William Lister was born at Ceres in Fife on August 22, 1867 he was the son of Alexander (a labourer) and Anne (nee Duncan).
At the time of the 1881 census he was living in an area of Ceres known as the Castle with his parents and three brothers James,
David and John. He was recorded as being employed as a Groom.
He enlisted in the Gordon Highlanders on Sept. 6 1883 and for the next 15 years most of his time was spent at home or in
Ireland. He was promoted to Corporal Aug 21, 1884 and then to Sergeant on May 1, 1887.
He appears in the Dec 1897 musters at Aldershot as being a QM Sgt in B. Company. This Company being led at the time by
Capt. A.D. Greenhill-Gardyne who wrote the third volume of the regimental history which covered the Boer War period. The 2nd
Battalion were posted to India in 1898 and from there went to South Africa in anticipation of troubles in Natal.
Posted to the permanent staff of the 6th Volunteer Battalion after the War, he was awarded the L.S. and G.C. Medal in July
1907 and was discharged to a pension as a Colour-Sergeant in the following year.
Lister re-enlisted in the 10th Gordons soon after the outbreak of hostilities in August 1914 and was immediately granted a
Wm. Lister pictured above in 1915 (extreme right)
In July 1915 he accompanied the Battalion to France, transferring to the 7th Cameron Highlanders in May 1916, when the 8th
and 10th Battalions of the Gordons were merged.
In June 1917, he was attached to the 5th Army Infantry School and in November 1918 he was posted to the 8th Seaforth
Highlanders, having been advanced to Quarter-Master and Captain in September 1917. Later still he was posted to the 2nd
Battalion of the 14th (County of London) Battalion of the London Regiment (the London Scottish), with which he remained until he
was released in January 1920, and finally demobilised in September of the following year.
Lister was awarded his M.S.M. in Army Order 205 of 1941, when he was 74 years of age.
He had two sons who served in the Great War, David aged 19 serving with "B" company of the Gordon Highlanders was killed
at Loos in 1915. A second son William, won the DCM while serving with the 3rd Dragoon Guards.
In civilian life he was a teacher of physical exercises and spent most of his later life in Cowdenbeath. His wife Dorcas whom
he married in Belfast on Aug. 11 1889 predeceased him in 1931, aged 59. They had 8 sons and a daughter.
He died on March 22, 1950 in Edinburgh. Cause of death was heart failure. He was 82.
Ex DNW April 2003 (A.J. Henderson collection)
|Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 4 clasps, Elandslaagte, Defence of Ladysmith, Laing’s Nek, Belfast (1142 Q.M. Sgt., Gordon |
Highrs.); King’s South Africa 1901-02, 2 clasps, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (1142 Q.M. Serjt., Gordon Highrs.); 1914-
15 Star (Q.M. & Lieut., Gord. Highrs.); British War and Victory Medals (Q.M. & Capt.); Army Meritorious Service Medal, G.VI.R. (Col.
/Sjt., Gordon Highrs.); Army L.S. & G.C., E.VII.R. (1142 C. Sjt., Gordon Hdrs.)