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Biographies of the 11 Royal Park Keepers in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh in 1911

Royal Park Keepers awarded the King George V Coronation (Royal Parks) Medal, 1911

 

The table below shows the names and ranks of the eleven Royal Park Keepers awarded the King George V Coronation (Royal Parks) Medal, 1911.

 

Only 120 Royal Parks Medals were awarded, the other 119 being for some of the Royal Parks in London and this makes them some of the rarest examples of the King George V medal.

 

Scroll down to read the individual bographies.

 

Name

Rank

Thomas Duncan

Sergeant Park Keeper (Dumbiedykes Lodge).

Patrick Cavanagh

Park Keeper 

(Jeannie Deans Cottage).

John Sharp Dalgleish

Park Keeper

Duddingston Lodge.

Thomas Needham

Park Keeper

(Albert Lodge).

Hector Gray

Park Keeper

Holyrood Park Lodge

John Malone

Park Keeper 

(Meadowbank Lodge).

John Burnside

Park Keeper

16 Meadowbank Gardens, Edinburgh. 

Alexander Duechars

Park Keeper

(No trace in 1911 but by 1915, he was in Jeannie Deans Cottage).

John Alexander Gunn

Park Keeper

33 Royal Park Terrace, Edinburgh. 

John King

Park Keeper

9 Queen’s Park Crescent, Edinburgh. 

William A. Kerr

Park Keeper

6 Waverley Park Terrace, Edinburgh. 

 

What follows below are some biographical details on each of the eleven men.

Sergeant Park Keeper Thomas Duncan

Dumbiedykes Lodge, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh where Sergeant Park Keeper Thomas Duncan lived in the early 20th century.

Sergeant Park Keeper Thomas Duncan

Thomas Duncan was born on 2 June 1865 at 13 Ann Street in Bridgeton in the Burgh of Glasgow. His father was Thomas Duncan, a ‘Journeyman Shoemaker’ and his mother, Janet Russell or Duncan. They had been married in Glasgow on 15 July 1864.

 

The Census of Scotland 1871

The following were living at 20 Scott Street, Bridgeton in Glasgow on the night of the Census, 1871.

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Thomas Duncan, (27)

Shoemaker

Paisley, Renfrewshire

Janet Duncan, (27)

 

Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Thomas Duncan, (5)

Scholar

Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Matthew Russell, (22)

Tiler, (Brother-in-Law

Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Joseph Wearing, (23)

House Joiner

Staffordshire, England

 

The Census of Scotland 1881

On the night of the Census 1881, the following were living at 22 Young Street in Bridgeton in Glasgow.

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Thomas Duncan, (37)

Shoemaker

Paisley, Renfrewshire

Janet Duncan, (37)

 

Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Thomas Duncan, (15)

Scholar

Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Robert William Duncan, (9)

Scholar

Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Janet Russel Duncan, (7)

Scholar

Glasgow, Lanarkshire

John Russell Duncan, (1)

 

Glasgow, Lanarkshire

      

It is thought that Thomas then worked for the Post Office after leaving school as his occupation when he joined the Army was given as ‘Postman’.

 

1st Battalion The Gordon Highlanders

Thomas Duncan, (19 years, 5 months), enlisted in the Gordon Highlanders as Private No. 1937 in Glasgow on 5 November 1885. He was 5’ 8” tall a fresh complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. His religion was given as ‘Presbyterian’.

 

Postings

Between 1885 and 1903, he served 6 years and 9 months in India, 3 years and two months in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), 2 months in Malta, 1 month in Egypt and 2 years and 2 months in South Africa as well as Home postings. By 1903 , he had achieved the rank of Colour Sergeant.

 

Statutory Register of Marriages, Bombay 1893

‘On 6 September 1893 at Bombay, India, Thomas Duncan, (28), a Sergeant in 1st Gordons of Sabathu, India, and whose father, Thomas Duncan was a Shoemaker, married Elizabeth Macfadyen, (27), of Bombay, India and whose father was Alexander Macfadyen, a Gardener’.

 

Awards & Decorations

The medal roll of the 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders dated 1 July 1896 in Gharial, India records that ‘1937 Sergeant Duncan, T’ was ‘Entitled to the Medal and Clasp described’ which was the India Medal, 1896 with the clasp “Relief of Chitral, 1895”.

 

A further medal roll of the battalion dated 5 August 1898 , again at Gharial, records that ‘1937 Sergt. Duncan, T’, already in possession of the India Medal, 1895, was “entitled to the clasps, ‘Punjab Frontier 1897 -98’ and ‘Tirah 1897 – 98’.

 

The medal roll of the 1st Battalion the Gordon Highlanders dated 23 August 1901 at Pretoria, South Africa records that ‘1937 C/Sergt. Duncan T’ was entitled to the award of the Queen’s South Africa Medal and the following clasps, ‘Paardeberg’, Driefontein’, ‘Cape Colony’ and ‘Transvaal’.

 

A further medal roll of the battalion dated 10 November 1902 in Glasgow records that ‘1937 C/Sgt. Duncan T’ was entitled to the award of the King’s South Africa Medal with the following clasps, ‘South Africa 1901’ and ‘South Africa 1902’. 

 

9th (Highlanders) Battalion The Royal Scots

On 19 July 1903, Colour Sergeant Duncan was transferred to the Royal Scots Depot at Glencorse Barracks in Penicuik, Midlothian, just outside Edinburgh. His Army No. became 8649. On the same date he was transferred to the 9th Volunteer Battalion the Royal Scots at East Claremont Street in Edinburgh as ‘Permanent Staff’. The 9th Royal Scots were unique in that instead of the usual Lowland tartan trews, they wore Hunting Stewart tartan kilts resulting in their nickname, ‘The Dandy Ninth’.

 

On 14 March 1905, Duncan was promoted to Sergeant Major.

 

He was “Permitted to continue in the service beyond 21 years under Section 86 of the Army Act on 20 January 1906 under the authority of Lowland Group No. 38 dated 18/1/06’ and signed by ‘James Clark, Lt. Col.’.

 

Sergeant Major Duncan continued as a Permanent Staff Instructor (PSI) with the 9th Royal Scots until 1 March 1907 when he was transferred back to the Gordon Highlanders.

 

He was discharged from the Army at his own request and after three months’ notice at Gordon Barracks in Aberdeen on 31 March 1907. 

 

Thomas Duncan was described as ’40 years and 9 months old’, 5’ 9”, ‘fresh complexion’, with ‘blue eyes’ and ‘brown hair’. His conduct was described as “Very good”.

 

He was given two character references from the Army, one for the Gordon Highlanders and one from the Royal Scots. The Gordons stated that he was a “Good clerk - long experience of catering for a large mess – sober and reliable. And methodical”. The Royal Scots stated that he was an “excellent accountant – painstaking and industrious – would make a very suitable Club Master – trustworthy and sober”.

 

His future address was given as 9 Queen’s Park Avenue, Edinburgh. This implies that he had already obtained employment as a Park Keeper as the address is one used by other Royal Park Keepers over the years.

 

The Census of Scotland 1911

The following were recorded living at Dumbiedykes Lodge, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh on the night of the Census 1911.

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Thomas Duncan, (45)

Park Keeper/ Army Pensioner, employed by H.M Office of Works

Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Elizabeth Duncan, (44)

Wife

Garelochhead, Dunbartonshire

Janet Russell Duncan, (37)

Sister

Glasgow, Lanarkshire

 

Award of the King George V Coronation (Royal Parks) Medal, 1911

Thomas Duncan was one of the 11 Royal Park Keepers at Holyrood to be awarded the medal. Only 120 medals in total were awarded to Royal Park Keepers in the United Kingdom.

 

The End of the Story

The Register of England and Wales for 1939 shows that the following were living at 9 Llanfair Road, Cardiff, Wales. Thomas Duncan, born 2 June 1865, an ‘Army Pensioner Retired’ and his then wife, Annie M. Duncan, born 22 March 1876.

 

Thomas Duncan, (79), a ‘Pensioned Sergeant Major, Gordon Highlanders’,  of 9 Llanfair Road, Cardiff, Wales, died in 30A Cowbridge Road, Cardiff on 5 November 1944. His widow, A. M. Duncan,  registered his death. 

 

It seems that Thomas Duncan had been married twice. As yet, I can find no trace of his second marriage in Scotland or England. If you are a relative or have further information on the family, please get in touch via www.enquiries@scottishpolicemedals.co.uk   Thank you

Park Keeper Patrick Francis Cavanagh

Meadowbank Lodge, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh.

Park Keeper Patrick Francis Cavanagh

Patrick Francis Cavanagh (or Kavanagh) was born in Ballymote, Co. Sligo in Ireland about 1839. I have been unable to find his birth records, but he may have been born on 9 June 1839.

 

91st Highlanders

He was 14 years old when he joined the 91st Highlanders as a ‘Boy’ in Dublin on 9 June 1853 with the Army No. 3523. Exactly one year later, having attained 15 years, he was given the rank of ‘Lad’. On 9 June 1857, he was given the rank of ‘Drummer’ which he held until 30 June that year. Only 22 days of this service was deemed ‘pensionable’ as he was ‘underage’ for most of the period.

 

Drummer

He was awarded his 1st Good Conduct Pay on 9 June 1860 and his 2ndon 9 June 1865.

 

Patrick Cavanagh continued as a Drummer in the 91st until 3 May 1868 when he had completed 10 years and 329 days service in the Army.

 

Re-enlistment

On 4 May 1868, he was “Regraded at Inverness (as a Private) for such further term as will complete a total of 21 years’ service”.

 

He was awarded his 3rd Good Conduct Pay on 9 June 1870.

 

Promotion to Corporal

On 23 September 1870, he was promoted to the rank of Corporal.

 

Patrick was awarded his 4th Good Conduct Pay on 9 June 1860.

 

Register of Marriages in Richmond, Surrey 1874

In the second quarter of 1874, at Richmond in Surrey, Patrick Francis Cavanagh, a Corporal in the 91st Highlanders, married Eleanor Whiscombe. The details can be found in Volume 2a, page 471 of that year. Eleanor Whiscombe was born in Chardstock in Dorset on 23 September 1849.

 

Register of Births in the District of Naas, County Kildare, Ireland, 1875

Page 320 of the Register of births in the District of Naas in the Union of Newbridge in the County of Kildare in entry No. 335 records that Thomas Cavanagh was born on 15 November 1875 at Curragh Camp. Thomas was the son of Patrick Cavanagh, a Corporal in the 91st Highlanders. His mother was Eleanor Cavanagh, formerly Whiscombe. The birth was registered by his father.

 

Long Service & Good Conduct Medal & Gratuity

It was probably in 1875 (at 18 years’ service) that he was “Granted Silver Medal and Gratuity £5 for Long Service and Good Conduct”. 

 

On 30 August 1877, Patrick Cavanagh was posted to the 58th Brigade, still as a Corporal.

 

Appointed to rank of Lance Sergeant

On 30 November that year, he was appointed to the rank of Lance Sergeant.

