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James Smith Richardson LLD (1883-1970)

James Smith Richardson was born in Edinburgh on 2 November 1883. His father moved the family to North Berwick in 1889 and James attended the local High School before being apprenticed to the achitect James MacIntyre Henry and then Sir Robert Lorimer.  He began a practice on his own account as early as 1909.

The young James Richardson

Private James Richardson

On 2nd March 1914, Richardson was appointed the first Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Scotland. However, as a member of the 8th (Territorial) Battalion Royal Scots he volunteered for active service a few months later when war broke out. He was commissioned into the newly raised 2/8th Battalion with which he remained for much of the war. The 2/8th was a home service battalion, providing drafts and training recruits for the overseas forces. It also took on the home security role vacated by the 1/8th and so James served with them in Scotland, England and Ireland. He remained with the battalion for much of the war but also served in France and ended the war as a captain.

In the event, his military career had extended over at least 18 years!

Like many young men he had enlisted in the volunteer movement as soon as he could, at the age of 17, with the then 7th Volunteer Battalion, training in North Berwick and camping with the battalion for two weeks every summer. This he fitted in around attending the RSA drawing classes in Edinburgh and professional architectural training with the architect Robert Lorimer. He also branched into design, producing a carved wooden chancel screen for St Baldred’s Church, North Berwick, and archaeology, becoming a Fellow of the Society of Scottish Antiquaries in 1912. In 1911, he illustrated a guide to North Berwick written and published by his father.

North Berwick's War Memorial

North Berwick’s War Memorial

After the war he took up again his post as Inspector, part time at first. At this time he designed North Berwick’s War Memorial. His post as Inspector of Monuments became full time from November 1920 and he held it until retirement in 1948. He used the opportunity to establish the principles of conservation and display for the fabric of the historic monuments that came within the care of the Crown: effectively the estates, buildings and ancient monuments under the care of today’s Historic Scotland and Royal Commission. Much of the interpretation (and excavation) was the work of Richardson himself, both on-site and through the medium of the Ministry of Works guidebooks: he compiled at least 16 of these works.

Excavation at North Berwick

Excavation at North Berwick

After retirement he continued to practice as a consultant: Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was one of his clients after her purchase of the Castle of Mey. In 1953 the RSA made him honorary Professor of Architecture (complementing an honorary Ll.D from St Andrews in 1948). He convinced North Berwick Town Council to establish a museum and became its enthusiastic volunteer curator (and hence the ‘father’ of the current East Lothian Council Museum Service). A familiar figure to all in North Berwick, ‘the Doctor’ died in 1970.

Dunbar World War One Memorials

The following are is the lists of names appearing on three of the Dunbar WW1 Memorials.

