Tag Archives: Morayshire

Younie Brothers in Arms

This is a blog I started a couple of weeks ago and saved as a draft, with it being late in the evening.  In the meantime I, after having a chat with a fellow researcher, did the long awaited entry for Alexander Riach who had an accidental death.

It has been a while since I have touched anything connecte to my family history, I’ve been too busy researching for a couple of projects I have on the go.  But tonight I took the bull by the horns and transferred my family tree from my pc to my laptop.

So I have been having a mooch around and seeing who is there, been looking through the pictures I have added to the many people and I came up with a piccy of a headstone, my friends will say ‘well what a surprise, a headstone!’  I had totally forgotten taking this one on a visit to Forres, Morayshire, years ago – I think it could have been one of those ‘I’ll do a little research on that one at a later  moment…………………the moment has come!

Isn’t it wonderful what a headstone can tell you, and especially a Scottish headstone as they nearly always have the wife with her maiden name for all to see – a woman keeps her name from cradle to grave…………wouldn’t that be wonderful if that was done in other countries!

This simple headstone is to William Younie who died at Bank Lane, 1926 aged 77.  His wife, Mary MacDonald died in 1935 aged 80.  But there are another couple of entries to their children.  Two of these entries I will go into further detail in a while, but now I will name Leslie, Alexander and William who die din infancy.

So, to the children I other children, namely, James and Thomas. 1891 sees the family living at 34 St Leonards Road, Forres, where William is a mason.   In 1901 the boys, were living at 3 Bank Street, Forres, with their parents, William Younie and Mary Ann MacDonald, and siblings – Donald, John and Emma.  In 1901 James McAndrew Younie and his brother Thomas P Younie were 12 years old – yes, they were twins!

I had some left over credits on Scotlands People, not a place I like to spend money as I wish they would do an annual subscription, but hey ho!  The William and Mary are living at 3 Bank Lane, Forres, with two of their children – James aged 23 and Emma aged 13.  Also in the household is James Munro aged 25, a boarder, who speaks both Gaelic and English.  William and Mary had bee married 33 years and had had eight children born alive, but only five had survived to be in the census of 1911.   William was still a mason, but this census specifies house building.  James was aged 23 and employed as a grocers assistant. Just for interest James Munro was employed as a law clerk.

During the Great War both James and Thomas fought for their country.  Lets look for James first.  He had been living in Glasgow, so it was there that he enlisted, joining the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, with the service number S/2469 and rising to the rank of Lance younie james mcandrew kiaCorporal in the 6th Battalion.  And so it  was that  on the 16th of July 1917 that James McAndrew Younie died of wounds received in action aged 29.  He rests in Dozinghem Military Cemetery, near Krombeke, north west of Poperinge, in the West Vleteren region of Belgium, along with 3239 other casualties from  the  Commonwealth, the Chinese labour force and  Germany.

Westvleteren was outside the front held by Commonwealth forces in Belgium during the First World War, but in July 1917, in readiness for the forthcoming offensive, groups of casualty clearing stations were placed at three positions called by the troops Mendinghem, Dozinghem and Bandaghem.

The 4th, 47th and 61st Casualty Clearing Stations were posted at Dozinghem and the military cemetery was used by them until early in 1918.

A book about the War Memorial Unveiled in the United Free High Church has the following entry for James McAndrew Younie.

younie james moray n nairn fhs

Now to James’s twin, Thomas – while looking for James in the 1911 Scottish census, there was not one entry that I could 100% say was him.  Looking for Thomas has been a lot harder going that his brother, but we got somewhere in the end.  Thomas enlisted at Fort George in 1906. During the Great War, Thomas Petrie Younie served in the Seaforth Highlanders and became, Company Serjeant Major, 9500.  He served in France and on 2 July 1919, nearly 2 years to the day since his brother James died, Thomas died as the result of a gun shot wound to his leg.  As the war had ended Thomas had been sent back home and he rests in Cluny Hill Cemetery, Forres.

Younie Cluny hill cem forresThomas had been awarded the Military Medal and a similar article to his brother tells more about his life and war.

younie thomas moray n nairn fhs

 

So it was that three brothers went to war, Mary’s twins both died and  one came home. But one question still remains – which other brother went to war, was it Donald or John?

Younie Cluny hill cem forres

Sources

Ancestry

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Find My Past

Find a Grave

Soldiers who Died in the Great War

Moray and Nairn FHS click here 

Alexander Riach, 1928 – 1900

The blog about Alexander, seems to have been so long in the making.  It seemed only a few months ago I was asking for information from libraries, archives and companies. The truth is that I started enquiring in January of 2014…………….dosn’t time fly when you are having fun!  I must have been having too much fun…..but then I can’t remember enjoying myself that much last year!

