First World War Roll of Honour
Arthur Duncan McLaren was born in 1885, the son of Mr and Mrs J. McLaren of Queens’ Road, Oldham. He was educated at Brighton House in Oldham before matriculating at Downing College in 1908 to study medicine. He was a skilful billiard player, winning the Varsity Cue and also played against Oxford. After two years in residence he continued his medical training at the University of Edinburgh between 1912 and 1914.
Following the outbreak of war, McLaren joined the army soon afterwards as a Private in the 15th Royal Scots. (The 15th (1st Edinburgh) Battalion was formed in September 1914 from men recruited from both Edinburgh and Manchester and, as a result, is sometimes known as the Manchester Scottish Battalion). In June 1915 he moved to Ripon, attached to 101st Brigade, 34th Division, before embarking for France at Southampton on 8 January 1916. The 15th and 16th Royal Scots took part in the fighting on the first few days of the Battle of the Somme in July 1916. In early 1917, they fought in the First and Second Battles of the Scarpe.
On 9th April 1917, the first day of the Battle of Arras, Pte. McLaren was killed in action near Vimy Ridge on the eve of being recommended for a commission. He left a widow, Beatrice McLaren, of South Shore, Blackpool.
He is buried in Roclincourt Military Cemetery.
University of Edinburgh Roll of Honour
Ewing, John., and Association of Lowland Scots. The Royal Scots, 1914-1919. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd for Association of Lowland Scots, 1925.
The Wartime Memories Project. Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) 15th (1st Edinburgh) Btn during the Great War