On August 4, 1914, Britain declared war on Germany. The Territorial Force was mobilised immediately and men left their homes armed with ‘fuel and rations for 48 hours’, all over the area men assembled for mobilisation orders and to fight.
The Dalkeith Advertiser reported on the great excitement of the day: “The Post Office was open night and day, and on Tuesday night, about 9pm, an official arrived on cycle with the notion of mobilisation of the Territorials and other reserves. A group of ‘Terries’ were on the spot, and did not wait until the postman had delivered the formal notices to each man, but made instant preparation, with the result that at noon on Wednesday, Captain Tait had the Penicuik detachment of his company in full marching order, under his command in the Drill Hall. An hour was spent in medical inspection and about 1pm the detachment number forty, sallied forth.
“At a moment’s notice, Bandmaster Allison and a number of his bandsmen joined the march of the detachment …Captain Tait led the detachment to Loanhead, where the remainder of the Company were in waiting. Enthusiastic scenes were the order of the day when the united Company took its leave to Edinburgh.”
Guest historian John Duncan’s full feature appears in this week’s Advertiser. On sale now.