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#48099 - 15/10/14 08:10 PM World War One
Steeler Offline
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Registered: 16/05/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Wigtoon!
Hi All,

Been a while since I last posted. I've, somewhat crazily, decided to expand my Wigtown War Memorial research to cover all those from the parish who served in WW1 (it seems a shame that those who fought and managed to come back are not recognised at all). That said, it's a daunting task.

Anyhow, while browsing through the Canadian WW1 records I came across a Corporal Thomas McClelland, son of Charles McClelland, Fordbank House, Wigtown. He enlisted with 59th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, on 13 March 1916 at Winnipeg.

It looks like he survived the conflict ... but another link with Bladnoch!

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#48100 - 15/10/14 08:44 PM Re: World War One [Re: Steeler]
Wee Rab Online   content
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Registered: 14/08/10
Posts: 2040
Loc: Whithorn, Wigtownshire, Gallow...
Hi Mike, I wondered why you had been so quiet of late. I wonder how many owners Fordbank has had since Cpl McClelland's day?
In the nine years I have been down here I think it has changed hands four times.
Old Archie was talking about you last night, wondering how you were getting on with the War Graves searches.
Cheers for now, Rab.

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#48106 - 16/10/14 12:39 PM Re: World War One [Re: Wee Rab]
Steeler Offline
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Registered: 16/05/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Wigtoon!
Thanks Rab. Graves work continues - Minnigaff has been particularly challenging but I'm also planning a raid into Ayrshire! But this new project seems to be consuming me at the moment.

A bit more on the McClellands. The 1881 census shows Charles McClelland (37) born and living in Bladnoch. Occupation: Distiller of Whiskey [with an e] emplying 15 men. With him were wife Margaret (34), Maggie (9), Sarah Jane (8), Mary Helen (5), Elizabeth (3) and Thomas (1). Also Elizabeth Campbell (19) and Mary Broadfoot (18).

In 1891 they had moved to Poldbank (sic) House. Charles (47), Margaret (45), Margaret D (19), Mary H (15), Elizabeth A (13), Thomas (11), William D (7), Charlotte (5). Along with Margaret Coyle (26) and Martha Smith (25).

Finally there's a 1924 form reporteg the arrival of Thomas on the SS Doric in Canada. He had just returned from a holiday in Scotland. He was an unmarried clerk living at 135 Canora Street, Winnipeg (which looks very nice on Streetview!). He had originally arrived in Montreal in May 1910. Oh, and none of his family was "mentally defective"!

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#48107 - 16/10/14 04:54 PM Re: World War One [Re: Steeler]
Raymondo Offline

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Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 6083
Loc: Banbridge. N.Ireland
Hi Steeler, you're doing a good job, well done, although it doesn't require an Ulsterman to tell you that. I like the fact that the McLellands were working distillers who had good times and bad times financially. They never really appear to have made a fortune out of the whisky business although living in the Fordbank, a decent house, was certainly better than the cottage of the most recent owners. But in building the distillery they certainly put the name Bladnoch on the map.
It's interesting to read of Corporal McLelland having enlisted. Probably that could be said of a considerable number of men from the area. Certainly two sons of the Irish Dunville family whose Belfast company became the new owners of Bladnoch in 1911, were quick to enlist. I wonder were they fighting on the same front at the Somme?
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Raymondo

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#48108 - 16/10/14 07:12 PM Re: World War One [Re: Raymondo]
Steeler Offline
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Registered: 16/05/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Wigtoon!
Thanks Raymond. At the moment I've found 175 men linked to Wigtown who fought in WW1 - and that's without looking very hard! I wonder if William D McClelland also signed up - another to look out for.

I've been inspired to do this by a lady in Gatehouse of Fleet who has produced an excellent book on the men (and women) from Gatehouse who stepped forward. She has found 300. What is interesting is the number of more senior ranks who feature in her survey. Here in Wigtown the highest rank (so far) is Captain. But that reflects the social mix - just think of the big country houses in the Gatehouse area.

Dauntingly she was working on the project for "a number of years". I think I'll need the occasional dram to sustain me!

