Duncan Currie (1892 – 1916) Kilwinning-born footballer who played for Hearts before dying in France in the First World War.

On the 13th of August 1892, Duncan Currie was born in Kilwinning. His family had a strong footballing background: his father had played as a goalkeeper and two of his brothers (Bob and Sam) became footballers. 

He began his career at Kilwinning Rangers before signing for Hearts in 1912 for a transfer fee of two guineas. He would go on to make 45 appearances for Hearts at full back before the outbreak of the First World War. 

Lt. Colonel Sir George McRae was a keen supporter and director of Hearts and formed the 16th battalion of the Royal Scots in Edinburgh, encouraging players at the club to join. 16 players signed up and within a week hundreds of supporters follow suit with the regiment swelling to 800 men. 

They paraded at half-time during a derby game with Hibs which further swelled the battalion to over 1350. Supporters from 75 other clubs would join the battalion, with it becoming knows as ‘McRae’s Battalion’ and fans were encouraged to follow in their heroes footsteps and fight alongside the men they had cheered on. 

The battalion was sent to France where they fought at the Somme. Duncan was promoted to sergeant and he lead a platoon at the battle. Duncan Currie was killed on the first day, being shot in the shoulder and dying in no-man’s land at just 23 years of age, on the 1st of July, 1916. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France. 

Further Reading

Duncan Currie at Lives of the First World War