Town / Village  Location Inauguration
Dunbar Burgh school 03/09/1920
SURNAME FORENAME RANK REGIMENT IMAGE DEATH DATE COURIER MU NEWS
Amos William Lance Corporal Highland Light Infantry 2nd   Battalion 28/04/1917 18/05/1917 No entry
Anderson Duncan Lieutenant Lothian & Borders Horse; Army   Service Corps 04/05/1918 10/05/1918 No entry
Anderson Edward Sergeant Northumber-land Fusiliers 8th   Battalion 16/08/1917 31/08/1917 07/09/1917
Anderson George Private Scots Guard 2nd Battalion 19/06/1915 23/06/1916 No entry
Bald John Private Machine Gun Corps 55th Battalion 03/09/1918 No entry No entry
Black John Private Royal Scots “C” Company   16th Battalion 14/04/1918 No entry No entry
Borthwick James Morris Private Canadian Infantry 07/06/1916 23/06/1916 No entry
Boyle James M Private Royal Scots 9th Battalion 12/04/1918 23/05/1919 No entry
Boyle Thomas Private 1st (Royal) Dragoons Yes 13/06/1914 04/06/1915 No entry
Browning James D Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Bruce Robert Lloyd Lieutenant Scottish Rifles 4th Company 11th   Battalion 19/11/1916 01/12/1916 No entry
Budge Alexander Simpson Private Cameron Highlanders 5th Battalion Yes 25/09/1915 08/10/1915 No entry
Burgoyne Charles Private Royal Scots 17th Battalion 17/11/1917 28/12/1917 No entry
Burgoyne Peter F Driver Army Service Corps 03/11/1916 24/11/1916 No entry
Burton George Private Royal Scots 1st/9th Battalion 01/08/1918 23/08/1918 No entry
Campbell Alexander S Corporal Highland Light Infantry 1st   Battalion 08/03/1916 07/04/1916 No entry
Colborne William Private Australian Infantry 13th Battalion 04/05/1915 04/06/1915 No entry
Collins John Y Sergeant Gordon Highlanders 2nd Battalion 22/06/1915 25/06/1915 No entry
Combe George H Private Royal Scots 15th Battalion 28/04/1917 08/03/1918 No entry
Combe William Private Scottish Rifles 10th Battalion 03/03/1916 17/03/1916 No entry
Congdon Henry G Regimental Sergeant Major Royal Engineers HQ 12th Division 28/05/1918 No entry No entry
Cooper Albert Issac Private Gordon Highlanders 4th Battalion 09/04/1917 No entry No entry
Cunning-ham William Private King’s Own Scottish Borderers 1st   Battalion 13/05/1918 24/05/1918 No entry
Curr Thomas Second Lieutenant Highland Light Infantry 4th   Battalion; Attd.18th Batln. 04/10/1916 13/10/1916 No entry
Dougall Thomas Arthur Private Royal Scots 9th Battalion 27/07/1916 No entry No entry
Duncan Andrew Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Edington Thomas Gunner Royal Field Artillery   “D” Battery 71st Brigade 22/04/1917 25/05/1917 No entry
Elrick Alexander McKenzie Gunner Royal Garrison Artillery 111th   Heavy Battery 20/06/1918 No entry No entry
Fairbairn Gavin Private Royal Scots 5th/6th Battalion 03/04/1918 26/04/1918 No entry
Fairbairn Peter Private Royal Scots “D” Company   9th Battalion 01/08/1917 17/08/1917 No entry
Farquhar George Sergeant Royal Scots Fusiliers 6th/7th   Battalion 01/07/1916 21/07/1916 No entry
Farquhar John Unknown Unknown Unknown 08/06/1917 No entry
Galbraith John Ernest Private Cameron Highlanders 5th Battalion 17/07/1916 04/08/1916 No entry
Galloway Robert K Acting Sergeant/ Lieutenant Lothians Border Horse & Royal   Air Force 23/08/1918 30/08/1918 No entry
Gardner Robert Private Cameron Highlanders 1st Battalion 21/03/1918 02/08/1918 No entry
Gardner Thomas Unknown Unknown Yes Unknown No entry No entry
Gaughan James Private Royal Scots 2nd Battalion 25/09/1915 16/04/1920 No entry
Gaughan John Private Scottish Rifles 8th Battalion 29/07/1918 29/11/1918 No entry
Geddes George Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Gilhooly Thomas Joseph Private Royal Scots 12th Battalion 12/10/1917 10/05/1918 No entry
Gillan James Private Royal Scots 11th Battalion 30/07/1916 22/06/1917 No entry
Gillan John Private Royal Scots Fusiliers 1st/5th   Battalion 19/06/1915 25/04/1919 No entry
Good James Wilson Private Royal Scots 1st/4th Battalion Yes 08/03/1916 24/03/1916 No entry
Grant Peter Private Royal Scots 8th Battalion 11/03/1915 19/03/1915 No entry
Gullen William Hamilton Mackie Private Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) 234th   Company 09/10/1917 05/04/1918 No entry
Hannan George Private Seaforth Highlanders 3rd Battalion 25/09/1915 06/10/0916 No entry
Henderson Samuel Private Royal Scots 2nd/10th Battalion 21/08/1917 No entry No entry
Herkes /   Herkis James Rifleman Royal Irish Rifles 1st Battalion 01/12/1917 28/12/1917 No entry
Jeffrey Robert Private Black Watch 1st Battalion 18/11/1917 30/11/1917 No entry
Kerse Charles Lance Corporal Army Veterinary Corps 28th   Division Infantry Brigade 18/03/1915 02/04/1915 No entry
Knox James Sergeant Royal Garrison Artillery 22nd   Company 25/11/1918 29/11/1918 No entry
Laing George Second Lieutenant Cameron-ians (Scottish Rifles) 9th   Battalion 10/04/1917 20/04/1917 No entry
Lauder Alexander Lance Corporal King’s Own Scottish Borderers 6th   Battalion 01/05/1917 11/05/1917 No entry
Lough William Private Royal Army Medical Corps 24/11/1918 29/11/1918 No entry
Main Andrew Private Royal Scots “B” Company   15th Battalion 04/04/1917 27/04/1917 No entry
Marr David T Private Royal Scots 2nd Battalion 18/08/1916 No entry 16/03/1917
Marr Hugh Private Highland Light Infantry 2nd   Battalion 25/08/1918 Unknown No entry
Marr Robert Sergeant Royal Scots Fusiliers 1st   Battalion 26/09/1917 19/10/1917 No entry
Marshall Thomas Private Argyll & Sutherland   Highlanders 11th Battalion 01/09/1916 06/10/1916 No entry
Mason John P Sapper Royal Engineers “G”   Depot Company Yes 21/02/1915 05/03/1915 No entry
Mason Robert Corporal Gordon Highlanders 8th/10th   Battalion 22/08/1917 02/08/1918 No entry
Mason Thomas Porteous Able Seaman Royal Navy HMS   “Indefatigable” Yes 31/05/1916 09/06/1916 No entry
McIntosh John Clark Private Royal Scots Fusiliers 12th   Battalion 31/08/1918 27/09/1918 No entry
Millar Alexander Private Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
 Miller Alexander Private Royal Scots 2nd Battalion 21/02/1915 12/03/1915 No entry
Moncrieff James Corporal Cameron Highlanders 5th Battalion 07/10/1915 15/10/1915 No entry
Moody James Thomas Sergeant Australian Field Artillery 1st   Brigade 14/04/1917 27/04/1917 No entry
Moody Andrew Gunner Royal Field Artillery   “X” 25th TM Battery 21/03/1918 16/05/1919 No entry
Myles John Edward Private Cameron Highlanders 1st Battalion 26/09/1916 06/10/1916 No entry
Nisbet Alexander Lance Corporal 1st (Royal) Dragoons 25/06/1917 06/07/1917 No entry
O’Brien John Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Paxton William Private Seaforth Highlanders “B”   Company 7th Battalion Yes 02/08/1918 23/08/1918 No entry
Penny-cook Alexander Lance Corporal Royal Scots 12th Battalion 16/10/1918 13/12/1918 No entry
Pott Martin Corporal Royal Scots 1st/4th Battalion 23/08/1918 20/09/1918 No entry
Pow Robert Richardson Private Seaforth Highlanders 2nd Battalion 03/05/1917 19/10/1917 No entry
Pullar Henry / T Lance Corporal Scots Guard 1st Battalion 26/11/1918 06/12/1918 No entry
Sandie James Private Cameron Highlanders “B”   Company 7th Battalion 25/09/1915 No entry No entry
Scott George Archibald Private Royal Scots Fusiliers 10th   Battalion 19/08/1918 14/11/1919 No entry
Scott Alexander Sapper Royal Engineers Unknown 25/08/1916 No entry
Scott Edward Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Smith James A Private The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) 6th   Battalion 24/10/1918 22/11/1918 No entry
Smith Robert Private Argyll & Sutherland   Highlanders 2nd Battalion 18/08/1916 05/10/1917 No entry
Smith Thomas Unknown Army Service Corps Unknown No entry No entry
Tait Alexander James Private Lancshire Fusiliers 1st/8th   Battalion 29/03/1918 26/04/1918 No entry
Tait John Private Gordon Highlanders 6th Battalion 20/11/1917 14/12/1917 No entry
Thomson David James Private Royal Scots 1st/8th Battalion 12/07/1917 17/08/1917 No entry
Turnbull James Private Lothians & Border Horse 26/02/1919 07/03/1919 No entry
Vassie Alexander Marcus Sergeant Royal Garrison Artillery 72nd   Heavy Battery 21/03/1917 30/03/1917 No entry
Vassie Charles Edward 2nd Lieutenant King’s Own Yorkshire Light   Infantry 9th Battalion 01/07/1916 14/07/1916 No entry
Veitch James Private Royal Scots 1st/8th Battalion 23/07/1918 16/08/1918 No entry
Watson William Private Royal Scots 11th Battalion 10/04/1918 10/05/1918 No entry
Watt Archibald Private Seaforth Highlanders 7th Battalion 15/04/1918 07/06/1918 No entry
Watt Gideon Private Royal Scots 8th Battalion 22/03/1918 No entry No entry
Watt James Second Lieutenant Royal Scots Fusiliers & Royal   Scots 4th Battalion 02/05/1917 11/05/1917 No entry
Watt William Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Wight William Stewart Balmain Second Lieutenant Royal Scots 3rd Battalion 09/04/1917 No entry No entry
Wightman John W Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Wilson David Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
 Town / Village  Location  Inauguration
Dunbar Town 03/07/1921
SURNAME FORENAME RANK REGIMENT IMAGE DEATH DATE COURIER MU NEWS
Amos William Lance Corporal Highland Light Infantry 2nd   Battalion 28/04/1917 18/05/1917 No entry
Anderson A. Stewart Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Anderson Duncan Lieutenant Lothian & Borders Horse; Army   Service Corps 04/05/1918 10/05/1918 No entry
Anderson Edward Sergeant Northumber-land Fusiliers 8th   Battalion 16/08/1917 31/08/1917 07/09/1917
Anderson George Private Scots Guard 2nd Battalion 19/06/1915 23/06/1916 No entry
Anderson Robert Captain Royal Scots 8th Battalion 05/03/1916 10/03/1916 No entry
Angus James Private Royal Army Medical Corps 63rd   Field Ambulance 19/04/1918 03/05/1918 No entry
Bald John Private Machine Gun Corps 55th Battalion 03/09/1918 13/09/1918 No entry
Black William J Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Borthwick James Morris Private Canadian Infantry 07/06/1916 23/06/1916 No entry
Boyle James M Private Royal Scots 9th Battalion 12/04/1918 23/05/1919 No entry
Boyle Thomas Private 1st (Royal) Dragoons Yes 13/06/1914 04/06/1915 No entry
Brims William Macdonald Private Royal Scots 12th Battalion 17/07/1916 01/09/1916 No entry
Browning James D Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Bruce Robert Lloyd Lieutenant Scottish Rifles 4th Company 11th   Battalion 19/11/1916 01/12/1916 No entry
Budge Alexander Simpson Private Cameron Highlanders 5th Battalion Yes 25/09/1915 08/10/1915 No entry
Buglass James Private King’s Own Scottish Borderers 6th   Battalion 28/07/1916 04/08/1916 No entry
Burgoyne Charles Private Royal Scots 17th Battalion 17/11/1917 28/12/1917 No entry
Burgoyne Peter F Driver Army Service Corps 03/11/1916 24/11/1916 No entry
Burton George Private Royal Scots 1st/9th Battalion 01/08/1918 23/08/1918 No entry