 

Register of Births in the District of Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Ireland, 1877

Page 68 of the Register of births in the District and Union of Enniskillen in the County of Fermanagh in Entry No.411 that Elleanor (sic) Cavanagh was born in Strand Street, Enniskillen on 15 November 1876. Elleanor was the daughter of Patrick Cavanagh, a Corporal in the 91st Highlanders of Strand Street, Enniskillen. Her mother was Elleanor Cavanagh, formerly Whiscombe. Her father registered her birth.

 

Patrick was awarded his 5thand final Good Conduct Pay on 9 June 1878.

 

Discharge from the Army

A Regimental Board was convened by James Robertson Crawford, Colonel, at the Regimental Depot of the 91st Highlanders, Stirling Castle, on 4 July 1878 for ‘the purpose of verifying and recording the Services, Conduct, Character and cause of discharge of No. 3523 Lance Sergeant Patrick Cavanagh of the Regiment above mentioned’.

 

The discharge was proposed ‘in consequence of his having claimed it on termination of his second period of limited engagement’.

 

The service was confirmed as 21 years and 38 days. During that time, he had served 3 years and 9 months in the Mediterranean and 9 years and 5 months in East India.

 

In terms of Character and Conduct, it was determined that his conduct was ‘Very good’ and it was evidenced by his ‘five Good Conduct Badges’ and ‘a Good Conduct Medal’. His name had never appeared in the Regimental Defaulters Book and he had never been tried by Court Martial.

 

I believe his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal was his only entitlement from his military service.

 

3523 Lance Sergeant Patrick Francis Cavanagh was discharged from the 91st Highlanders at Stirling Castle on 16 July 1878. He was discharged to an address in London.

 

The Census of England & Wales 1881

On the night of the Census 1881, the following were living at 249 Wellington Buildings in the Parish of St George, Hannover Square, Westminster, London.

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Patrick Cavanagh, (40)

Stoker, Army & Navy Stores [i]

(Ballymote, Co. Sligo), Ireland

Eleanor Cavanagh, (32)

 

Chardstock, Dorset

Thomas Cavanagh, (5)

Scholar

(Newbridge, Co. Kildare), Ireland

Elizabeth Cavanagh, [ii] (73)

Mother-in-law

Chardstock, Dorset

 

There is no mention of their daughter Eleanor and it is possible she may have died in infancy although I have been unable to find any record.

 

[i]The Army & Navy Co-operative Society Ltd was incorporated on 15 September 1871 was formed by a group of Army and Navy officers with the aim of offering the best possible prices to its members. Its main store was established in part of a distillery in Victoria Street, London. The Society grew and eventually bought other companies. It eventually became part of the House of Fraser group and still has a store by that name on the original site in Victoria Street.

 

[ii]Elizabeth ‘Cavanagh’ is actually Elizabeth Whiscombe, the mother of Eleanor Whiscombe or Cavanagh. Elizabeth’s husband was Samuel Whiscombe, a Carpenter of Chardstock, Dorset where his daughter was born.

 

The Army & Navy Stores also had a manufacturing base in Pimlico and stores at Tooley Street near Tower Bridge, so it is possible that Patrick worked at one of these premises.

 

It is possible that Patrick and his family left London for Edinburgh shortly after the 1881 Census as by 1912, he had been a Park Keeper ‘for thirty years’. In any case, by the Census of 1891, they were living in Edinburgh.

 

The Census of Scotland 1891

The following were recorded living at Meadowbank Lodge in Holyrood Park on the night of the Census 1891.

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Patrick Cavanagh, (51)

Park Keeper/Army Pensioner

(Ballymote, Co. Sligo), Ireland

Eleanor Cavanagh, (42)

 

Chardstock, Dorset

Thomas Cavanagh, (15)

Scholar

(Newbridge, Co. Kildare), Ireland

 

The Census of Scotland 1901

The following were recorded living at Queen’s Park Lodge in Holyrood Park on the night of the Census 1901.

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Patrick Cavanagh, (61)

Park Keeper/Army Pensioner

(Ballymote, Co. Sligo), Ireland

Eleanor Cavanagh, (51)

 

Chardstock, Dorset

 

The Census of Scotland 1911

The following were living at Jeannie Deans Cottage in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh on the night of the Census 1911.

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Patrick Cavanagh, (71)

Park Keeper/Army Pensioner

(Ballymote, Co. Sligo), Ireland

Eleanor Cavanagh, (61)

 

Chardstock, Dorset

 

This Census was the first to record information concerning how long a couple had been married, the number of live births the couple had experienced and if any of those children had died. Eleanor records that she had been married for ’36 years’, had ‘2 live births’ and only ‘1 child still alive’. I believe that Eleanor, born in 1876 in Enniskillen had died between then and 1881.

 

Award of the King George V Coronation (Royal Parks) Medal, 1911

Patrick Cavanagh was one of the 11 Royal Park Keepers at Holyrood awarded the medal. Only 120 medals of this type were awarded to Royal Park Keepers in the United Kingdom.

 

Register of Deaths in the District of Canongate in the City of Edinburgh, 1912

Patrick Francis Cavanagh, (73), a Park Keeper/Army Pensioner of Jeannie Deans Cottage, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, married to Helen (sic) Whiscombe, died there on 18 September 1912. His friend, Thomas Duncan (the Sergeant Park Keeper), of Dumbiedykes Lodge, Holyrood Park, registered his death.

 

The End of the Story

Apart from the loss of her husband of many years, Eleanor would also have been homeless as Jeannie Deans Cottage was tied to Patrick’s employment as a Park Keeper. It is possible, but not certain,  that by then, Thomas, her son, was in Australia.

 

As yet, I have been unable to trace what happened to Eleanor or her son Thomas after 1912. There is no trace of her dying in Scotland and there are several possibilities in England.

 

If you are a relative or have further information on the family, please get in touch via www.enquiries@scottishpolicemedals.co.ukThank you.

 

St Leonard's Lodge, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh

Park Keeper John Sharp Dalgleish

Park Keeper John Dalgleish

John Dalgleish was born on 1 October 1862 at Craigs in the Parish of Liberton in Midlothian. His father was William Dalgleish, a Carter and his mother, Margaret Sharp or Dalgleish. His parents were married in Gilmerton, Midlothian on 21 June 1861.

 

Census of Scotland 1871

I have found several possible John Dalgleish’ for this year and am not certain which is correct. The most likely is one living as a ‘nephew’ with a Borthwick family at Upper Craigs in the Parish of Liberton.

 

Census of Scotland 1881

Living at Rockville Cottage in Liberton on the night of the Census were the following:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Joseph Sharp, (43)

General Dealer

Gilmerton, Midlothian

Margaret Hutchison Sharp, (46)

General Dealer’s Wife

Gilmerton, Midlothian

Margaret Hutchison Ritchie, (13)

Niece/Scholar

Gilmerton, Midlothian

James Hutchison, (40)

Brother-in-law/Carter

Gilmerton, Midlothian

Elizabeth Algoe, (26)

Domestic Servant

Ireland

John Dalgleish, (18), 

Nephew/Coal Miner

Liberton, Midlothian

 

I think Joseph Sharp and his wife are maternal uncle and aunt and Margaret Hutchison Ritchie is John’s future wife.

 

Joining the Army

According to the article in the Scotsman newspaper of 30 May 1912, John Dalgleish had been ‘a Sergeant in the Royal Highlanders’ before becoming a Park Keeper with His Majesty’s Office of Works at Holyrood. To date, I have found no record of this John Dalgleish in the Black Watch. I have, however, found a record of a Gunner No. 7944 John Dalgleish of the Royal Artillery at Leith Fort in November 1881. His description was ‘born Loanhead, Edinburgh, Pitman, age 19, brown hair, grey eyes sallow complexion, 5’ 7” in size’.

 

The only similar Black Watch record I found was to a ‘John Sharp’, who on the day he enlisted at Edinburgh, 16 January 1882, as Private No. 970, stated that he was  ’19 years and 2 months old’, having been born in ‘Kirknewton, Edinburgh’. His occupation was ‘Miner’ and he was 5’ 7” tall, with a fresh complexion, grey eyes and brown hair’.

 

I can find no record of a ‘John Sharp’ being born in or near Kirknewton between 1860 – 1864.

 

When John Dalgleish was born, his birth certificate showed no middle name. From the Electoral Roll in Edinburgh in 1915 – 1916, his name is recorded as John Sharp Dalgleish and that is how he is then described for the rest of his life.

 

I think it is possible that the Royal Artillery in Leith not suiting him, in late 1881, John Dalgleish simply left and joined the Black Watch the following January with the time-honoured method of using his mother’s maiden name (Sharp) to differentiate himself from his previous incarnation in the Army. Please see below for confirmation.

 

Life in the Black Watch/Royal Highlanders

He was attested in the 1stBattalion Black Watch on 16 January 1882, serving with them until 29 July that year when he was posted to the 2nd Battalion Royal Highlanders serving as a Private until 23 May 1883.

 

Promotion to the Rank of Corporal

On 24 May 1883, John Sharp was promoted to the Rank of Corporal. He remained at that rank until 20 September 1884.

 

Promotion to the Rank of Lance Sergeant

On 21 September 1884, he was appointed to the rank of Lance Sergeant on extra pay. He was ‘Confirmed’ in that rank and continued in it until 14 May 1885.

 

Promotion to the Rank of Sergeant

On 15 May 1855, Sharp was promoted to the Rank of Sergeant and he continued until 28 February 1887.

 

Postings Between 16 January 1882 – 28 May 1887 

Sergeant John Sharp had served 5 years and 44 days between 16 January 1882 and 28 February 1887 and during that time he had served in Edinburgh, Portsmouth, Aldershot, The Curragh in County Kildare, Ireland and in Dublin. He had not served abroad or taken part in any campaigns.

 

Transfer to the Army Reserve

John Sharp transferred to the Army Reserve on 1 March 1887 and continued as such until he was finally discharged on 15 January 1894, 5 years and 321 days later.

 

Register of Marriages in the Parish of Newton in the County of Edinburgh, 1887

On 22 April 1887 at Edmonstone in the Parish of Newton in the County of Edinburgh (Midlothian), John Dalgleish, a General Labourer, (24), of Edmonstone, Newton, married Margaret Hutchison Ritchie, (19), a Domestic Servant of 12 Pirrie Street, Leith. John's parents are as listed in paragraph 1 above.

 

Census of Scotland 1891

I can find no trace of John and Margaret Dalgleish in the Census of Scotland 1891. However, living at Jeannie Deans Cottage in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh on the night of the Census were:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

John Sharp, (28)

Park Keeper

Liberton, Midlothian

Margaret Sharp, (22)

 

Edinburgh, Midlothian

Margaret Sharp, (5 months)

 

Edinburgh, Midlothian

Mary Sharp, (5 months)

 

Edinburgh, Midlothian

 

Register of Deaths in the District of Canongate, 1891

Margaret Sharp Dalgleish, (7 months), of Jeannie Deans Cottage, Queen’s Park, Edinburgh, died there on 28 June 1891. Her father, John Sharp Dalgleish registered her death. Please note the next Census record for 1901.

 

Register of Deaths in the District of Canongate, 1891

Mary Ritchie Dalgleish, (8 months), of Jeannie Deans Cottage, Queen’s Park, Edinburgh, died there on 1 July 1891. Her father, John Sharp Dalgleish registered her death.

