Harper, Alexander Simpson
Regiment: 8th Battalion Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)
Biography: Son of William Harper, gardener ; born Auchtergavin, Perthshire, 5 November 1890: educated Urquhart Public School and Elgin Academy ; graduated M.A. (Hons. Maths.), 1911, gaining the Arnott Prize in Experimental Physics. From his schooldays his ability was outstanding, and one of his Professors has said of him : ''His written papers showed a faculty of lucid exposition which I have never in all my experience as a Professor seen surpassed''. He was keenly interested in meteorological work and after graduating held an appointment in the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh. Harper joined the Territorials in 1908, re-enlisted on 5 August 1914, and served in France and Flanders. After a period of training at General Headquarters Cadet School, France, he was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, 8th (Service) Battalion The Black Watch, in August 1916, and was promoted Lieutenant a year later. He was killed in action at Passchendaele on 12 October 1917. His Officer commanding wrote : ''His death was as gallant as was to be expected. . . . He gave his life in a fight which was one of the bitterest and hardest this Battalion has taken part in, and by his leadership helped to maintain the high tradition which the Battalion has earned.''
Date of Death: 12 October 1917
Burial Details: Name recorded on Tyne Cot Memorial, Passchendaele, Panel 94, Column 1.
Publication: Roll of Service, edited by Mabel Desborough Allardyce. Published 1921.
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