County of Wigtownshire Police 1838 - 1948

County of Wigtownshire Police

PC Adam Ion


British War Medal

Victory Medal



Adam Ion was born on 6 April 1882 in Minnigaff, Newton Stewart in Kirkcudbrightshire. He was the eldest child of Thomas Parr Ion, a Gamekeeper and his mother Jessie McGowan or Ion. They had been married at Minnigaff on 21 October 1881.


The Early Years

Adam grew up with his family around Blackcraig and Daltamie Estate, a few miles south east of Newton Stewart. He was working as a Grocer’s Assistant in Helensburgh in 1901 but joined the Scots Guards later that year. He did 8 years with the Colours until 1909 and 4 with the Reserve. It is likely that he was piper in the pipes and drums.


He joined Wigtownshire Constabulary in 1910, married Agnes McKie the following year, and over his service, was stationed at Newton Stewart, Stranraer and Cairnryan.


On 13 September 1914, with the permission of the Chief Constable, he re-joined the Scots Guards. He later served in France and Belgium and was killed in action in 1917.


What follows is a chronological record of Adam Ion’s life extracted from public records. They are transcribed as written and errors have been included for the sake of historical accuracy.


Census of Scotland 1891

The following were living at Blackcraig, Minnigaff in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright on the night of the Census 1891.


Name & Age


Place & County of Birth

Thomas Parr Ion, (29)


Colmonell, Ayrshire

Jessie Ion, (29)


Minnigaff, Kirkcudbright

Adam Ion, (8)

Son, Scholar

Minnigaff, Kirkcudbright

Thomas Parr Ion, (7)

Son, Scholar

Minnigaff, Kirkcudbright

John Anthony Ion, *(5)

Son, Scholar

Minnigaff, Kirkcudbright

Jessie E. Ion, (3)


Minnigaff, Kirkcudbright

William Ion, (1)


Minnigaff, Kirkcudbright


*John Anthony Ion, having emigrated to British Columbia, Canada, on 31 May 1916, he enlisted as Private No. 931550 of the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles. In 1917, he was “Previously reported Wounded & Missing’, now for official purposes presumed to have died in an attack north of Passchendaele on or since 30 October 1917.” He is remembered in the Parish of Lochryan War Memorial, as is his brother.

Guardsman Adam Ion - Scots Guards (Picture courtesy of Wyn Blackwood).

Census of Scotland 1901

The following were living at Daltamie House, Minnigaff in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright on the night of the Census 1901. Daltamie is north of Blackcraig.


Name & Age


Place & County of Birth

Thomas Parr Ion, (39)


Colmonell, Ayrshire

Jessie Ion, (29)


Minnigaff, Kirkcudbright

Thomas Parr Ion, *(16)

Son, Gardener’s Apprentice

Minnigaff, Kirkcudbright

Jessie Elizabeth Ion, (13)

Daughter, Scholar

Minnigaff, Kirkcudbright

William Ion, (11)

Son, Scholar

Minnigaff, Kirkcudbright

Isabella Ion, (9)

Daughter, Scholar



*Thomas Parr Ion, ( 30), Motor Driver, born Minnigaff, enlisted as Private No. MS 2572 of the Army Service Corps. His next of Kin was Thomas Parr Ion, his father. He served in the British Expeditionary force in France and Belgium and was awarded the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. He survived the war and was discharged in May 1919. 


Census of Scotland 1901

The following were living at 122 Princess Street East, Helensburgh, Dumbartonshire on the night of the Census 1901.


Name & Age


Place & County of Birth

William Cessford, (31)

Market Gardener

Mertoun, Berwickshire

Mary Cessford, (33)


Bathgate, Linlithgowshire

Ivy Cessford, (5)

Daughter, Scholar

Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Robina W. Cessford, (1)


Helensburgh, Dumbartonshire

Harry Wilson, (20)

Boarder, Saddler

Penninghame, Wigtownshire

Adam Ion, (18)

Boarder, Grocer’s Assistant

Minnigaff, Kirkcudbrightshire


This is Adam Ion just before he joined the Army. His occupation when he joined the Army was given as ‘Labourer’.


