C (Armadale) Company 10th Battalion Royal Scots, he was sent to France attached to the 2nd / 5th Royal Warwickshire’s after serving on the East Coast of Scotland with the 2nd/10th Royal Scots.


Malcolm was in a very critical condition after suffering wounds to his face from shrapnel, he spent sometime in Hospital in France. Malcolm also saved the life of a fellow soldier in Hospital by allowing a large quantity of his own blood to be transferred to him, and thereby endangered his own life for a considerable time.


Malcolm was medically discharged from the army as a result of wounds along with his medals he received a silver war badge (which he can be seen wearing on his right lapel in the above photo).


Medal entitlement of Sergeant Malcolm Ross:

Distinguished Conduct Medal

Military Medal

British War Medal

Victory Medal

Silver War Badge


After the war Malcolm immigrated to America, he had relatives who went there before the War.



Robert Smith

Distinguished Conduct Medal & Belgain Croix De Geure

62853 Corporal Robert Smith

2nd Royal Scots


DCM. (LG 17/04/1918)

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He did excellent work on many occasions, and especially after an attack, when he repeatedly searched No Man's Land under machine-gun and rifle fire, and brought in many wounded men. By his courage, zeal and initiative he undoubtedly saved many lives.


Belgian Croix de Guerre. (LG 15/04/1918)



Robert was the son of Mr and Mrs Robert Smith 40 East Main Street, Armadale, prior to enlisting he was employed at Bathville Colliery.


After one action it was found that Colonel Teacher of the Royal Scots Fusiliers was wounded and lying out in no mans land. Corporal Smith’s officer appealed to him to go out and bring in Colonel Teacher. The gallant Corporal went out under heavy fire, and brought in Colonel Teacher without further harm, and for his great gallantry, and having eleven times previously being recommended for his bravery, he was awarded the DCM, and also received the Belgian Croix de Guerre.


Robert’s father received the following letter from Captain the Hon. J G Stuart, Royal Scots:


“Dear Mr Smith

          I see in the London Gazette of New Year’s honour that your son, Cpl Smith of this Battalion, has been awarded the DCM. I should just like to mention to you how very pleased I am that he has got this honour. He has been out here a very long time, and has always performed the most wonderful work in action. His coolness and bravery under any condition is extra-ordinary, and he has deserved, and should have been awarded, this honour time after time on previous occasions. I have known him for nearly two years out here while I have been with the Battalion, and I can assure you that I have always had the greatest admiration for his work under fire, and I hope his luck will hold out, and that he will come through this terrible war all right. He has already done his share and a good bit over.”


Robert was later wounded in the eyes by a gas shell, and he was at No 14 Base Hospital Boulogne short time.

Robert’s three brothers also served, David & Charles Royal Scots, and John Royal Engineers.


Medal entitlement of Corporal Robert Smith:

Distinguished Conduct Medal

1914 Star

British War Medal

Victory Medal

Croix de Guerre


Robert later transferred to the 2nd Dragoons (Scots Greys).


After returning home Robert married Catherine McKechnie* (nee Martin) and later they resided at 3 Gibson Street, Calton, Glasgow.


Robert died at Belvedere Hospital Glasgow on the 11th April 1925, cause of death was acute lobar phenomena.  


*Catherine’s first husband William McKechnie (also an Armadale man) was killed in 1917 whilst serving with the 7th Argylls.