Campbell Alexander S Corporal Highland Light Infantry 1st   Battalion 08/03/1916 07/04/1916 No entry
Chapman William Private Royal Scots 12th Battalion 11/04/1918 17/05/1918 No entry
Christie Hugh Sergeant Royal Irish Rifles 2nd Battalion 23/10/1918 01/11/1918 No entry
Colborne William Private Australian Infantry 13th Battalion 04/05/1915 04/06/1915 No entry
Collins John Y Sergeant Gordon Highlanders 2nd Battalion 22/06/1915 25/06/1915 No entry
Collins James Private Cameron Highlanders 5th Battalion 12/07/1916 11/08/1916 No entry
Combe George H Private Royal Scots 15th Battalion 28/04/1917 08/03/1918 No entry
Crooke George Edward Gunner Machine Gun Corps (Motors) 1st   Battery 17/04/1918 03/05/1918 No entry
Cross James John Private King’s Own Scottish Borderers 1st   Battalion 04/06/1915 09/07/1915 No entry
Curr Thomas Second Lieutenant Highland Light Infantry 4th   Battalion; Attd.18th Batln. 04/10/1916 13/10/1916 No entry
Cunning-ham William Private King’s Own Scottish Borderers 1st   Battalion 13/05/1918 24/05/1918 No entry
Davis James William Lance Corporal Royal Scots Fusiliers 1st   Battalion Yes 18/03/1916 31/03/1916 No entry
Dickson Kenneth Rifleman London Regiment: City of London Rifles 2nd/6th Battalion 02/11/1917 16/11/1917 No entry
Dickson William Saunders Private Highland Light Infantry 17th   Battalion 18/11/1916 08/12/1916 No entry
Donaldson John Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Edington Thomas Gunner Royal Field Artillery   “D” Battery 71st Brigade 22/04/1917 25/05/1917 No entry
Edmond John Private Gordon Highlanders 9th Battalion 25/09/1915 00/01/1900 No entry
Elrick Alexander McKenzie Gunner Royal Garrison Artillery 111th   Heavy Battery 20/06/1918 No entry No entry
Esson John Private Royal Scots 13th Battalion 10/05/1918 10/01/1919 No entry
Fairbairn Gavin Private Royal Scots 5th/6th Battalion 03/04/1918 26/04/1918 No entry
Fairbairn John White Private Royal Warwick-shire Battalion 14th   Battalion 13/04/1918 03/05/1918 No entry
Fairbairn Peter Private Royal Scots “D” Company   9th Battalion 01/08/1917 17/08/1917 No entry
Farquhar John Unknown Unknown Unknown 08/06/1917 No entry
Farquhar George Sergeant Royal Scots Fusiliers 6th/7th   Battalion 01/07/1916 21/07/1916 No entry
Farrell John Allan Driver Royal Army Service Corps 3rd Horse   Base (Salonika) 19/12/1918 07/02/1919 No entry
Fleming Adam Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Fraser Sister Violet Nurse Voluntary Aid Detachment/Serbian   Relief Fund 05/03/1919 No entry No entry
Galloway Robert K Acting Sergeant & Second   Lieutenant Lothian & Borders Horse &   Royal Air Force 23/08/1918 30/08/1918 No entry
Gardner Robert Private Cameron Highlanders 1st Battalion 21/03/1918 02/08/1918 No entry
Gardner Thomas Unknown Unknown Yes Unknown No entry No entry
Gaughan James Private Royal Scots 2nd Battalion 25/09/1915 15/10/1915 No entry
Gaughan John Private Scottish Rifles 8th Battalion 29/07/1918 No entry No entry
Gilhooly Thomas Joseph Private Royal Scots 12th Battalion 12/10/1917 10/05/1918 No entry
Gillan James Private Royal Scots 11th Battalion 30/07/1916 22/06/1917 No entry
Gillan John Private Royal Scots Fusiliers 1st/5th   Battalion 19/06/1915 25/04/1919 No entry
Good James Wilson Private Royal Scots 1st/4th Battalion Yes 08/03/1916 24/03/1916 No entry
Gordon William Private Royal Scots 11th Battalion 19/08/1918 27/09/1918 No entry
Grant Peter Private Royal Scots 8th Battalion 11/03/1915 19/03/1915 No entry
Gullen William Hamilton Mackie Private Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) 234th   Company 09/10/1917 05/04/1918 No entry
Hannan George Private Seaforth Highlanders 3rd Battalion 25/09/1915 06/10/0916 No entry
Hender-son Andrew C Private Scots Guard 2nd Battalion Yes 12/03/1915 30/04/1915 No entry
Hender-son George Private Royal Scots 17th Battalion 20/07/1917 17/08/1917 No entry
Hepburn James Petty Officer Stoker Royal Navy HMS “Warrior” Yes 31/05/1916 09/06/1916 No entry
Herkes /   Herkis James Rifleman Royal Irish Rifles 1st Battalion 01/12/1917 28/12/1917 No entry
Hill William Lance Corporal Royal Scots 2nd Battalion 28/09/1918 11/10/1918 No entry
Hogg Peter Private Royal Scots 8th Battalion 22/07/1916 13/04/1917 No entry
Hunter Alexander Private Gordon Highlanders 1st Battalion 26/09/1917 02/08/1918 No entry
Jardine Walter Gunner Royal Garrison Artillery 62nd   200th Siege Battery. transf. to  487th   Agricultural Company Labour Corps 24/02/1919 28/02/1919 No entry
Jeffrey /   Jaffray James Runciman Private Royal Scots 2nd Battalion 03/06/1917 06/07/1917 No entry
Kerr John Private Black Watch 4th/5th Battalion 30/09/1918 13/12/1918 No entry
Kerse Charles Lance Corporal Army Veterinary Corps 28th   Division Infantry Brigade 18/03/1915 02/04/1915 No entry
Kirk Rev. James Chaplain 4th Class Army Chaplain’s Department; Seaforth Highlanders 2nd Battalion Yes 01/04/1918 05/04/1918 No entry
Knox James Sergeant Royal Garrison Artillery 22nd   Company 25/11/1918 29/11/1918 No entry
Lough William Private Royal Army Medical Corps 24/11/1918 29/11/1918 No entry
Mac-Donald George Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Macleod David John Private Argyll & Sutherland Hghlanders   2nd Battalion 27/08/1917 07/09/1917 No entry
Macleod /   McLeod Robert Lance Corporal Canadian Infantry 3rd Battalion 03/05/1917 18/05/1917 No entry
Marr David T Private Royal Scots 2nd Battalion 18/08/1916 No entry 16/03/1917
Marr Hugh Private Highland Light Infantry 2nd   Battalion 25/08/1918 No entry No entry
Marr Robert Sergeant Royal Scots Fusiliers 1st   Battalion 26/09/1917 19/10/1917 No entry
Marrow Edward Armfield Captain King’s Own Scottish Borderers 1st   Battalion Yes 25/04/1915 07/05/1915 No entry
Mason John P Sapper Royal Engineers “G”   Depot Company Yes 21/02/1915 05/03/1915 No entry
Mason Robert Corporal Gordon Highlanders 8th/10th   Battalion 22/08/1917 02/08/1918 No entry
Mason Thomas Porteous Able Seaman Royal Navy HMS   “Indefatiga-ble” Yes 31/05/1916 09/06/1916 No entry
McIntosh John Clark Private Royal Scots Fusiliers 12th   Battalion 31/08/1918 27/09/1918 No entry
Mercer George Lance Corporal Army Service Corps 728th M.T.   Company 14/11/1918 06/12/1918 No entry
Mercer Richard Wight Private Royal Air Force 4th Aircraft Park 27/06/1918 09/08/1918 No entry
Millar Alexander Private Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
 Miller Alexander Private Royal Scots 2nd Battalion 21/02/1915 12/03/1915 No entry
Moncrieff James Corporal Cameron Highlanders 5th Battalion 07/10/1915 15/10/1915 No entry
Moncrieff John Lance Corporal Seaforth Highlanders 2nd Battalion 01/07/1916 No entry No entry
Moody James Thomas Sergeant Australian Field Artillery 1st   Brigade 14/04/1917 27/04/1917 No entry
Moody Andrew Gunner Royal Field Artillery   “X” 25th TM Battery 21/03/1918 16/05/1919 No entry
Mustarde William J Private Canterbury Regiment, NZEF 14/09/1915 24/09/1915 No entry
Myles John Edward Private Cameron Highlanders 1st Battalion 26/09/1916 06/10/1916 No entry
Nisbet Alexander Lance Corporal 1st (Royal) Dragoons 25/06/1917 06/07/1917 No entry
O’Brien James Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
O’Brien John Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Paxton William Private Seaforth Highlanders “B”   Company 7th Battalion Yes 02/08/1918 23/08/1918 No entry
Penny Robert Corporal Highland Light Infantry 10th/11th   battalion 03/09/1916 15/09/1916 No entry
Pott Martin Corporal Royal Scots 1st/4th Battalion 23/08/1918 20/09/1918 No entry
Pow Robert Richardson Private Seaforth Highlanders 2nd Battalion 03/05/1917 19/10/1917 No entry
Prescott G.C. Corporal Royal Engineers 2nd Home Counties   Field Company Yes 20/04/1915 07/05/1915 No entry
Prescott Robert S 2nd Lieutenant East Lancashire Regiment 10th   Battalion 01/07/0916 28/07/1916 No entry
Prescott William Bowen Webb Lance Sergeant Canadian Infantry 5th Battalion Yes 24/05/1915 11/06/1915 No entry
Preston Robert S Private Royal Scots 12th Battalion attd.   9th Bn. 07/06/1916 30/06/1916 30/06/1916
Pritchard John Thomas Private Royal Scots 15th Battalion 01/07/1916 No entry No entry
Punton John Private 1st (Royal) Dragoons 20/09/1916 29/09/1916 No entry
Punton William Private Army Service Corps Remount Depot/   HLI 13/02/1918 01/03/1918 No entry
Ramage Angus Robertson Private Scots Guard 2nd Battalion 26/10/1914 20/11/1914 No entry
Robertson William Beaufort Lance Corporal Black Watch “C” Company   1st Battalion 13/10/1915 No entry No entry
Russell Ralph Scott Private Royal Scots “A” Company   16th Battalion 01/07/1916 09/03/1917 01/09/1916
Ruther-ford Sinclair B Private Royal Army Medical Corps 33rd   Field Ambulance 09/07/1915 16/07/1915 No entry
Scott George Archibald Private Royal Scots Fusiliers 10th   Battalion 19/08/1918 14/11/1919 No entry
Shiell Robert Private Royal Scots 2nd Battalion 04/05/1918 17/05/1918 No entry
Smith James A Private The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) 6th   Battalion 24/10/1918 02/11/1918 No entry
Smith Robert Private Argyll & Sutherland   Highlanders 2nd Battalion 18/08/1916 05/10/1917 No entry
Smith Thomas Unknown Army Service Corps Unknown No entry No entry
Stewart John Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Stewart Peter Private Royal Scots 8th Battalion 11/06/1915 18/06/1915 No entry
Tait Alexander James Private Lancshire Fusiliers 1st/8th   Battalion 29/03/1918 26/04/1918 No entry
Thomson David James Private Royal Scots 1st/8th Battalion 12/07/1917 17/08/1917 No entry
Turnbull James Private Lothians & Border Horse 26/02/1919 07/03/1919 No entry
Vassie Alexander Marcus Sergeant Royal Garrison Artillery 72nd   Heavy Battery 21/03/1917 30/03/1917 No entry
Vassie Charles Edward 2nd Lieutenant King’s Own Yorkshire Light   Infantry 9th Battalion 01/07/1916 14/07/1916 No entry
Veitch James Private Royal Scots 1st/8th Battalion 23/07/1918 16/08/1918 No entry
Warren George W. Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Warren-der Sir George John Scott Vice Admiral Royal Navy 08/01/1917 No entry No entry
Watson William Private Royal Scots 11th Battalion 10/04/1918 10/05/1918 No entry
Watt William Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Wingate Malcolm Roy Brevet Major Royal Engineers 459th Field   Company 21/03/1918 05/04/1918 No entry
Young Thomas Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Town / Village  Location Inauguration
Dunbar Dunbar Castle 02/05/1922
SURNAME FORENAME RANK REGIMENT IMAGE DEATH DATE COURIER MU NEWS
Anderson Duncan Lieutenant Lothian & Borders Horse; Army   Service Corps 04/05/1918 10/05/1918 No entry
McLeod Robert Kirkwood Lance Corporal Canadian Infantry 3rd Battaliion 03/05/1917 18/05/1917 No entry
Morris John W Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Wilson Thomas J Sergeant/Sergeant Major Royal Garrison Artillery 140th Siege Battery 07/09/1917 09/11/1917 No entry