My quest for information about Alexander had started many years ago, and like many other researchers, have put certain people on the ‘back burner’ ready for another day……….well they are not going anywhere, are they?  It was during  a long weekend in Lossiemouth, while visiting my aunt Gladys that my husband and I trawled the kirkyards in the area looking for Riach, Hay, Younie, Petrie and other names connected to mums family.  The weather was sunny, but a little bit cool as I scanned the headstones, three rows at a time, looking for family connections or something of interest on the family markers.  Although, the headstone to Alexander and Helen was interesting due to the family name, it was how and where Alexander died that struck me as interesting and quite surprising.

Who is Alexander?  Well, he is the husband of my 2nd cousin, 3 x removed. But saying that his wife’s grandmother was also a Riach.

Rothes map - Vision of Briain.

Rothes map – Vision of Briain.

Alexander Riach was born in Dallas in 1828, and being baptised in Rothes on 18th October 1828. He seems to have  spent most of his time in Rothes, the son of James Riach and Annie Innes – James was from Rothes, but not sure about Annie.  In the census of 1841 and 1851 he is living on New Street, Rothes and working as a mason.

Alexander Riach, on Friday the 18th of January, walked up the aisle of Rothes kirk as a married man, after marrying Helen McKerron.  Wet and unsettled conditions had set in a few days before their wedding day and did not turn for the better until April – I hope they had a reasonably fine and clear day for their nuptials.

The census came around in 1861 and the couple, now with two young children were living at Kirton Street, West Side, Marnach, Mortlach. Alexander, still working a a mason, was now working on the railway.   Ten years down the line in 1871, the family has grown and Alexander is now father to four children, aged between 13 and 5 month old Margaret.  Home is now Easter Ardchyle Hut, 2, in the Perthshire village of Killin, where Alexander is aged 42 and a mason.

Alexander and his family seems to be quite elusive in the 1881 census but a bit of a tea break, finds the family not together.  Helen is living with 2 of her children in the home of Margaret McKinnon, the widow of a mason, at Station Street, Rothes.  Where is Alexander and the other children?   After searching through the census for Scotland, with knowing  where he died………….you will have to wait a little longer for that  information! I looked in the England census and there is an Alexander Reach, aged within reasonable ‘give or takes’ from the last census and born in Scotland. living in Barden in Skipton, working as a contractor manager for the new reservoir………..could this be him, living on his own and stating he is married?

Ten years later in 1991, there was quicker success – Alexander and Hellen are now living back together at Cressbrook Cottage, Queens  Road West, Old Machar, Aberdeenshire and now employed as a manager at one of the local granite quarries.

You now know a little about Alexander up to 1891 but what happened to him later………..?

I did the usual quick research by Google, looking for anything that could be remotely connected with how he died.  You know the things, confirming his death on the GRO, just incase the headstone was wrong – it would not be the first time.  I looked for any notification of any thing connected with his death that might have been in a local paper and scanned for online research……….nothing, but I did come up with a place that could be worth a visit sometime.

It was some years later while visiting our daughter who lived in Chiswick at the time, we were staying in a very nice pub opposite Kew Green.  We were due to meet her for lunch where she worked but had a while to kill, so we had a little drive around the area and drove past a building that woke the old grey matter and a eureka moment came.  It was after lunch and on our way back to our lodgings that we called in.  The place was closed but a few of the workshops were open.  The one I called in at, was a blacksmiths, a lady blacksmith and her work was fantastic.  After asking if this was Kew Bridge Works, she said yes, but everything was closed for the day….another visit was called for.  The next day I had found myself in a small, cluttered office, talking to one of the curators, who knew nothing of my man and his demise but she took my details and would pass them on to a volunteer researcher who went on a regular basis to the Metropolitan Archives……………I should wait! Waiting is not a thing I am known for where family history is concerned when I have bitten the bullet, but sad to say I am still awaiting their reply, probably six years down the line.

Kew Bridge Works, now London Museum of Water and Steam

Kew Bridge Works, now London Museum of Water and Steam

So it looks like I would have to continue something I started years ago, but on my own terms, with this new vigor, I rang the Registry Office for a death certificate but which office to contact would it be Richmond or Brentford.  I said I would tell you later about how and where he died – it looks like now is a good time to tell you.  Alexander Riach died on 31st of March 1900, as his epitaph tells ‘accidentally killed at Kew Bridge Works’.  I tossed a coin and came up with Richmond as my first port of call, as I was convinced he had died in an accident at what is now the Museum of Water and Steam, Kew.  The very nice person at the Richmond office, assured me that if I had the wrong office, I would, of course, get a refund.  Five long days later I had the certificate in my hands and although saddened by how Alexander met his maker, for a family historian, the way in which someone leaves their mortal coil, can mean there is more information to be found.