 

Register of Deaths in the District of Canongate, 1893

Williamina Dalgleish, (7 months), of Jeannie Deans Cottage, Queen’s Park, Edinburgh, died there on 27 January 1893. Her father, John S. Dalgleish registered her death.

 

Census of Scotland 1901

I can find no trace of John and Margaret Dalgleish in the Census of Scotland 1901. However, living at Queen’s Park Lodge at Duddingston in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh on the night of the Census were:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

John Sharp, (38)

Park Officer

Liberton, Midlothian

Margaret Sharp, (33)

 

Edinburgh, Midlothian

William Sharp, (7)

Scholar

Edinburgh, Midlothian

Janet Sharp, (4)

 

Edinburgh, Midlothian

John Sharp, (1)

 

Edinburgh, Midlothian

 

 

Census of Scotland 1911

Living at Queen’s Park Lodge at Duddingston in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh on the night of the Census were the following. The family were now recorded with the surname of ‘Dalgleish’:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

John Dalgleish, (48)

Park Keeper

Liberton, Midlothian

Margaret Dalgleish, (42)

 

Edinburgh, Midlothian

William Dalgleish, (17)

Butcher

Edinburgh, Midlothian

Janet Dalgleish, (14)

Shop Assistant

Edinburgh, Midlothian

John Dalgleish, (11)

School

Edinburgh, Midlothian

 

The 1911 Census was the first to require that married women declare the number of years they had been married, the number of live births they had experienced and the number of children still alive on the date of the Census. Margaret declared that she had been married for 23 years, had 7 live births, only 3 of whom were still alive. I found the deaths of three of the children, the twins Margaret and Mary and Williamina. As yet, I have not found the death of the fourth child.

 

Award of the King George V Coronation (Royal Parks) Medal, 1911

John Sharp Dalgleish was one of the 11 Royal Park Keepers at Holyrood to be awarded the medal. Only 120 medals of this type were awarded to Royal Park Keepers in the United Kingdom.

 

World War 1, 1914 -1918

British Army Service Records for 1914 – 1920 record that John Dalgleish, 18 years and 41 Days, an Apprentice Engineer of St Leonard’s Lodge Holyrood Park, Edinburgh enlisted as Private, No. M353762 in the 52nd Training Regiment Battalion at Edinburgh. He later served in the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) and the King’s Own Scottish Borderers (KOSB).

 

He served in Egypt from 5 August 1919 to 30 March 1920. He returned home and was finally discharged on13 May 1920.

 

Municipal Register of Voters, Burgh of Edinburgh 1914 - 1915

John Sharp Dalgleish is listed as a ‘Park Officer’ living at Lodge at Park Road, Holyrood Park’ in the voter’s roll for that year.

 

Register of Deaths in the District of Canongate, 1915

Margaret Hutchison Dalgleish, (47), married to John Dalgleish, Park Keeper of St Leonard’s Lodge, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, died there on 21 December 1915. Her husband registered her death.

 

Edinburgh City Police

Within John Dalgleish’ (juniors’) Army personnel records, there is a letter from the Chief Constable’s Office of Edinburgh City Police dated 11 April 1923, to the RASC records office at Woolwich Dockyard in London. The letter requests a copy of his conduct sheet for his period of army service as he has applied to join Edinburgh City Police.

 

The reply from the RASC dated 13 April 1923, confirms his ‘Service with the Colours’ in the KOSB and RASC from ’30-7-17 to 13-5-20’. His military character was “Very Good”.

 

It had the desired effect since john was appointed to Edinburgh City Police as Police Constable 250 B on 22 May 1923.

 

The End of the Story

 

Register of Deaths in the District of Canongate, 1920

John Sharp Dalgleish, (58), widower of  Margaret Ritchie, Dalgleish, Park Keeper of St Leonard’s Lodge, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, died there on 15 December 1920. William Dalgleish, his son,  registered his death. The details of his parents are identical to those in paragraph 1 above.

 

If you are a relative or have further information, particularly photographs of the family, please get in touch via www.enquiries@scottishpolicemedals.co.ukThank you.

 

Park Keeper Thomas Needham

Dumbiedykes Lodge, Holyrood Park.

Park Keeper Thomas Needham

According to his death certificate, Thomas Needham, a Park Officer and Royal Naval Pensioner of Albert Lodge, King’s Park, Edinburgh, was the son of Richard Needham, a Railwayman and his mother, Mary Ann Jackson or Needham. His entries on the Census record that he was born in England around 1851. As yet, I have found no record of him or his mother and father in any English Census, birth or death record. I have found him in several Scottish records. What follows is a chronological list of the documents I have found. 

 

Royal Navy Ratings Records – Thomas Needham

There are seven records of a Thomas Needham having served in the Royal Navy at the National Archives in Kew. The only one with a date of birth near to that of Park Keeper Thomas Needham born  on 24 March 1851 in Edinburgh. His Service No. was 102220.  I do not think that is the Correct man.

 

I found one other naval record for a Thomas Needham and that shows No. 28886B Thomas Needham joining as a ‘Boy’ ‘signing on at HMS Hawke ‘for ten years on 30 December 1867. I think this man is too young to be the man in the Census below.

 

Census of Scotland 1881

Living at 32 Lower View Craig Row, Edinburgh on the night of the Census were the following:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Thomas Needham, (30)

Her Majesty’s Ship ‘Firm’*, Engine Fitter, (Artificer)

England

Elizabeth Needham, (40)

Wife

Haldon Mill, Berwickshire

Alexander John Crosbie Needham, (14)

Office Messenger

Edinburgh, Edinburghshire

Isabella Crosbie Needham, (12)

Scholar

Edinburgh, Edinburghshire

George Crosbie Needham, (11)

Scholar

Edinburgh, Edinburghshire

Thomas R Crosbie Needham, (7)

Scholar 

Edinburgh, Edinburghshire

Elizabeth Eu. Crosbie Needham, (6)

Scholar

Edinburgh, Edinburghshire

 

*HMS Firm was built by Earle’s Shipbuilder, Hull and was a Gunboat of the Forester Class, 12 of which were built between 1874 – 1877. In April 1881, it was stationed at Queensferry in West or Mid Lothian, possibly just off what became Port Edgar naval base a few years later.

 

Elizabeth (Betsy) Ewart Redpath, (24), a Domestic Servant of Melrose, had married George Crosbie, (25), a  Goods Guard for the North British Railway of Dingleton Parish, Melrose on 21 July 1865 at Bowdon in Roxburgh. The five children are all hers with George Crosbie. He died at 12 Lower View Craig Row, Edinburgh on 8 April 1878.

 

Although the couple, Thomas and Elizabeth, are recorded as husband and wife, I have found no record of marriage for them between 1878 and 1912. 

 

Census of Scotland - Shipping – Royal Navy, 1881

The Remuneration Book for the Royal Navy District No. 670 at Queensferry in West or Mid Lothian recorded the names of officers and ratings ‘Not on Board on the night of Sunday April 3rd, 1881’. Among them was ‘Thomas Needham, (30), an Engine Room Artificer, (Petty Officer), Married, Born Hull, Yorkshire’.

 

I think this man is identical to Thomas Needham of 32 Lower View Craig Row, Edinburgh.

 

Census of Scotland 1891

Living at 9 West Newington Place, Edinburgh on the night of the Census were the following:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Elizabeth Needham, (50)

Marine Engineer’s Wife

Roxburgh, Roxburghshire

George Crosbie Needham, (21)

Waiter

Edinburgh, Edinburghshire

Thomas Redpath Crosbie Needham, (18)

Compositor

Edinburgh, Edinburghshire

Elizabeth Eu. Crosbie Needham, (16)

Milliner

Edinburgh, Edinburghshire

Christina C. Needham, (24)

Daughter-in-law/ Boot shop Assistant

Edinburgh, Edinburghshire

 

Thomas is absent from the household on the night of the Census and it is likely he was away at sea. I have been unable to find him on any UK Census.

 

Christina Fisher, (22), a China Merchant’s Assistant of 66 St Mary Street, Edinburgh had married Alexander John Crosbie, (22), a Private in the Gordon Highlanders, home address 9 West Newington Place, Edinburgh at 30 Hartington Place, Edinburgh on 12 November 1889.

 

Alexander’s brother George was one of the witnesses.

 

Census of Scotland 1901

Living at Jeannie Deans Cottage, Queen’s Park, Edinburgh on the night of the Census were the following:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Thomas Needham, (50)

Pensioner/Park Officer

England

Elizabeth Needham, (59)

Wife

Roxburgh, Roxburghshire

Elizabeth Eu. Crosbie Needham, (21)

Step-daughter

Edinburgh, Edinburghshire

Mary Russell, (24)

Cook

Earlston, Berwickshire

 

Census of Scotland 1911

Living at Albert Cottage, King’s Park, Edinburgh on the night of the Census were the following:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Thomas Needham, (60)

Naval Pensioner/Park Officer

England

Elizabeth Needham, (69)

Wife

Roxburgh, Roxburghshire

Joan W. Crosbie, (12)

Grand-daughter

Edinburgh, Edinburghshire

 

The 1911 Census was the first to require that married women declare the number of years they had been married, the number of live births they had experienced and the number of children still alive on the date of the Census. Elizabeth declared that she and Thomas had been married for 31 years and had no children together.

 

Award of the King George V Coronation (Royal Parks) Medal, 1911

Thomas Needham was one of the 11 Royal Park Keepers at Holyrood to be awarded the medal. Only 120 medals of this type were awarded to Royal Park Keepers in the United Kingdom.

 

Register of Deaths in the District of St Giles in the City of Edinburgh, 1912

On 28 July 1912, Thomas Needham, (61), a Park Officer married to Elizabeth Redpath, usual address, Albert Lodge, King’s Park, Edinburgh, died in the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh. The death was registered by his Step-son, George Crosbie of 13 West Nicholson Street, Edinburgh.

 

Probate on Thomas’ will was granted in favour of his widow, ‘Elizabeth Redpath or Needham, then residing at Old Bridge Road, Selkirk, on 13 September 1912.

 

Given the tied nature of Albert Lodge, after Thomas died, Elizabeth would have been almost immediately homeless.

 

Register of Deaths in the District of Selkirk in the County of Selkirk, 1918

Elizabeth Ewart Needham, (76), widow of (1) George Crosbie, Railway Lorryman and (2) Thomas Needham, Park Ranger, of 4 Halliday’s Park, Selkirk, died there on 19 April 1918. William Lees, her son-in-law of ‘Ettrick Place’, Chapel Street, Selkirk, registered her death.

 

The End of the Story

If you are a relative or have further information, particularly photographs of the family, please get in touch via www.enquiries@scottishpolicemedals.co.ukThank you.

 

 

Park Keeper Hector Gray

St Leonard's Lodge, Holyrood Park.

Park Keeper Hector Gray

According to his enlistment papers for the Scots Guards, Hector Gray was a ‘Saddler’ born in Manchester, England when he joined in 1878. Later documents show his father as John Gray, a Saddler and his mother, Margaret Bain or Gray.