Yester World War One Memorial

This is the list of names appearing on the Yester WW1 Memorial.

Town / Village  Location Inauguration
Yester Parish Churchyard 20/03/1921
SURNAME FORENAME RANK REGIMENT IMAGE DEATH DATE COURIER MU NEWS
Bald James Private Army Service Corps 729th MT   Company 21/05/1918 31/05/1918 No entry
Bald Robert Private Royal Scots 4th Battalion 12/11/1917 21/12/1917 No entry
Brown Marcus Leslie Sergeant Royal Scots “B” Company   13th Battalion 31/07/1917 24/08/1917 14/09/1917
Brown William Private Royal Scots 2nd Battalion 09/04/1917 18/05/1917 No entry
Crozier John Cyril Baptist Second Lieutenant Royal Munster Fusiliers 27/08/1914 23/10/1914 27/11/1914
Dickson Andrew Private Army Service Corps 03/12/1917 25/01/1918 No entry
Donaldson John Richardson Walker Private West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince   of Wales’s Own) “D” Company 2nd/5th Battalion 09/07/1916 14/07/1916 No entry
Fraser Murdoch Macrae Private Black Watch 8th Battalion 14/07/1916 18/08/1916 No entry
Hay Lord Arthur Vincent Captain Irish Guards 1st Battalion 14/09/1914 No entry No entry
Ketchen John Private Lanarkshire Yeomanry 19/11/1915 10/12/1915 No entry
Lawrie James A Private Royal Engineers 315th Road   Construction Company 04/11/1918 15/11/1918 No entry
Lugton Peter Private Cameron Highlanders 7th Battalion 24/08/1917 24/09/1917 No entry
Mack Thomas S Private Gordon Highlanders 1st/7th   Battalion 26/07/1918 09/08/1918 No entry
Neilson Robert Private Royal Scots 12th Battalion 25/09/1915 13/10/1916 No entry
Ritchie David Private Army Service Corps 773rd MT   Company 05/10/1918 01/11/1918 No entry
Sibbald James Gunner Royal Garrison Artillery 145th   Siege Battery 10/06/1917 22/06/1917 No entry
Stark Charles Peter Young Private Scottish Rifles 11th Battalion 19/09/1918 31/01/1919 No entry
Welsh William Private Royal Scots Fusiliers 2nd   Battalion 23/04/1917 13/07/1917 No entry

North Berwick World War One Memorials

The following are the lists of names appearing on four of the North Berwick WW1 Memorials.