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#48230 - 11/11/14 03:08 PM Re: World War One [Re: Steeler]
autism Offline
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Registered: 13/05/02
Posts: 4248
Loc: sewickley, pa, usa
Though today is called "Veterans' Day" in the US, it originally was passed as a holiday in 1926 and it is to honor all people who have served in the US Military. So to those who have served, "thank you"!

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#48262 - 19/11/14 09:12 PM Re: World War One [Re: autism]
Wee Rab Online   content
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Registered: 14/08/10
Posts: 2040
Loc: Whithorn, Wigtownshire, Gallow...
Been talking to Mike (Steeler) today, and he has located another grave in Whithorn for a local soldier who was buried with full military honours, but not yet recognised by the War Graves Commission.
He reckons it may take a year or more for that to be put right, but he is on the case.
Cheers, Rab.

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#48271 - 24/11/14 09:44 AM Re: World War One [Re: Wee Rab]
Raymondo Offline

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Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 6083
Loc: Banbridge. N.Ireland
Rab does Mike live in Whithorn?

On a different topic, Martin had a few things to get in Belfast so wee Harry (aged 2) and he came in the van which has only three seats and Jane and the baby came up to the ferry in the car which she left in the car park. I collected the children at the terminal in Belfast and they went shopping. On returning to Scotland, Martin decided that rather than have Jane carry the pram and childrens stuff off as a foot passenger that it would be easier and quicker for them all to go down to the car deck and leave the ferry in the van. He would then drive across to the car park about 150 metres away. This meant that when they got to the police chech out Jane was holding the baby which is an offense rather than having it strapped in on an approved baby seat. Martin's suggestions that an accident was unlikely during the short distance to the car park, particularly as there was a 10 mph speed restriction inside the harbour didn't go down well. So Jane had to get out of the van, put the baby in the pram and Harry in her arm and a police lady escorted her back to the terminal building from where she could proceed to her car. A bit embarrassing but I suppose he was lucky not to get a fine or points on his licence.

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#48273 - 24/11/14 12:32 PM Re: World War One [Re: Raymondo]
Wee Rab Online   content
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Registered: 14/08/10
Posts: 2040
Loc: Whithorn, Wigtownshire, Gallow...
Hi Raymond, Mike lives in Wigtown, on the hill leading down to the Martyr's Stake. His war graves research covers all of the old Parish including Whithorn.

Poor Martin, the shortcut proved to be the long way round.
He should stay home and get some bottling done, he has just four bottles left on sale, Arran, Deanston, Invergordon and Tobermory, and they are dwindling. :o))
Cheers, Rab.

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#48274 - 24/11/14 01:29 PM Re: World War One [Re: Wee Rab]
Åke Johansson Offline
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Registered: 16/07/02
Posts: 2195
Loc: Hammar�, Sweden
Maybe Jane would be the one to remind him that Christmas is getting closer? I gave it a go at Facebook but saw no reaction \:\)

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#48275 - 24/11/14 08:41 PM Re: World War One [Re: Åke Johansson]
Martin Offline
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Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 36
Loc: Banbridge, Northern Ireland/Bl...
Tomorrow I'll be bottling a 24 year old Linkwood and last week (to go online at the same time) I bottled a nice 20yo Tobermory. If I can manage to arrange collection, there will also be an 18yo Springbank. The first two should be up tomorrow night with the Springbank as soon as possible.

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#48278 - 25/11/14 12:12 AM Re: World War One [Re: Martin]
Wee Rab Online   content
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Registered: 14/08/10
Posts: 2040
Loc: Whithorn, Wigtownshire, Gallow...
Sorry Mike, we have usurped your thread, but to a good end.
I hope Martin will pop back here now and again for the benefit of those who don't use Facebook, hehehe.
Cheers, Rab.

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#48279 - 25/11/14 12:27 PM Re: World War One [Re: Wee Rab]
Steeler Offline
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Registered: 16/05/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Wigtoon!
Rab,

That's no problem.

