Glass Remembered … World War 1 ( WW1)

Soldiers of Glass who were active in World War 1

Click the first letter of the surname to jump to that part of the page:


You can view:

  • Notes taken from the Huntly Express by clicking here
  • By kind permission of the Gordon Highlander’s Museum:
    • A Lament – here
    • A Doric poem –  here
  • The Gordon Highlander’s Museum website here



67757, 213th Coy. Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)

Died aged 37 on 26 November 1917, son of Alexander and Annie Johnston Anderson, of Kinneil Mill Cottage, Linlithgow: husband of Elizabeth Anderson of Beldorney Schoolhouse, Glass Huntly, Aberdeenshire.

Remembered with honour CAMBRAI MEMORIAL, LOUVERVAL

Some details  on his Short Service Attestation Papers of 29th November 1915 are as follows

Name: James Alexander Anderson
Address: Invermarkie Kennels, Glass, Huntly, Aberdeenshire
Are you a British Subject: Yes
What is your Age: 36 years 31 days
What is your Trade or Calling: Game Keeper
Are you Married: Yes
Have you ever served in any branch of His Majesty’s Forces, Naval or Military, if so which/: 3 years 1st & 2nd Gordons
His height was: 5’ 4 ¾ inches
Next of kin: Elizabeth Anderson, wife, Invermarkie Kennels, Glass, Huntly, Aberdeenshire
Children James Alexander, son born 8/3/08 Lonmay:  John, son born 3/9/09 Lonmay:  William, son born 16/4/12 Glass:  Isabella Mary, daughter born 16/12/13 Glass

From his Casualty Form-Active Service are the following details
He Embarked Southampton on 1/3/17 and Disembarked Havre 2/3/17
Appointed A/Corporal Field 3/5/17
Promoted Cpl Field 3/6/17
To Infantry Course Field 25/7/17
Killed in Action 26/11/17

From Huntly Express of 21 December 1917
We regret to record the death, killed in action, of Corporal James Anderson, Gordon Highlanders Attached Machine Gun Corps, which took place at Bourlon Wood on November 27.  Corporal  Anderson served throughout the South African War and soon after the present war broke out he offered his services, re-joining his old regiment, The Gordons and was afterwards attached to the Machine Gun Corps.  In civilian life Corpl. Anderson was a gamekeeper in the employment of Mr Edward Kessler, Invermarkie Lodge, Glass.  He was an energetic member of the Glass Miniature Rifle Club and was very popular throughout the district.  His cheery disposition and obliging nature made him esteemed by all with whom he came in contact and genuine sorrow is felt at the thought that he will not return, but has gone to answer the Roll-call on High.  He leaves behind him pleasant memories of an upright, self-sacrificing life, evidence by the noble way in which he voluntarily placed his services at the disposal of the King and country in the fight for justice and freedom.  He leaves a widow with four little children, for whom the deepest sympathy is felt.

At the close of his sermon on Sunday, the Rev. W.G. Guthrie, minister of the Parish Church, made the following touching reference to the deceased soldier: –

“Today we remember with gratitude and heartfelt regret another brave soldier of the Cross who has fought the good fight and has finished his course and has been faithful unto death.  The war has exacted a heavy toll from this parish, but the death of Corporal Anderson has come home to us all in a very special manner.   The sacrifice he made was a very great one, for it involved not himself only but also his wife and four little children who were dearer to him than his own life.  Besides most of our other brave lads who have fallen on the field of honour had already left home and were making their way in a wider world but James Anderson was going in and out among us.  He was well known to us all and everybody liked him.  He was so straightforward and trustworthy, so good humoured and obliging.  I do not think he had a single enemy in the parish and I know that many are sad at heart today because he is gone.  I shall miss his familiar face and form, for there was no more regular worshipper here.  One knew there was a good reason if James Anderson were absent from his accustomed place.  Like all the others from this parish who have made the supreme sacrifice – there are 14 of them now – he enlisted voluntarily.  He did not wait to be conscripted.  He chose to do a man’s part in the conflict for justice and liberty which is convulsing the world today and right nobly has he done it.  The officer in command of his section wrote the other day: “I cannot adequately express my regret at losing such a good N.C.O., always willing and never failing to carry out any orders.  Such fellows are too good to lose.  He will live in my memory as one of the best.  His mortal remains are buried in Bourlon Wood, from which our troops have been withdrawn since he so bravely gave his life there.  The spot is marked by a wooden cross with the following inscription: “67757 Corpl. James Anderson, Gordons, 213 M.G.C. killed in action 27th Nov. 1917 – R.I.P.”

“The men who die for England, don’t need it rubbing in:
Just an automatic stamper and a narrow strip of tin
Record their date and regiment, their number and their name,
And the squire who dies for England is treated just the same”

I ask your prayers (concluded Mr Guthrie).  I do not need to ask your sympathy for his widow and fatherless children, that the Holy Spirit the Comforter may speak peace to their sad hearts and strengthen them to bear the heavy burden that has been laid upon them”

The whole service was of a memorial character, the text being taken from 2 Tim.iv7.  The pulpit was draped in black and the Communion table was covered with the Union Jack.  Suitable psalms and hymns were sung and after the benediction, while the congregation stood, the Dear March in “Saul” was played on the organ by Miss Macgregor.

After his death, his wife received an Army Allowance of £1.11 per week and her address in 1918 was Alehousehillock Schoolhouse, Cairnie, Huntly.


27000, 9th Bn. Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) who died on 23 March 1918


Place of Birth: Gordon Place, Dyce, Aberdeen   son of William Berry, Gamekeeper and Mary Ann Towns
Enlistment location: Tayport, Fife

Insch New Cemetery
Erected by Wm. Berry In Loving Memory of his son Sergt. Robert T. Berry 16th Canadian Scottish who died 27th June 1916 aged 26 years also Private Sidney Field Berry 9th Scottish Rifles killed at Cambria 23rd March 1918

28956, 16th Bn. Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment) who died on 27 June 1916, son of William Berry, of Drumrossie Cottage, Insch.

Remembered with honour INSCH NEW CEMETERY

Some details of his Attestation Paper of the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force dated 23 September 1914: Enlisted at Valcartier, Quebec, Canada

Name: Robert Towns Berry
In what Town and in what Country were you born?: Parish of Fintry, Scotland
What is the name of your next of kin?: Mrs M. Berry
What is the address of your next of kin?: Drumrossie Cottage, Insch
What is the date of your birth?: 18th September 1889
What is your trade or calling? Teamster
Are you married?: No
Do you understand the nature and terms of your engagement?: Yes
Are you willing to be attested to serve in the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force?: Yes
His age was: 25 years
His Height: 5’ 10 inches
Complexion: Fair: Eyes: Blue: Hair: Dark Brown
He died of wounds at Military Hospital, Fulham on 27 June 1916

From Huntly Express dated June 30 1916

Mr William Berry, retired gamekeeper, formerly of Beldorney Castle, Glass and Mrs Berry, Drumrossie Cottage, Insch, have received official intimation that their fifth son Sergeant R.T. Berry of the Canadian Scottish, died of wounds on Tuesday 27th June at Fulham Military Hospital, St Dunstans, Hammersmith.  He had been severely wounded by gunshot in the shoulder.  Prior to leaving this country, Sergeant Berry was gamekeeper to Sir Charles Forbes of Castle Newe and emigrated to Vancouver three years ago, joining the Canadian Expeditionary Force after the outbreak of the war.  He was 26 years of age.  The deepest sympathy is extended to Mr & Mrs Berry in their sore bereavement.