Town / Village  Location Inauguration
North Berwick High School 16/09/1921
SURNAME FORENAME RANK REGIMENT IMAGE DEATH DATE COURIER MU NEWS
Addison James S Lance Corporal Highland Light Infantry 10th/11th   Battalion 15/09/1916 06/10/1916 No entry
Arundel Robert Thomson Sapper Canadian Engineers (1st Tunnelling   Company) 08/11/1917 No entry No entry
Beattie William M Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Blair William B Sapper Royal Engineers 225th Field   Company 15/10/1917 02/11/1917 No entry
Brown John Private Cameron Highlanders 1st Battalion 24/10/1914 No entry No entry
Campbell Duncan McLeod Private Royal Scots 9th Battalion 11/05/1915 No entry No entry
Carnaghan James S Second Lieutenant Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) 12th Battalion 23/10/1916 03/10/1919 No entry
Gracie William James Second Lieutenant North Staffordshire Regiment 9th   Battalion 26/04/1917 04/05/1917 No entry
Grant Alexander Private Highland Light Infantry 10th/11th   Battalion 09/04/1918 27/12/1918 No entry
Grant David Private Royal Army Service Corps 06/07/1919 11/07/1919 No entry
Heggie John Corporal Royal Scots 9th Battalion Yes 28/03/1918 03/05/1918 No entry
Hutchison Charles Fleet Private Army Service Corps 648th M.T.   Company 29/08/1917 No entry No entry
Hutchison David Fancourt Captain King’s Own Yorkshire Light   Infantry 3rd Battalion 29/08/1918 21/03/1919 No entry
Johnstone   / Johnston George Captain Black Watch 2nd Battalion 09/05/1915 28/05/1915 No entry
Mattison James Lance Corporal Australian Forces 14th Battalion 05/02/1917 09/03/1917 No entry
Mattison John O Chief Engine Room Artificer 2nd   Class Royal Naval Reserve HMS   “M15” 11/11/1917 23/11/1917 No entry
McNeil Edward Private Scots Guard 2nd Battalion Yes 15/09/1916 20/10/1916 No entry
McNicol William Corporal Tank Corps 21/07/1918 20/09/1918 No entry
Moffat George Easton Corporal Machine Gun Corps Infantry 174th   Company 26/03/1917 06/04/1917 No entry
Morrison John Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Morrison William M Private Gordon Highlanders 1st/7th   Battalion 13/11/1916 08/12/1916 No entry
Purdie David Scott Second Lieutenant The King’s (Liverpool Regiment)   9th Battalion 30/09/1918 11/10/1918 No entry
Richardson Arthur Archibald Lieutenant Argyll & Sutherland   Highlanders 26/09/1915 No entry No entry
Rintoul Robert Fortune Private Lothians & Border Horse D   Squadron 05/12/1916 22/11/1916 No entry
Robertson John Lance Corporal Royal Scots Fusiliers 2nd   Battalion 23/04/1917 25/01/1918 No entry
Ross David T Private Black Watch 14th Battalion 06/11/1917 30/11/1917 No entry
Ross Robert E Private Royal Scot 5th/6th Battalion 02/10/1918 No entry No entry
Shiel P Ernest Private South African Infantry 3rd   Regiment 05/05/1916 19/05/1916 No entry
Sim George Hedderwick Private Royal Fusiliers 17th Battalion 24/12/1915 31/12/1915 No entry
Smale Sydney Private Royal Scots 8th Battalion 25/07/1916 04/08/1916 08/09/1916
Smith James Alexander Edington Private Royal Scots 8th Battalion 15/05/1915 21/05/1915 No entry
Stuart Alexander Davidson Lieutenant Seaforth Highlanders 7th Battalion 12/10/1917 29/03/1918 No entry
Walker Clarence Seargent Royal Scots 16th Battalion 01/07/1916 No entry No entry
Wyllie David Private Black Watch 1st/7th Battalion Yes 24/04/1917 11/05/1917 No entry
Town / Village  Location Inauguration
North Berwick Quality Street 19/02/1922
SURNAME FORENAME RANK REGIMENT IMAGE DEATH DATE COURIER MU NEWS
Addison James S Lance Corporal Highland Light Infantry 10th/11th   Battalion 15/09/1916 06/10/1916 No entry
Arundel Robert Thomson Sapper Canadian Engineers (1st Tunnelling   Company) 08/11/1917 No entry No entry
Beattie William M Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Blair William B Sapper Royal Engineers 225th Field   Company 15/10/1917 02/11/1917 No entry
Brown John Private Cameron Highlanders 1st Battalion 24/10/1914 No entry No entry
Campbell Duncan McLeod Private Royal Scots 9th Battalion 11/05/1915 No entry No entry
Carnaghan James S Second Lieutenant Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) 12th Battalion 23/10/1916 03/10/1919 No entry
Gracie William James Second Lieutenant North Staffordshire Regiment 9th   Battalion 26/04/1917 04/05/1917 No entry
Grant Alexander Private Highland Light Infantry 10th/11th   Battalion 09/04/1918 27/12/1918 No entry
Grant David Private Royal Army Service Corps 06/07/1919 11/07/1919 No entry
Heggie John Corporal Royal Scots 9th Battalion Yes 28/03/1918 03/05/1918 No entry
Hutchison Charles Fleet Private Army Service Corps 648th M.T.   Company 29/08/1917 No entry No entry
Hutchison David Fancourt Captain King’s Own Yorkshire Light   Infantry 3rd Battalion 29/08/1918 21/03/1919 No entry
Johnstone   / Johnston George Captain Black Watch 2nd Battalion 09/05/1915 28/05/1915 No entry
Mattison James Lance Corporal Australian Forces 14th Battalion 05/02/1917 09/03/1917 No entry
Mattison John O Chief Engine Room Artificer 2nd   Class Royal Naval Reserve HMS   “M15” 11/11/1917 23/11/1917 No entry
McNeil Edward Private Scots Guard 2nd Battalion Yes 15/09/1916 20/10/1916 No entry
McNicol William Corporal Tank Corps 21/07/1918 20/09/1918 No entry
Moffat George Easton Corporal Machine Gun Corps Infantry 174th   Company 26/03/1917 06/04/1917 No entry
Morrison John Unknown Unknown Unknown No entry No entry
Morrison William M Private Gordon Highlanders 1st/7th   Battalion 13/11/1916 08/12/1916 No entry
Purdie David Scott Second Lieutenant The King’s (Liverpool Regiment)   9th Battalion 30/09/1918 11/10/1918 No entry
Richardson Arthur Archibald Lieutenant Argyll & Sutherland   Highlanders 26/09/1915 No entry No entry
Rintoul Robert Fortune Private Lothians & Border Horse D   Squadron 05/12/1916 22/11/1916 No entry
Robertson John Lance Corporal Royal Scots Fusiliers 2nd   Battalion 23/04/1917 25/01/1918 No entry
Ross David T Private Black Watch 14th Battalion 06/11/1917 30/11/1917 No entry
Ross Robert E Private Royal Scot 5th/6th Battalion 02/10/1918 No entry No entry
Shiel P Ernest Private South African Infantry 3rd   Regiment 05/05/1916 19/05/1916 No entry
Sim George Hedderwick Private Royal Fusiliers 17th Battalion 24/12/1915 31/12/1915 No entry
Smale Sydney Private Royal Scots 8th Battalion 25/07/1916 04/08/1916 08/09/1916
Smith James Alexander Edington Private Royal Scots 8th Battalion 15/05/1915 21/05/1915 No entry
Stuart Alexander Davidson Lieutenant Seaforth Highlanders 7th Battalion 12/10/1917 29/03/1918 No entry
Walker Clarence Seargent Royal Scots 16th Battalion 01/07/1916 No entry No entry
Wyllie David Private Black Watch 1st/7th Battalion Yes 24/04/1917 11/05/1917 No entry
Town / Village  Location Inauguration
North Berwick Abbey Church Unknown
SURNAME FORENAME RANK REGIMENT IMAGE DEATH DATE COURIER MU NEWS
Arundel Norman McKay Leading Telegraphist Royal Navy HMS “Amphion” 06/08/1914 No entry No entry
Arundel Robert Thomson Sapper Canadian Engineers (1st Tunnelling   Company) 08/11/1917 No entry No entry
Dow John Mitchell Lance Corporal Black Watch 9th Battalion 29/04/1916 No entry No entry
Durie George Brown Private Gordon Highlanders 1st Battalion 27/08/1914 14/05/1915 No entry
Fender John Lance Corporal Royal Scots 5th/6th Battalion Yes 11/08/1918 11/10/1918 No entry
Fulton Andrew Denholm Private Royal Scots 13th Battalion 22/08/1917 16/08/1918 No entry
Geddes William George Private Royal Scots 13th Battalion Yes 26/09/1915 No entry No entry
Gilholm Walter Private Canadians 47th Battalion 25/10/1916 16/02/1917 No entry
Herries Gilbert Millar Private Army Services Corp Mechanical   Transport, No 2 Water Tank Company 09/11/1918 22/11/1918 No entry
Hogarth Charles A Private Canadian Infantry 19th Battalion 05/06/1916 16/06/1916 No entry
Jardine John Private Canadian Infantry 7th Battalion 28/08/1918 No entry No entry
Johnstone   / Johnston George Captain Black Watch 2nd Battalion 09/05/1915 28/05/1915 No entry
Mason William M Private Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) 6th   Battalion 01/08/1918 23/08/1918 No entry
Morton John Paterson Private Seaforth Highlanders 1st Battalion Yes 10/06/1916 07/07/1916 07/07/1916
Muirhead John Smith Private Australian Pioneers 2nd 14/11/1916 15/12/1916 No entry
Pringle William Campbell Corporal Royal Scots 2nd/4th Battalion 06/05/1918 10/05/1918 No entry
Purdie David Scott Second Lieutenant The King’s (Liverpool Regiment)   9th Battalion 30/09/1918 11/10/1918 No entry
Redpath Walter Kemp Sergeant Machine Gun Corps 1st Company Yes 31/08/1916 29/09/1916 No entry
Reid Robert Logan Second Lieutenant Royal Engineers 29th Division   Signal Company 08/08/1915 20/08/1915 No entry
Rintoul Robert Fortune Private Lothians & Border Horse D   Squadron 05/12/1916 22/11/1916 No entry
Shiel Peter Ernest Private South African Infantry 3rd   Regiment 05/05/1916 19/05/1916 No entry
Town / Village  Location Inauguration
North Berwick St. Andrew’s Blackadder Unknown
SURNAME FORENAME RANK REGIMENT IMAGE DEATH DATE COURIER MU NEWS
Blair William Bolton Sapper Royal Engineers 225th Field   Company 15/10/1917 02/11/1917 No entry
Brown Thomas Private Argyll & Sutherland   Highlanders 11th Battalion 01/03/1916 17/03/1916 No entry
Campbell Duncan McLeod Private Royal Scots 9th Battalion 11/05/1915 No entry No entry
Gillies Archibald Lance Corporal Gordon Highlanders 1st Battalion 24/05/1919 No entry No entry
Greenlaw James Company Sergeant Major Royal Scots 15th Battalion Yes 06/05/1917 11/10/1918 No entry
Gullane James Private Royal Scots 15th Battalion 13/03/1918 12/04/1918 No entry
Gullane William Gunner Royal Field Artillery 77th Army   Brigade 14/10/1917 No entry No entry
Hemingway James D Second Lieutenant Seaforth Highlanders 3rd Battalion 09/05/1915 No entry No entry
Hogg Thomas Corporal Royal Scots 15th Battalion 28/04/1917 No entry No entry
Hutchison Charles John Air Mechanic 2nd Class Royal Flying Corps 25th Squadron 17/06/1917 No entry No entry
Hutchison Henry Able Seaman Royal Naval Reserve 27/10/1917 No entry No entry
Little James S Private Canadian Army Medical Corps 26/04/1918 24/05/1918 No entry
Marr George Private Royal Scots 1st Battalion 26/02/1915 12/03/1915 No entry
McLeod John Leading Boatman Royal Navy Coastguard Station   (North Berwick) 23/09/1914 02/10/1914 No entry
Mitchell James John Lance Corporal Seaforth Highlanders 2nd Battalion 25/04/1915 No entry No entry
Mitchell William Dickie Sergeant Seaforth Highlanders 1st Battalion 22/04/1916 No entry No entry
Morrison James Fyfe Captain Highland Light Infantry 17th   Battalion 18/11/1916 No entry No entry
Murray Alexander Private Royal Scots 1st/8th Battalion 06/03/1917 16/03/1917 No entry
Orr John Arthur Captain Cameron Highlanders 1st Battalion 22/10/1914 08/10/1915 No entry
Renton Colin Campbell Lieutenant Colonel Indian Army 98th 02/09/1915 10/09/1915 No entry
Ross David T Private Black Watch 14th Battalion 06/11/1917 30/11/1917 No entry
Ross Robert E Private Royal Scot 5th/6th Battalion 02/10/1918 No entry No entry
Sim George Hedderwick Private Royal Fusiliers 17th Battalion 24/12/1915 31/12/1915 No entry
Simpson James Duncan Private Canadian Royal Engineers 24/08/1916 01/09/1916 No entry
Small David Miller Lance Corporal Royal Scots 12th Battalion 25/09/1915 08/10/1915 No entry
Stuart Alexander Davidson Lieutenant Seaforth Highlanders 7th Battalion 12/10/1917 29/03/1918 No entry
Tennant Mark Captain Scots Guard (Seaforth Highlanders   4th Battalion) 16/09/1916 No entry No entry
The Royal Company of Archers at Musselburgh 1964

