First World War Roll of Honour
Alan Buchanan was the son of Robert and Jeanie Buchanan, who married in Glasgow in 1879. They had three daughters, Mary, Bessie and Jean, before moving to Liverpool and buying the Molyneux Mill in Kirkdale in 1887 with Robert's brother William. A son, Alan, was born on 12 December 1889 and a second mill was purchased in 1894, before the birth of another son, Robert, in 1897. Alan was a border at Fettes College in Edinburgh from 1904 before matriculating at Downing in 1910, studying Physics and Engineering. In 1912, Robert Buchanan bought the 1000 acre Bosbury House Estate in Ledbury, Herefordshire, in Alan's name.
After the outbreak of war, Alan joined the former Liverpool Scottish Regiment, renamed the King's (Liverpool Regiment), 1st/10th Battalion, as a Private. The Regiment had been co-founded by his father in 1900. He was killed in action on 16th June 1915 at Hooge, near Ypres, aged 25. His obituary in the College magazine, The Griffin, in Michaelmas 1915 reads:
“He was of a somewhat retiring disposition, but was well-known and popular in the College, played some Rugby football, and was Secretary of the Lawn Tennis Club. Soon after the war broke out, he volunteered and went to Flanders in October, 1914. In December he was invalided home with typhoid, after earning high encomiums by his indomitable spirit and cheerfulness under hardships. Going out again in the spring, he met his death on 16 June 1915. The following is quoted from a letter written by a N. C. O. ‘Mr. Alan Buchanan was killed in action on the morning of the 16th inst. (June). He was assisting to get a machine-gun into position after our first advance to the first line of German trenches, when he was hit on the head by a shell. He was one of the bravest men we had, and when he was hit he was encouraging his comrades in the most cheerful way’.”
After his death, his family established the Buchanan Scholarship Fund for arts students at Downing College in his memory. This is still available to Downing students today. The family also established the Bosbury Trust in 1918 which gifted 750 acres of land on the Bosbury estate to the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries with the aim of settling men returning from war service in agriculture. Sadly, Alan's father Robert died in 1920, although the Trust continues today as the Buchanan Trust.
Alan Buchanan is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial (Panel 4 and 6).