Insch New Cemetery
Erected by Wm Berry in Loving Memory of his son Sergt. Robert T. Berry 16th Canadian Scottish who died 27 June 1916 aged 26 years also Private Sidney Field Berry 9th Scottish Rifles killed at Cambria 23 March 1918


The West African Regiment, W.A.F.F. who died aged 55 on 28th November 1918.  Husband of Katherine Bremner of 168 Clive Road, West Dulwich, London.  Eldest son of John Bremner, Parkhead, Glass

Remembered with Honour


Huntly Express December 13 1918


At Sierra Leone on the 28th November (of pneumonia) Captain John Bremner, West African Regt., eldest son of John Bremner, Parkhead, Glass
UK Commonwealth War Graves 1914-1918


Capt. And Qmr. John.  West African Regt. Royal West African Frontier Force.  28th November 1918.  Age 55.  Husband of Katherine Bremner of 168 Clive Rd. West Dulwich, London.

National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations)

BREMNER, John of Stranraer, Queen’s Road, Ashford, Kent.  Lieutenant and Quartermaster, Northern Nigeria Regiment died 28 November 1918 at Sierra Leone  in West Africa. Probate London 5 February to Catherine Bremner, widow.  Effects £486. 3s. 6d.



25263 1st Bn. The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) who died aged 20 on 8th October 1918, son of James and Elsie Cameron, Parkhead, Glass, Huntly, Aberdeenshire

DSCF2788 Gravestone at Glass Church


Banffshire Journal October 29 1918
Private James Cameron killed, was the son of Mr & Mrs James Cameron, Parkhead, Glass.  Previous to enlisting Private Cameron was chauffeur to Mrs Geddes of Blairmore at Invermarkie House.

Huntly Express November 1 1918
In both Churches on Sunday fitting references was made to the late Privates James Cameron and Charles Taylor who have fallen in action

Banffshire Journal November 5 1918  and Huntly Express November 8 1918
Killed in action in France on 8th October, Private James Shearer Cameron aged 20 years, also died at Battery Hospital, Dunbar on 28th October of pneumonia, Private William Cameron, A & S Highlanders aged 18 beloved sons of Mr & Mrs Cameron, Parkhead, Glass

Huntly Express October 31 1919 IN MEMORIAM
In Loving Memory of Pts. James Cameron 1st Buffs, killed in action in France 8th October 1918 aged 20 years and of Pte. William Cameron, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders died of pneumonia at Battery Hospital, Dunbar 28th October 1918 aged 18 years.

We try to live as nobly as they died

Inserted by loving parents, sisters and brothers, Parkhead, Glass


1st Bn Highland Light Infantry who died aged 32 on 20 December 1914.  Son of Sir Ewen Cameron, K.C.M.G. and Lady Cameron.

Remembered with honour LE TOURET MEMORIAL

UK De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour 1914-1924

Cameron, William Henry Veitch, Capt. 1st Battn. (71st Foot) |The Highland Light Infantry 2nd son of the late Sir Ewen Cameron, K.C.M.G. by his wife Josephine (39 Hyde Park Gate, London, S.W.) daughter of the late John Houchen of Thetford, co. Norfolk: gazetted 2nd Lieut. Highland Light Infantry 8 May 1901: promoted  Lieut. 18 July 1906 and Capt. 4 Sept. 1912: served in the South African War 1901-2, taking part in the operations in Cape Colony Oct. 1901 to 31 May 1902 (Queens Medal with three clasps); was Adjutant of his regiment from 20 Aug. 1908 to 19 Aug. 1911; served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders and was killed in action near Festubert 20 Dec. 1914.

Huntly Express 27 December 1918

Glass Parish Church Memorial to the Late Capt. W.H.V. Cameron

A memorial to the late Captain W.H.V. Cameron has just been placed in the Glass Parish Church.  The deceased officer was the younger son of the late Sir Ewen Cameron, K.C.M.G. and of Lady Cameron, Hyde Park Gate, London and the only brother of Mr E. Allan Cameron, Blairmore.  He was well known in Glass and was much beloved by all.  The tablet is of brass and is placed beside the Blairmore pew in the church and was reverently dedicated at the close of the service on Sunday by the Rev. W.G. Guthrie while the congregation stood.  Mr Guthrie paid the following tribute to the late Captain Cameron:-

“We are about to dedicate a tablet to the memory of Captain William Henry Veitch Cameron, who was killed almost exactly four years ago.  Captain Cameron was a soldier by profession.  He entered the army through The Royal Military College at Sandhurst in 1900 and was gazetted to the H.L.I.  He was appointed to the 1st Battalion (the old 71st) and served with them almost continuously until his death in 1914.  He first saw active service in the later stages of the South African War and he did most of his soldiering afterwards in Egypt and India.  While in India he acted as A.D.C. to Sir Andrew Fraser, who was then Governor of Bengal.  Just before his Battalion came home to take their share of the struggle in 1914, he was offered the post of A.D.C. to Sir John Loan and was also preparing to enter the Staff College at Camberley.

The Battalion came to France as part of the composite Indian Brigade under the command of Sir James Willcocks and was put into the line for the first time at a particularly hot corner near Givenchy during the latter half of the month of December 1914,  The H.L.I. were over-whelmed in an attack pressed with great force and weight of artillery until evening on December 20.  Capt. Cameron fell early on that day fighting at the head of his men.  He was posted missing.  Nine months later his body was recovered by a working party of Cameron  Highlanders and was identified by Private  Robert Cameron, who had formerly been in the service of the Cameron family.

In Captain Cameron’s case it is nothing more than the literal truth to say that he was beloved by all who knew him.  He had a quiet and unassuming manner, but behind there was a great force of character, a large fund of humour and a kindness of heart that never failed.  He was devoted to all forms of sport , especially angling and on this account, as well as for family reasons, he had a warm corner in his heart for the valley of Glass, where this tablet is now being humbly and reverently dedicated  in memory of a great but willing sacrifice and of a noble life.”

The congregation then stood while Mr Guthrie read the inscription on the tablet, which is:-

 “To the Glory of God and in loving and honoured memory of William Henry Veitch Cameron, Captain 1st Battalion the Highland Light Infantry, second and beloved son of Sir Ewen Cameron K.C.M.G. and Lady Cameron, killed in action near Festubert, December 20th 1914 aged 31  Faithful unto death”

England & Wales, National Probate Calendar

Cameron, William Henry Veitch of 39 Hyde Park Gate Kensington Middlesex captain H.I. infantry died 20 December 1914 near Festubert France.  Probate London 12 October to Ewen Allan Cameron, stockbroker.  Effects £5932. 8s.8d.