 

I have been unable to find any record of the family in any documents in England before 1881.

 

Records of the Scots Guards, 1878

On 9 May 1878 at Edinburgh, Hector Gray, (24), born in Manchester, a Saddler, enlisted in the Scots Guards at ‘3.30 hours pm’ as Private No. 4517. On 11 May, he joined the regiment at London. He was described as ‘5’ 8”, fresh complexion, blue eyes and brown hair’. He passed his initial Medical Examination in Edinburgh and again in London on the 11th.

 

Postings & Promotions in 2ndBattalion Scots Guards

 

Promotions, Reductions, Casualties

Rank

From

To

 

Private

11 May. 1878

1 Dec. 1880

Appointed

Lance Corporal

2 Dec. 1880

30 Jun. 1881

1st Good Conduct Pay

16 Feb. 1881

 

 

 

Census of England & Wales, 1881

The Census of England 181 in the District of Strand, St Martin in the Fields, records that among the soldiers stationed at St George’s Barracks, Trafalgar Square, London that night was No. 4517 Private Hector Gray, (27), Scots Guards, born in Manchester, Lancashire.

 

St George’s Barracks was in Orange Street, just behind the National Gallery. Recruiting Sergeants were based at the barracks and operated in the area between Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey. The main function of the barracks was to accommodate regiments of Foot Guards to be at hand to quell disturbances in Trafalgar Square. They were demolished in 1911 and the site is now occupied by the National Portrait Gallery.

 

Promotions, Reductions, Casualties

Rank

From

To

Promoted

Lance Corporal

1 Jul. 1881

28 Dec. 1881

Promoted

Corporal

29 Dec. 1881

31 Oct. 1883

Promoted

Lance Sergeant

31 Oct. 1883

31 Mar. 1884

Promoted

Sergeant

1 Apr. 1884

31 Jul. 1886

Extended his service to complete 21 years with the Colours. Authority dated Dublin District 9/5/1884

 

 

 

Promoted

Colour Sergeant

1 Aug. 1886

23 Apr.1888

Resigned

Sergeant

24 Apr. 1888

31 Mar. 1890

Re-engaged at London to complete 21 years’ service.

31 Mar. 1890

 

 

Transferred to Royal Scots Regiment on Authority of G.O.C.* Home District 28/3/1890.

1 Apr. 1890

 

 

* ‘G.O.C.’ = General Officer Commanding.

 

During this time, Hector served at ‘Home’ between 11 May 1878 and 20 February 1885, Egypt between 21 February 1885 and 8 July 1885, Cyprus between 9 July 1885 and 9 September 1885 and back ‘Home’ from 10 September 1885 and 15 February 1900.

 

Sergeant Hector Gray took part in the Sudan Campaign 1885 and was ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ on 30 May 1885 and it was published in the London Gazette of 25 August 1885. He was also awarded the Egypt Medal with clasp ‘Saukin 1885’ and the Khedive’s (Bronze) Star.

 

Postings & Promotions in the Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment)

 

Promotions, Reductions, Casualties

Rank

From

To

3rd Battalion. Royal Scots

Sergeant No. 3575

1 Apr. 1890

16 Apr. 1893

 

Census of Scotland 1891

Among those listed living at Glencorse Barracks, Penicuik in Midlothian, the Regimental Depot of the Royal Scots was ‘Sergeant Hector Gray of the Royal Scots, (36), born in England’.

 

Promotions, Reductions, Casualties

Rank

From

To

3rd Battalion. Royal Scots

Colour Sergeant

17 Apr. 1893

4 Sept.1895

Royal Scots Re-posted Depot

Colour Sergeant

 

5 Sept. 1895

7th V. Bn.* The Royal Scots

Colour Sergeant

6 Sept. 1895

 

*’V.Bn.’ = Volunteer Battalion.

 

Award of the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, 1898

Hector was awarded the Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal on 1 October 1898.

 

Promotions, Reductions, Casualties

Rank

From

To

7th V. Bn. Permitted to prolong his service beyond 21 years. Authority 11/5/99.

 

 

 

Reposted from 7th V. B. R. Scots (to the Volunteer Service Company for service in South Africa).

Colour Sergeant

11 May 1899

 

Permitted to extend his service for a period of two years from 10 May 1904. Authority dated 6 Jan. 1904.

Colour Sergeant

12 Jan. 1900

 

 

Register of Marriages in the District of St George in the City of Edinburgh, 1901

On 29 October 1901 at 25 Fowler Terrace, Edinburgh, Hector Gray, (47) a Sergeant Instructor with the 7th Volunteer Battalion Royal Scots, of Church Street, Haddington, married Janet Cunningham, (27), a Spinster of 23 High Street, Haddington. 

 

Promotions, Reductions, Casualties

Rank

From

To

7th V. B. R. Scots

Appointed.

Acting Sergeant Major

12 Dec. 1901

 

7th V. B. R. Scots

Discharged having reached the age for discharge. 

Acting Sergeant Major

 

10 May. 1906

 

From his transfer into the Royal Scots on 1 April 1890 until 15 February 1900, he served at ‘Home’. He was in South Africa from 16 February 1900 until 18 May 1901 when he returned ‘Home’. He then served at ‘Home’ until his discharge in 1906.

 

During his time with the Royal Scots, Colour Sergeant Hector Gray served with the Volunteer Company, The Royal Scots in the Second Boer War and was ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ on 10 April 1901. He was also Awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal with clasps ‘Belfast’, ‘Cape Colony’, ‘Orange Free State’ and ‘South Africa, 1901’.

 

Service Qualifications

Hector was a Sergeant Instructor of Musketry, he held a Warrant and Non-Commissioned Officers Certificate of the Hythe School of Musketry, No. 18849, dated 29 May 1893. He qualified in the mechanism of the Lee Metford and Lee Enfield rifles on 18 March 1898.

 

His Majesty’s Office of Works

It is highly likely that Hector Gray started work as Park Keeper in Holyrood immediately he was discharged from the Army.

 

Census of Scotland 1911

Living at Holyrood Park Lodge, Edinburgh on the night of the Census were the following:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Hector Gray, (46)

Park Officer/ Army Pensioner

England

Janet Gray, (36)

Wife

Haddington, Haddingtonshire

 

The 1911 Census was the first to require that married women declare the number of years they had been married, the number of live births they had experienced and the number of children still alive on the date of the Census. Janet declared that she and Hector had been married for 9 years and had no children together.

 

Award of the King George V Coronation (Royal Parks) Medal, 1911

Hector Gray was one of the 11 Royal Park Keepers at Holyrood to be awarded the medal. Only 120 medals of this type were awarded to Royal Park Keepers in the United Kingdom.

 

The End of the Story

The Register of Deaths in the District of Dunfermline in the County of Fife for 1931 records that Hector Gray, (78), an Army Pensioner, married to Janet Cunningham of 13 Newton Place, Rosyth, Dunfermline, died there on 1 July. His widow, Janet Gray registered his death.

 

I have been unable to identify any record of Janet Gray’s death.

 

Park Keeper John Malone

Duddingston or South Lodge, Holyrood Park.

Park Keeper John Malone

When John Malone enlisted as Private No.1522 in the Royal Scots at Glencorse Barracks, Penicuik in Midlothian, their Regimental Depot, on 4 July 1884, he was stated to have been born at ‘St Cuthbert’s, Edinburgh’,  ‘18 years old’, 5’ 7”, ‘fresh complexion’, ‘grey eyes’, ‘light brown hair’, ‘Roman Catholic’ and a ‘Builder’ by trade. His next-of-kin was given as Ellen Malone of 49 Fountainbridge, Edinburgh.

 

When he later married, John’s parents were stated to be Patrick Malone, a Labourer (deceased by 1896), and Ellen Heanan (sic) or Malone, (still alive in that year). I have been unable to trace any other record of the family in Scotland.

 

Records of The Royal Scots

The record below shows the dates of John Malone’s first four years of service in the Royal Scots. The final remark in italics was made when totalling up his pensionable service for his discharge in 1908.

 

Promotions, Reductions, Casualties

Rank

From

To

Attested The Royal Scots Depot

Private

4 Jul.1884

1 Jul. 1886

In Civil Power

Private

2 Jul. 1886

2 Jul. 1886

1st Battalion, Continued

Private

3 Jul. 1886

5 Aug. 1886

In Civil Power

Private

6 Aug. 1886

6 Aug. 1886

1st Battalion, Continued

Private

7 Aug. 1886

5 Aug. 1888

Awarded (1st ) Good Conduct Pay

Private

5 Aug. 1888

 

Total Service in this record reckoning at date of discharge towards pension and G. C. Pay = 4 years, 31 days (Service) and 4 years, 33 days (G.C. Pay)

 

 

 

         

Record of Postings & Promotions  

The following are details of John Malone’s postings and promotions. I have omitted some other details, but they can be seen on the original record.

 

Promotions, Reductions, Casualties

Rank

Date

The Royal Scots 1st Battalion, Continued

Private

6 Aug. 1888

The Royal Scots 1st Battalion, Granted 2nd Good Conduct Pay.

Private

5 Aug. 1890

The Royal Scots 1st Battalion, Permitted to extend his service to complete 17 years with the Colours. Authority. G. O. Capetown 29/7/91.

 

29 Jul. 1891

The Royal Scots 1st Battalion, Appointed

Lance Corporal

4 Aug. 1891

The Royal Scots Depot, Promoted

Corporal

25 Dec. 1891

Depot, Appointed

Lance Sergeant

2 Aug. 1893

Depot, Promoted

Sergeant

16 Jul. 1894

Permanent Staff, 3rd Battalion Royal Scots, Transferred.

Sergeant

16 Jul. 1894

P. S., 3rd Battalion Royal Scots. Re-engaged to complete 21 years’ service with the Colours. Authority dated Glencorse 30/1/95. 

Sergeant

30 Jan. 1895

 

Register of Marriages in the Parish of    Carmunnock in the County of Lanark 

On 10 January 1896 at Sunnybank, Carmunnock, John Malone, (28), a Sergeant in the Royal Scots of Glencorse Barracks, Penicuik, Midlothian, married Joan Sprunt, (35), a Domestic Servant of Carmunnock. His parents were as described in paragraph 1 above.

 

Promotions, Reductions, Casualties

Rank

Date

P. S., 3rd Battalion Royal Scots. Promoted.

Colour Sergeant

16 Mar. 1898

    

Register of Births in the Parish of Glencorse in the County of Midlothian, 1898

John Malone was born on 13 July 1898  in Glencorse Barracks,  Penicuik, Midlothian. His father was Colour Sergeant John Malone, 3rd Battalion Royal Scots and his mother,  Joan Sprunt or Malone. His father registered his birth.

 

Register of Births in the Parish of Glencorse in the County of Midlothian, 1900

Blanche St Clair Erskine Malone was born on 5 February 1900  in Glencorse Barracks,  Penicuik, Midlothian. His father was Colour Sergeant John Malone, 3rd Battalion Royal Scots and her mother, Joan Sprunt or Malone. Her father registered her birth.                                                                         

                                                                         

Promotions, Reductions, Casualties

Rank

Date

P. S.,  5th Battalion Royal Scots, Posted

Colour Sergeant

1 Nov. 1905

P. S.,  5th Battalion Royal Scots.

Discharged after three months’ notice.

