The attrition rate was high, as six were killed in action: they included an early victim of the Red Baron, the Dux of the school, and a boy killed within days of his brother. Four more were wounded and only six came through unscathed.
I have now donated the autograph book to the school in the hope they can use it for research and education. Here is a look at the sixteen players in the squad, starting with the fallen:
Andrew Blyth McCulloch Bogle (Lieutenant, Royal Scots) Killed on 14 July 1916 at Delville Wood, he is buried in Quarry Cemetery, Montauban.
William Graham Notman (2nd Lieutenant, 3rd Highland Light Infantry) Dux of the school, he was killed on 13 August 1916 and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, also on a family grave in Edinburgh’s Dean Cemetery.
Thomas Arthur Ritchie (Lieutenant, East Lancs Regiment) Missing, presumed killed in action on 18 October 1916.
Ian Gilmour Cameron (2nd Lieut, Cameron Highlanders, attached to Royal Flying Corps) Shot down on 9 November 1916 by Manfred von Richthofen, the ‘Red Baron’, over the Somme at Beugny.
[Thomas] Ian [Thomson] Sloan (2nd Lieutenant, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders) Killed during an attack at Roeux on 23 April 1917. He was a piper in the school band and the Ian Sloan Cup, commissioned by his brothers, is awarded to this day as a piping trophy at the Academy.
James MacLaren (Captain, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders) Having survived a gas attack at Ypres in 1915, he was killed on 21 November 1917 during the Battle of Cambrai, just two days after his brother William.
Patrick Millar Matthew (Lieutenant, Royal Field Artillery) Invalided out after being wounded and gassed in 1917, suffering from shellshock. He took over the Victoria India Rubber Company from his father and died in 1977.
John Lindsay (Captain, Black Watch) Captain of the rugby XV and also a member of the cricket XI, he was son of a minister in Bathgate. Joined Black Watch in 1915, won the Military Cross, and was wounded and taken prisoner in 1918. Died 1972.
John Hyndford Carmichael (Lieutenant, A&S Highlanders) Wounded in France 1918, awarded the Military Cross, he remained in the army, serving in India until his retirement as Lt Col. Died 1968.
Alan Dunlop Foster (Lieutenant, King's Own Scottish Borderers) Captain of the XV in 1915/16 he was commissioned in the KOSB on leaving school and was wounded in France 1918. Went to Durham University where he played in the cricket and rugby teams, and spent most of his career on hydro-electric schemes in Iran, dying there in 1948.
The remaining six all came through the conflict without injury:
William Playfair Vassie (Captain, Black Watch) Later a poultry farmer in Essex, he died in 1945.
Claude William Macgregor (Lieutenant, Royal Navy) Remained in the Navy after the war, becoming a Commander. Died 1956.
Alan Daniel Mackinlay Gordon Laing (Lieutenant, 114th Mahrattas, attached to RAF). Qualified as MRCVS (vet) and emigrated to Wellington, New Zealand. Died 1975.
Henry Munro Somerville (Lieutenant, Royal Scots) Won the Military Cross. Became a Chartered Accountant in Leeds and died in 1977.
Thomas Gibson (Captain, Tank Corps) Qualified as Doctor of Science (in agriculture), died in 1973
George Alexander Bain (Captain, 3rd Gurkhas) Remained in the army, rising to Brigadier, made an OBE. Retired to Chagford, Devon and died in 1982, the last survivor of the team.