Mike

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#48282 - 25/11/14 09:48 PM Re: World War One [Re: Steeler]
Wee Rab Online   content
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Registered: 14/08/10
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Loc: Whithorn, Wigtownshire, Gallow...
Hi Mike, went over to Archie's yesterday and joined a stream of visitors calling in to help him celebrate his 90th birthday.
In addition to several litres of Famous Grouse, he was also gifted a circular saw by one of his sons.
I went over today, and he already has it set up in his workshop, and is annoyed that it will not operate without the safety cover over the blade.
The old sod gives me the heebie jeebies when he is working with his old home made equipment, because if he ever has another stroke using the old saw, they will be able to plant him in a shoe box.
Next time you are over tell him you want to see where he makes the doll's houses and farm steadings.
He has tools in there no-one has seen for 50 years.
Cheers, Rab.

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#48288 - 26/11/14 10:57 PM Re: World War One [Re: Wee Rab]
Wee Rab Online   content
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Registered: 14/08/10
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Loc: Whithorn, Wigtownshire, Gallow...
Hi Mike, your report is on the whithorn cc site
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Whithorn-and-District-Community-Noticeboard/79959897006413

As I said earlier, there are more than a few Dodds still in the town .
Rab

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#48292 - 27/11/14 10:14 AM Re: World War One [Re: Wee Rab]
Steeler Offline
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Registered: 16/05/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Wigtoon!
For anyone who is interested you can find out more about the project seeking to identify those whose war service may not have been recognised at http://infromthecold.org/

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#48301 - 28/11/14 12:02 PM Re: World War One [Re: Steeler]
Steeler Offline
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Registered: 16/05/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Wigtoon!
Hi Rab, looks like the Facebook page is down (and has been for a couple of days).

Mike

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#48302 - 28/11/14 01:55 PM Re: World War One [Re: Steeler]
Wee Rab Online   content
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Registered: 14/08/10
Posts: 2040
Loc: Whithorn, Wigtownshire, Gallow...
Hi Mike, the page is up OK. Billy Dodds wasn't at the council meeting last night, but I will try and get his number for you.
There has been a reply to the piece on Whithorn Facebook from someone related to the Irvine family.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Whithorn-and-District-Community-Noticeboard/799598970064137

Cheers, Rab.

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#48303 - 28/11/14 04:03 PM Re: World War One [Re: Wee Rab]
Steeler Offline
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Registered: 16/05/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Wigtoon!
Thanks Rab

Yes, the lower link is working but not the first one. So it looks like the ball is rolling.

Mike

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#48314 - 03/12/14 11:34 AM Re: World War One [Re: Steeler]
Steeler Offline
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Registered: 16/05/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Wigtoon!
Just been flicking through Stair Gillon's "The KOSB in the Great War". The section about the Territorial Battalions' involvement in Gallipoli (many of the Machars men were in these) he says, "The response to the call to arms was immediate in the South of Scotland as elsewhere. Whithorn and Kirkconnel have claims to have sent forth the largest number of volunteers in proportion to population in Britain. And this from a district that since the "Covemamting" times had never been remarkable for enthusiasm for service ine the regular army."

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#48315 - 03/12/14 12:22 PM Re: World War One [Re: Steeler]
Raymondo Offline

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Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 6083
Loc: Banbridge. N.Ireland
Hi Mike,
Over the years that I was at Bladnoch I always thought there were quite a few of the local young lads joined the army. There wasn't a lot of choice of jobs, farming or the forces. Some of them spent time in N Ireland and were usually a bit reluctant to say so when they heard my accent. I think the son of the people who lived at the Halfway House on the main road above Kirkcowan was murdered during the troubles.
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Raymondo

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#48316 - 03/12/14 03:03 PM Re: World War One [Re: Raymondo]
Steeler Offline
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Registered: 16/05/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Wigtoon!
Hurrah, the Chancellor says he's going to pay off the WW1 war debt by the end of the financial year. Hope no small business has been depending on the repayment for the last 96 years ...

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#48319 - 03/12/14 11:34 PM Re: World War One [Re: Steeler]
Wee Rab Online   content
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Registered: 14/08/10
Posts: 2040
Loc: Whithorn, Wigtownshire, Gallow...
Hi Mike,we might start paying for WWII next year, or the year after!
Did Billy contact you, I left a message on his Facebook page.
Cheers, Rab.

