Just as nowadays, in 1914 many men from the district moved to other parts of the country to further their education and careers.
One such man was Arthur Neil Simpson (known as Neil) who moved to Cheshire.
He was the son of Joseph and Jessie Simpson, who lived at the Schoolhouse in Cousland.
A few weeks after war was declared, Neil decided that he would enlist in the Army.
His choice of unit reflected his new home, and his old one, the 1/10th Battalion of the Liverpool Regiment, the Liverpool Scottish, resplendent in their Glengarries with blue hackles and Forbes kilts.
Ironically, the first port of call for the Liverpool Scottish was Edinburgh, where they camped up in Holyrood Park for a while. Neil settled into his duties well and became very friendly with William Lavin and Ernie Morris from Liverpool, and Herbert Cooper from Cheshire.
The four lads were then sent to France on 1st of November, 1914, some of the first Territorial soldiers to arrive there.
They saw action at the end of November and spent the winter fighting in the fields of Flanders.
Until now, the lads had been lucky. This would change when they were sent to the infamous Hill 60 at Ypres.
John Duncan’s feature appears in this week’s Advertiser. On sale now.