Robert Leiper Lindsay AM

b. 19/05/1890 Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, Scotland.  d. 09/07/1917 Mohammerah, Persia (now Iran).

DATE OF AM ACTION: 09/07/1917 Mohammerah, Persia (now Iran).

Robert was born in Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, the youngest of two sons of John and Jane Lindsay (nee Jamieson). Robert orignally followed in his father’s footsteps and became a butcher, but soon changed careers and gained employment in the oil industry. Due to the nature of his work it was a reserved occupation and he didn’t join the armed services in World War I. His body was returned to Scotland and he was buried in a family grave in Kilmarnock. His father received his AM in Gold from King George V at Buckingham Palace on 9th February 1918.



On the 9th July 1917, one of the oil pipe valves at the Tembi Pumping Station of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company burst. The pressure at this point was 700 Ibs. to the square inch, so that a great fountain of oil was thrown in all directions to a great height. The burst occurred within thirty yards of the open and glowing furnaces of the boilers, and it was obvious that a disastrous fire, involving the whole station and compound, which was populated by nearly three hundred natives, was a question of seconds. The only means of averting a disaster was to turn off the oil fuel supply to the furnaces, thus extinguishing them, and to stop the pumps, thus cutting off the shower of oil. Mr. Lindsay was near the furnaces; but to reach them it was necessary to pass through the oil shower, and thus arrive at the furnace doors soaked and dripping with oil. To do so meant almost certainly a terrible death, but Mr. Lindsay did not hesitate. Shouting to his assistant, Mr. Still, to turn off the pumps, he dashed through the oil, and had succeeded in turning off the first oil-cock, when the whole atmosphere burst into flame. He staggered away, but died from his injuries some hours later. Meanwhile Mr. Still had succeeded in turning off most of the pumps when the fire hurst out. He was cut off from all doors, hut managed to escape by a window, stupefied by heat and smoke. He then sought for and found Mr. Lindsay, and having removed him returned to do what he could to limit the damage. Thanks largely to his efforts a new pumping-house, which had just been established, was saved.