The Scots Guards Records 1901

Adam Ion, 19 years and 6 months old, born in Minnigaff, Newton Stewart in the County of Kirkcudbright, enlisted as Private No. 4137 in the Scots Guards at Glasgow on 5 November 1901. His engagement was for three years with the Colours and nine years with the Reserve. He began his service with the 3rd Battalion Scots Guards (SG).


He was described as 5’ 11”, with a fresh complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He was passed fit for the Army on the same day.


Guardsman Ion served with the 3rd SG until October 1903 when he transferred to the 1st Battalion.  The following year, he extended his service with the Colours to allow him to complete eight years and four with the Reserve.


On 5 November 1909, Private Ion was transferred to Army Reserve section B on completion of his regular service.


He was finally discharged from the Reserve on the termination of his engagement on 4 November 1913.

The Ion family, back row, left to right, John Anthony, Thomas Parr, Jessie Elizabeth, Adam. Front row, left to right, William, Isabella, Thomas Parr Ion, Jessie Ion. This picture dates after November 1901 when Adam joined the Scots Guards.

The Scots Guards 1901 - 1909

Adam Ion served with the Scots Guards from 1901 to 1909 and the photographs below are all probably from that period.


All of the pictures above and below, are courtesy of Malcolm Blackwood, Adam Ion's Great nephew. Malcolm's Grandmother was Jessie Elizabeth Ion who can be seen in the family picture above, wearing a hat.

Guardsman Adam Ion in Service Dress. This is probably taken quite early in his service. Excellent moustache!
Guardsman Adam Ion in No. 1 Dress (minus the Bearskin).
Guardsman Adam Ion in Barracks with comrades. He is astride the bed holding a pipe.

County of Wigtownshire Police 1910

Adam Ion joined the County of Wigtownshire Police on 31 March 1910 as a 3rd Class Police Constable. He was unmarried and his previous occupation was a ‘Soldier’.


Census of Scotland 1911

In the Census of Scotland 1911, Police Constable Adam Ion, (28), born in Minnigaff, Kirkcudbrightshire, was living at 19 Charlotte Street, Stranraer as a Boarder.


County of Wigtownshire Police 1911

On 2 April 1911, PC Adam Ion was advanced to 2nd Class Constable.


Register of Marriages in the District of Stranraer in the County of Wigtown

On 11 April 1911, at the Manse, Lewis Street, Stranraer, after Banns according to the Forms of the Church of Scotland, Adam Ion, (29), Police Constable, 19 Charlotte Street, Stranraer, married Agnes Hume or McKie, (32), Widow, of 8 Queen Street, Newton Stewart. 


Adam’s parents were as shown above. Agnes’ parents were George Hume, Inspector of Poor, (Deceased) and Agnes Gordon or Hume, (Deceased).


The witnesses were Mary J. McLellan and Thomas Parr Ion and the ceremony performed by the Reverend H.P.Charlton. Thomas can be seen in the picture above.


Adam also became step-father to Agnes’ two children, Agnes McKie, born 25 October 1898 in Partick, Lanarkshire and William Cumming McKie, born 27 April 1902 in Glasgow, Lanarkshire. William died of TB  aged 15 on 11 November 1917.


County of Wigtownshire Police 1911

On 10 December 1911, PC Adam Ion was advanced to 1st Class Constable.


Register of Births in the District of Stranraer in the County of Wigtown 1912

Thomas Parr Ion was born on 18 February 1912 at Stranraer. His parents were Adam and Agnes Ion.


Register of Births in the District of Stranraer in the County of Wigtown 1914

Jessie Ion was born on 23 July 1914 at Cairnryan. Her parents were Adam and Agnes Ion.

Police Constable Adam Ion, Wigtownshire Constabulary, courtesy of Malcolm Blackwood.
Wigtownshire Constabulary collar number 19.
Wigtownshire Constabulary cap badge.
This is Adam Ion in the uniform of a Piper in the Scots Guards. (Picture courtesy of Wyn Blackwood).