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#48460 - 08/01/15 10:06 AM Re: World War One [Re: Wee Rab]
Steeler Offline
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Registered: 16/05/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Wigtoon!
Hi Rab

No, not heard anything yet but no rush.

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#48461 - 08/01/15 10:08 AM Re: World War One [Re: Steeler]
Steeler Offline
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Registered: 16/05/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Wigtoon!
On a separate issue, I've just found another ex-distillery man who served in WW1. Wigtownshire Free Press (7/12/1916): "Mr & Mrs Malone, 19 High Street, Wigtown, have been officially notified by the War Office that their son, Private R Malone, Royal Scots Fusiliers, was wounded on the 13th ult. Private Malone was employed in the Distillery, Bladnoch, before enlisting, and he has now four brothers and a brother-in-law serving with the colours."

Robert Malone's two brothers who died were Blain and David (the latter buried in Wigtown Cemetery) and the brother-in-law was James McCulloch.

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#48462 - 08/01/15 10:12 AM Re: World War One [Re: Steeler]
Steeler Offline
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Registered: 16/05/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Wigtoon!
And on another, separate, issue. There's going to be a consultation on the location of the site of the paving slab that commemorates Wigtown's Victoria Cross winner, Louis McGuffie. There'll be a small exhibition inthe County Buildings and the chance to vote on whether the stone is laid at the County Buildings end of the gardens or the other end, near the Mercat Cross. The homes where Louis lived in the town have been demolished so the gardens seem the best place. This is all well in advance of the actual slab laying which will be in 2018 - plenty of time for argument!

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#48463 - 08/01/15 11:22 AM Re: World War One [Re: Steeler]
Raymondo Offline

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Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 6083
Loc: Banbridge. N.Ireland
Not many small towns in Scotland can boast a VC winner. So hopefully this recognition and its location will not cause controversy

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#48465 - 08/01/15 11:39 AM Re: World War One [Re: Raymondo]
Steeler Offline
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Registered: 16/05/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Wigtoon!
McGuffie is the only one in Wigtownshire but I think there's 4 or 5 in D&G.

There may be more of a hoo ha on the proposal to name the gardens after him.

Whatever, it's fun to have the first referendum of 2015!

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#48468 - 08/01/15 10:42 PM Re: World War One [Re: Steeler]
Wee Rab Online   content
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Registered: 14/08/10
Posts: 2040
Loc: Whithorn, Wigtownshire, Gallow...
Hi Mike, hope Billy managed to get to you, I yoked him at the local council meeting and he said he would talk to his grandad.
As far as the memorial is concerned, I would say the top of the gardens, closer to the war memorial.
Cheers, Rab.

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#48897 - 26/04/15 09:58 AM Re: World War One [Re: Wee Rab]
Steeler Offline
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Registered: 16/05/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Wigtoon!
Those of you who have been avidly (!) following this thread will know that I have been liaising with Rab (on and off) about a Whithorn man who was buried with full military honours in the twon but who had not been recognised by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Well, thanks to the hard work of my mate Ken Morrison and others, John Irvine (the man in question) has now been officially recognised as a casualty of war. His name has been added to the Book of Remembrance. Hopefully there will be an article in the local press soon. It would be really good if his grave could be located as he would probably get a proper War Graves Commission head stone.

Here are some details: John Irvine, won Military Medal – age 34 – Private (9502) 2nd Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers.
John joined the Army in 1907 and had served for four years in South Africa. He was with his Regiment in Gibraltar at the outbreak of war and moved to France in November 1914.
He was awarded the M.M. in September 1916. John served throughout the war and was discharged due to illness in March 1919. He died at his aunt's home in Whithorn.
(Source: Service Record, London Gazette 19/9/1916 p.9201, WFP 7/9/1916 5a and WFP 26/2/1920 p.5e)
Born 1886 in Prescott, Liverpool. (Source:Service Record and GRO – Birth Index)
Son of the late William and Margaret (Johnston) Irvine.
Nephew of Joseph and Elizabeth Dodds of 125 George Street, Whithorn
Died – 19 February 1920.