In 1900 he was living at 14 Bushwood Road, Kew and although, 71 years of age, was te Contractor’s Manager at Kew Bridge Works – as per his headstone, and still had me thinking about the steam museum building.  I had the impression, that with this information being marked on his headstone, for all the world to see, well those who visited the kirkyard, that te family were upset, annoyed and probably felt that it was someones fault, but whose?

The death certificate, as you know, gave me the date of death, his age was 71 years and we know his occupation but it was the cause of death that came as a shock.  He died of ‘Syncope from shock due to fractured ribs crushed by crane toppling over whilst being moved from barge to landing stage’.  There was a post-mortem and a verdict of Accidental Death was given by the Coroner for Surrey, A Broxton Hicks after an inquest held on the 4th of April 1900.

I felt surely that this would have caused a ripple through the Kew community at the time, so a telephone call to a wonderful man at Richmond Local Studies, who turned out to be the head of the department.  After a quick tale of who, where and when, I was promised he would let me know if anything was in the local papers.  He was very true to his word and in less that 24 hours I had a scanned copy of the entry in the Richmond Herald, which told me

‘An inquest was held in Richmond on Wednesday, touching on the death of Alexander Riach, manager of the Kew Bridge Works, who was killed by the falling of a crane.  Mr Gibb, the contractor for the works, was represented by a solicitor.  Evidence as to identity having been given by Margaret Riach, daughter of the deceased.  William Watson, a labourer, 2 York Villas, Kew, said that for the purpose of assisting in taking down the old bridge they had a steam crane on runners on a barge.  On Saturday, the manager asked witness and three others to remain behind to take the crane from the barge on to the wharf.  It was quite steady in the barge, but (the crane) had not been used in it, only being there for the purpose of moving.  The deceased came to the wharf about 2 o’clock, and they began to move the crane a few minutes later.  The top of the barge was level with the wharf, and they were going to move the crane on to the wharf by means of rails.  They had begun to move it,  ad it was half-way across, going by steam, when some steamers came up river,  and the wash caused the barge to rock.  Deceased was standing on the wharf near the crane, when it suddenly toppled on to him.  As it swung back, they managed to get the deceased out, and assistance having been called, he was conveyed in a cab home.  

Henry Kennison, a labourer in the employ of the firm, corroborated the evidence of the previous witness.  He was on the barge, and the crane as it was tilted, caught the witness by the clothes, but did not injure him.  Thomas Graham Menzie, 17 Bushwood Road, Kew, engineer to Mr Gibb, said he was o the crane on the barge on the Surrey side, and it was then quite steady, standing so for several days.  Deceased had had over fifty years’ experience with cranes.  After the accident happened, witness had the photographs produced taken.  In answer to Mr J T Mackie, factory inspector from the Home Office, the witness said he thought the crane was safe with the jib on.  The crane was not in steam at the time of the accident.  Dr Ernest Payne, who saw the deceased, said about eight of his ribs were fractured, and he was considerably bruised on the side of his body.  He died from syncope, following upon the shock of the accident.  A verdict of ‘Accidental Death’ was returned’.

Kew Bridge

Kew Bridge being demolished

It was this article in the paper that told me where the accident occurred, I had wrongly thought that he worked at the Kew Bridge Waterworks, but no it was infact, Kew Bridge, works.  It was a very nice man at, yes, the Steam Museum, formerly, Kew Bridge Waterworks, that confirmed a few points.  Firstly, that Mr Gibb, the contractor, at the inquest, was in fact the contractor for Kew Bridge, when the new bridge was built between 1899 and 1903.  The dates fit with Alexander being in Kew and Mr Gibb, also fits in.  It looks like Alexander was involved with the building of the new Kew Bridge and the demolishing of the old bridge. Kew Steam Museum, came good in the end!

After years of waiting to find our why ‘accidentally killed at Kew Bridge Works’ is written on Alexander’s headstone, I now know.  But, this information make me want to ask more questions, such as:- How long had he been in London, and were his family with him.  We know Margaret, his daughter identified the body. But, was that as she was the only family member with him and was basically, his housekeeper. Or, had his wife Hellen, been too upset to view her husband, or had she stayed in Scotland?