Leisure & Sport

Leisure & SportWith its attractive coastline and rich golfing heritage, East Lothian has been a popular tourist destination since the 19th century.

During the summer large numbers of day trippers and weekenders would come by coach or train from Edinburgh. Some came to enjoy the beaches, others to golf, and the many guest houses and hotels were full throughout the season. The county also drew in tourists from the south of England, thanks to trains stopping at Dunbar and stations throughout the county.

As well as tourism East Lothian has a fine sporting pedigree. Musselburgh makes claim to the world’s oldest sports competition. Since at least 1603, the Royal Company of Archers have competed for the accolade of winning the Musselburgh Silver Arrow.

Panel 8 Pic East Lothian.indd

Images featured
James Richardson on West Links, North Berwick, c. 1890

Dunbar swimming pond, August 1964. The pool was sheltered by the surrounding cliffs but the water was unheated.

High Dive event at North Berwick Bathing Pond, c. 1950. Look at the crowds!

Holidaymakers on Gullane beach, c. 1930. The beach huts could be hired for the season

Golfers playing on North Berwick Links, 1890s. Image includes the Provost of the time John Whitecross.

Stephan Brent: the story of a local Kindertransportee

Local man Stephan Brent, who came to Scotland as part of the Kindertransport, has kindly shared his story with us. Below is a small part of his story, transcribed from an interview dealing with his childhood – his life in Germany before he came here, his journey and his first few months at Portobello, where he lived with a family called the MacGregors, who had volunteered to help Jewish children in need even though they had children of their own and weren’t Jewish.

Listen to him tell his story here.