The Sunday Telegraph November 13 2011 CAPTAIN CAMERON PLAQUE PRESERVED

When Captain William Henry Veitch Cameron was killed in battle in 1914, his relatives honoured his memory with a bronze plaque in the parish church close to the family seat.
Almost 100 years later, when the memorial came under threat, a family descendant expressed his concern – David Cameron.
The then-Opposition leader was told that the church had been put up for sale and passed on a warning to other family members.  The plaque has now been preserved in place. The case underlines the threat posed by development to many war memorials which are inside buildings.

Capt. Cameron died in France December 1914 months after the outbreak of the First World War.  A career soldier in the Highland Light Infantry who had served in the Boer War, he was 31. His name was inscribed on a plaque in Glass Parish Church near Huntly, Aberdeenshire.  It was the parish church of his elder brother Ewen Cameron, who also served in the war and is the great-grandfather of the Prime Minister.

In 2007 the Church of Scotland closed the church, which was serving a dwindling congregation and put the building up for sale.
In 2008, Patrick Anderson, a retired police sergeant learnt of the threat to the memorial and warned Mr Cameron of the coming sale.


S/29812 4th Bn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders who died aged 18 on 28 October 1918, son of James and Elsie Cameron, Parkhead, Glass, Aberdeenshire

Remembered with honour Glass Parish Churchyard

Born on July 21 1900 at Haugh, Edinglassie, Mortlach

Banffshire Journal November 5 1918
Military Funeral
A solemn and impressive event which will not readily be forgotten, took place in the quiet parish of Glass on Friday.   Only a week ago we had reported the death in action of Private James Cameron, son of Mr & Mrs James Cameron, Parkhead and since then they have lost their youngest son Private William Cameron who died on Tuesday from pneumonia following influenza.   The funeral of the latter took place from the Parish Church and was attended with full military honours.  A service was held in the church at noon conducted by Rev. W.G. Guthrie and was largely attended by sympathetic friends anxious to pay a tribute of respect to the deceased soldier.   The coffin was placed in front of the pulpit draped with the Union Jack and covered with many beautiful wreaths among which may be mentioned, those sent by the officers of deceased’s battalion and from the hospital staff.   While the coffin was being carried from the church, the “Dead March” in “Saul” was played on the organ by Miss Guthrie and the procession passed into the churchyard through lines of the local company of Volunteers standing with arms reversed, proceeded by a piper playing “The Flowers of the Forrest”.   After the coffin had been lowered, a party of the Volunteers fired three volleys and the Last Post was sounded.   The deepest sympathy of the community is extended to Mr & Mrs Cameron and family in their heavy bereavement.

Huntly Express November 8 1919
Killed in action in France on 8th October Private James Shearer Cameron, Buffs, aged 20 years.  Also died at Battery Hospital, Dunbar on 28th October of pneumonia Private William Cameron A & S Highlanders aged 18 years beloved sons of Mr & Mrs Cameron, Parkhead, Glass

Huntly Express October 31 1919 IN MEMORIAM
In loving memory of Private James Cameron 1st Buffs, Killed in action in France 8th October 1918 aged 20 years and of Private William Cameron A & S Highlanders died of pneumonia at Battery Hospital, Dunbar on 28th October 1918 aged 18 years

We try to live as nobly as they died

(Inserted by loving parents, sister and brothers, Parkhead, Glass)

242183 1st/5th Bn. Gordon Highlanders who died on 11 April 1917, son of Adam Collie and Agnes (Strachan) Collie and was born on April 21 1885 at Corsmaul, Glass


William Collie, 5th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, born Aberdeen, enlisted Aberdeen, Pte. 242183 Killed in Action, France & Flanders 11/4/17


1481 1st/6th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders who died aged 18 on 20 March 1915.  Son of Robert and Christina Dow of Parkhead, Glass, Huntly, Aberdeenshire, born Parkhead, Glass on January 10 1897.
Remembered with honour ST SEVER CEMETERY, ROUEN
Soldiers Died In The Great War George Dow, 6th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, born Glass, Aberdeenshire, enlisted Huntly.  Pte. 1481 Died of Wounds, France & Flanders 20/3/1915

Huntly Express March 26 1915
At 3rd Stationary Hospital, Rouen, France from wounds received in action Private George Dow, 6th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders aged 18 years and 2 months, beloved youngest son of Mr & Mrs Dow, Lowrie, Glass

Banffshire Journal March 30 1915
At 3rd Stationary Hospital Rouen France from wounds received in action Pte. George Dow, 6th Battalion Gordon Highlanders aged 19 years and 2 months beloved and youngest son of Mr & Mrs Dow, Lowrie, Glass.

Peoples Journal April 3 1915 For Their Country
At 3rd Stationary Hospital Rouen, France from wounds received in action Private George Dow 6th Battalion Gordon Highlanders aged 18 years 2 months beloved and youngest son of Mr & Mrs Dow, Lowrie, Glass.



26380 8th Bn. Seaforth Highlanders who died aged 19 on 28 July 1918, son of George Gauld Duncan and Mary (Gordon) Duncan of Greystonefolds, Glass, Huntly, Aberdeenshire.  Born at Boghead, Gibston, Huntly on 7th February 1899

Remembered with honour BUZANCY MILITARY CEMETERY

The Seaforth Highlanders Records
DUNCAN, George Born Huntly, Aberdeenshire S/26380 Pte. KIA France & Flanders 28/7/1918 8th Btn. Formerly TR/12723 T.T.

National Museums of Scotland
Private George Duncan’s previous number was 1/12723 Training Reserve Battalion

Aberdeen Journal August 1918
Private George Duncan, wounded is a son of Mr George Duncan, Invermarkie Farm, Glass.  Before enlisting he was a farm servant in the district

Banffshire Journal September 3 1918
Private George Duncan wounded is the son of Mr George Duncan, Invermarkie Farm, Glass.  Before joining the Army he was a farm servant in the district.

Huntly Express September 6 1918
Fallen Heroes Killed
We regret to hear that Pte George Duncan who was previously reported wounded is now reported KIA.  His parents Mr & Mrs G. Duncan who reside at Dallachy, Glass have received a letter from a Chaplain at the front, informing them of their loss.  Pte Duncan was a very promising young lad and was well liked by all with whom he came in contact.  Previous to joining up he was employed at farm work.  The sympathy of the community is extended to Mr & Mrs Duncan and family in their bereavement

Banffshire Journal September 10 1918
We regret to learn that Mr & Mrs George Duncan, Dallachy, Invermarkie, Glass have received a letter from an Army Chaplain informing them that their eldest son Private George Duncan, has been killed in action.  Private Duncan had been previously reported wounded.  Mr & Mrs Duncan have the sincere sympathy of all the district in their bereavement.  Private Duncan was before joining up, engaged in farm work in the Glass district.

Huntly Express September 13 1918
Killed in action on July 28 at Buzancy, Private George Duncan aged 19 years and 5 months, beloved eldest son of Mr & Mrs George Gauld Duncan, Dallachy, Invermarkie, Glass.  Sadly missed and deeply mourned.

Huntly Express September 13 1918
At the close of his sermon on Sunday, Rev. W.G. Guthrie made touching reference to two brave lads belonging to the parish who have recently made the supreme sacrifice – namely Private William Collie who formerly lived at Corsmaul and Private George Duncan, elder son of Mr & Mrs George Gauld Duncan, Dallachy, Invermarkie.  After the benediction while the congregation stood, Sir Frederick Bridges played Mendelsohn’s Funeral March as a tribute to the memory of those heroes.

Peoples Journal Saturday September 14 1918
On Sunday last in the Parish Church Rev. W.G. Guthrie made touching reference to the late Pte George Duncan, elder son of Mr & Mrs George Gauld Duncan, Dallachy, Invermarkie who was killed in action on 28th July and also to the late Pte Wm. Collie who belonged to the parish, his mother until a few years ago having resided at Corsmaul.

In Memoriam Card

In Loving and Affectionate Remembrance
Private George Duncan 8th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders, the Eldest and Dearly Beloved son of Mr and Mrs George G. Duncan, Dallachy, Invermarkie, Glass who was killed in action at Bezancy, France on the 28th day of July 1918 aged 19 years and 5 months

Had we but seen him still in life
Or soothed his drooping head
Or caught the last sign of his heart
Or watched his dying bed

Our hearts we think would not have felt
Such bitterness or grief
But God had ordered otherwise
And now he rests in peace

No loved ones stood around him
To bid a fond farewell:
No word of comfort could he leave
To those he loved so well

But since it was ordained on high
He should be called so soon,
God grant us strength to humbly say:
O Lord, Thy will be done.

There is no death in heaven
For they who gain that shore
Have won their immortality
And they can die no more

We all feel sad within our home,
Lonely are our hearts to-day
For the loved one who smiled to cheer us
Has for ever passed away

Yet again we hope to meet him
When the day of life is fled;
And in heaven with joy to greet him
Where no farewell tears are shed.


12482 2nd Bn. Scots Guards who died on 25 December 1916

Remembered with honour A.I.F. BURIAL GROUND, FLERS
Huntly Express January 19 1917
At the close of his sermon on Sunday, the Rev W.G. Guthrie preaching from the text “Every man shall bear his own burden” (Gal. vi 6) made the following reference to the late Private James Finnie, who was killed in action on 25th December last. Another name has been added to the proud list of men from the Parish who having taken up their burden of patriotic duty carried it painfully to the end and have now laid it down for ever at the feet of God.

Let me read the list to you.  It is growing and we must not forget those who have died for us.


Who was killed on action on Christmas Day.  Private Finnie was one of the very first to respond to his country’s call.  He had been in the trenches since November 1914.  He belonged to that noble band who held our Western Front during the first terrible winter when our army was so small and so ill equipped that some who have seen the ground since, have simply marvelled that the Germans did not break through.  I don’t think that even yet we realize the debt we owe these brave men.  There are some who say we should not have gone to war at all.  Depend upon it my friends, if the whole country had been of that mind the things done in Belgium would have been done here also and we should have been crushed beneath the Prussian heel.  What that would have meant for us we know now.  It is to such men as Private Finnie and his brave comrades that we owe our salvation.   Let us see to it that we serve the sacrifice they have made for us.  After the Battle of Harlaw it was said the slaughter was so great that the wailing of women could be heard all the way from the Firth of Tay to the Buck of the Cabrach.  They weep in silence.  But there are more sore hearts in Scotland today than there were after Harlaw.  The land is full of them.  And yet I do not think any of us would wish that our boys had done otherwise.  We are proud that they did not shirk their burden.  And we have learned to take long views.  We remember it was the son of God Himself who said “He that saveth his life shall lose it, but he that loseth his life for my sake and the Gospel’s shall keep it unto life eternal”


S/22782 2nd Bn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders who died aged 20 on 9 November 1918.  Son of Mrs E. Gartley of 9 The Square, Huntly, Aberdeenshire and the late James Gartley.

Remembered with honour CADDRY BRITISH CEMETERY

DSCF2790Gravestone at Glass Church

Pte William G Gartly

Click on the images for larger versions.

William George Gartley in uniform, probably around 1917, the photographer was Kilgour, 57 Bogie Street, Huntly.




Record of Service Paper
What is your Name?:  William George Gartley
What is your address?:  9 Square, Huntly
Are you a British Subject?:  Yes
What is your age?:  18 years 252 days
What is your Trade or Calling?:  Farm Servant
Are you married?:  No
Have you ever served in any branch of His Majesty’s Forces, Naval or Military?:  No
Have you any preference for any particular branch of this service?:   No
Height: 5’ 6 ½ inches
Next of Kin:   Mrs Elizabeth Rae Gartley, 9 Square, Huntly, Aberdeenshire.
Enlisted:  8 June 1917
Called up – 8 June 1917  42nd Training Reserve Battn.
13 November 1917 4th A & S Hrs. Transferred
Posted B.E.F. France
Embarked Folkestone
Joined M Scot B.D. 5 July 1918

Posted to 2nd Bn A & S H 18 July 1918

5  October 1918 Wounded Field 29 September 1918
5  October 1918 GSW (Gun shot wound) to hand
November 1918 Wounded in Action
5 November 1918 GSW Leg
9 November 1918 Died of Wounds

Names of Relatives of soldier

Mother – Mrs Elizabeth Gartley, The Square, Huntly
Brother – Alexander Gartley, Backside, Glass
Sisters – Isabella, Annie, Lizzie, Ella and Margaret

Letter sent by his Mother Mrs E. Gartley to O/C Records, Argyll & Sutherland Headquarters, Perth


Re S/22782 Pte William George Gartley

It is now six months since the above named soldier died of wounds at 21 CCS France and up to the time of writing there is still no word of any of his personal effects, of which he had a fair compliment. It is only but just that I should be in possession of these please.

Yours truly

(Mrs) E. Gartley

13 May 1919

Private property of soldier sent to his Mother

Letters, photo, belt, wallet, razors, purse, razor in case and 3 pieces of pencils

Huntly Express November 22 1918  IN MEMORIAM
Died at 21 CC Station, France of wounds received in action Private William G. Gartley, A & S Highlanders, youngest son of the late Mr James Gartley, Wrightestone, Glass and Mrs Gartley 9 The Square, Huntly aged 20 years

Deeply loved and deeply mourned.

Huntly Express November 7 1919 IN MEMORIAM
In loving and affectionate remembrance of our dear son and brother Private William George Gartley (Billy) A & S Highlanders who died of wounds at 21 CCS France on the 9th November 1918 aged 20 years.

Buried in British Cemetery Caudry
As we watch them all returning
Only those who have lost can tell
The aching of a mother’s heart
For the son she loved so well
The silent grief that’s in the soul
No human eye can trace
For many a broken heart lies hid
Behind a smiling face

(Inserted by his sorrowing Mother, sisters and brothers, 9 The Square, Huntly)


241585 4TH Bn. Gordon Highlanders who died aged 20 on 25 March 1918.  Son of James and Margaret Gauld of Bonfail, Glass, Huntly, Aberdeenshire.

Remembered with honour ARRAS MEMORIAL
UK Commonwealth War Graves, 1914 – 1921 and 1939 – 1947
GAULD, Lce. Cpl. Alexander 241585. 4th Bn Gordon Highlanders, 25th March, 1918. Age 20. Son of James and Margaret Gauld of Bonfail, Glass, Huntly, Aberdeenshire

UK De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour 1914-1924
GAULD, Alexander Wilson M.M. L. Corpl. No 241585 1/4th (Territorial) Battn. The Gordon Highlanders son of James Gauld of Bonfail, Glass, Huntly by his wife Margaret, daughter of the late James Barclay: born Blairmore, Glass county of Aberdeen 12 November 1897: educated Glass Public School:  was a Farm Servant: joined the Gordon Highlanders 28 June 1916: Served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from February 1917 and was killed in action near Cambrai22 March 1918.   He was awarded M.M. and received the congratulations of his Commanding Officer, Major-General  George Harper. For gallantry in the field, displayed by him on 20 September 1917; unmarried.

Huntly Express April 12 1918

We learn with regret that Corporal Alexander Gauld, MM, son of Mr & Mrs Jas. Gauld, Bonfail, Glass has been killed in action.
The deceased soldier served his apprenticeship with Mr Aberdein, Haugh of Glass and latterly was engaged in agricultural work.  He had been at the front for a considerable time and his bravery and devotion to duty in the field are shown by his decoration with the Military Medal.
The sympathy of the community is extended to the parents and other members of the family in their bereavement.
At the close of the sermon on Sunday the Rev W.G. Guthrie made feeling reference to the late L. Corpl. Gauld who by his self-sacrifice and service had bravely taken to the Cross and followed Christ setting a noble example to others who were in a position to fight for right and liberty.  Mr Guthrie also urged on all to prove themselves worthy of the sacrifice that so many brave young men are making for us.  This is the fifteenth on the roll of honour for the parish.

Huntly Express February 28 1919


The Late L. Cpl. ALEX. GAULD
Mr James Gauld, Bonfail, Glass, has recently received from the army authorities the Military Medal awarded to his son, the late L.Cpl. Alex. Gauld, 4th Gordon Highlanders, who was killed in action at the Bapaume-Cambria Road on 22nd March 1918.  Previous to joining the army L. Cpl. Gauld was engaged in farm service at Invermarkie, Glass.

Huntly Express March 21 1919 IN MEMORIAM
In loving memory of Lance Corporal Alexander Wilson Gauld, Gordon Highlanders who was killed in action on the 22nd March 1918

In a foreign grave in a foreign land
A grave we may never see
But as long as life and memory last
We will remember thee

We little thought his time so short
When he on furlough came
When to the front he bravely went
Ne’er to return again

Inserted by his father, mother, sister and brothers, Bonfail, Glass.

Second Lieutenant ALISTAIR FRANCIS GEDDES, 3rd Bn. Attd. 2nd Bn. Royal Scots Fusiliers

Died aged 23 on 16 June 1915, son of Mrs Frances R. Geddes of Blairmore, Huntly, Aberdeenshire and the late Alexander Geddes

Remembered with honour LE TOURET MEMORIAL

Huntly Express June 25 1915

Lieut. Alister Geddes Killed
Promising Young Officer

We deeply regret to announce that Mrs Geddes, Invermarkie Lodge, Glass, Huntly received intimation on Monday that her only surviving son, Lieut. Alister Francis Geddes, of the Royal Scots Fusiliers, was missing, believed to be killed.  Additional information states that, along with other two officers, Lieut. Geddes was instantaneously killed by the bursting of a shall on Wednesday, June 16th, about 5 o’clock in the evening.  Lieut. Geddes was wounded in the battle of the Aisne a few months ago and has only been back at the front for about a month.  It will be remembered that his older and only brother, Captain John Geddes, was killed but a few weeks ago.

Lieut. Geddes was 23 years of age and joined the Army prior to the outbreak of war, being first connected with the Northumberland Fusiliers (Special Reserves) in which regiment he was an officer when he was ;previously wounded.  It was in November 1914 that he received his commission in the 2nd Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers.   Lieut. Geddes received his education at Bilton Grange and Rugby.  Prior to joining the Army he was engaged in business in Windsor and British Columbia.

The deceased was a great favourite with all who knew him.  Possessed of a bright personality and a sunny temperament, he had hosts of friends everywhere.  In this loss, following as soon on the death of Captain Geddes the eldest son of the late Mr Alexander Geddes of Blairmore, much sympathy goes out in the Strathbogie district and elsewhere to Mrs Geddes and her three daughters, all of whom are married.

Huntly Express Deaths June 25 1915
GEDDES Killed in action 16th June in Flanders 2nd Lieutenant Alistair F. Geddes 2nd Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers, aged 23, second and last surviving son of the late Alexander Geddes of Blairmore, Aberdeenshire and of Mrs Geddes.

Ireland’s Memorial Records 1914-1918

3nd Lieutenant Royal Scots Fusiliers 3rd Bn. Killed in action June 16 1915


16th Bn. Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment) who died aged 37 on 24 April 1915, son of Alexander and Frances Geddes of Blairmore, Aberdeenshire, Scotland; husband of Helen Geddes of 1045 Lexham Gardens, Kensington, London, England.

Remembered with honour YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

His Attestation Paper Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force

What is your name?  John Geddes
In what Town, Township or Parish and in what Country were you born?   Abroad of Scottish Parents
What is the name of your next-of-kin?  Mother Mrs Alex. Geddes, Invermarkie, Glass, Aberdeenshire, Scotland: Wife Helen L. Geddes, 128 Central Ave. Winnipeg
What is the date of your birth?  6th Nov 1878
What is your Trade of Calling?  Agent
Are you married?  Yes
Are you willing to be vaccinated or re-vaccinated?  Yes
Do you now belong to the Active Militia?  Yes
Have you ever served in any Military Force?  No
Do you understand the nature and terms of your engagement?  Yes
Are you willing to be attested to serve in the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Forces?  Yes
Signature of Man – John Geddes Capt.
Signature of Witness – H.J. MacDonald

Height – 5ft 11 inches
Complexion – Fresh
Eyes – Grey
Hair – Light
Religion – Presbyterian

Distinctive marks and marks indicating congenital peculiarities or previous disease – VAC left arm: appendix scar: damaged 2ndfinger of right hand

23 September 1914

Huntly Express April 30 1915 GEDDES

Killed in Action near Ypres, John, Captain 16th Battalion Canadian Scottish, eldest son of the late Alexander Geddes of Blairmore, Aberdeenshire and of Mrs Geddes and beloved husband of Helen Tillie.


The official list of casualties confirms the announcement made on Monday of the death in action at the taking of Hill 60 of Captain J. Geddes, proprietor of the Blairmore Estate, Glass.  Captain Geddes who had done a good deal of volunteering in Winnipeg and elsewhere was attached to the 16th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry.

Deceased had spent most of his life in the States and Canada and succeeded to the estate of Blairmore on the death of his father, Mr Alexander Geddes, some years ago.     Blairmore which was for generations part of the Fife estates, was acquired by the late Mr Alex. Geddes some 35 years ago and in a comparatively short time he so transformed and improved the face of the parish that the residenters no less than casual visitors, were surprised at enterprise which he had so successfully exerted.

