Down Memory Lane

The Drill Hall in Buccleuch Street, Dalkeith

The Drill Hall in Buccleuch Street, Dalkeith

The head of the town, Provost Robert Brown, shared the grief from the casualties of war.

He was notified that a son was in hospital suffering from shell shock received in the trenches. Another son had been discharged disabled. George Jack, who had a well established legal practice, had a son, David, at university with a promising medical future. He went to France in the hope that his knowledge would be of benefit. He was gunned down while cutting the wire of the enemy trenches. David’s brother, James, was later admitted to hospital with shell shock.

In the High Street there were two fishmongers, Haig and Barclay, adjacent to each other. They had common cause for mourning. Both lost a son. Lieutenant Haig was inspecting the German positions when he was killed by a machine gun. A party was organised to retrieve his body. They were able to bury him in a military cemetery at a village. A Church of England padre officiated at the grave.

Private Andrew Barclay was a brush-maker to trade but helped his brothers in the fish shop. He had been a talented musician and played a lot for charity. At the time of his death a brother was lying in a hospital suffering from debility contracted in France.

David Smith’s full feature appears in this week’s Advertiser. On sale now.




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