Andrew Shaw in WW1

matchbox holder of Andrew Shaw, killed in WW1In addition to objects relating to the history of The Hunterian and the University of Glasgow, the collection contains artefacts from key historical events. One such group is the personal effects of Lance Corporal Andrew Shaw of the 8th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Andrew’s cigarette box and matchbox holder, which were recovered from his body and sent home to his parents, are very emotional objects.  Battered and scarred by the heavy shelling which killed Andrew, we can only imagine the reaction of his family when they received them.

Andrew McFarlane Shaw was born in 1892, and began working as a Pathology Laboratory Assistant at the University of Glasgow when in his early twenties. He enlisted in the 8th Battalion of Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. The group formed in Dunoon and were drafted to France on 24th January 1916.

The Hunterian received Andrew’s Memorial Scroll and his medals – both awarded posthumously – the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, along with his cigarette case and matchbox holder. The cigarette case is engraved with his initials "AS" and the matchbox holder still contains the remains of a box of Bryant and May matches. From the Battalion's war diaries we can see that Andrew was actively involved on the front line. The diary entry from the 2nd July 1916 reads: "At 12.35am an intense Artillery fire opened on enemy lines in the Sector on our Left. Retaliation at once commenced and continued till about 1.15am. During this bombardment the front held by Right Company and Right Centre Company of 1/8th Arg & Suth'd High's was heavily shelled."

It was in this attack that Andrew lost his life, at the age of just 24. He is buried in Mareouil British Cemetery in the village of Mareouil in northern France. He lies alongside his six comrades who were killed during the same bombardment.  Andrew is listed on the University of Glasgow’s First World War Roll of Honour website, which records the details of alumni and staff members who are known to have served in the First World War. These objects feature in Remembrance Day displays in the University Chapel.