William Mathieson Morton

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment: March 1917
  • Place of enlistment:
  • Service no:
  • Rank: Engineer Lieutenant
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: H.M.S. Ark Royal
  • Unit/Ship: Royal Navy
  • Place of Death: Syra, Greece
  • Age at Death: 35
  • Date of Death: 28.12.1918
  • Burial Country: Greece
  • Cemetery: Syra New British Cemetery
  • Grave/Mem Ref no: II.C.8.

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth:
  • Place of Birth:
  • Address: Helenville, Strathern Road, Broughty Ferry.
  • Occupation: Marine Superintendent
  • Mother:
  • Father:

    David Morton, “Lantene Villa” Broughty Ferry

  • Siblings:
  • Spouse:

    Isobel Christie Morton, “Helenville” Strathern Rd, Broughty Ferry

  • Children:

    1 Son (name unknown)

More about William Mathieson Morton

William died at Syra of Pneumonia following Influenza. He was a former pupil of Grove Academy, Broughty Ferry and is remembered on the schools war memorial.

William Mathieson Morton    Lieutenant Royal Navy

MORTON —At Syra, Greece, on 26th Dec, Engineer, Lieutenant William Mathieson Morton, R.N., beloved husband of Isobel Christie, Helenville, Strathearn Road, Broughty Ferry, and youngest son of David Morton, Lantene Villa, Broughty Ferry.

Dundee Courier 3rd January 1919

William Mathieson Morton   Engineer-Lieutenant Royal Navy


News has been received in Dundee of the death at Syra, Greece, of Engineer-Lieutenant W. M. Morton.

Prior to the war the deceased was marine superintendent at Calcutta for Messrs Andrew Weir & Co., London and Glasgow.  Early in 1917 he returned home for the purpose of offering his services to his country.  He applied for a commission in the navy, and received the rank of engineer-lieutenant.  He was ordered East, and went as second in command at Syra Naval Dockyard, and had recently been in command of the yard.  He also held the rank of engineer-commander in the Royal Hellenic Navy.  He contracted illness, and died suddenly on 28th December.

The deceased officer was the youngest son of Mr David Morton, Lanfene Villa, Broughty Ferry, and leaves a widow (a daughter of ex-Bailie J. R. Christie, Broughty Ferry) and a young son.

Dundee Courier 3rd January 1919

William M Morton was the husband of Mrs Isobel Christie Morton of Helenville, Strathern Road, Broughty Ferry, Dundee. He was educated at the Grove Academy, studied at the Technical School in Dundee and served a five year Apprenticeship at the Caledon Shipyard and the Lilybank Foundry. He had over seven years seagoing experience and had gained a Board of Trade First Class Certificate after which he spent three years at Messrs A Weir and Company of London as Engineering Superintendent. He joined the Royal Navy as a Direct Entry Engineer Lieutenant in March 1917 and undertook a series of Naval Engineering courses at the Royal Naval Barracks in Portsmouth. In April he was appointed to the old battleship HMS Dominion, based at Sheerness in Kent to gain some Naval experience. In May he was appointed to HMS Osiris II, an Armed Merchant Cruiser converted to a Depot ship for Patrol Craft and Ketches. It is possible this ship was based in Brindisi in Italy to support warships blockading the Austrian Hungarian Navy in the Adriatic. In May 1918 he was appointed to HMS Valhalla II, a three masted steam yacht used as a Depot Ship for small craft in Mudros Harbour on the island of Lemnos. These craft were used to block the Turkish Navy from coming out of the Dardanelles. Later, he was appointed to HMS Ark Royal, a Sea Plane Carrier whose aircraft observed what was happening in the seas around the Dardanelles. Detached from the Ark Royal he was sent to the island of Syros to oversee the Naval Yard. After the Armistice William Morton became ill and died from Bronchial Pneumonia, most likely brought on from the Spanish Flu Pandemic. He is buried in the Syra New British Cemetery, Grave Reference II C 8, Syros, Greece.

Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

Additional information and image kindly supplied by Michael Caldwell.

Further information supplied by Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

Can you tell us more about William Mathieson Morton'? Some additional facts, a small story handed down through the family or perhaps a picture or an heirloom you can share online. Contact our curator...

THANK YOU for your interest in helping the Great War Dundee project. Please complete the short form below and a curator will contact you in the next few days.

    I am writing to: