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posted 7 Apr 2014, 17:35 by Ian Holmes-Lewis   [ updated 6 Feb 2015, 11:12 ]

Saline and District Heritage Society

Museum theme 2014:  

The Great War – 1914-1918


Last year we told you about the help we need in gathering information about the Great War in general but in particular how it related to the lives of people in Saline and District. People have started to find things for us to use in the museum display; including a Dead Man’s Penny; and British and Victory medals. Please keep looking in the attic and cupboards for any items which you would be prepared to lend on a temporary basis. I have been loaned a German Iron Cross and a Prussian Officer’s belt buckle – it is amazing what people have when they investigate.

We know the names of the soldiers and seamen who lost their lives during the First World War. Information is being gathered about these men and if you have any items or stories about them we would be really glad to hear from you. The list is attached to the end of this article. We have photos (from the Dunfermline Press) of a couple of these men but it would be lovely to be able to put faces to the names of the men commemorated on the village memorial as well as any photos from the time.

As with other districts we know there were a lot more men who joined up but this kind of information is really difficult to find without the help of their relatives – that is you. We’d love to hear from you about your dad, uncle, grandpa etc. – what regiment, where they fought, what they did when they came home. So far I think we have found about 100 other men who went to war and who came home. A poster will be put in the Post Office window with the names of all the service personnel we have found to date. Did you know that many men actually came back to the village for brief spells during the war either on furlough or to recover from injury? How they managed to return to the battle front again and some on several occasions can only be wondered at.

Many of the men on the memorial were with the Sea Forth Highlanders or the Black Watch but there were others who seemed to have chosen quite different battalions. Why do you think they did this? I can understand joining the navy but why did Pte. Wm. Craig join the Irish Rifles or L-Cpl. Geo. Kean join the Highland Cyclist Battalion? Having investigated some of the men who went to war it is becoming clear that some of the men were working elsewhere and enlisted there and remembered in their home or adopted village. Many men started in one part of the service and were transferred to other battalions throughout the war.

Some of the families in the area had several sons enlist; so far we have found Hamilton 6 sons and Mellon 4 sons  and many with 2. There were few sailors to be found, most men were soldiers in a wide range of battalions, fighting across all fronts.

How did people go about their normal life at home? What happened at home, what changes were there, what difficulties, what different experiences were there; changes for women and families left behind. Did children have to do more farm work to help the gaps left my enlisting men?  There is information available through the library and from the internet but nothing can be as effective as hearing from our own villagers. Did anyone’s mum go to the munition’s factory or drive trams/busses; do you have any nurses in the family who did war work? From the Dunfermline Press it is clear that lots of fund raising went on in the village with a variety of entertainments – choirs, dances, sales, flag-selling. Do you have any memorabilia lurking in a drawer or box?

We are looking for family stories which have been passed down; items of uniform (British or otherwise); equipment (e.g. belts, cutlery roll, sewing kits); photos -of the men and those at home; letters; cards; diaries; letters from the war office or commanding officers; medals; and anything you might have which could help the story of Saline and District’s experience of The Great War.

Did you know that Roll On/Roll Off ferries were developed in a state-of-the-art port at Richborough, Kent to speed up loading and unloading equipment being transported across the Channel. Nothing is new!

As in previous years the display will be held in the Session House and will comprise of large text boards including photos along with 4 display cabinets. There will also be a number of folders available with items not displayed on the boards.


Please contact Tina Chapman, 852235 or for more information or to offer help. Everyone will be able to help with this exercise –there are lots of different things to find!


Commemorated on the Memorial at the Church

Royal Engineers
2nd Lieut. James Bennett
A-Sgt. Joseph Young
L-Cpl. James McCurrach
Sapr. Geo. Grant

HighLand Cyclist Battalion
L-Cpl. Geo. Kean


Royal Scots Fusiliers

Pte. David Templeman


 Border Regiment

Pte. George Little

Machine Gun Corps
Pte. Wm. Adams

Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Gunner John McPhee

London Rifles
Pte. Robert Kean

Royal Irish Rifles
Pte. Wm. Craig


Seaforth Highlanders
L-Cpl. Alex. Boyd
Pte. David Anderson
Pte. Geo. Craig
Pte. Thos. Meikle John
Pte. And. Ramage
Pte. Laurance Ritchie
Pte. And. Russell
Pte. David Rutherford



Cameron Highlanders
Pte. And. Ramage

Scots Guards

Pte. Jas. McLean



Black Watch
A-Sgt. Jas. Hiddles
Cpl. Robt. McGrouther
Cpl. Wm. Mellon
Piper Wm. Harley
Pte. Geo. Fraser
Pte. John Hastie
Pte. Patrick Mellon
Pte. Robt. McPhee
Pte. Thos. Steven
Pte. Thos. Stronach
Pte. Jas. Thyne
Pte. Gavin Wilson

Royal Scots
Sgt. Maj. John Philp
Pte. Walter Inglis
Pte. Hugh McDonald

Kings Own Scottish Borderers
Pte. Thos. Couch
Pte. Henry McIntyre

Scottish Rifles
Lieut. John Findlay
Sgt. A. R. Maxwl. Robertson
Pte. Wm. Scott

Royal Navy
Stoker Alex. Arnot

Argyll and Southern Highlanders
Pte. David Scott