The inquest tells that he had worked with cranes for fifty years, was that because his job as a mason involved moving heavy stones and he had gained his experience there.

I may never know the answers to some of the questions, but my family tree certainly has more information about Alexander and his family now than it did.

The third Kew Bridge opened in 1903

The third Kew Bridge opened in 1903

As I have said I know more about Alexander than most people now.  There are many trees on Ancestry that include him, but some have his birth details, some have his death details, and some don’t even have his parents, but although the odd one, and I do mean the odd one, has his death but nothing else.  Could it be that none of these people have seen his headstone?  It is possible that his demise is not common knowledge as many researchers could be from America, Canada or Australia and have not ventured to Morayshire.

I looked for a Will in the English records but nothing, so I took my ‘plastic’ in my hand and I might add it took some prizing out of my purse, but eventually, I paid a fee to Scotlands People, now that breaks my heart – why will they not do an annual subscription?  Wills are free to search, and there he was, confirmed by his wife Helen McKerron, also being in the index.  I now have his will and can see that he had property in Rothes, its proximity given quite clearly on the written pages and how after both his and Helen’s death, which occured in December of 1909, what should happen to their property.

Sources:-

London Museum of Water and Steam – click here

Ancestry

Find My Past

Scotland’s People

 

Old Etonian Killed in Action WW2

KRRC War Memorial Eton College

KRRC War Memorial Eton College

It was Eton College War Memorial, many years ago,  that started me transcribing war memorials and I seem to have gathered a vast collection of photographs along the way – I hate to say that many still need transcribing, but at the moment another project has to take priority.

But in the meantime, I will venture back to Eton College and a young man who I met (virtually) along the way.

When I transcribed the Eton College War Memorial, all those years ago, I was fortunate enough to be contacted by a relative of one of the men whose name is carved in………….. I was going to say stone but I think it is in fact marble.  A few emails went back and forth, with little bits of extra information and a photograph – it is so nice to know who you are writing about and it was my pleasure to be able to visit the grave, photograph the headstone and send over to the family.

It also appears, that when doing a little research for the young man concerned I found out that his grandfather Hugh Scott 8th of Gala)  was born in Bellie nr Elgin and his grandmother (Elizabeth Isabella Gordon) hailed from St Andrews, also in Elgin – small world as my mothers family also come from that area of Morayshire.

Who am I talking about, well it’s Henry John Alexander Scott Makdougall who born on 6th February 1901, the son of Hugh James Elibank Scott-Makdougall of Makerstoun and his wife Agnes Jenkinson.

Henry was educated at Eton College, leaving in November 1918.  He sat exams for Sandhurst College on 11th November 1918.  Henry was commissioned into the King’s Royal Rifle Corps with the serial number 12838, gaining the rank of Captain in the 60th Rifles (KRRC) in 1930.

In 1934 his father, Hugh died and on 2nd April 1935. Henry legally changed his name to Henry John Alexander Scott Makdougall, becoming Henry John Alexander Makdougall Scott, 11th of Gala.  This was recognised by the Lord Lyon King of Arms  and on 2nd April of the same year his arms were matriculated.

Henry served in WWII and I was told by a family member that  it was on a visit back to his family home, Gala House, with his mother, other family members and staff stood outside,  that he got in his car and drove off.  His mother waved him away and said that would be the last time she would see her son.

Scott, John Henry MacdougallCaptain Scott and one Second Lieutenant Scott were involved in fighting the enemy on the streets of Calais during May of 1940.  The story goes that one was on one side of the street and the other was across the road.  Both were killed on the same day and there seemed to be some confusion about who was where and what they were doing.  These details don’t seem to matter.  But what does matter is the men – Henry was 39 years old when he was killed on 26th May 1940 and his comrade was only 20 years old and both lie within the walls of Calais Southern Cemetery and rest a distance, probably, as wide as a street from each other.

So it looks like a mother’s premonitions came true!

Major Scott of Gala

Major Scott of Gala

The Probate Calender for England and Wales reads :- SCOTT Henry John Alexander MakDougall of Gala House, Galashiels died 26 May 1940.  Confirmation of Francis Gillies Sutherland writer to the Signet Philip Beaumont Frere solicitor and John Douglas Hamilton dickson writer to the Signet,  Sealed Llandudno 28 July 1941.

DSCF7543

Galashiels War Memorial

Henry, as well as being mentioned on the Eton King’s Royal Rifle Corps memorial, Henry also has his name on the Galashiels memorial to the fallen.