Colour Sergeant

31 Mar. 1908

       

From his enlistment on  4 July 1884, John Malone served at ‘Home’ until 28 September 1886. He was in South Africa from 29 September 1886 until 31 August 1891. He was ‘Home’ again from 1 September 1891 until 1 March 1900. From 2 March 1900, he was in South Africa until 28 May 1902.  He served at ‘Home’ from 29 May 1902 until his discharge on 31 March 1908 when he retired on pension with 23 years and 272 days service.

 

He was discharged at Leith and his future address was to be 36 Sloan Street, Leith.

 

During his service he took part in operations in South Africa, the Zululand Expedition of 1888 and the Boer War, 1899 – 1902.

 

John Malone was awarded the Queen’s South Africa medal and clasps ‘Cape Colony’, ‘Orange Free State’ and ‘Transvaal’ and the King’s South Africa Medal and clasps ‘South Africa 1901’ and ‘South Africa 1902’ for his service during the Boer War.  

 

Service Qualifications

John Malone was a Sergeant Instructor of Musketry and held a Warrant and Non-Commissioned Officers Certificate of the Hythe School of Musketry, dated 21 October 1898.

 

Long Service & Good Conduct Medal

John Malone was also awarded the Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal as it is recorded in his Discharge records. His medals (See below) are in the Royal Scots Museum in Edinburgh Castle and they include an Army Meritorious Service Medal with the Army No. 3479. I think it highly likely that John Malone rejoined the Army in a Training Role during World War 1 although I have not yet found a record of it.

 

His Majesty’s Office of Works

It is highly likely that John Malone started work as Park Keeper in Holyrood immediately he was discharged from the Army.

 

Census of Scotland, 1911

The following were living at Meadowbank Lodge, Holyrood Park on the night of the Census, 1911.

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

John Malone, (44)

Park Keeper/ Army Pensioner

Edinburgh, Edinburghshire

Joan Malone, (50)

 

Meikleour, Perthshire

John Malone, (12)

Scholar

Glencorse, Edinburgh

Blanche Malone, (11)

Scholar

Glencorse, Edinburgh

          

The 1911 Census was the first to require that married women declare the number of years they had been married, the number of live births they had experienced and the number of children still alive on the date of the Census. Joan declared that she and John had been married for 15 years, they had two live children together and both were still alive on the date of the Census.

 

 

The medals of Colour Sergeant John Malone, Royal Scots. (By the kind permission of the Royal Scots Museum, Edinburgh Castle).

Records of the 7th(Leith) Battalion The Royal Scots (Territorial Force), 1913

 

The 7th (Leith) Battalion were based in Dalmeny Street, Leith. The drill hall was designed by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson as the headquarters of the 5th Volunteer Battalion Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) and was completed in 1901. This unit evolved to become the 7th (Leith) Battalion, The Royal Scots in 1908. 

 

The records of the 7thBattalion The Royal Scots (Territorial Force) show that John Malone, 14 years and 10 months, born at Glencorse, Penicuik, Midlothian, of Meadowbank Lodge, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh,  enlisted in the unit on 1 May 1913 as a Boy Bugler with the Army No. 1447. His mother, Joan Malone of Meadowbank Lodge, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, was listed as his next of kin.

 

His record of service is shown below.

 

Promotions, Reductions, Casualties

Rank

Date

7th Battalion Royal Scots

Boy Bugler

1 May. 1913

7 RS, Drill Hall, Leith ,Appointed

Drummer

1 Jul. 1913

7 RS Camp, Monzie, 15 Days. 

Drummer

20 Jul.1913

7 RS Camp, Stobs, 15 Days.

Drummer

19 Jul. 1914

Discharged in consequence of being killed in Railway Accident  

Drummer

22    May.1915

 

The battalion was mobilised at the drill hall in August 1914 before being deployed to Gallipoli. In 1915, the Gretna Disaster at Quintinshill, the worst crash in the history of British rail travel, killed 227 people and injured 246 others, most of whom were from the 7th (Leith) Battalion.

 

Quintinshill Disaster 22 May 1915

 

The accident

At 6.45 on the morning of 22 May 1915, a troop train carrying soldiers of the 1/7th Battalion Royal Scots crashed into a stationary local passenger train near Quintinshill Junction on the Glasgow to Carlisle railway line, near Gretna in Dumfriesshire. The initial collision was caused by mistakes made by the railway signalmen. The northbound local train had been stopped in the path of the southbound troop train, which was carrying the half-battalion from Larbert to Liverpool. The Royal Scots were due to embark for Gallipoli. Minutes after the collision a northbound express train ploughed into the wreckage.  

The lightly-constructed carriages of the troop train were badly damaged by the double impact, which caused many deaths and injuries. When the gas canisters on the troop train carriages caught fire many men were trapped and burned to death in the resulting conflagration.  Quintinshill is the biggest railway disaster to have occurred in Britain. [1]

Soldier victims

Of the Royal Scots battalion three officers and 207 other ranks were killed or died from their injuries, and five officers and 219 other ranks were injured. Drummer 1447 John Malone was one of those killed.

It was a devastating blow to the Battalion and to the whole population of Leith – it was said that there was not a family in the town untouched by the tragedy, probably made worse by the fact that, out of the 216 who died in the disaster, or soon afterwards from their injuries, only 83 were ever identified. The remaining 133 bodies could not be identified or were, literally, cremated within the firestorm of the wreckage. On Sunday 23 May, 107 coffins were taken back to Edinburgh and were placed in the Battalion’s Drill Hall in Dalmeny Street, off Leith Walk. On the afternoon of Monday 24 May, 101 of these were taken in procession for burial in a mass grave that had been dug in Rosebank Cemetery, Pilrig Street, about a mile from the Drill Hall. ‘The route was lined by 3,150 soldiers, thousands of citizens stood shoulder to shoulder on the pavement; shops were closed, blinds drawn, and the traffic stopped.’ 

 

War Office Records, 1915

A letter from the War Office dated 23 December 1915, states that ‘any articles of personal property now in your possession relating to the late No. 1447 Private John Malone 1/7th Bn. Royal Scots should be dispatched to Mr J. Malone, Meadowbank Lodge, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh’. A handwritten note appended to the letter simply states,  ‘Advised no effects 10/1/16’.

 

It is impossible to imagine how the Malone’s coped with the tragic death of their son and all his comrades.

 

Register of Marriages in the District of Portobello in the City of Edinburgh, 1925

On 2 June 1925, at Restalrig United Free Church, Edinburgh, John Hewley Outhwaite Noble, (25), a Clerk with the Ministry of Pensions, of 34 Meadowbank Terrace, Edinburgh, married Blanche St Clair Erskine Malone, (25), a Shop Assistant of Meadowbank Lodge, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh. 

 

John’s parents were Henry William Noble, a Park Keeper (at Holyrood) and Margaret Morrison or Noble. Blanche’s parents were as above.

 

Register of Deaths in the District of Fylde in the County of Lancaster 1948

John Malone, (81), a Retired Park Keeper (Royal Parks), of 101 Rossall Road, Cleveleys , Lancashire, died there on 28 July 1948. His son-in-law, J. H. O. Noble, of the same address, registered his death.

 

Register of Deaths in the District of Fylde in the County of Lancaster 1951

Joan Malone, (92), born about 1859, died in Fylde, Lancashire in the fourth quarter of 1951. I believe this to be the death of John Malone’s wife.

 

Register of Deaths in the District of Newington in the City of Edinburgh, 1962

John Hewley Outhwaite Noble, (62), a retired Deputy Controller Scotland, Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance, married to Blanche St Clair Erskine Malone, died on 17 January at 8 Chalmers Crescent, Edinburgh. His usual address was 27 South Oswald Road, Edinburgh. His brother James M. Noble registered his death.

 

Register of Deaths in the District of Newington in the City of Edinburgh, 1962

Blanche St Clair Erskine Malone or Noble, (92), died in the District of Newington in Edinburgh in 1993.

 

The End of the Story

If you are a relative or have further information, particularly photographs of the family, please get in touch via www.enquiries@scottishpolicemedals.co.ukThank you.

 

 

Park Keeper John Burnside

Park Keeper John Burnside

What follows below is the story of John Burnside and that of his closest family and in-laws, many of whom served in the British Army or married someone who was.

 

John Burnside was born on 9 March 1862 at Bowshiel in the Parish of Cockburnspath in the County of Berwick. His father was William Burnside, a Ploughman and his mother, Mary Ann Topping or Burnside. His parents were married on 25 September 1859 at the local Railway Station.

 

Register of Births in Ladhope in the County of Roxburgh, 1869

Beatrice Faed (or Fade) was born near Galashiels on 10 September 1869. Her father was Simon Faed, a Tailor and her mother, Elizabeth Logree or Faed. This is the birth of John Burnside’s future wife.

 

71st( Highland) Regiment of Foot

John Burnside probably joined the 71st (Highland) Regiment of Foot between 1878 and 1880. In any case, he was certainly in the regiment by the Census of 1881 when he was stationed there as a Private, Regimental No. 2539. I have, as yet, been unable to find John Burnside’s Army papers although I have found him in Barracks at Edinburgh and Dover in Census’ and in the Queen’s South Africa Medal Roll for the HLI. It is likely he was serving in the Curragh, Co. Kildare, Ireland before the regiment moved to Edinburgh.

 

Census of Scotland 1881

Among the 430 soldiers stationed at Edinburgh Castle on the night of the Census 1881 was the following:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

J. Burnside, (20)

Private 71st Highlanders

Cockburnspath, Berwick

 

Coincidentally, also stationed and living at Edinburgh Castle that night were the following:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Simon Faed, (29)

Sergeant, Master Tailor 71st Highlanders

Wilton, Roxburgh

Elizabeth Faed, (30)

Wife of Master Tailor

Galashiels, Selkirk

Beatrice Faed, (11)

Scholar

Galashiels, Selkirk

Elizabeth Faed, (9)

Scholar

Wilton, Roxburgh

James Faed, (3)

 

Malta, Mediterranean

Simon Faed, (9 months)

 

Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh

 

Beatrice is John Burnside’s future wife and the others are his future in-laws.

 

Highland Light Infantry

On 1 July 1881, under the Childers  Reforms of the British Army, the 71st amalgamated with the 74th Highland) Regiment of Foot to form the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Highland Light Infantry (HLI). 

 

The Register of Marriages in the District of Hawick in the County of Roxburgh

On 25 December 1890, at St Cuthbert’s Episcopal Church in Hawick, John Burnside, (28), a Sergeant Master Tailor of 11 Wilton Path, Wilton, married Beatrice Stuart Faed, (21), a Housekeeper, also of 11 Wilton Path. Beatrice’s father, Simon Faed’s occupation was now ‘Timekeeper in a Woollens Factory’, presumably having retired from the Army. Again, I have been unable to trace Simon Faed’s Army papers although, given the children’s places of birth, he clearly served in Malta, Ireland and Edinburgh at the very least.

