It’s 10am here on Van Isle and I’m thinking of the ceremonies today for the Remembrance of all those who fell in the World Wars. My Granda Donachie joined the Gordon Highlanders. For a start, I wonder why he joined the Gordon’s instead of the Black Watch. as he being a Dundonian and that the 42nd was Dundee’s own. I wish I had met him, but he died afore I was born. I have details of his service with the Gordons and a picture of him sent to me by a member of the Museum. A very kind gesture from him. He fought at Dargai and saw service in Tirah and the South African war. I remember his South African medals and clasps from Paardeberg, Dreifontien, Cape Colony. He also saw service in WW1. My father niver spoke of him to me. Bad blood between them.
My Granda Duncan was a seaman. It was said that he served aboard one of the last Whalers out of Dundee just afore the Great War. My granny had a large framed photograph of him hanging in the living room. He had achieved the position of Master Mariner. Later in life he was at sea for long periods.. On returning to Dundee after a voyage of several months he found that his wife had died leaving him with four young children. So, he found another woman to look after and care for his youngsters whilst he was at sea. She became his wife who became my granny. I have argued with my older sister who was adamant that I niver knew him as he died afore I was born. But, I have the description of him as an auld white haired pipe smoking mannie sitting in a false leather armchair. He also played the spoons. Later, my sister learned that he had died in 1948, I was three years old by then..
My Da saw service with the Royal Artillery. Stationed first in the Shetlands and then at the coastal defence in Kent in the South of England. He survived the war.
I had a Father-in-Law who joined the Royal Scots when he was 19 years old. He was captured with the BEF in the retreat from Belgium. He spent the whole of the war as a POW. He survived the war but died a fairly young man. So it’s these four men whom I think of today…. “Requiem eternal dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.’’