Captain Geddes, who has just sacrificed his life in the cause of King and Country, was not so generally known, but those who had the pleasure of his acquaintance greatly loved him for his amiable and friendly disposition.  In their heavy bereavement Mrs Geddes, who is presently in London and family, have much sympathy from the people of Strathbogie.

Captain Geddes was a nephew of the late Principal Sir William Geddes of Aberdeen University.

Huntly Express May 7 1915 THE LATE CAPTAIN GEDDES

A Memorable Coming of Age (From a Correspondent)

There is a melancholy interest in recalling the fact that it was in November 1899 that the “young laird” as Captain Geddes was then styled, attained his majority, which was celebrated in a manner that will never be forgotten by those who were present.  The whole parish of Glass, although it was the cold and sombre season of the year, seemed to be ablaze with delight that a promising son of a most remarkable family had reached manhood and that another “John Geddes” whose lineage could be traced backwards for generations.  It was indeed a memorable occasion, marred only by one unavoidable circumstance, viz; that of the absence of the young laird’s father, who had been detained in Chicago.  The Blairmore family however had made ample preparation for the entertainment of the tenantry; while the tenantry on their part had arranged to hand over generous tokens of their interest and goodwill towards one whose future had in it the greatest hopefulness.  Mrs Geddes, the gracious lady now stricken with the sorrow of the battlefield, was present, as was also the then Principal of Aberdeen University, uncle of the deceased officer.  Nor should it be forgotten that the chair at the presentation ceremony was occupied by the genial and greatly loved minister of the parish, the late Rev. D.M. Ross, who had known the chief figure of the evening since childhood, and who spoke of him in a way which only long and close intimacy could warrant.  Mr Ross spoke in warm terms of how the people of Glass had watched the young gentleman’s life through all his school days, beginning in their own Central School and ending in the classic Rugby and remarked that from all they had seen and heard they were confident he had a bright and useful career before him.  “But”, he went on to say “I speak in your case already not only of promise, but of some measure of fulfilment.  You have been for nearly three years in active business with your father in Chicago, and from different quarters we hear that so far you have quite fulfilled the expectations we had. Starting in exceptionally favourable circumstances with your father, the full vigour of his great business capacity formed, you have got your foot fairly on the ladder of success; and I am sure it is the fervent wish of all here that you may yet climb to the very top, and while we are aware that the strenuous pursuit of business   on the other side of the Atlantic must engross much of your time and thought, yet we venture to hope that you will always keep a warm corner in your heart for Blairmore and Glass, where you will always receive a Highland welcome.”  Mr Ross finished an exceedingly felicitous speech with the lines in Burns’ beautiful prayer: –

“Their hope, their stay, their darling youth,
In manhood’s dawning blush;
Bless him, thou God of Love and Truth,
Up to a parent’s wish”

The young laird’s reply was nicely phrased, modestly delivered and the impression which he conveyed was distinctly favourable and must have cheered the hearts of his parents and family.  He admitted that he had been born in America, still he said “Glass is my home; I love Glass and its people and well I might for the many happy days I have spent here” adding that although he liked America for many things and in many ways, he did not think any American could feel aggrieved if he declared that “East or West, hame’s best.”

But impressively interesting as were the proceedings up to this point, the occasion was rendered still more noteworthy by the speech which came later from the then venerable Principal of Aberdeen University, who was accorded a rousing reception. He referred to the delight which he experienced in being present at the epoch-making function and gave an illuminating bit of family history.  Speaking of the namesakes of the chief guest of the evening, he said they had now known about no fewer than four John Geddeses in different generations.  He added “The most distant of these, the earliest, my grandfather is one that we know of only by report.  I understand he was a little man, lively and went about in a spirited way with a Highland bonnet – a brave little man.  The second John Geddes was the venerable old blind man whom many of us knew and who lived to the age of 85 a memorable man, to whom we as a family owe much.  Not that he was always what we might call a perfect specimen of humanity – he had his failings and frailties and a very strong will accompanied these peculiarities.   He had, however, the remarkable distinction that he brought us up in the ways of truth and honour and told us always what was the part of virtue and of duty.  The third John Geddes was my brother, a tender and amiable youth, who passed away in his juvenile years from an accident – a fall from a horse and now sleeps in the churchyard at Wallakirk.  We have now, before us John Geddes the fourth, whom we may call the first of Blairmore and I am delighted to think that under the wise and kind guidance of a gracious mother and under the wise counsels of a sympathetic father, he is likely to emulate the best examples of any who have gone before him.”

And those who had the pleasure of knowing him of whom the Principal spoke as “the first of Blairmore” were aware that he was endowed with many of the family gifts and graces.  Capt. Geddes has made the great sacrifice for King and country, laying down his life for that inheritance of which he spoke so proudly on his coming of age and the hardness of the blow which has fallen to those who survive must be softened by the thought that John Geddes, the bearer of an honoured name, is enrolled among the heroes of the present world-war.

The Huntly Express May 7 1915 PULPIT REFERENCES

In Glass Parish Church on Sunday, the Rev. W.G. Guthrie, preaching from the text “And for their sakes I sanctify myself” (St John xvii, 19) referred to the late Captain Geddes of Blairmore as follows;-

These words seem to me to describe very nearly the life and character of Captain John Geddes, the announcement of whose death on the battlefield of Ypres was received by us last Monday with mingled feelings of sorrow and pride.  Of him it can be said with truth that, like the Master, he consecrated himself for the sake of others.  Captain Geddes was fully alive to the seriousness of the step he was taking when last autumn he offered his services on behalf of his King and country.  It meant a big sacrifice for him to leave his home and to part with those who were dearer to him than life.  But to quote his own words, he felt that he could not do otherwise with honour.  With him duty was supreme and in obedience to it every other consideration was set aside.  And when he went to the front and saw the misery and desolation which the war had wrought in France and Belgium, it only made him more willing to lay down his life if need be, that his native land and those near and dear to him might be saved from a similar fate.  That pure flame of self-sacrifice burned undimmed in him to the very end.  Only meagre details of that fateful fight have reached us as yet, but all his surviving comrades agree in saying that in the final charge Captain Geddes was at the head of his men cheering them on and when he fell, mortally wounded, he would accept no personal service but urged his men to press on to victory.  Today we render our grateful homage to the dead.  Our hearts go forth in sympathy to his sorrowing widow and little children, to the mother bereft of her first-born and to the other members of that family to which the parish owes so much.  May the God of all consolation strengthen them to bear this heavy trial.  May He comfort their hearts with precious memories of the brave, strong and gentle life which has ended so gloriously and with the hope of a blessed re-union with him whom they have “loved and lost awhile”.

Appropriate psalms and hymns were sung in the course of the service and at the close the Dead March in “Saul” was played on the organ, the congregation standing reverently in their pews.  The pulpit, the Communion table and the Blairmore pew were draped in black.


In Glass U.F. Church, the Rev. John Niven, at the close of a sermon based on 1 Cor. Ix 26 also made reference to the death of Captain Geddes and expressed the congregation’s feeling of sympathy for the bereaved.