I continue to research the people of Wigtown who went off to war. 218 men and one woman so far. Over the next few months we'll particularly remember those who died at Gallipoli.

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#48900 - 26/04/15 06:40 PM Re: World War One [Re: Steeler]
Wee Rab Online   content
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Registered: 14/08/10
Posts: 2040
Loc: Whithorn, Wigtownshire, Gallow...
Hi Mike, I guess the grave in Whithorn you tracked down was not the one in which John Irvine was interred?
Cheers, Rab.

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#48903 - 27/04/15 08:06 AM Re: World War One [Re: Wee Rab]
Steeler Offline
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Registered: 16/05/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Wigtoon!
Hi Rab

I haven't tracked down even a possibility of a John Irvine grave. That's the mystery. Can't even find one for his aunt and uncle who seemed to be his guardians. Maybe an article in the local rag will stir some memories.

Mike

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#50167 - 14/11/16 03:08 PM Re: World War One [Re: Steeler]
Steeler Offline
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Registered: 16/05/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Wigtoon!
Remember this old thread?

Well I've just found a report of another former Bladnoch Distillery employee who served in WW1 and joined the Home Guard in WW2:

Wigtownshire Free Press (29/7/1943): A prominent figure in the Wigtown district has been removed by the death of Major Robert Douglas, Bladnoch, who was buried with military honours on Wednesday. Coming from the North of Scotland to Bladnoch some 30 years ago he was employed at the distillery. On the outbreak of war he joined the Gordon Highlanders in which he rose to the rank of Sergeant-Major. Previously he had served 16 years with the regiment. He took part in the retreat from Mons, during which he was wounded. For gallant service he was awarded the Military Medal. After the war he took up his old duties in the distillery but, when it closed, he joined the staff at Bladnoch Creamery where he was employed at the time of his death. ... On the formation of the Local Defence Volunteers he immediately joined and was in charge of the Wigtown Company of the Home Guard at the time of his death.

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#50168 - 14/11/16 09:19 PM Re: World War One [Re: Steeler]
Raymondo Offline

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Posts: 6083
Loc: Banbridge. N.Ireland
Nice wee bit of info Steeler. Quite a few of the employees came from the Highland distilleries. Did the article indicate if he had any family or if he was buried locally. I was over at the Somme earlier in the summer and at Menin Gate where there are the names of quite a lot of soldiers from Scottish regiments.
A wee bit of humour ... my postman is very interested in the British Legion and he had visited the Somme, he referred to his visit to leper (and pronounced it like the disease) By co-incidence I was in a cathedral in Ypres and saw the word leper which as everyone else except me knew, was pronounced "ieper" the Belgium way of spelling the French word Ypres. The capital "i" looked like an "l" to my postman and to me and when I asked someone standing nearby to explain what "leper" meant, he said "you'll be from the Emerald isle" in other words he was doubting my high level of intelligence.

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#50173 - 15/11/16 06:04 PM Re: World War One [Re: Steeler]
Steeler Offline
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Registered: 16/05/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Wigtoon!
Robert Douglas' grave in is Wigtown Top Cemetery. His wife is also buried there. I need to do a bit more research to find where he was born and if he had family. Will let you know.

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#50235 - 01/02/17 11:11 AM Re: World War One [Re: Steeler]
Steeler Offline
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Registered: 16/05/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Wigtoon!
Just found the birth record for Robert Douglas - he was born at Glenlivet.

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#50236 - 01/02/17 02:50 PM Re: World War One [Re: Steeler]
Raymondo Offline

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Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 6083
Loc: Banbridge. N.Ireland
Interesting Steeler! Quite a few of the distillery workers came from the Northern distillery regions. In Dunvilles reports immediately after the first world war there were lots of references not so much about the shortage of men but of getting them accomadation.
In addition although there was prohibition in America the British government turned a blind eye to large amounts of Scotch whisky being exported to Nassau in the British Islands of the Bahamas. This was destined to be smuggled into the USA. At that time there was just a three mile territorial water limit and the Americans didn't have naval supremacy and were reluctant to arrest any British ships outside this limit even though it was obvious they were engaging in smuggling.
_________________________
Raymondo

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