 

Census of Scotland 1891

Living at 11 Wilton Path, Hawick on the night of the Census 1891 were:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Simon Faed, (40)

Wool Factory, Time Keeper

Wilton, Roxburgh

Elizabeth Faed, (41)

Wife

Galashiels, Roxburgh

James Faed, (13)

Scholar

Malta, Mediterranean

Simon Faed, (9)

Scholar

Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Emily J. H. Faed, (8)

Scholar

Ireland

 

Emily Jane Hunter Fade (Faed) was born on 10 May 1883 at the Curragh Camp in Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland. Her father was Sergeant Master Tailor Simon Fade, Curragh Camp.

 

Census of England & Wales, 1891

On the night of the Census of England & Wales, 1891, among the soldiers of the 1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry stationed at The Citadel Barracks, Western Heights, Hougham near Dover in the County of Kent, was:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

John Burnside, (29)

Soldier, Head of Household, Sergeant, 71st Highlanders

Cockburnspath, Berwick

Beatrice Burnside, (20)

Wife

Galashiels, Selkirkshire

 

Register of Births in the Town of Dover in the County of Kent, 1891

Mary Beatrice Burnside was born in the last quarter of 1891 in Dover, Kent.

 

Register of Deaths in the District of Inveresk, Musselburgh, in the County of Edinburgh

Simon Fade, (47), Timekeeper, sometime of 6 Wilton Path, Hawick, latterly, a Church Officer and Army Pensioner, married to Elizabeth Logree, of Inveresk Manse Lodge, Musselburgh, died in Inveresk Park Hall. As a result of his sudden death, a Precognition was carried  by the Procurator Fiscal and he was deemed to have died of ‘Natural Causes’.

 

Census of Scotland 1901

I have been unable to find John Burnside in 1901 but that is probably because he was in South Africa with the HLI. 

 

It looks like Beatrice took her daughter to stay with her mother and sister in Portobello while her husband was abroad. They are among the occupants listed living at 264 High Street, Portobello, Edinburgh on the night of the Census.

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Elizabeth Faed, (51)

Head, Widow, Formerly Wool Weaver

Galashiels, Selkirkshire

James Stuart Craig Faed, (23)

Son, Lance Corporal, Highland Light Infantry

Malta

Simon A. F. Faed, (19)

Son, House Agent Clerk

Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Beatrice Burnside, (31)

Daughter, Wife of Sergeant HLI

Galashiels, Selkirkshire

Elizabeth Ingles Gurr, (29)

Daughter, Engine Driver’s Wife

Heaton, Selkirkshire

Emily I. H. Faed, (17)

Daughter, Waitress, Restaurant

Ireland

Mary Beatrice Burnside, (9)

Grand-daughter, Scholar

England

Elizabeth M. Gurr, (7)

Grand-daughter, Scholar

India

Agnes M. Gurr, (9)

Grand-daughter, Scholar

India

Henry S. Y. Gurr, (7)

Grand-son, Scholar

India

Walter J. Gurr, (5)

Grand-son, Scholar

India

Sydney G. Gurr, (2)

Grand-son

India

 

The late Simon Faed had been stationed in India for many years and it is likely that his daughter met her future husband there. 

 

Elizabeth Ingles Faed, then aged 18, married Henry Stuart Gurr, on 20 February 1889 at Bhusaval, Bombay, India. They had seven children together and he died in Igatpuri, Maharashtra, India on 16 April 1913 and was buried there.

 

Medal Roll of the 1stBattalion Highland Light Infantry, 1901

The Medal Roll for the award of the Queen’s South Africa Medal and Clasps for the 1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry dated 21 September 1901 shows that ‘2539 Sergeant John Burnside’ was entitled to the medal and the clasp for ‘Cape Colony’. His medal was issued on 16 January 1904.

 

Register of Births in the District of Canongate in the City of Edinburgh, 1909

Emily Faed Burnside on 16 January 1909 at 4 Meadowbank Crescent, Edinburgh. Her father was John Burnside, a Park Ranger, Holyrood Park and her mother, Beatrice Stuart Faed or Burnside. Her parents had been married in Hawick in 1890.  Her father registered her birth.

 

Register of Births in the District of Canongate in the City of Edinburgh, 1910

Johan Topping Burnside was born on 24 April 1910 at Croft-an-Righ Lodge, King’s Park, Edinburgh. Her father was John Burnside, a Park Ranger, King’s Park and her mother, Beatrice Stuart Faed or Burnside. Her parents had been married in Hawick in 1890.  Her father registered her birth.

 

Register of Deaths in the District of Canongate in the City of Edinburgh, 1910

Beatrice Stuart Burnside, married to John Burnside, Park Ranger, King’s Park, died on 7 May 1910 at Croft-an-Righ Lodge, King’s Park, Edinburgh. Her father was Simon Faed, a Sergeant in the Highland Light Infantry (Deceased) and her mother, Elizabeth Logree or Faed. Her widowed husband registered her death.

 

Census of Scotland 1911

Living at 16 Meadowbank Gardens, to the east of Holyrood Park, Edinburgh on the night of the Census were the following. 

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

John T Burnside, (49)

Park Keeper/Army Pensioner

Cockburnspath, Berwickshire

Mary B. Burnside, (19)

 

England

Emily F. Burnside, (2)

 

Edinburgh, Midlothian

Johan T. Burnside, (1)

 

Edinburgh, Midlothian

 

It seems that Mary Beatrice had taken over the care of her two younger sisters.

 

Award of the King George V Coronation (Royal Parks) Medal, 1911

John Topping Burnside  was one of the 11 Royal Park Keepers at Holyrood to be awarded the medal. Only 120 medals of this type were awarded to Royal Park Keepers in the United Kingdom.

 

Register of Marriages in the District of Farnham in the County of Surrey, 1914

Mary Beatrice Burnside married Francis Thomas Mc Lintic, soldier in the 3rd Battalion Cameron Highlanders in the last quarter of 1914 at Farnham in Surrey.

 

Francis Thomas had been born in Valetta, Malta on 4 August 1887. He died in Edinburgh in 1963.

 

Electoral Roll for the City of Edinburgh, 1914 – 1915

John Topping Burnside, a Door Porter, was recorded living at 30 Croft-an-Righ, Edinburgh in the Electoral Roll of 1914 -15. Given the address, it is possible he was now working in the Palace of Holyrood as a Door Porter?

 

By the Electoral Roll of 1915 – 16, John was still at the same address but now described as a ‘Warder’. This is also how he was described in 1920 so I think he was definitely working at the Palace.

 

Register of Soldiers Effects returned to Next of Kin, April 1918

The monies due to be paid on the Medical discharge of Sergeant 7514 Francis Thomas McLintic, 3rd Cameron Highlanders in April 1918 were paid to his wife Beatrice on 2 January 1919, 6 May 1920 and 24 September 1920.

 

Register of England & Wales, 1939

The following names were recorded living at ‘Lyncroft’, 5 Mutrix Road, Margate in Kent at the time the Register of England & Wales was compiled.

 

Address

Name

Date of Birth

Occupation

‘Lyncroft’, 5 Mutrix Road, Margate

Beatrice McLintic

1 October 1891

Barmaid

‘Lyncroft’, 5 Mutrix Road, Margate

Beatrice Kathleen McLintic

30 July 1915

Barmaid

‘Lyncroft’, 5 Mutrix Road, Margate

Emily Burnside 

16 January 1909

Barmaid

‘Lyncroft’, 5 Mutrix Road, Margate

John Burnside

9 March 1862

Visitor’s Guide (Place of Interest) (Retired)

 

This would seem to be John Burnside living in Kent with two of his daughters and his Grand-daughter. Where was Johan?

 

Register of Deaths in Thanet, Kent 1940

John Burnside, (78) born about 1862, died in the second quarter of 1940.

 

Register of Officers in the Royal Australian Air Force 1939 – 1948

Listed in the above register is ‘ Johan Topping Burnside, born 24 April 1910, Edinburgh, Scotland’. She enlisted at Brisbane, Australia with the Service No. 94156. Her next of kin was ‘Beatrice McLintic’. It is possible she arrived there on the ‘Ormonde’ at Queensland on 8 May 1939.

 

Johan had been living in Heston and Isleworth in the London Borough of Hounslow in 1936 and also shown on the Voter’s Roll at 27 Park Avenue is ‘John Burnside’.

 

I think Johan died in Australia, possibly in 1981.

 

Register of Marriages in Boston Lincolnshire in 1948

Emily Faed Burnside married Frank Wood in Boston in Lincolnshire in January 1948.

 

Register of Deaths in Margate, Thanet, Kent 1981

Mary Beatrice McLintic died on 12 June 1981 at Margate in Kent.  Her usual address was 46 Invicta Road, Margate.

 

Register of Deaths in Thanet in Kent, 1992

Emily Faed Wood, born 16 January 1909, died in Thanet in Kent in October 1992.

 

The End of the Story

 

If you are a relative or have further information, particularly photographs of the family, please get in touch via www.enquiries@scottishpolicemedals.co.uk Thank you.

 

 

 

Park Keeper Alexander Deuchars

Park Keeper Alexander Deuchars

According to the Register of Births in the District of St Mary’s in the City of Dundee, Alexander Deuchars was born on 25 January 1872 at 4 Blinshall Street. His father was John Deuchars, an Operative Joiner and his mother, Catherine Jack or Deuchars. They had been married on 30 July 1866 in Dundee. What follows is a chronological record of Alexander’s life taken from public records.

 

Census of Scotland 1871

Among those living at 10 Blinshill Street, Kilgour Court in Dundee on the night of the Census, 1871 were the following:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

John Deuchars, (33)

Joiner

Dundee, Forfarshire

Catherine Deuchars, (30)

Wife

Dundee, Forfarshire

William Deuchars, (9)

Scholar

Dundee, Forfarshire

John Deuchars, (7)

Scholar

Dundee, Forfarshire

Catherine Deuchars, (1)

 

Dundee, Forfarshire

 

This is John Deuchars father, mother, older brothers and sister the year before he is born.

 

Register of Deaths in the District of St Mary’s in the City of Dundee, 1876

Catherine Deuchars, (34), married to John Deuchars, an Operative Joiner of 27 Polepark Road, Dundee, died there on 29 April 1876. Her father was Alexander Jack, a Seaman, Merchant Service (Deceased) and her mother, Caroline Cameron or Jack, (Deceased). Her widowed husband registered her death.

 

Census of Scotland 1881

Among those living at 63 Wilkes Lane in Dundee on the night of the Census, 1881 were the following:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

John Deuchars, (44)

Joiner

Dundee, Forfarshire

William Deuchars, (19)

Mill Worker

Dundee, Forfarshire

John Deuchars, (16)

Mill Worker

Dundee, Forfarshire

Catherine Deuchars, (11)

Mill Worker (Half-time)

Dundee, Forfarshire

Alexander Deuchars, (9)

Scholar

Dundee, Forfarshire

Robina Deuchars, (6)

Scholar

Dundee, Forfarshire

 

Robina Gray Deuchars had been born on 12 March 1874, two years before her mother died.