Stephan Brent’s story

Right, my story. First of all, my name is Stefan Brienizer. And many years ago I anglicised it because people couldn’t pronounce it and couldn’t spell it. And this is not a joke, there was a factory manager in Edinburgh where I was working and one day they phoned up and said ‘Please, change your name to something that I can pronounce!’ And that is absolutely true. And I said, ‘That’s a good idea, I’ll do that.’ So now I’m anglicised or Scottishised – can you say that?

I was born in 1928 in Breslau in Germany. Which is now I believe called Wrocław in Poland. My parents were Jewish, and I was never brought up religiously. We held some of the festivals, weren’t very orthodox in any possible way, weren’t even kosher. Dreadful. Absolutely dreadful [laughs].

I remember certain things, which I shouldn’t have done. I came here when I was ten years old. But before that, I used to go to places where there were signs up saying ‘Juden verboten’ [Jews forbidden], but being a curly blond-haired child, nobody bothered me. The only time I was kind of bothered was going to a Jewish school, and en route to that we had occasionally kind of upsets – small upsets – between schools anyhow I suppose.

I actually learnt Hebrew at this school, and I can’t remember a damn word of it. I can’t remember anything about the school except the name, which was ‘Rediger Platz’. I don’t remember a teacher, I don’t remember a pupil, I don’t remember anything about the school at all. [Laughs]

Anyhow, in November 1938 there was the Kristallnacht as you have probably heard. I remember seeing the broken windows of Jewish places and so on. And of course all over they had this ‘Juden verboten’ sign. Anyhow, in January 1939 I broke my leg. I was messing about on the trams, which were at the end of my road – it was a big thoroughfare, and I used to jump on and off the trams, really naughty. [Interviewer comments ‘normal’.] Normal 10-year-old. I broke my leg, because I got a flash of electricity from the control box. I took fright and just jumped, broke my leg. Somebody carried me home, and from there I went to a Jewish hospital in Breslau. Of course my leg had to be straightened. They didn’t have much time for me actually, because by this time they were coming back from the various camps – there was frostbite and all sorts of things. Anyhow, I got a local injection in the leg I suppose somewhere. I remember seeing the colour of the ceiling when they straightened it. [Laughs] I was there one night and I was home the next day with plaster up to my thigh. That was me in bed for six weeks [laughs]. Anyway, that came off, and my leg had to be massaged and treated because it had shrunk, or the muscles had certainly shrunk. It didn’t matter because I was a reader, I would read a book a day in those days, and I was well fed.

What else have we got. I went to various places I shouldn’t have gone. Circuses, picture house. I remember going to the picture house, one of the films I saw was Shirley Temple (in German). I remember that one (laughs). I was never challenged. [Shows interviewer some pictures.]

That was January, beginning of February and so on, and I didn’t know what was going on but I was told at the end of June that I was going to Britain. [Pauses] And, er, to people called MacGregor in Scotland, in Portobello actually. That’s all I knew. I was packed off in a train from Breslau to Berlin. Stayed overnight there in a hostel of some kind. And, er, the next day travelled overland to Hook of Holland. [Interviewer asks ‘Stefan, was that the Kindertransport?’] Yes, that was the Kinderreiter [poss translation: children’s train; ‘Reiter’ means ‘rider’ and words like that]. … Er, overland to the Hook of Holland, and from there ferry to Harwich, and from Harwich to London, where I was met, the train was met, by an old family relative or friend, I’m not sure, who was going round with a card with my name on it [laughs]. Er, she packed me off to what I know now was King’s Cross immediately, by taxi, and I was put on a train to Scotland. [Interviewer asks why Scotland?] Well that same lady, who was an old friend of the family, she had cousins in Edinburgh, she was a widow, lived on her own in West Wickham in Kent, and she had the cousins in Edinburgh, they were doctors, lived in Gordon Terrace in a beautiful house in Edinburgh, and they were part of the Jewish congregation, or whatever. And they had been approached by Dr Libbitz [?], Sam Libbitz, who was the doctor of the MacGregors. So this was a circuitous route by which I came to Portobello, because Mr MacGregor or Mrs MacGregor had wanted to help. They weren’t Jewish. They were non-church-going Protestants who wanted to help, so they asked their doctor, Sam Libbitz, did he know anybody? So that’s how I came to be there.

[Interviewer comments ‘And you wouldn’t be able to speak any English!’] Not a word. And they didn’t speak any German. Not a word. Anyway, I was picked up in Edinburgh by Dr Stirk [?] and Mr MacGregor and taken by taxi to Portobello Durham Road, where I stayed, and introduced to Mrs MacGregor, and they arranged a phonecall to Breslau to tell my parents I was safe and so on. And after that I remember puking up my guts [laughs] – probably eaten far too many sweets – because I don’t remember eating anything else! Except on the ferry, I remember eating white bread, and I’d never seen white bread. That stuck in my mind. Not any meals in Berlin, or anywhere else. Nothing, nothing on the train, nothing. But I remember the white bread on the ferry [laughs]. Amazing isn’t it, what sticks in your mind.

Anyway, Portobello. At that time the schools were being kind of broken up because the kids were sent up to various country places away from Edinburgh. [Asks interviewer:] I don’t know how old you were? [Interviewer answers ‘I was one of them who was sent away.’] You were sent away. Well, I was sent up to Buckie, of all places. There was a girl in the house, she was six months younger than me. And there was also a boy who was five years youngerbut he didn’t go up, no they kept him at home. So, we went up to Buckie, and she was very, very homesick. It lasted three weeks and then they had to come and get us back to Portobello [laughs]. Anyway, the schools had broken up, but individual teachers were coming to individual houses with maybe half a dozen kids, to continue schooling. This was the way I learnt everything. Because I arrived on the 5th of July (not the 4th of July, it wasn’t the American …) and this was obviously end of September that that happened, and this teacher taught me everything, and there were only half a dozen people in the class. Also I was a favourite, because he got a nip of whisky every time he came down [laughs]. I’m not joking! I would say I contributed to being the favourite. He was obviously a very good man. Until – quite funny –the schools started up again.

That was the junior school, then of course I went to secondary school. In the junior school they were wonderful teachers. [Interviewer asks ‘What school was it?’] Portobello Secondary School, Portobello School. The teacher I remember was Mr Johnson. [Interviewer comments ‘My husband had Mr Johnson as a teacher.’] Was he at Portobello? My goodness. [Interviewer: ‘Jim Fraser. Don’t remember?’] No. He must have been a marvellous man, Mr Johnson, I remember, not every detail about him, but I learnt everything from these teachers, between the two of them. Obviously I was metric, spoke German, I didn’t have the script, I could possibly write in ordinary script – because the German script is completely different. So, I went into the senior school, not the senior, but the secondary down there. And I was a fantastically clever bloke [laughs], turned out to be dux of the school after three years at the junior secondary [laughs]. Just because I had a bit more experience of life. The highlight was I won the Burns Poetry Prize [laughs]. The English teacher was a fellow called Kennedy. He came from in Northfield, just around the corner from where Angela [who became Stephan’s wife] lived. [Interviewer says ‘Northfield? That’s where Jim, my husband came from.] Interesting, interesting isn’t it. It goes in circles doesn’t it. He was a horrible man actually. I couldn’t do anything wrong [right?]. Which doesn’t help when you’re held up to the rest of the class. He was quite a vicious man. He used to belt people quite a lot. Not a nice man. However. I was probably dead scared of him, I don’t know.

