WW1: Midlothian remembers

World War One logo
World War One logo

The Advertiser returns with its regular series remembering the months in the lead up to the start of World War 1 in 1914.

100 years ago Midlothian, along with the rest of Britain, would enter the First World War. 100 years ago this week, however, the people of Midlothian had other thoughts on their minds.

With war only weeks away, the July 24, 1914 edition of the Midlothian Journal reported that an accident took place at Lingerwood Colliery which left one man seriously injured and a number of young men with minor injuries.

While at Bryans Farm fire destroyed a 23 ton stack of straw. With Dalkeith Fire Brigade on holiday a motor fire engine was despatched from Edinburgh, taking 20 minutes to reach the scene. In the meantime the Newbattle Colliery engine, coupled to a large tank full of water quickly had the outbreak in hand. In addition to the stack having been burned, a long cart, turnip cutter and a ladder were destroyed. The damage was estimated at about £50 or £60 “but is covered by insurance”. The cause of the outbreak is unknown but it is though to have “originated through spontaneous combustion”.

In Newtongrange the second annual children’s day took place in “delightful weather”. With 1200 children gathering in the Public Park before heading to Victoria Park with the Newtongrange Silver Band leading the way.

And in Gorebridge, Tuesday of that week was the warmest day of the year, with the temperature recorded as 80 degrees in the shade.

While in Loanhead a memorial to “big-hearted” Doctor Alexander Allison was erected at his gravestone last Saturday, 18 months after his death. The 11 feet high memorial was unveiled in the presence of a “large and reverent gathering”.

If you have any family anecdotes, memories, or thoughts from the time, then get involved here.