Diamond War Memorial Project

2nd Lieutenant Richard Brendan Buchanan

1st/5th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers Regimental Number ----
Born: ---- Died: 1915-06-20 Aged: 21 Enlisted: ------

Interred in Lancashire Landing Cemetery. Name inscribed on St Columb's Cathedral (Church of Ireland) Memorial to the men connected with that cathedral who died during the 1914-18 War. Name also commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.

Younger son of Robert Eccles and Ethel Maud Buchanan, Chiswick Lodge, Templemore Park, Londonderry. Brother of Major Edgar J. B. Buchanan, D.S.O., Royal Engineers, Indian Expeditionary Force.

Lieutenant Buchanan, who reached his twenty-first birthday about one month prior to his death, received his early education at Foyle College and subsequently at Bedford School, where he was a member of the Officers' Training Corps. He entered Edinburgh University Medical School in October 1911, and had passed all his examinations, except the final, with first class honours, gaining the bronze medals in zoology, practical anatomy, and surgery. On the day after the Great War was declared he applied for a commission, and, having some time previously obtained certificates A and B of the Officers' Training Corps, Medical Unit, was gazetted to a lieutenancy in the Royal Army Medical Corps, Special Reserve, on August 16, 1914. Finding a few weeks later that he could not be sent on active service until he had received his full medical qualifications, he applied for transfer to the Royal Scots Fusiliers, and was in due course gazetted second-lieutenant, and went into training at Cambusbarron, Stirlingshire. About the middle of May 1915, he proceeded with his battalion to the Dardanelles, and landing on May 30, went almost at once into the trenches.

Reference was made to the death of Richard Brendan Buchanan, and Captain E. G. Harvey, at a service held in St Columb's Cathedral, Londonderry, on Sunday, June 27, 1915. Preaching from the text, 'I reckon the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us' (Romans viii. 18), the Very Reverend the Dean of Derry said day by day fresh news came of those who had given their lives for their country, and one family after another was called upon to feel at what cost the world's peace was to be gained. During the previous week this had been once more brought close to them by the bereavement of two families belonging to the Cathedral congregation. Two young lives of great promise had been sacrificed on the field of battle for the cause of King and country. They mourned them both ? Captain E. G. Harvey and Lieutenant R. B. Buchanan. They felt deeply for those hearts wrung with sorrow for loved ones lost. They looked with dismay on the prospect of so many valued members of the rising generation being lost to the country. They felt all this, and he thought there was something more when they heard with what readiness in both instances the call of duty was responded to in spite of the sacrifice involved. They could feel thankful that such a spirit had been bred amongst them, and cherish their memories to spur them on in times of slackness and temptation to worthy efforts, to resist the evil and choose the good. Two brave soldiers lay far apart ? one in Flanders and one at the Dardanelles. Could they doubt that with the approach of death, if time and strength were allowed, both hearts would turn with instinctive affection to the one point of home and Derry, and both be comforted perhaps by the thoughts that their life's ending was not unworthy of the noble traditions of the city? But they had more than the thought of the past to comfort them. Christian hope looked on and they could believe that both were fully possessed of that hope and knew that the sufferings of the present time were not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in them.

Richard Brendan Buchanan was the nephew of Lieutenant Colonel Sir Walter J. Buchanan, C.I.E., I.M.S., Knight Commander of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, an old Foyle College boy. After graduating in Trinity College, Dublin, where he was University Travelling Prizeman in Medicine in 1887, Walter Buchanan entered the Indian service in the same year, and was appointed Inspector General of Prisons for Bengal in 1901. Author of several works officially adopted by the Indian Government, he was a recognised authority on travel in Northern Bengal, and in 1915 published 'Tours in Darjelling and Sikkim,' a vade-mecum for the Indian tourist. Sir Walter Buchanan's only son, Captain M. B. Buchanan, Royal Scots Fusiliers, held the Mons Star of 1914, was wounded at Ypres in October 1914, and at the Somme in July 1916, and was twice mentioned in despatches.

The name of Richard Brendan Buchanan was read out during a memorial service held in St Columb's (Church of Ireland) Cathedral, Londonderry, on Sunday, August 1, 1915, to commemorate the officers and men of the city of Derry, who had died during the first year of the Great War.