Private Alexander McClelland
Post Office Rifles
Died 14 October 1916
Alexander McClelland was born on 5 August 1882 at Bladnoch, the son of Alexander McClelland, a general labourer, and his wife, Jane (nee McGinn). Soon after Alexander’s birth the family moved to Whithorn where they stayed until the outbreak of war. The 1901 Census shows young Alexander living with his parents at 8 George Street and working as a rural postman. Ten years later he was still living with his parents and still working as a postman, though they were then living at 49 St John Street.
Shortly after the outbreak of war Alexander enlisted in the army with the Post Office Rifles, a volunteer unit formed in the 1860s and composed mostly of Post Office employees. By 1914 the unit provided most of the riflemen for the 1/8th battalion of the City of London Regiment. Alexander arrived at the Western Front in March 1916. However, the Battalion did not see action at The Somme until October 1916 but still sustained 40 dead, 160 wounded and 200 missing. Alexander McClelland was to be one of those wounded in the action and was evacuated back to Britain where he was treated at Perth Hospital. Sadly he died on 14 October from septicaemia and gunshot wounds as a result of the wounds he had received.
His body was returned to Whithorn and he was laid to rest in Whithorn Cemetery. He was 32 years of age. His name appears on Whithorn War Memorial.