Alexander Laing of Bailey’s Sharpshooters



Alexander Laing of Bailey’s Sharpshooters


Alexander (Alick) Laing. Lance Corporal, Bailey’s Sharpshooters.


1. Photographs of Thiepval Memorial, France. 1 image.
2. Photographs of inscription at Thiepval Memorial, France, highlighting Alexander Laing. 2 images.
3. Medals of Alexander Laing and memorial plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) for Alexander Laing. 1 image.
4. Photograph of the war memorial at Urquhart, Morayshire, and commemorative certificate for Alexander Laing. 1 image.
5. Inscription on the war memorial at Urquhart, Morayshire, highlighting Alexander Laing. 1 image.
6. Rifle. 2 images.
7. Letter dated Aug 24th 1916 from Jas Laing to Elsie about the death of Alexander Laing. 2 images.
8. Extract from the Scottish War Memorials Project Forum dated 17/01/2010 relating to Alexander Laing. 1 image.
9. Cutting from a newspaper giving the stories of several men from Moray who gave their lives in the First World War, including Alexander Laing. 1 image.


Alexander (Alick) Laing was a cousin of my father. He was the son of William and Elizabeth Laing. He was born on 15/06/1885 at Wallfield, Urquhart, Morayshire. He was apprenticed as a bank clerk in Elgin, leaving there about 1905. He worked in London for a year before emigrating to South Africa where he held several banking posts. He enlisted in March 1916 in Salisbury, Rhodesia, to Bailey's Sharpshooters, a South African unit formed at the request of the British Government by Sir Abe Bailey. His service number was S/5. Alexander went to France very shortly after enlisting.

A letter from Jas Laing (likely to be Alexander’s brother), dated Aug 24th 1916, to Elsie says that Alick had been killed on the 16th by shrapnel. Alexander is commemorated at the Thiepval Memorial, France and the War Memorial at Urquhart.




Urquhart, Morayshire, Scotland. South Africa. Salisbury, Rhodesia. France. Thiepval Memorial.


The contributor wishes to remain anonymous.

Collection Day

27/02/2019, Gordon Highlanders Museum, Aberdeen.

This item was submitted on April 15, 2019