 

It is likely that William, John and Catherine were employed in Jute Mills. Men tended to be employed up until late teens or very early twenties. Women and girls were thought to be more dexterous at the mill work and there was greater female employment in the Jute industry in Dundee with consequent high male unemployment in the city. This accounts for Catherine working half-time in a mill at the age of 11.

 

Census of Scotland 1891

Among those living at 19 Overgate in Dundee on the night of the Census, 1891 were the following. The transcription surname is incorrect, but it is the same family.

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

John Deuchar, (50)

Joiner

Dundee, Forfarshire

Alexander Deuchar, (18)

Millworker (Jute)

Dundee, Forfar

 

William Deuchars was now married and living in Arthur Street in Edinburgh and working as a Coal Banksman. Catherine was also married and living in Milton Street, Abbeyhill, Edinburgh in that year.

 

Records of the Gordon Highlanders

On 25 August 1892 at Aberdeen, Alexander Deuchars, 19 years and 1 month, enlisted as Private No. 4455 in the Gordon Highlanders. He signed on for 7 years with ‘the Colours’ and 5 years in ‘the Reserve’.

 

He was described as 5’ 5” tall, fresh complexion, grey eyes with brown hair.

 

Alexander Deuchars served a total of 12 years and 177 days with ‘the Colours’ as shown below.

 

Country

From

To

Years

Days

Home

22 August 1892

3 December 1893

1

102

East Indies (India)

4 December 1893

23 September 1899

5

294

South Africa

24 September 1899

1 January 1902

2

100

East Indies (India)

2 January 1902

8 February 1905

3

38

Home

9 February 1905

14 February 1905

 

6

 

Total

12

177

 

During his service, he took part in campaigns in Chitral, India in 1895 and Tirah 1897 -1898. He also took part in the 2nd Boer War in South Africa.

 

Medal Roll of the 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders, 1896

In the Medal Roll dated 1 July 1896 at Gharial, India, the record shows that ‘Private 4455 Deuchars, A, was entitled to the India Medal 1895 and clasp ‘Relief of Chitral 1895’.

 

Medal Roll of the 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders, 1898

In the Medal Roll dated 5 August 1898 at Gharial, India, the record shows that Private 4455 Deuchars, A, having previously been awarded the India Medal 1895, he is now entitled to the clasps ‘Punjab Frontier 1897 – 8’ and ‘Tirah 1897 – 8’.

 

Medal Roll of the 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders, 1901

In the Medal Roll dated 15 July 1901 at Pietersburg, South Africa, the record shows that ‘Private 4454 (sic)  Deuchars, A, was entitled to the award of the Queen’s South Africa Medal and clasps ‘Elandslaagte’  and  ‘Defence of Ladysmith’.

 

Medal Roll of the 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders, 1903

In the Medal Roll dated 6 April 1903 at Sialkot India (now Pakistan), the record shows that ‘Private 4455  Deuchars, A, was entitled to the award of the King’s South Africa Medal and clasps ‘South Africa, 1901’  and  ‘South Africa, 1902’.   

 

Enlistment in Section D of 1st Class Army Reserve, 1905

His first engagement with ‘the Colours’ having expired on 14 February that year, Alexander Deuchars elected to join Section D of the 1stClass Army Reserve on 16 May 1905.

 

His description was noted as being 32 years and 4 months old, 5’ 5”, blue eyes, fresh complexion with fair hair. His occupation was noted as a ‘County Labourer’. His ‘Distinctive Marks’ were similar to those when he joined the Army in 1892. His next of kin was his brother William, now living at East Norton Place, Abbeyhill in Edinburgh.

 

Private 4455 Alexander Deuchars Reserve engagement expired on 15 May 1909 and he was discharged at Perth that day.

 

Royal Parks, King’s Park, Edinburgh

I have been unable to verify when Alexander Deuchars started working at King’s Park, but he was certainly there by 1909 as his occupation when he married that year was ‘Park Keeper’. 

 

Register of Marriages in the Parish of Monifieth in the County of Forfar, 1909.

On 30 April 1909, at Burnside Place, Monifieth in the County of Forfar, Alexander Deuchars, (37), a Park Keeper of 5 Canongate, Edinburgh, married Isabella Lindsay Sutherland, (23), a Jute Spinner of 25 Back Wynd, Dundee.

 

Award of the King George V Coronation (Royal Parks) Medal, 1911

Alexander Deuchars was one of the 11 Royal Park Keepers at Holyrood to be awarded the medal. Only 120 medals of this type were awarded to Royal Park Keepers in the United Kingdom.

 

Register of Births in the District of Canongate, 1911

John Deuchars was born on 25 June 1911 at 24 Robertson’s Court, 5 Canongate, Edinburgh. His parents were Alexander Deuchars, a Park Ranger, and his mother, Isabella Lindsay Sutherland or Deuchars. His father registered his birth.

 

Register of Births in the District of Canongate, 1914

Margaret Wallace Deuchars was born on 3 March 1914 at Jeannie Deans Lodge, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh. Her parents were Alexander Deuchars, a Park Ranger, and her mother, Isabella Lindsay Sutherland or Deuchars. Her father registered her birth. She was named after her Maternal Grand-mother.

 

World War 1

Alexander Deuchars aged 41 years and 304 days, , an ex-Gordon Highlander with previous service of 12 years and 177 days, was attested into the Gordon Highlanders on 22 May 1915. His postings can be seen below.

 

Register of Births in the District of Canongate, 1916

Alexandrina Deuchars was born on 5 November 1916 at Jeannie Deans Lodge, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh. Her parents were Alexander Deuchars, a Park Ranger and Private 9thBattalion Gordon Highlanders, (10281), and her mother, Isabella Lindsay Sutherland or Deuchars. Her birth was registered by a neighbour, Jessie M Herkes, 24 St Leonard’s Bank, Edinburgh.

 

Unit

Postings, Promotions, Reductions, Casualties &  c.

Rank

Dates

Gordon Highlanders, Aberdeen

Attested and Joined, Army No. 10281

Private

22 May 1915

9th Battalion

Posted

Private

26 May 1915

Depot (Aberdeen)

Posted

Private

4 August 1917

3rd Battalion

Posted

Private

6 December 1917

R. F. C. (Royal Flying Corps) South Farnborough, Hampshire

Transferred

Private

20 February 1918

 

Appointed

Aircraftsman III

30 March 1918

Transferred to the Royal Air Force (RAF) under the provisions of the Air Force (Constitution) Act, 1917

 

Private 2

1 April 1918

Deemed to have been discharged as from 30.4.20 (Authy. A.M. W. O. 394/1920)

 

 

30 April 1920

 

His Army No. was 10281, his RAF Service No. was 145291 and his postings are shown below:

 

Country

From

To

Years

Days

Home

22 May 1915

25 May 1915

 

4

B.E.F. (British Expeditionary Force) France

26 May 1915

3 August 1917

2

70

Home

4 August 1917

4 March 1919

1

213

“G” Reserve

5 March 1919

30 April 1920

1

57

 

Total

4

344

 

His RAF personnel record confirms his entitlement to the award of the ‘1914/15 Star, British War and Victory Medals’ and this is confirmed on a Medal Index Card that shows both his Gordon Highlanders and RAF service numbers and his first day in France as 26 May 1915. His name is also present on RAF Medal Rolls showing his Army and RAF service.

 

Register of Marriages in the District of St Giles in the City of Edinburgh, 1934

Margaret Wallace Deuchars, (20),  married Thomas Fraser, (25),  in 1934. She was then still living at Jeannie Deans Lodge with her father and mother.

 

Register of Marriages in the District of George Square in the City of Edinburgh, 1943

Alexanderina Deuchars, (26), married Robert McBride White in 1943. He was in the Royal Army Medical Corps on ‘War Service’. Her address then was the family home at 3 Buccleuch Terrace, Edinburgh.

 

Register of Deaths in the District of George Square in the City of Edinburgh, 1943    

Alexander Deuchars, (71), a Park Ranger (Retired), married to Isabella Sutherland, of 3 Buccleuch Terrace, Edinburgh, died there on 11 February 1943, a week after his daughter’s wedding. His widow, Isabella registered his death.

 

Register of Deaths in the District of Morningside in the City of Edinburgh, 1959

Isabella Lindsay Sutherland or Deuchars, (73), widow of Alexander Deuchars, Park Ranger, usual address, 3 Buccleuch Terrace, Edinburgh, died in the City Hospital, Edinburgh on 27 January 1959. Her son John, living at the same home address, registered her death.

 

Register of Deaths in the District of Haymarket in the City of Edinburgh, 1966

John Deuchars, (54), of 3 Buccleuch Terrace, Edinburgh died in Stenhouse in 1966. His sister Margaret registered his death.

 

The End of the Story

If you are a relative or have further information, particularly photographs of the family, please get in touch via www.enquiries@scottishpolicemedals.co.ukThank you.

 

Park Keeper John Alexander Gunn

Royal Park Keeper John Alexander Gunn

John Alexander Gunn was born in Salford Lancashire in the final quarter of 1863. I believe his father was John Gunn, a Colour Sergeant in the 49th Regiment of Foot, born in Wick around 1832,  who had fought in  the Crimean War and his mother, Christina Davie or Gunn, born in Buchanan, Stirlingshire in 1839. John Gunn, born at Wick in Caithness was just short of 19 when he enlisted in the 49th Regiment of Foot on 28 December 1848.

 

Register of Marriages in the District of Tradeston in the Burgh of Glasgow 1860

On 26 November 1860, at 96 South Portland Street, Glasgow John Gunn, (28), a Colour Sergeant in the 49th Regiment of Foot, married Christine Davie, (23), a Domestic Servant, both of 37 South Portland Street. 

 

John’s parents were Alexander Gunn, a General Carter and his mother, Ann Gunn or Gunn. Christina’s parents were Archibald Davie, a Farmer and her mother, Christina McFarlane or Davie.

 

Census of England 1861

On the night of the Census of England 1861, the 49th Regiment of Foot was stationed in the East Block of the Permanent Barracks at Aldershot, Hampshire. Among those living there were the following:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

John Gunn, (30)

Private, 49th Regiment of Foot

Scotland

Christina Gunn, (22)

Wife

Scotland

 

Army Record of Discharge, 2913 Colour Sergeant John Gunn 49thRegiment

Colour Sergeant John Gunn was discharged from the 49th Regiment of Foot on 12 April 1870 with 21 Years and 16 Days service. He had served in Malta, Crimea, Turkey and the East Indies (India) as well as home.

 

He had been awarded ‘the Crimea Medal with three clasps, for “Alma”, “Inkerman” and “Sebastopol”. He was also ‘Granted a silver Medal for Long Service & Good Conduct and a Gratuity of £5 on 19 August 1869’. 

 

His intended place of residence was given as ‘Dingwall – Volunteer Battalion duty at Highland Depot’. The records seem to confirm that was his occupation until he died.

 

The Sutherland Highland Rifle Volunteers

The Sutherland Highland Rifle Volunteers was raised in 1859, and in 1864 it became the 1st (Administrative) Battalion, Sutherland Rifle Volunteers, based in Golspie; it consisted of 5 companies, based at Golspie, Dornoch, Brora, Rogart and Bonar Bridge. In 1867 the battalion adopted the Sutherland tartan kilt and belted plaid. These were part-time soldiers, not Regular Army units.

