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On Saturday 13th November 1915 a Bazaar was held at Carberry Tower, to raise funds for the Red Cross Hospital for injured servicemen established in 1914 at Whitehill House, Rosewell and for the Musselburgh branch of S&SFA.

The Soldiers & Sailors Family Association was founded in 1885 to provide a wide range of support services to serving and former members of the British Armed Forces. It had branches throughout the UK and was staffed by trained volunteers, some from the medical and nursing professions. The organization  continues its work today as SSAFA Forces Help. It provides financial, practical and emotional assistance to anyone who is currently serving or has ever served in the Army, Navy or RAF and their families.

Stall at Carberry Tower Bazaar November 1915

In 1915 Carberry Tower was the home of Lady Elphinstone. She arranged for her little sister, Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, then aged 15, to come from the family home at Glamis Castle to take charge of one of the stalls. Several photographs of the slightly nervous young lady survive in the Archives. They show her standing in front of a stall laden with baskets of fruit and flowers. The stall is clearly labelled S&SFA.

Elizabeth’s home at Glamis itself became a convalescent home. When the first casualties arrived the young Lady Elizabeth found herself immersed in their care and welfare. These experiences, and the loss of an elder brother in the war, left their mark.

Elizabeth married Prince Albert, Duke of York on 26 April 1923 in Westminster Abbey. On her way into the Abbey, she unexpectedly laid her bouquet at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.

Of course, we came to know Elizabeth as the Queen Mother and, in the nature of things Royal, the tradition she began continues yet. Through her sister Lady Elphinstone, she built a strong relationship with Inveresk and Musselburgh.

(Blog by Eilean Malden)

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