But in the secondary school there were a lot of good teachers. Most of the men were away to war, so they were mostly women. Our Latin teacher was Margaret Halley, and she wasnae that much older than I was, and obviously we all fell in love with her [laughs]. Lovely curly hair, she was lovely. Marjorie Ducket [?] was the music teacher. Your husband will remember them probably. [Interviewer: ‘I think so.’] Paddy Gladstone was the French teacher. And he was particularly interested in me too, because of my brother being in France, in fact when my brother came and visited we went to his house for tea in er – not Corstorphine – anyway, in Edinburgh. Very nice man, Paddy Gladstone, I don’t know why they called him Paddy, he wasn’t in any way Irish. And Mr Watt was the maths teacher, he was just an ordinary bloke. But they were all good teachers, except the art teacher – your husband might remember him. Flappy MacKenzie, he was called. No, no! He was an art teacher, that was it – not quite normal! I can’t remember the science bloke. Anyway, they were very good teachers. Miss Richardson was geography, or history, one of them. Mrs Thompson, or Miss Thompson, she lived up the road from us in Portobello. They took care of me, very good. I don’t think I was an easy child.

[Interview continues with more about Stephan’s life: he got a bursary to Heriot’s, but left soon after to work at a knitwear factory in Edinburgh, then he worked at Kilspindie in Haddington, and had a lot of other adventures as he grew up, got married and had children.]

Some links about the Jewish community in Breslau, where Stephan was born:

The Jewish Virtual Library: Breslau
The Jewish Community of Breslau 1933-41

The 8th (Territorial) Battalion the Royal Scots in World War One

Administrative changes mean that East Lothian, once home to the 8th Royal Scots, now includes Musselburgh, which was then in the catchment for the 7th Royal Scots.

Training at AmisfieldThe part-time 8th Battalion could trace its history back to Napoleonic Volunteers raised in the burghs of the county but it faced the onset of war in 1914 with a structure created in the Territorial Force reforms of 1908. The reforms gave it a change of title and a firm place in the Army’s regimental structure as the 8th battalion, The Royal Scots (The Lothian Regiment).

East Lothian provided 4 of the 8 companies of the battalion, the remainder coming from Midlothian and Peebleshire. Its headquarters were at Haddington. The companies were based in the larger towns and the component parts of each company trained in community drill halls under professional drill NCOs, usually seconded from the regular army. The battalion met each summer for two weeks of intensive training. The territorials were only expected to serve within the UK but in 1914 many volunteered for overseas service. This prompted a neccessary period of reorganisation.

After the battalion mobilised it began to gear up onto a war footing – combing out the unfit and elderly from the volunteers. The eight peacetime companies were reorganised to the four required by the table of organisation of service infantry battalions. The battalion spent the first days of the war at Haddington while necessary changes were instituted. As this was going on, it had to keep up coast defence duties and a host of other tasks generated by the needs of the military authorities. Spare hands identified during this period went to the newly formed second line battalion (below) or other units; men of the 6th Battalion Royal Scots and the 8th Highland Light Infantry arrived to fill out the wartime table of organisation.

The 1/8th became the first Scottish Territorial battalion to make it overseas, crossing to France early in November 1914. They were in the firing line on the 15th and spent the winter on duty near Flembaix. They were withdrawn in March 1915 to prepare for a major set-piece battle and were committed at Neuve-Chapelle, losing many men. In a battle at Festubert in May they lost more, including commanding officer Lieutenant-colonel Alexander Brook. This pattern of repeated deployment, action and rest took a severe toll on the battalion and on 27th July it was designated a pioneer battalion, first to the 7th Division and then to the 51st Highland Division of the 3rd Army. In less than a year the battalion lost 17 officers and 350 men killed or wounded.

Pioneer battalions dug roads, trenches and shelters – but were also infantrymen, working at the Front, often under appalling conditions. The battalion’s strong connection with East Lothian’s mining communities was presented as the main reason for their outstanding reputation in the new role. But their reputation was hard-won.  In the Somme battle of July 1916 the 1/8th incurred over 100 casualties in one 24 hour period from shellfire as they dug trenches and consolidated other forces’ gains. Of necessity this had to be done in the open and in full view of the Germans. The battalion faced these most dangerous tasks time and time again. So proficient was the battalion in the pioneer role that it often had under command detachments of other new designated pioneers for training.

The 1/8th spent 1916 in support of their division. Often they could see the work of a week destroyed in just a few minutes of shelling. Despite the setbacks, they honed their efficiency such that a team of 9 could erect 50 yards of barbed wire barrier in just 9 minutes and the 1/8th trained their division to match this standard. In 1917 it had spells with the 12th and 4th divisions and then had a particularly trying spell at Ypres: roads, railways, trenches, and dug-outs were built under shelling and the new peril of gas attacks.

In March of 1918 the battalion was in line standing off the advancing Germans. Their ability to entrench and wire as well as fight was all that saved them several times: over 200 casualties were recorded in the space of five days. In April they lost another 174 in similar fluid fighting. A month later they recorded 12000 yards of 8×6 foot trenching and 23000 yards of wire constructed – on top of their normal duties. The last months of the war were spent on the offensive, often in open countryside, celebrating the Armistice in quarters near Cambrai. Early in 1919 they were in Belgium with demobilisation underway and the cadre of the battalion was welcomed home to Haddington on 30th April 1919.

During its service the 1/8th battalion recorded 1669 casualties, including 309 fatalities or missing.

The 2/8th (Territorial) Battalion was raised in the autumn of 1914 to serve as a draft and training battalion for the 1/8th overseas. It mustered at Haddington in the autumn of 1914, where its role included the old Territorial duty of coast defence. It moved several times before in February 1916 coming under the command of the 65th Division in Essex. In January 1917 it went to Dublin where it was disbanded later that summer. Its men were redeployed to battalions in France.

The 3/8th was the third battalion to be raised from the peacetime 8th. It was embodied in December 1914 at Peebles, was at Prestonpans in late 1915, but returned to Peebles and then Stobs where its independent existence ceased in July 1916. A reorganisation brought all the 3rd line Royal Scots Territorial battalions into a new formation, the 4th (Reserve) Battalion, which for the rest of the war provided training and drafts to the active service Territorial battalions.

Other battalions of the Royal Scots spent periods based in East Lothian during the First World War. After training, some went overseas, others performed Home Service duties and yet others managed the logistics of providing drafts, or replacements, for the fighting battalions in the same manner as the expanded 8th, outlined above. Recuperating men could then find themselves serving in a sequence of battalions. Some idea of the complexity of the situation is outlined here.

If your relatives served in the Royal Scots during World War One it’s possible to attempt to reconstruct their experiences from surviving photographs or newspaper accounts. Many of the resources at the John Gray Centre can help.

Keywords: World War One, First World War, WWI, WW1, World War Two, Second World War, WWII, WW2

Traprain Law Rock Art

Traprain Law Rock Art (cast) © National Museums of Scotland

Back in 1931, an exciting discovery was made on Traprain Law, an ancient and important hillfort which for years had been used for quarrying. The quarry superintendent was preparing a new area for blasting, when he noticed marks and lines on some of the rocks.

George Tait in the 1930s

George Tait, 1930s; courtesy of Jean McKinnon

He contacted a local archaeologist, JS Richardson, who was Inspector of Ancient Monuments. Richardson arranged for casts to be made of the rock before blasting, and the casts were taken to the Museum of Antiquities. However, George Tait, a local farmer, managed to keep one of the pieces of rock. George’s daughter Jean McKinnon donated it to the National Museum of Scotland. It is on display at the John Gray Centre for the first time.

Rock art

Traprain Law Rock Art (cast) © National Museums of Scotland

Recent research has shown how extraordinary the rock carvings from Traprain Law are. The rocks show cup and ring marks but uniquely they are covered by many incised lines making complex designs. They were made with a sharpened flint or a metal tool. The patterns show more similarity to the decoration on Bronze Age pottery than to other rock carvings.

Click on the picture of the cast of the rock art here for a larger version of the image. Which symbols can you find?

Can you find George Tait’s piece of rock in the main image?

Rock Art recovered by George Tait
Rock Art recovered by George Tait