Private William Paterson

Private William Stothard Paterson, 1st/7th (Territorial) Battalion, Royal Scots (The Leith Battalion) He was killed in the Quintinshill Railway disaster on 22nd May 1915 ,aged 21. He had been born in Coldingham and was the son of James and Elizabeth Paterson of Coldingham and of 226 Leith Walk, Edinburgh.  Companies “A” and” D” of  the Battalion were travelling by rail to Liverpool to sail to Gallipoli when their train smashed into some empty carriages which had been mistakenly left on the main line near Gretna. Seconds later an express train crashed into the wreckage setting it on fire.  3 Officers, 29 N.C.O.s and 182 men were killed or burned to death with many more injured. There were only 7 Officers and 57 Other Rank survivors who were sent back to Edinburgh. The victims are commemorated on a special Memorial in Rosebank Cemetery, Leith. The first photo shows the aftermath of the disaster and the second shows a roll call of survivors. (William’s brother David, who was with the Battalion transport section, was also on the train and the impact threw him through the carriage window where he suffered head injuries. Despite his injuries he helped the rescue party with the other injured and to try and find his brother. After he had recovered he was sent back to the Battalion and then posted overseas to Gallipoli. He survived the War.

Scroll to Top