DCSIMG

Down Memory Lane

Patients and staff at the temporary military hospital at Whitehill, Carrington, Midlothian, 1915. Photo: National Museums Scotland

Patients and staff at the temporary military hospital at Whitehill, Carrington, Midlothian, 1915. Photo: National Museums Scotland

There was a sympathy with those in the trenches. John Henry, an absentee from the Army,was traced by the police in a house in Watson’s Lane. He leaped from a window, a distance of 20 feet. He was badly stunned and fractured a leg. He crawled into an outhouse where he was arrested.

Two constables identified James Ross as a deserter from the Navy. They chased him along South Street, into the High Street and down the Edinburgh Road. A crowd of people gathered to witness the chase, cheered the sailor and gave shouts of encouragement. Later an escort took him to the Waverley Station for a train so that he could rejoin his base. Ross succeeded in escaping from his escort. There is no record of his re-arrest. James Haggerty was apprehended on a charge of desertion. He offered great resistance and with an axe threatened to murder the police. He made several efforts to escape and the police had to be reinforced.

The 8th Royal Scots was one of the first regiments to go to France. It included many recruits from Dalkeith, including Willie Cordery of Watson’s Lane. In December 1914, the regiment launched an attack on a German position but sustained heavy losses. After returning to their own lines it was learned that five were lying wounded in the battle zone. Private Cordery went out and gradually brought four of them to safety. He was advised against attempting a rescue of the fifth. It was getting lighter and the Germans had moved closer to the wounded soldier. But Willie was determined to save him. This time, however, he was shot in a hand and taken prisoner. In 1918 the King awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for conspicuous gallantry. Willie had worked at Carberry Colliery. Some time after the war he gained employment with the cleansing department of Dalkeith Town Council.

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

 

Comments

 
 

Back to the top of the page