Remembering the Battle of Loos: 1915-2015

On the 25th September the University of Glasgow is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the First World War Battle of Loos. Forty-two members of the University community died during the battle.

Commemorative activities will commence at 08.45 at morning prayer service in the chapel (see the Roll of Honour - The Fallen - 2015-16 Semester 1 list - 4 pages, 515kb, pdf), where short biographies of those who died at Loos will be read out after which we will plant poppy crosses in the First World War memorial garden (by the memorial gates at University Avenue). We have twenty-four individuals to remember and crosses to plant, followed by a further fifteen on Monday, 28th September, as well as several more over the course of that week.

At 13.00 in the Sir Charles Wilson Building (Room 101A), there will be a lunchtime lecture on the Battle of Loos by Dr Tony Pollard, Senior Lecturer in History and Battlefield Archaeology.

From 19.00-20.00 that evening in the University’s Memorial Chapel, there will be readings from First World War letters and diaries, culminating in the premiere of a specially commissioned piece of music, "From the Fallow Fields", by composer Drew Mulholland, who is an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences and an Honorary Research Associate in Physics and Astronomy. 

‘Like nearly all of my compositions,’ states Mulholland, ‘the inspiration for "From the Fallow Fields" was an image.’ The image was a photograph taken at Loos in 1915 of the composer’s grandfather, Brian Gallagher, who was a medical orderly and stretcher bearer. ‘He had signed up … to serve with the Argylls and was posted to the Western Front’, Mulholland explains, ‘As his beliefs forbade him to bear arms he opted to be a medic and during the battle was shot and lost two fingers from his left hand, ending his passion for playing both the violin and the bagpipes. My Granda Brian died on his 78th birthday April 1st 1964 and I have only one memory of him…we were together laughing…uproariously. “From the Fallow Fields” is dedicated to his memory.’

The musicians are waiving their performance fees and entrance to this event is free, but we would welcome donations to Erskine, caring for service men and women since 1916. To reserve a (free) ticket, please register at