McCrum, William Scott (No. 45432)

McCrum, William Scott


No. 45432, 127 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery

Died of disease on Tuesday 3 December 1940 (aged 42)


Belfast City Cemetery (Section N. Grave 305)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

First Belfast Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church


William Scott McCrum was born on 17 January 1898 in Belfast, and he was a son of Robert and Jemima McCrum (nee Scott) who were married on 11 September 1895 in First Belfast (Non-Subscribing) Presbyterian Church.  Robert McCrum, a shirt and collar merchant from 18 India Street, Belfast was a son of Robert McCrum, a shirt and collar merchant.  Jemima Scott from 6 Wellington Place, Belfast was a daughter of Isaac Scott, a corn merchant.

Robert and Jemima McCrum (nee Scott) had two children:

Robert Ivan (born 1 September 1896 at 5 Ireton Street, Belfast)

William Scott (born 17 January 1898 at 5 Ireton Street, Belfast)

William was 15 days old when his mother, Jemima, died on 1 February 1898 at 5 Ireton Street, Belfast as the result of a pulmonary embolism following childbirth.

Robert McCrum remarried around 1899/1900 and in 1901 he and his wife Sarah (sometimes Sara) were living in Demesne Road, Holywood with Robert’s two sons, Robert (aged 4) and William (aged 3).

In 1911 the McCrum family was living at 8 Rosetta Parade, Belfast.

Robert and Sarah McCrum (nee Scott) had one child:

Doris (born 6 April 1903 at Lindisfarne, Holywood)

After Captain William Scott McCrum died on 3 December 1940 in Stranmillis Military Hospital, Belfast it was reported in the Press that full military honours were accorded for his funeral on 7 December to Belfast City Cemetery.  The Rev Wilde from First Presbyterian Church, Rosemary Street presided.  At that time Captain McCrum’s father Robert was living at 118 Marlborough Park Central, Belfast and his wife Ruth was living at 366 Blackness Road, Dundee, Angus, Scotland.  Robert McCrum was head of the Belfast firm of Robert McCrum & Sons, shirt makers of Linenhall Street.

According to Captain McCrum’s Press obituary and his entry in Thom’s Irish Who’s Who, William Scott McCrum was educated at Sullivan School Holywood, the Municipal College of Technology Belfast, and the School of Art Belfast.  His watercolour paintings were exhibited in several places including Dublin and Liverpool.

By 1928, William Scott McCrum had moved to Dundee where he worked for a firm of flax and jute merchants, Messrs David Pirie Ltd, subsequently becoming a director.  On 15 June 1928 he travelled as a salesman for the company aboard the SS Rajputana to Yokohama and Tangier.  His home address at that time was 37 Albert Square, Dundee.

On 4 April 1931 William Scott McCrum married Ruth Liddiard Pirie in Dundee, and it was reported that the couple had two children.

Before the outbreak of war, William served in 76th (Highland) Regiment where he gained promotion to 2nd Lieutenant on 11 June 1930. He gained promotion to Captain from Lieutenant on 28 May 1937.

At the outbreak of war, he was called to active service and was engaged as a gunnery instructor.  In the autumn of 1940, Captain William Scott McCrum contracted a chill, followed by pneumonia and a heart problem which proved fatal.

Captain William Scott McCrum (No. 45432) died in Stranmillis Military Hospital, Belfast on 3 December 1940.  His widow Ruth travelled over from Dundee to Belfast for his funeral to Belfast City Cemetery (Section N. Grave 305).

Three other people were buried in that grave:

  • His mother, Jemima McCrum, who died on 1 February 1898
  • His stepmother, Sara McCrum, who died on 27 July 1938
  • His half-sister, Doris Anderson (nee McCrum), who died on 21 August 1944

In her death notice Sara McCrum was described as the ‘last surviving daughter of the late Isaac Scott, Newry’.  Jemima McCrum (nee Scott) and Sara McCrum (nee Scott) may have been sisters.

Captain William Scott McCrum (No. 45432) is commemorated in First Belfast Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church.