Anniversaries in July

1 July 1916 Richard Gordon Bagnall aged 31.Son of Mr William Gordon Bagnall and Mrs Jessie Bagnall née Gibson. An engineer by profession, Richard worked as divisional superintendent from 1911 to 1915 for the Straits Trading Company at several locations, the last one at Merlimau Rubber Estate in Malacca. He returned to England in June 1915 and was gazetted second lieutenant in Royal Garrison Artillery, going to France in December that year with the 114th Heavy Battery. Richard is buried at Bouzincourt Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France.

1 July 1916 Lionel George Coles aged 27. Son of Mr Walter George Coles and Mres Edith Juliet Rosalie Coles née Brown. Before coming to Malaya and the Straits Settlements, Lionel was a member of the Queen’s Edinburgh Mounted Infantry then the Lothian and Border Horse, later obtaining a commission in the 3rd Border Regiment. He came East to work as a planter at Jasin Estate in Malacca and then at Third Mile Estate in Seremban, Negri Sembilan. Due to his previous military experience, he was commissioned as a captain in the 16th Battalion the Royals Scots after he left with 90 other planters in December 1914. He is buried at Gordon Dump Cemetery, Ovillers-La Boisselle, Somme, France.

1 July 1916 James Kerr aged 24. Son of Mr James Sturrock Kerr and Mrs Jeannie Kerr née Stewart. James worked for the International Banking Corporation in Calcutta, Singapore and finally in Yokohama, from where he left to join up, passing again through Singapore on his return journey to Scotland. He received a commission as second lieutenant in 4th Battalion Highland Light Infantry and was attached to the 6th Battalion when he went to France on 3 June 1916. James has no known grave and is remembered at Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

1 July Alexander McIntyre McNidder aged 28. Son of Mr Willim McNidder and Mrs Margaret McNidder. Alex was a ship’s draughtsman and worked for the Singapore Harbour Board. In Singapore he was known as a keen golfer, playing on the Keppel Golf Course, part of the Harbour Board's property. He returned to Scotland in November 1914 and enlisted in the 17th Battion Highland Light Infantry as a private. Alex is buried at Lonsdale Cemetery, Authuille, Somme, France.

1 July 1916 Allan Graham Niven aged 38. Son of Commander Baylis Niven and Rose G Niven; husband of Mrs Lucy Emma Niven née Bovet; father of Master M Niven. Allan’s uncle, William Niven, married Helena Boustead, only child of Edward Boustead, founder of Boustead & Co, which owned vast holdings in rubber estates. Allan was a tea planter in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and returned to England in 1900 to fight in the Boer War. Later, he was manager of Jelutong Rubber Estate in Malacca, at the same time his brother, Charles Herbert Niven, was also manager of Merlimau Estate. Their first cousin, William Edward Graham Niven, was the father of the actor David Niven. Allan was already on home leave in 1914 when war broke out and was gazetted in November as a captain in the 21st Battalion (Tyneside Scottish) Northumberland Fusiliers, promoted to major in 1915. He has no known grave and is remembered at Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

1 July 1916 Robert Reid aged 36. Son of Mr Francis Farquharson Reid and Mrs Wilhelmina Hamilton Reid née Somerville. Robert’s initial on the Singapore cenotaph is ‘F’ not ‘R’, one of the few errors made on the monument. For 12 years Robert travelled throughout the Straits Settlements, Malaya and Thailand representing the Straits Settlements Company Ltd so is also remembered on the Ipoh war memorial. He was on home leave when the war broke out and joined the Sportsman’s Battalion Royal Fusiliers before being gazetted second lieutenant in February 1915 in the 15th Battalion Royal Scots, later promoted to lieutenant. Although some records suggest that Robert was buried at La Boiselle, CWGC records show that he has no known grave and is remembered at Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

11 July 1915 Philip Simons Picot aged 26. Son of Lieutenant-Colonel (Ret) Francis Slater Picot and Mrs Ada Melvill Picot née Simons; husband of Majorie Picot née Putnam; father of Caroline Fay Picot born 20 March 1914. Philip was a metallurgical chemist with Eastern Smelting in Penang, where he was a member of the Penang Cricket Club and a lance corporal in the Volunteers. In October 1914 he and seven other Penang Volunteers left for England to join up . Philip’s mother, who passed away in March 1915, was born in Singapore, the daughter of Mr HM Simons, of Paterson, Simons and Co, a well-known trading company in the Straits Settlements. A captain 14th Battalion Nottingham and Derby Regiment (Sherwood Foresters), Philip volunteered for active service in the Dardanelles with the 5th Battalion Royal Scots. He was killed in action and buried at Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery, Turkey, although the exact location of his grave is unknown.

15 July 1916 Evelyn Appleton aged 33. Son of Mr Thomas Gooch Appleton and Mrs Elizabeth Mary Appleton née Sanger. Evelyn was the Chief Mechanical Draughtsman at Tanjong Pagar Dock, working for the Singapore Harbour Board. As well as being a member of the Singapore Cricket Club, he was active in Keppel Golf Club, being honorary secretary for a time. In November 1914 he returned to the UK where he joined the 10th Battalion Royal Fusiliers. On 31 July 1915 he went to France, with the rank of corporal. He was promoted a sergeant in charge of a Lewis gun section and was killed in action in close-quarter fighting. He has no known grave and is remembered at Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

20 July 1916 Percy Gold aged 33. Son of Mr William Henry Gold and Mrs Mary Elizabeth Gold. Percy was a well-known figure in Singapore. Being senior partner in Evatt & Co, chartered accountants, his skills were in high demand for various charitable committees, most notably those connected with St Andrew’s Cathedral. He is the only cenotaph man commemorated with a plaque in the cathedral, marking a sounding board that was placed their through contributions from his many friends. Percy was a 2nd lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion Royal Scots . He was shot by a sniper while repairing wires and is buried at Brandhoek Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

25 July 1916 John Archibald Rennie aged 29. Son of Mr Archibald Cochrane Rennie and Mrs Mary Walker Gillies Rennie. John was a planter with the Malakoff Estate in Penang. Although a Scot, he enlisted in the Middlesex Regiment and was later commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant, 3rd Battalion Devonshire Regiment. He was wounded in battle and returned to the UK where he died of his wounds. He was buried in Camelon Cemetery, Stirlingshire, Scotland.

31 July 1917 Lessels Malcolm Patterson aged 32. Son of Mr Charles Patterson and Mrs Helen Patterson née Malcolm. Les, as he was probably called, first came to Singapore in 1906 and worked for the Borneo Company. He was a member of the Singapore Cricket Club where he is remembered on the war memorial. In January 1916 Les enlisted in the 1st Battalion Cambridgeshire Regiment. He was attached to the 8th Battalion Suffolk Regiment when he was killed in action at Ypres. His brother Charles Cox Patterson, listed on the same page in De Ruvigny’s, died on the Somme in October 1916. Les has no known grave and is listed on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.