Lest We Forget – Allan Young Annand (d.11.1.1917)

Approximately 6000 Solicitors joined the forces to fight in the First World War.

Following the conflict a ‘Record of Service of Solicitors and Articled Clerks with His Majesty’s Forces 1914-1919’ was compiled from details submitted by firms of Solicitors and others. If you would like to view this poignant record it is available at: https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/ww1/

We recently decided to look into whether any staff who worked for Hannay and Hannay Solicitors (as it was known then) fought in the Great War and we found the tragic, brave and selfless account of Allan Young Annand (27/11/1890 – 11/01/1917) and his family.

Allan Young Annand, born on 27th November 1890, was one of five brothers whose family lived in South Shields. He first attended South Shields Grammar Technical School for Boys before heading to Edinburgh to complete his studies.  When he returned to South Shields he joined Hannay and Hannay Solicitors as an articled clerk.

An articled clerk is the equivalent of a trainee solicitor. A clerk would contractually bind themselves to a firm of solicitors for a period of time (usually about 5 years at this time) and learnt the law. From 1836 onwards the body that is now The Law Society would set exams and articled clerks would have to pass these and also give evidence of their good character before being admitted to the Roll as a fully qualified Solicitor. After Allan completed his exams and was admitted as a Solicitor in August 1913, he took a job in the Office of the Official Trustee. The 1911 census records him as an articled clerk and gives details about his family.

In August 1914, just after the start of the war, when Allan had been practising as a Solicitor for one year, he joined the 28th Battalion, County of London Regiment (known as the Artists Rifles) as a Private. He served with the British Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from December 1914 – June 1915. In May 1915 he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant 1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry serving in France and Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) with the Indian Expeditionary Force from December 1915.

He was wounded at Es Sinn-a-Gat in Iraq in March 1916, but was able to return to his regiment where he acted as Captain until return to active duty as a Second Lieutenant. He led his men on a bombing attack on Kut (in Iraq) where he was killed in action on 11th January 1917 when he was just 26 years old.

He is commemorated at Basra Memorial Cemetery in Iraq (on panels 35 and 64) and is interred in London Road Cemetery, Coventry. He was unmarried.

His probate records disclose that his father Robert Cumming Annand, gentleman, who had owned a newspaper business, collected his effects to the value of £248 12s 1d.

Medal: British War Medal and Victory Medal.

His brothers James and Wallace Moir Annand also fought in the First World War. James survived the war but his brother Wallace did not. Wallace left behind a wife and 7 month old son, Richard Wallace Chapman Annand. Richard was also to go to War as a Captain in the Durham Light Infantry, and in 1940 was the first soldier of the British Army to receive the Victoria Cross in the Second World War.