As I mentioned another Scott, it seems only fair and right to see who he is too.  Richard Oswald Scott, was the son of Oswald Arthur Scott, DSO (1918) and his wife Hermione Monica, whom he later divorced.  Here it seems there is another local, well reasonably local, connection – Oswald Arthur married Hermione Monica Ferrand on the 19th of May 1917 in All Saints Church, Bingley.  Hermione’s father was William Ferrand, Esquire, living at St Ives, Bingley.  Oswald Arthur was 23 years old and a Captain in the Hampshire Regiment, living at Rotherfield Park, Alton. Witnesses to the union were W Ferrand, Patricia M Scott, Geoffrey T Scott and William Harris(?) Scott.   Oswald, served as 1st Secretary, Counsellor, Ambassador in Madrid, Baghdad, Lisbon, Finland and in the Foreign Office.  In 1951 he was Knighted (KCMG)

Richard, their son,  was born in the St Georges Hanover Square Registration District of London in the June Quarter of 1920 – one of four children.

Lieut R O Scott

Lieut R O Scott

During WWII he, like Henry, served in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps and became known as 95645, 2nd Lieutenant R O Scott.  The men a few connections, both came from landed families and both had links to Eton College.  While looking for snippets of information about Richard, I came across his brother – Thomas Roland Scott 4th April 1923 also served during the war.  Thomas served as Flying Officer, 115515 in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.  On 22nd of October 1942, he too was killed and he rests in Porthmadog Public Cemetery, Caernarvonshire, with 17 other casualties from both wars.

 

King’s Royal Rifle Corp Eton Memorial can be found here

 

Pte., Gault, John Scott

John Gault Scott, was born in Drainie, the son of James and Maggie Gault. At the time of the 1901 census the family of James and Maggie was living at 8 Argyle Street, Lossiemouth.  The family consisted of  8 children, the eldest being 17 and the youngest was just one – John Scott was the third youngest aged 5.  James earned his living as a fisherman.

John served in the Seafoforth Highlanders as pte.,1849, 6th Btn,after enlisting in Elgin.  The 6th Batt. served as the 51st Highland Division and was a Territorial Force division. The divisions insignia was a H D in a red circle – giving the batt. the nickname of Harpers Duds after Major General Harper, or Highway Decorators.  The division served in the Battles of The Somme, Arras and Cambrai.

John Scott Gault D of W on 6 June 1916 aged 20 years.  John was eligible for the 1915 Star, the Victory and British Medals and served in France.

gault john scott

8 argyle st lossiemouth

8 Argyle Street,

At the time of James and Maggie, giving information about their son they were still  living at  8 Argyle Street, Lossiemouth, Morayshire.

John and other young men from Lossiemouth can be found on the Lossiemouth War Memorial

http://wakefieldfhs.org.uk/genealogyjunction/Morayshire/Lossiemouth%20War%20Mem.htm  The transcription is a work in progress so if you know any histories of these men who gave their life for King and Country, please let me know.

Sources:-

http://wakefieldfhs.org.uk/genealogyjunction/Morayshire/Lossiemouth%20War%20Mem.htm

Ancestry

Soldiers who died in the Great War

CWGC.org

Riach / Campbell marriage

Elgin Courier, Friday 29 June 1866

“At Toronto, on 6th June, by the Rev. Alex. Topp, A.M. Mr Alex. Riach, farmer, second son of the late Mr Jas. Riach, farmer, Barflathills, Morayshire, to Isabella Campbel, County of Chateaugeauy, Canada East.”

Who were Alexander and Isabella?

Isabella, born about 1839 in Argyl.  She was the daughter of Dugald Campbell and Catharine McKillop.  At the time of her marriage she was living in Chateauguay, Quebec. Alexander on the other hand was born about 1841 in Elgin, the son of James Riach and Margaret Newland.  At the time of his marriage he was living in the Nelson Township. I’ve found 1 child born to the couple – Joseph Newlands Riach b 1 Sept 1872 at Wentworth   Memorial inscription for Alexander and Isabella at Greenwood Cemetery, Burlington, Ontario.

In memory of Sabella Campbell beloved wife of Alexander Riach died Sept 23 1896 aged 58 years. A native of Argyleshire Scotland. Alexander Riach 1840-1914. (back) James C Riach 1867-1944

The census of 1901 sees Alexander a widow and living in the home of Arthur Grey a farmerl

The 1911 census of Canada has Alex as a boarder in the house of William Hannon(?) and his family  on what looks like Maber Street, Burlington, Ontario.  Alex’s occupation was given as servant.

Sources:-
www.findagrave.com
www.ancestry.co.uk
www.findmypast.co.uk