Toronto Star April 26th 1915 CAPT. JOHN GEDDES

Captain John Geddes of the 79th Regiment, reported killed, leaves a wife and three small children.  He was born in Chicago of Scotch ancestry, but resided in Winnipeg 12 years and was prominent in business and social circles.

Canada War Graves Registers (Circumstances of Casualty) 1914-1948 for John Geddes
Captain John Geddes 16th Battalion died 24.4.15 ”Killed in action”
Vicinity of St Julien
Body not recovered for burial


In Memory of Captain John Geddes who died on April 24 1915

Military Service
Age 37
Force Army
Unit Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment)
Division 16th Bn.
Additional Information
Son of Alexander and Frances Geddes of Blairmore, Aberdeenshire, Scotland: husband of Helen Geddes of 1045 Lexham Gardens, Kensington, London, England Cemetery Menin Gate (Ypres) Memorial, Belgium Grave Reference Panel 24-26-28-30

MANITOBA FREE PRESS (copy in Huntly Express May 21 1915)


The death of Capt. John Geddes on the stricken field of Langemarck has brought home the horrors and vicissitudes of the great war in a deeply personal manner to many people in Winnipeg who had hitherto experienced them by hearsay alone.  John Geddes was no ordinary type of mankind, his was a character of unique charm and great originality.  He was sprung of an old Scottish stock long located in the shire of Aberdeen, which had given forth many notable men, among them, his uncle the late Principal Geddes of Aberdeen University, an able scholar and man of affairs.  John however, was born in Chicago, where his father had emigrated and acquired a considerable fortune.  He went home to be educated at Cargilfield, near Edinburgh and the great English public school of Rugby, which he left as a prefect and member of the school XV, sure titles to schoolboy fame.  Coming to Winnipeg after a few years in Chicago he entered into the grain business here and for many years was a member of the exchange and latterly, though still retaining his connection he became involved in other interests and acted as manager of some development and investment companies.

When the 79th Cameron Highlanders were organized he at once accepted a commission and henceforth the regiment was one of his foremost cares.  His company was always at a high level of efficiency and his reports were a model.  If his men sometimes thought him too strenuous, they were always aware that he asked them to do nothing which he himself shirked.  It was his form of public service and to it he gave unstintingly of his time, money and energies.  Apart from helping him to maintain the perfect physical fitness that he revelled in, he sincerely believed that grave perils were impending for the British Empire and that it was the solemn duty of every man to be ready to play his part in it.  Often has the writer argued with him about questions of international policy and the burden of military armaments on civilization.  He was a constant reader of the “Spectator” and always full of the German menace.  When he scorned the doctrines of Norman Angell that armaments must lead to war and war would be fatally ruinous to all concerned, I would point out that bellicose sentiments of certain classes within the British Empire gave powerful levers to the Prussian war party and hindered the cause of European peace.  When the war came and we talked over the great crisis, he said nothing of “I told you so”, but his whole mind at once turned to his duty to his country and he rejoiced that he had secured a military training.  Despite the fact that he had every tie to justify his remaining at home, a charming wife, a young family and extensive business interests he was, if not the very first, one of the first officers of the 79th to volunteer.  “If they have any use for me, I’m ready”, he said and for the rest of his life he was a soldier.

Fear of death he had none, but it was a sore wrench to leave his dear ones and to them will go out the sympathy of a wide circle of sorrowing friends who share their loss.  When I last saw him ere he left, he was full of his duties and cheery ass ever before, but his friends remarked that he seemed what the Scots call “fey”, overcome with a foreboding that he would never return from the war.  Strange to say, none of his intimates were surprised when his name appeared on the fatal list.  They knew, too, that when he fell, he was in the foremost of the fight.  John Geddes was one of the excellent of this earth, a good citizen, a brave soldier and a loyal friend.  He was happy and fortunate in his domestic life and many of us will carry to our graves, memories of pleasant evenings under his hospitable roof.  Prematurely grey haired, he looked older than his years, but his springing gait, the “heather” step, perhaps derived from Highland ancestors, revealed his youthful vigour and clean honest pride.  He may have had some critics but he had no enemies: he was generous to a fault toward others and consistently refused to speak ill of some who had involved him in business troubles.

He was the best of company, a vivid and interesting talker, ever ready to discuss a wide variety of subjects and to listen to new ideas; if he was tenacious of his own views he was open to conviction.  Party politics he despised, though he was deeply interested in political questions and was a regular member of the Hekaton and Round Table Clubs.  A keen Tory on many points, he held strong Radical opinions on others and saw the necessity of far-reaching social changes.  A variety of papers and books came to his house and he acquired a good library.  But perhaps his favourite intellectual interest was Scotland, the land of his ancestors.  He hated to think he was nominally American by birth.  He could never tire of discussing the lore and romance of Scotland’s history and he loved to listen to and to tell Scotch stories.  I remember with the delight with which he discovered and read to me while in hospital recovering from an operation for appendicitis, a volume of poems in the Aberdeenshire Doric, called “Hamewith” by a South African exile, and the keen pleasure which his military instincts and Scotch pride found in John Buchan’s “Life of the Marquis of Montrose.”  But he used to say that his favourite book was those delightful reminiscences entitled “The Memorials of a Highland Lady”.  It was the constant dream of his life to be able some day to return to Scotland and settle down on the lovely Aberdeenshire Estate, which his father had acquired and he was destined to inherit.  But, alas, this was not to be and he found in early life a soldier’s grave on the battlefields of Flanders.  He died as he had lived, doing his duty with all his heart and soul and leaves behind the rich and fragrant memory of a life well lived.  The sum of such is a country’s true glory. “Exstinctus amabitur idem” but if he could have chosen his own epitaph none would have pleased him better than the words of the dying Douglas at Otterbourne:

“Bury me by the bracken bush,
Beside the blooming brier;
Let never a living mortal ken
That a kindly Scot lies here.”


11556 “A” Coy. 6th Bn. Gordon Highlanders who died aged 19 on 17 January 1915.   Son of Alex. And Helen Green of Burn, Glass, Aberdeenshire.

Remembered with honour BEDFORD CEMETERY, BEDS.

From the Huntly Express January 22 1915
At Bedford on the 17th inst of scarlet fever Private Alister Green, A Company, Gordon Highlanders aged 19 years, youngest son of the late Alexander Green, Burnside, Glass.

