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County of Wigtownshire Police 1838 - 1948

County of Wigtownshire Police

PC Hepburn Summers Anderson

 

1914 Star & Clasp

British War Medal

Victory Medal

 

Introduction

Hepburn Summers Anderson was born at Cowgate, Errol, Perthshire on 23 August 1881. His parents were George Anderson, a Baker and Eliza Tait or Anderson. They had been married in Errol on 22 April 1864. He was the youngest of five children and named after his paternal grandmother.

 

He worked in the Merchant Navy on leaving school and obtained his ‘Master’s and Mates’ certificates in his early twenties.

 

He joined the County of Wigtownshire Police in early 1914, having previously served in the Scots Guards for three years, just after his transfer to the Regular Army Reserve.

 

What follows is a chronological history of Hepburn Anderson’s life extracted from public records. Sometimes errors are included in transcriptions but for the sake of accuracy, I have recorded the documents as I found them.

Wigtownshire Constabulary collar number 19 (Courtesy of John Green's Book).

The Early Years

 

Census of Scotland 1881

The following were living at Cowgate Road, Errol in Perthshire on the night of the Census 1881.

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

George Anderson, (39)

Baker

Dundee, Forfarshire

Eliza Anderson, (38)

Wife

Errol, Perthshire

William Anderson, (16)

Son, Labourer

Errol, Perthshire

Jane Anderson, (9)

Daughter, Scholar

Errol, Perthshire

Eliza Anderson, (6)

Daughter, Scholar

Errol, Perthshire

George Anderson, (3)

Son

Errol, Perthshire

Hepburn Anderson, (7 months)

Son

Errol, Perthshire

 

Census of Scotland 1891

The following were living at Cowgate Road, Errol in Perthshire on the night of the Census 1881.

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

George Anderson, (49)

Baker

Dundee, Forfarshire

Eliza Anderson, (48)

Wife

Errol, Perthshire

Eliza Anderson, (16)

Daughter, Scholar

Dundee, Forfarshire

George Anderson,* (13)

Son, Scholar

Errol, Perthshire

Hepburn Anderson, (10)

Son, Scholar

Errol, Perthshire

Archibald Anderson, (7)

Son, Scholar

Errol, Perthshire

 

*Corporal George Anderson, 2nd Life Guards, died in Windsor, Berkshire on 12 March 1919. He is buried in a Military Grave in Errol Parish Kirkyard.

 

George joined the Household Cavalry, on a Long-Service enlistment of 12 years as Trooper No. 2333 at Perth on 6 February 1901.

 

He served in the 2nd Life Guards for 17 years and 216 days during which time, he married Bessie Elizabeth Jane Hobbs in Windsor in 1916. The couple had a son, Ronald George Anderson, born in 1917.

 

Whilst serving in France, George suffered gunshot wounds and shrapnel injuries to his left leg and ankle. On 9 September 1918, he was ‘Discharged no longer fit for War service’ and awarded a Disability Pension. His death on 12 March 1918 in Windsor was directly related to his active service in France.

 

Census of Scotland 1901

The following were living at Cowgate Lane, Errol in Perthshire on the night of the Census 1901.George

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

George Anderson, (59)

Baker

Dundee, Forfarshire

Eliza Anderson, (58)

Wife

Errol, Perthshire

Archibald Anderson, (17)

Son, Apprentice Plumber

Errol, Perthshire

Jane Anderson, (29)

Daughter, Laundress

Errol, Perthshire

Eliza Ross, (30

Grand-daughter

Errol, Perthshire

 

UK & Ireland, Masters & Mates Certificates, 1904

On 22 April 1904, the Board of Trade awarded Hepburn Summers Anderson, born 1880 in Errol, Perth, of Cowgate, Errol,  a Certificate of Competence, No. 038238 as a Second Mate of a Foreign-Going ship. The Certificate was issued at the Port of Dundee after an Ordinary Examination passed at Dundee on 19 April 1904.

