David McKelvie Vallance


About David McKelvie

  • Name
    David McKelvie
  • Initials
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
  • Birth town
    Newton Mearns, Renfrewshire
  • Resided town
  • Commemorated
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
  • Date of death
  • Married
  • Occupation

Service Information

  • Army

  • Service Number
  • Rank
  • Regiment
    Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders


David McKelvie Vallance was born in 1887, in Newton Mearns, Renfrewshire to parents Andrew Clark Vallance, an assurance agent and Martha.  In 1901 David, aged 14, a grocer’s assistant, was living at 53 Scott Street, Glasgow with Andrew (44), Martha (41) and siblings Andrew (18) boot and shoe salesman, Ann Rankin (16) domestic, Jeannie Watson (11), Catherine Macmillan Caldwell (6) and John Thompson (5).

David was enlisted on 3 August 1916, at Glasgow joining the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders.  He gave his address as 11 Leroy Street, Coatbridge, Lanarkshire.  He was 28 years 9 months, stood at 5’8” with a 40” chest, with fair hair and grey eyes and had poor eyesight.

David married Annie Kerr McCreary at West Manse, Cambuslang on 8 August 1916, and their address was 51 Harvie Street, Bridgeton, Glasgow.  Their son, Andrew was born on 31 July 1917.

David was promoted to Acting Lance Corporal on 12 March 1917, but relinquished his rank to Private just three months later. He passed through Peterborough East Station on 29 March 1917 and signed the visitors’ book .  He was again promoted to Acting Corporal on 12 July 1917, but again relinquished his rank to Private one month later.  He transferred to 4th Cameron Highlanders on 16 August 1917 and was promoted to Acting Corporal.  In 1918 he was serving in Ballyvonare, Co Cork, Ireland with the 3rd Cameron Highlanders.

In his records, there are two occasions when Courts of Inquiry were held to consider the circumstances in which his spectacles had become damaged.  The first was in April 1918 when he reported that he went to wash and left his tunic and spectacles on a pile of bedding, which on return he found on the floor with his spectacles broken.  The second time in October 1918, getting ready to go on camp guard duty he was transferring his glasses from one tunic pocket to another; he rested them on a shelf and accidently knocked them off and one of the lens cracked.  In both cases the Courts concluded that they were accidental and the spectacles would be replaced at public expense.  David put in a pension claim for his poor eyesight which he considered had worsened during his service, but his application was rejected.  He was demobilised on 17 April 1919, and was awarded the British War and Allied Victory Medals.

Included in his service record was a letter dated 20 March 1919, agreeing for travelling expenses of £7.00 incurred proceeding from New York, America to UK, to be paid to him.  On further research, it was discovered that on 9 August 1913, he travelled from Glasgow to New York on HMS Cameronia with the intention of becoming resident in the USA.  On 29 October 1919, there is a record of him and his wife and child sailing from Liverpool to New York on HMS Baltic and the passenger list is headed “military and dependants repatriated by Government”.  There is a further passenger list which had David sailing from Liverpool to New York on 23 June 1923, giving his address c/o Gerson agents, Queen Street, Glasgow; this was a shipping and tourist agent.  He returned from New York to Liverpool on HMS Franconia arriving on 21 September 1924, aged 37, a plumber living at 51 Harvie Street, Glasgow.

There are Electoral Rolls for 1953, 1956 and 1962 which had David and Annie K Valance living at Great George St, Glasgow.

Do you know the name Vallance?  Could you tell us any more about David and why he went to America?  Do get in touch if you can tell us more.


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