WW1: Midlothian remembers

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World War One logo

The Advertiser’s regular series remembering months leading up to the start of the First World War has now reached its outbreak.

100 years ago this week Midlothian, along with the rest of Britain, entered the First World War.

The editorial column of the Midlothian Journal that week criticised the Germans for breaking treaties and accused them of building up to war for months. It ended with these stirring words: “We are the decedents of the men who built up the British Empire. They did so in the face of great anxiety and many great crises. We must show that we are not unworthy of the heritage handed down to us.”

From Bonnyrigg it was reported that the “couple of dozen” local territorials assembled in the public hall before marching to Dalkeith.

This was also the scene in Gorebridge where “a very large number have been called from Arniston to join the colours.”

In Penicuik the LLP heard a resolution calling upon the government to use every possible means to secure peace, which was “unanimously carried”. While hundreds of reservists gathered at Glencorse. Their departure from Glencorse Station on August 5 was marked by a scene of “great enthusiasm” as a gathering of “about 1200 persons” saw them off.

That same evening 121 officers and men of the Loanhead and Penicuik Company marched to Edinburgh.

Meanwhile the paranoia and insecurity of war had already reached Loanhead with reports of a German spy in the town, who turned out to be a friendly clergyman invited by a local.

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