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A brief memorial to the Raith Rovers players who served during the Great War 

Several Raith Rovers players were killed in action:

Serjeant George McLay. M.M. 16th Royal Scots. Died 22 Oct 1917 aged 28. Mother Mrs Mary McLay, 26 South Glencraig, Glencraig, Fife.  Tyne Cot Memorial.  Came from a mining background. An influential half back. Suffered regularly from injuries, one of which kept him out of the 1913 cup final which Raith lost to Falkirk 2-0. Played his last game on 16th January 1915 as he had enlisted in the battalion a few days after the Hearts men. 

At Passchendaele on 22nd October 1917, a battle fought in torrential rain and deep in mud, he was one of many caught while attacking German pillboxes. Trapped in wire entanglements he was hit several times. L/Serjeant Willie McGrouther, his friend, went to help and was shot in the head. Both were killed.  George McLay was awarded a posthumous Military Medal for 'conspicuous bravery.   

19019 Pte James Colin Todd. ‘C’ Coy. 16th Royal Scots. Died 12th March 1916 aged 20. Son off Robert and Jennie Todd of 41, Easter Road, Edinburgh. Erquinghem-Lys Churchyard Extension Railway clerk and winger. Alfie Briggs wrote that he had “..good humour and cheerfulness. He is a sore loss.” Hit in the chest during a bombardment by a piece of shrapnel, he died shortly after.

James Scott. 19635. 16th Royal Scots Died 1st July 1916 Born in Airdrie, 1895. A forward. Thought to be buried in Gibsons Dump, name on Thiepval memorial.  As they advanced on the first day of the Somme he was hit in the stomach, as he fell a bullet went through his neck.

James Gibson.   Played in 1913 Cup  Final.   Many James Gibson’s on Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.  Not possible to identify this one from that information. 

Raith Rovers 1913

John Melville.

These men returned, some regiments unclear:

William Porter 16th Royal Scots.  Full back.

Sgt James Lochead Logan. 1913 Cup Finalist. Captain of Raith. One of the first to enlist.  Joined alongside the Raith players McLay, Willie Porter, William Lavery, Scott, Todd and Jock Rattray. Logan was commissioned near wars end. He managed Raith Rovers 1919 - 1926 and 1930 – 1933.           

William Lavery

Alex Reekie.  

George Stoddart. 

James M. Gourley.

William Wallace. 

Peter Lumsden.

Alex Crighton (or Crichton).  

William Collier. Capped v Wales 1922.   


                          War Time Placings

                              P         F      A        P 

              14/15        38 - 53 - 68 - 28 - 19th

              15/16 S/L  38   30   65    23   20th

              16/17  "     38   42   91    23   19th


Raith Rovers did not compete in the league during the last two years of the war.  Travel difficulties meant the West based authorities, and other more powerful clubs e.g. richer, preferred Fife & Northern clubs to play in 'lesser leagues!'

The excellent Official Raith Rovers website.

Thanks to John Litster for all his help.  He edits the 'Scottish Football Historian' magazine.