 

In 1881, the battalion was incorporated into the 5th Seaforth Highlanders, a Territorial Army unit based in Fort George. However it retained its distinctive name, tartan and cap badge, and its association with Sutherland. 

 

Census of Scotland 1871

Among those living at Fort George, Ardersier, Inverness-shire on the night of the Census, 1871 were the following:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

John Gunn, (39)

Sergeant, Highland Rifle Militia

Wick, Caithness-shire

Christina Gunn, (33)

Sergeants’ Wife

Buchanan, Stirlingshire

John Alexander Gunn, (7)

Scholar

England

Archibald David Gunn, (5)

Scholar

England

Annie Catherine Davie Gunn, (14 days)

 

Fort George, Ardersier, Inverness-shire

 

It is possible that Archibald Gunn was born in 1866 in the Garrison Town of Colchester.

 

Census of Scotland 1881

Among those living at Commerce Street, Brora in the Parish of Clyne in Sutherland on the night of the Census, 1881 were the following:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

John Gunn, (50)

Sergeant, Highland Rifle Militia

Wick, Caithness-shire

Christina Gunn, (44)

Sergeants’ Wife

Buchanan, Stirlingshire

John Alexander Gunn, (17)

Labourer

England

Archibald Davie Gunn, (15)

Scholar

England

Annie Catherine Davie Gunn, (10)

Scholar

Fort George, Ardersier, Inverness-shire

 

Records of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders

John Alexander Gunn enlisted in the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders on 5 September 1884. His previous occupation was Labourer and he had served in the 3rd Battalion Seaforth Highlanders as a Volunteer.

 

Promotions, Reductions, Casualties

Rank

From

To

Cameron Highlanders, Attested, Private No. 988.

Private

5 Sep. 1884

30 Oct. 1884

Appointed 

Lance Corporal

31 Oct. 1884

31 Jul. 1885

Paid

Lance Corporal

1 Aug. 1885

12 Apr. 1886

1st Battalion, Promoted

Corporal

13 Apr. 1886

10 Apr. 1888

1st Battalion, Entitled to 1st Good Conduct (G.C.) Pay at 1d.

Corporal

5 Sep. 1886

 

1st Battalion, Appointed

Lance Sergeant

11 Apr. 1888

27 Mar. 1889

 

This was a total of his first 4 years and 234 days service.

 

John’s next-of-kin was listed as his father, John Gunn of Brora, Sutherland.

 

Register of Deaths in the Parish of Clyne, Sutherland 1885

Archibald David Gunn, 16), an Apprentice Baker of Brora in Sutherland, died there on 27 March 1885. His father was John Gunn, a Sergeant Instructor, Clyne (Brora) Company of the 1st Sutherland Highland Rifle Volunteers. His mother was Christina Davie. His father registered his death.

 

Register of Deaths in the Parish of Clyne, Sutherland 1889

On either the 3rd or 4thFebruary 1889, in the River Brora in Sutherland, John Gunn, (58), a former Colour Sergeant in the 49th Regiment of Foot and Drill Instructor, married to Christina Davie, drowned.

 

A Procurator Fiscal’s (PF) Precognition took place and on 9 February 1889, the PF at Dornoch in Sutherland confirmed the cause of death. His son, John Gunn, Lance Sergeant 79th Highlanders, registered his death.

 

Records of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders

 

Promotions, Reductions, Casualties

Rank

Date

1st Battalion, Promoted

Sergeant

28 March 1889

 

Register of Deaths in the Parish of Buchanan in the County of Stirling 1890

On 28 January 1890 at Inchfad, Loch Lomond in the Parish of Buchanan, Stirlingshire, Christina Gunn, widow of John Gunn, a Pensioner, died there. Her brother, Archibald Davie of the same address, registered her death.

 

Records of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders

 

Promotions, Reductions, Casualties

Rank

Date

Re-engaged for the “Q. O. Cameron Highlanders at Gibraltar on 28 April 1896 for such term as shall complete 21 years’ service.

Sergeant

28 April 1896

War Gratuity Paid. Granted Service Pay and placed in Class 1

Sergeant

1 April 1904

£41.5/0d Deferred Pay Issued

Sergeant

31 July 1906

£2. Gratuity on Discharge under Article 1046 paid.

Sergeant

10 October 1908

£5 Gratuity for long service and good conduct medal under Article 1155 paid.

Sergeant

10 October 1908

Discharged having claimed it after three months’ notice.

Sergeant

10 October 1908

 

 

 

 

Military Record Sheet

The table below shows John Alexander Gunn’s postings during his 24 years and 37 days Regular Army service.

 

Country

From

To

Years

Days

Home

5 September 1884

18 September 1885

1

14

Egypt

19 September 1885

25 March 1887

1

188

Home

26 March 1887

23 February 1892

4

337

Malta

24 February 1892

18 February 1895

2

359

Gibraltar

19 February 1895

3 October 1897

2

227

Egypt

4 October 1897

2 March 1900

2

150

South Africa

3 March 1900

11 October 1902

2

222

Home

11 October 1902

10 October 1908

6

 

 

Total

24

36

 

Campaigns and Operations

John Gunn’s Army record shows that he took part in Operations on the Upper Nile in Egypt between 1885 – 1886, the Nile Expedition 1898 and the Battles of ‘the Atbara’ and ‘Khartoum’ in 1898. He also took part in operations in South Africa 1900 – 1902 and the battles of Johannesburg, Diamond Hill and Wittebergen.

 

Medal Roll of the 1st Battalion Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, 1886

According to the “Roll of Officers, Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and men entitled  to the War Medal (Egypt Medal 1882 - 89) for the operations upon the Upper Nile, between the 30th November 1885, and the 11th January 1886, both dates inclusive”, dated 25 July 1886 at Cairo, ‘988 Lance-Corporal John A Gunn was one of those men eligible to receive the medal.

 

Medal Roll of the 1st Battalion Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, 1899

According to the “Roll (dated 5 March 1899) of individuals entitled to the “(Khedive’s) Sudan Medal” granted by Khedive of Egypt, ‘988 Sergeant Gunn, J, took part in operations in the Atbara Expedition 1898 and the Expedition to Khartoum 1898’ and was awarded the medal.  He was awarded the medal with the clasps ‘The Atbara’ and ‘Khartoum’.

 

Medal Roll of the 1st Battalion Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, 1899

According to the “Roll of individuals entitled to the “(Queen’s) Sudan Medal” granted by Her Majesty the Queen under the terms of Army Order 49 of 1899”, ‘ 988 Sergeant Gunn, J, took part in operations in the Atbara Expedition 1898 and the Expedition to Khartoum 1898’ and was awarded the medal.  

 

Medal Roll of the 1st Battalion Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, 1901

The Medal Roll of the 1st Battalion the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders dated 12 October 1901 at Pretoria, South Africa lists those men entitled to the award of the Queen’s South Africa Medal for their service in the Boer War. The records shows that ‘988  Sergeant Gunn, J’ is entitled to the award of the medal and clasps, ‘Johannesburg’, ‘Diamond Hill’, ‘Wittebergen’ and ‘Cape Colony’.

 

Medal Roll of the 1st Battalion Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, 1903

The Medal Roll of the 1st Battalion the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders dated 31 January 1903 at Fort George, lists those men entitled to the award of the King’s South Africa Medal for their service in the Boer War. The records shows that ‘988  Sergeant Gunn, J’ is entitled to the award of the medal and clasps, ‘South Africa, 1901’ and  ‘South Africa 1902’.

 

Army Record of Discharge, 1908, Medals and Decorations

Under ‘Medals and Decorations in John’s Army Discharge Record, it states that he is entitled to”

 

“Soudan (Egyptian) Medal. Khedive’s Star. Khedive’s Egyptian Soudan Medal & Clasps, “The Atbera” & “Khartoum”. The Soudan Medal (Queen’s).

The South African 1900 -1-2 Clasps (Queen’s South Africa Medal) for “Johannesburg”, “Diamond Hill”, “Wittebergen” and “Cape Colony”. The King’s S. African Medal & Clasps, “S. A. 1901” & “S. A. 1902”. Siler Medal for Long Service & Good Conduct.”

 

John Alexander Gunn was discharged at Tidworth on 10 October 1908. His conduct was described as ‘Exemplary” and his ‘Special qualifications for employment in civil life’ was listed as “Thoroughly reliable”.

 

His intended address was c/o Mrs Allan (his sister Annie’s address), Brazier’s Buildings, Calderbank, Airdrie

 

Census of Scotland 1911

Living at an address in Airdrie, Lanarkshire on the night of the Census, 1911 were the following:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Robert Allan, (40)

Steel Worker

Hamilton, Lanarkshire

Annie Allan, (40)

Wife

Ardersier, Inverness-shire

Rachel Allan, (13)

Scholar

Uddingston, Lanarkshire

John Allen, (10)

Scholar

Uddingston, Lanarkshire

Annie Allan, (8)

Scholar

Uddingston, Lanarkshire

Robert Allan, (2)

 

Calderbank, Lanarkshire

 

The 1911 Census was the first to require that married women declare the number of years they had been married, the number of live births they had experienced and the number of children still alive on the date of the Census. Annie declared that she and Robert had been married for 16 years, they had five live children together and four were still alive on the date of the Census. They would have married around 1895.

 

Royal Parks Keepers Edinburgh

I have no information when Alexander became a Royal Park Keeper, but it was certainly before 1911.

 

Census of Scotland 1911

In the Census of Scotland 1911, John Gunn, a Park Keeper was living as a Boarder at 33 Royal Park Terrace, Edinburgh. Royal Park Terrace is just to the East of King’s Park.

 

Award of the King George V Coronation (Royal Parks) Medal, 1911

John Alexander Gunn was one of the 11 Royal Park Keepers at Holyrood to be awarded the medal. Only 120 medals of this type were awarded to Royal Park Keepers in the United Kingdom.

 

Register of Deaths in the Parish of New Monklands in the County of Lanark 1916

John Alexander Gunn, (52), formerly Sergeant 1s tBattalion Cameron Highlanders, Single, and an Army Pensioner, died on 3 February 1916 at an address in Airdrie, Lanarkshire. His sister Annie of the same address registered his death.

 

The End of the Story

I have been unable to find any record of Annie Catherine Davie Gunn or Allan’s death.

 

The End of the Story

If you are a relative or have further information, particularly photographs of the family, please get in touch via www.enquiries@scottishpolicemedals.co.ukThank you.

 

 

 

 

Royal Park Keeper John King - The Black Watch

Picture courtesy of Red Hackle journal.
Picture courtesy of Dix Noonan Webb, London, 2019
Picture courtesy of Dix Noonan Webb, London, 2019.

Park Keeper William A. Kerr

STOP PRESS See one of only two 'Visit to Scotland' 1903 medals issued to a Metropolitan Police Officer - DS David Liddle

Completely New Metropolitan Police Medals from WW2

Completely Updated

Accurate Medal Roll for all 120 Royal Parks 1911 Police Coronation Medals

News: New roll of all Scottish officers awarded KPM 1909 - 1954 (From Ian Hall) 

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