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The Diamond Brothers

Feature Stories Ident The Diamond Family Julius Diamond Diamond Soldier Parade

Their names will be remembered for evermore

The Jewish community in Glasgow was keen to ensure its part in fighting the war was not overlooked. A photograph in 1917 outside a synagogue emphasises the patriotism of Jews fighting for Britain. The 120-plus Jewish servicemen and civilians wore kilts and glengarries to show their loyalty to the Allied forces, at a time when immigrants were viewed with deep suspicion.

The Diamond family moved to Glasgow in 1913. Myer and his wife Hannah had left Russia amid a wave of anti-Semitic feeling in 1891. They first settled in Leeds, and by 1913, Abraham, the eldest of their nine children, was working in Glasgow as a tailor. The rest of the family moved to join him.

Brothers Enlist

Two of his brothers, Joseph and Julius, both enlisted. Julius, who had attended Hutchesons' Grammar, had just enrolled at Glasgow University and in 1914 joined the Officers' Training Corps. Joseph, an apprentice tailor, signed up with The Royal Scots 3rd (Reserve) Battalion. However, Joseph may have found the terms of his apprenticeship conflicted with his enlisting, or may simply have found the army not to his liking, and bought himself out after 53 days. Despite this, after war was declared he re-enlisted, this time for The West Yorkshire Regiment. By the following year, he had been transferred to The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) joining them on the Gallipoli Peninsula of Turkey, site of a long offensive fought by the Allies. On 28 June, 12 days after arriving, Lance Corporal Diamond was killed in action. He has no known grave.

In Glasgow, Julius campaigned politically, in groups such as the Grand Order of Israel and the Junior Zionist Society. However he was also deeply patriotic to Britain and he joined the 3rd Battalion, The King's Own Scottish Borderers, transferring to The Royal Flying Corps in 1916. His role was to conduct photographic reconnaissance, and he flew many times over German lines, directing artillery fire from the air. In September 1917, after several mentions in dispatches, he received the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry. However, on 8 October, he and his pilot failed to return from a flight. His body was never found.

View original referenced text here: pdf icon Diamond Brothers [101kb]


  • Julius and Joseph Diamond, with their father, Myer. Credit: Courtesy of the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre, Glasgow
  • Julius Diamond, who was a member of Glasgow University's Officers' Training Corps Credit: University of Glasgow Archive Services, University Chapel Collection, GB0248 CH4/4/2/2/6
  • Glasgow's Jewish soldiers outside the South Portland Street Synagogue. Credit: Courtesy of the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre, Glasgow
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