 

UK & Ireland, Masters & Mates Certificates, 1908

On 3 April 1908, the Board of Trade awarded Hepburn Summers Anderson, born 1880 in Errol, Perth, of Cowgate, Errol,  a Certificate of Competence, No. 004527 as a First Mate of a Foreign-Going ship. The Certificate was issued at the Port of Dundee after an Examination passed at Dundee on 30 March 1908.

 

His application shows that Hepburn has been working as Second Mate aboard ships registered in Glasgow and Dundee between 6 June 1904 and 27 January 1908 and with a total of 7 years, 3 months and 1 days’ experience at sea.

The Scots Guards Records 1911

On 10 March 1911, at Perth, Hepburn Summers Anderson enlisted for three years with the Colours and nine years in the Reserve, as Private No. 7851 in the Scots Guards. His previous occupation was a “Seaman’, 24 years and 7 months old, just short of 6’ tall, dark complexion, brown eyes and dark brown hair.

 

During his total service, Hepburn was stationed in turn at Caterham in Surrey, Aldershot, Hampshire, Cairo, Egypt, London, back to Aldershot and finally, France in August 1914.

 

Scots Guards Military History Sheet (MHS)

This shows the dates of his postings home and abroad.

 

Country

From

To

Years

Days

Home

10 March 1911

21 March 1912

1

12

Egypt

22 March 1912

1 January 1913

 

286

Home

2 January 1913

12 August 1914

223

France

13 August 1914

14 September 1914

 

33

 

Total

3

189

 

The above table shows that Hepburn completed his three years with the Colours and was transferred to the Army Reserve on 10 March 1914.

County of Wigtownshire Police 1914

Hepburn Summers Anderson joined the County of Wigtownshire Police on 19 March 1914 as a 3rd Class Police Constable. He was unmarried and his previous occupation was a ‘Soldier’. He was stationed at Stranraer during his brief tenure with the police.

 

Wigtownshire Constabulary cap badge. (Courtesy of John Green's Book).

Mobilisation of Regular Army Reserves August 1914

As a Reservist, Hepburn was immediately ‘Called to the Colours’ in London on 5 August 1914. He was immediately deployed to France with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on 13 August 1914 and killed in action 33 days later.

 

His Army records state that ‘7851 Hepburn Summers Anderson’ was reported ‘Missing’ on 2 September 1914. On 14 September 1914, his record states that he is ‘Presumed died on or since, 14 September 1914’.

 

The MHS records his next of kin as his father and mother, Rustic House, Errol, Perthshire.

 

It was at that address; his mother and father received a letter from the Regimental Headquarters of the Scots Guards, Buckingham Gate, London, dated 5 April 1916 in which they received a gift of ‘Her Royal Highness Princess Mary’ to their late son.

 

George Anderson signed the required receipt and added the word ‘Thanks’ and returned same to RHQ. It is preserved to this day in Hepburn’s Army records.

 

Also recorded in the MHS are his entitlement to the 1914 Star and Clasp, the British War Medal and Victory Medal, none of which, he would ever have seen.

 

The receipts signed by his father George Anderson are dated 25 April 1919 for the 1914 Star and 14 March 1921, for the British War and Victory Medals.

 

The Scots Guards Records 1914

Guardsman 7851 Hepburn Summers Anderson, son of George Anderson of Melville Terrace, Errol, Perthshire,  was presumed to have been killed in action in France and Flanders on 14 September 1914. He is commemorated on the  La Ferte-Sous-Louarre Memorial.

The End of the Story

 

Register of Deaths in the Parish of Errol in the County of Perth 

Eliza Anderson, (79), Married to George Anderson, Baker, died on 25 January 1923 at Cowgate, Errol, Perthshire. She was the daughter of William Tait, Builder and Jane Wannan or Tait, both deceased.

 

Her son, William T. Anderson, registered her death.

 

Register of Deaths in the Parish of Errol in the County of Perth 1927

George Anderson, (84), Baker, Retired, Widower of Eliza Tait, died on 5 January 1927 at Cowgate, Errol, Perthshire. He was the son of John Anderson, Sheriff’s Clerk and Hepburn Summers or Anderson, both deceased.

 

His son, William T Anderson, registered his death.

Thank you 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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