The Scots Guards Records 1914

Police Constable Adam Ion, (33 years and 5 months),  re-enlisted in the Scots Guards on 13 September 1914 at Stranraer as Private No. 10529. He declared 8 years previous service in the Scots Guards. 


Scots Guards Military History Sheet, 10529 Adam Ion

This table shows Adam Ion’s military service in World War 1. It is likely as an experienced soldier and piper; he was used as a trainer at the Guards Depot and with the 3rd Battalion Scots Guards.








11 September 1914

5 April 1916




6 April 1916

9 October 1917








Adam Ion’s Medal Index Card (MIC) confirms that he was transferred to the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards on 6 April, 1916, the day he entered France.


An entry in his Army file dated 23 June 1917 records that he was granted leave to the UK between 16 June to 26 June 1917.


10529 Guardsman Adam Ion, 2nd Battalion Scots Guards was killed in action on 9 October 1917 in France and Flanders.


The 2nd Scots Guards Regimental War Diary (WO 95- 1224,2, 4, page 41 of 125) entry for 9th October 1917 records the following:


"Between 8th - 10th October 1917, the Battalion was at WELLINGTON CAMP ELVERDINGHE where they remained for two days. The Battalion was at the disposal of  the C.R.E. XIVth Corps for work on roads in the forward area. The work was very hard with long hours, a good deal of shelling causing a number of casualities. Lieut. J. Daniels was wounded." Under 'Remarks', the WD notes "Lt. R. F. Daniels wounded (9th). 


In the style of its day, there is no indication of the number or names of the 'Other Ranks' casualties, only the officers, and this is the only indication of the death of Guardsman Adam Ion near Ypres on that day. 18 words in total.


Agnes McKie was informed on 3 November 1917, according to the Army records.


Adam is buried in Artillery Wood Cemetery, Boesinghe North,  3 miles North West of Ypres in Plot 5, Row D, Grave 19

Gurdsman Adam Ion's grave in Artillery Wood Cemetery (Picture courtesy of the CWGC).


World War 1 Military Pension Records 1917

The record card for Case No. 757, records that Guardsman No. 10529 Adam Ion, of the Scots Guards was killed in action on 9 October 1917. 


His widow, Agnes Ion was living at the Police Station, Cairnryan, Wigtownshire with her two children, Thomas Parr Ion, born 18 December 1912 and Jessie Ion, born 23 July 1914. Agnes would receive the award of the pension for Thomas until his 16th birthday in 1928 and that of his sister until her 16th birthday in 1930. The pension in 1918 was £0.25/5d per week, ( £1.27 approximately).


British War & Victory Medals 1921

Adam’s Army records also contain a receipt dated 1st June 1921 in which Agnes Ion signed for her late husband’s British War and Victory Medals.

Minnigaff War Memorial, Kirkcudbrightshire (Picture courtesy of the Imperial War Museum).
Minnigaff War Memorial with the names of Adam Ion and his brother John together. (Picture courtesy of the Imperial War Museum).
The Parish War Memorial at Lochryan, Wigtownshire. Guardsman Adam Ion's name can be clearly see in the centre.

The End of the Story


Register of Deaths in the Parish of Minnigaff  in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright 1921

Jessie Ion, (60), Married to Thomas Parr Ion, died on 6 December 1921 at Stronard Cottage. Her husband registered her death.


Register of Deaths in the Parish of Minnigaff  in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright 1925

Thomas Parr Ion, (64), Gamekeeper, Widower of Jessie McGowan, died on 26 June 1925. His son, Thomas Parr Ion, registered his death.


Register of Deaths in the District of Pollock in the Burgh of Glasgow 1952

Agnes Ion, (75), Widow of 1. William McKie, Joiner and 2. Adam Ion, Police Constable, died on 4 December 1952. Her son, Thomas Parr Ion registered his mother’s death.

My sincere thanks to Malcolm Blackwood for allowing me access to his family photographs. The family images convey far more than words can express.


Thank you also to Joe Craig, Curator of the Dumfries & Galloway Constabulary Museum & Archive for his assistance in compiling the article. The Museum is supported by Police Scotland and the Dumfries & Galloway Branch of the Retired Police Officers Association & Scotland.

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