Fourth brother to fall

Friday, January 26 – 1917
The relatives in Belfast of Private Donald Sloan, Black Watch, the well-known League International footballer, have received official intimation that he was killed in action on the 1st inst.

Sloan was one of four brothers who have made the supreme sacrifice – two in the Canadians, and the third in the Scotch Guards.
Goalkeeper for Belfast Distillery, he was a native of the Edinburgh district, where his aged parents reside. He leaves a wife and four children at Shettleston, Glasgow.
(Evening Telegraph, 26-01-1917)


  1. I have been writing an essay on Alexander Sloan and his Family of the First World War. He lost the sight of an eye aged 12 years in an ironstone mine accident. He and all his brothers started work at 12 years in iron or coal mines. Four of his youngest brothers died in the Great War. He was a pacifist. They were a close family and their lives with emigration, war, fighting awful social and working conditions tell the story of the west of Scotland The history of the family is on Ayrshire History Website, .uk

    The story in the family was that two brothers were professional footballers so am delighted to hear about Donald. His son Donald visited with his son Donald where I live in Ayrshire twenty plus years ago I did not meet him but my mother did and I wrote and phoned him for a while. and then heard no more. He told me that he had a sister Esther so I knew there were at least two children and that his mother was Edith Emily Page from Belfast.

    I would appreciate any information. or contact from James or his family. Since putting my essay on the internet, have had contact from the family of Thomas Sloan in British Columbia who came back to Scotland and joined up but was killed in September 1916, and and from two other sets of descendants of the Sloans who did not die in the War. There are some locally as well. I have been trying to build up a family history and to encourage other ordinary folk to do the same. I thought that the First World War was a good place to start.

    Best wishes,


    1. Hi Esther. What an amazing job you are doing with the family research!! I have asked some fellow football historians to contact you since they have looked into the life of Donald Sloan.

      I am abroad on a business trip now, but will write more when I am back in the UK.

      Best regards,


      1. How lovely that you got back. I sent a more up to date draft essay than on the website to Peter Jones.
        I am hoping to get word of James Sloan who said on your site he had a photo in uniformof Don Sloan. Of all the 12 sibings in his family, I have a photo of Robert the youngest in uniform and 2 election address photos of Sanny Sloan plus photocopies of photos and descriptions of Robert and William who died in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. I have now got the photo of Don from the football website but want the one of him in uniform if possible.
        Thank you again.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.