Huntly Express January 21 1916 IN MEMORIAM
n loving memory of No. 11556 Private Alister Green H Company Gordon Highlanders who died in Goddington Road Hospital, Bedford on January 17 1915 aged 19 years

He rests in peace; his country’s call
He heard and hearing gave
His life his youth his all
Our nation’s name to save

Inserted by his mother, brothers and sisters

Huntly Express January 12 1917 IN MEMORIAM
In affectionate remembrance of No. 11556 Private Alister Green H Company 6th Gordon Highlanders who died in Goddington Road Hospital, Bedford on January 17 1916 aged 19 years

Memories with sad reflections we’ll cherish
Fond thoughts of one now cold in the clay
His image is stamped where it never shall perish
Nor pass from our memory in silence away

Inserted by his loving mother, brothers and sisters, The Burn, Glenmarkie, Glass

The following information was kindly supplied by Calum Anderson, Osnabruck, Niedersachsen, Germany
Alister was born on the morning of the 3rd September 1895 at The Burn, Mortlach, Banff, Scotland.
He lived at the following addresses –
1895, The Burn, Mortlach, Banff, Scotland
1901 Easter Breton, Mortlach, Banff, Scotland
Alister died on the 17th January 1915 at Goddington Road Hospital, Bedford, England.  He was serving in the 6th Battalion Gordon Highlanders.  Cause of death was Scarlet Fever. (1) He is buried at Bedford Cemetery, Bedford, Bedfordshire, England (2) He is also remembered on the Glass War Memorial. His brother Batty also served during the Boer WW1,  He was a German POW in Switzerland.  He was repatriated on the 14th September 1917.  Another brother John died on 14th September 1917.  This was due to a railway accident and not the war.


5th Bn. Gordon Highlanders who died aged 25 on 30 July 1916, son of the Rev W.G. Guthrie and M.A. Guthrie of Manse of Glass, Aberdeenshire born January 13 1891.

Remembered with honour THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

Huntly Express 18th August 1916 MEMORIAL SERVICE AT GLASS

A Service in memory of the late Lieutenant A.J. Guthrie, Gordon Highlanders, who was killed in action on July 30th was conducted in the Parish Church of Glass, last Sunday, by the Rev J.J. Calder, Cairney.  There was a very large congregation.  The Communion Table was covered with the Union Jack, on which lay the deceased officer’s sword and cap, the latter having been sent home from the battlefield by one of his men as a token of respect.  The dominant notes of the service were courage and hope, rather than sadness, which was foreign to this fine lad’s character and which it grieved him to see in others.  The hymns etc. sung were Psalm xxiii, “Pleasant are Thy courts above”: “How bright these glorious spirits shine”, and “O send Thy light forth and Thy truth”.  Mr Calder preached a helpful and sympathetic sermon on the blessings of loss and bereavement from the text, Hebrews xii. 11, and paid touching tribute to the gallant son of the Manse, one of a long line who have made the supreme sacrifice in the cause of liberty and righteousness during the present war.  A notable feature of the service was the marvellously expressive playing on the organ by Sir Frederick Bridge, C.V.O. Organist of Westminster Abbey.  His interpretation of the Dead March in “Saul” will not readily pass from the memory of those who were privileged to hear it.

The service concluded with the singing of the National Anthem.
A small portion of the letters the Guthrie’s received on the death of their son

From Lieutenant-Colonel McTaggart, D.S.O. 5th Gordon Highlanders 2nd August 1916

Dear Mr Guthrie – It is with the deepest sympathy I have to inform you of the death of your son in action on the evening of the 30thJuly.  It must be your consolation, however, that he died a glorious death, leading his platoon against the German trenches.  He was a boy of great courage and was always ready to take on anything and his loss is not only a great one to the battalion but also to his many friends.

Victory has to be purchased at great price, the cost no less than all the best and bravest in the land.

From Major MacDonald, D.S.O. 5th Gordon Highlanders 2nd August 1916

Dear Mr and Mrs Guthrie – The extremely sad news of the death of your noble son will have reached you ere this.  You will also have had details supplied of how he met so heroically his end.  I need not, therefore, dwell upon this.  As one who came into the closest contact with Lieut. Guthrie and who therefore knew his great worth, I want to lay my humble tribute at his feet.

What a noble fellow he was; how cheery; how estimable and how reliable.  In any risk undertaken he was always afraid lest he might not carry out his task thoroughly – a most worthy fear – but of the enemy or the enemy’s fire he knew no fear whatsoever.

He was much loved by his men and to all his fellow-officers he ever brought a ray of sunshine.  He was often called “Sunshine”, because of his winning ways and happy smile.  In the action in which he fell, he fearlessly led his men forward and died as became his noble and beautiful life.

I write thus because I knew him so well and found him a most admirable officer and companion.  Your loss is very great and your sorrow is heavy, but I hope you will accept of a fellow-officer’s tribute and assurance of deep sympathy with you.

 From Rev. William Watson, M.A. Chaplain to H.M. Forces 3rd August 1916

Dear Mr Guthrie – How shall I write to you regarding the sad news of the death of your son, Lieutenant Guthrie, who was killed in action on Sunday?  The 1/5th Gordons have been taking their share in the great push and Lieutenant Guthrie was in the company which formed the vanguard of the attacking force.  The task was a very difficult one, to capture a German trench, the ground of approach being swept by machine gun fire.

I went up to the front line trench to see them before the action took place, to wish them all good luck and Godspeed in their effort.  Everyone was keen and cheerful.  At last, after months of training and a long period of defensive fighting, they were to have the opportunity of getting to close grips with the enemy and of showing their mettle.  Your son had all the instincts of a soldier and was eager to be in the fray.

The whole battalion gave a glorious account of itself.  Our C.O., who has seen a good deal of fighting, has affirmed that never in his life has he seen such gallantry and such a display of mutual helpfulness in the field.  But, alas! The price of such heroism is evident in the long casualty list.

Lieutenant Guthrie was in the forefront of the fight and pressed on himself and encouraged his men to press on until he fell shot through the head.  Death was instantaneous and he felt no pain.

We all mourn his passing as a personal loss.  We sorrow that a life so full of promise should be so untimely ended.  He had the push and the pluck as well as the ability to have won a high place in life had the opportunity been granted him and he was one of the frankest and friendliest of comrades, beloved by us all.

If we thus feel his loss, how much more so must you, his parents, feel it.  I know how sharp will be the pain of separation and how your hearts will long for the return of your brave soldier boy.  But you have this grand consolation and this proud consciousness, that he has done his bit right nobly in this great conflict for righteousness’ sake.  Generations yet unborn will praise God for the brave lads who stood in the breach and stemmed the tide of iniquity in this period of world crisis and won for them a higher liberty and a richer life.

Moreover, it is well with him.  Having been faithful unto death he has won the fadeless crown of life and has been promoted to a higher service and a better country.  It is probably too soon for you to realise the full significance of these things.  For some time the heart will chiefly know its own bitterness.  But when the war clouds have rolled past and peace once more blesses our sorrowing land and we are able to see things in their true perspective, you will not grudge your boy for such a cause.  May the living Christ be with you all during these sad days to comfort and sustain you and to give you His peace as your portion.

 Extracts from Letters written by Men of the 5th Gordon Highlanders

 I was very much cut up about Lieutenant Guthrie getting such hard luck, for we were great friends and had many cheery times together while in the trenches.  I must say that I’ll have to look a long way before I get an officer whom I’ll appreciate so much for he was very homely with us boys whom he was ruler of.  Last time I saw him he was quite cheery and saying that we would have a good time after this as we were to have a rest and that he was first for leave; so it was the bright side we were looking on.  He was close beside the German barbed wire when he got killed.  A bullet got him through the forehead quite early in the evening, and he was buried in a shell hole just where he lay when darkness set in.  It was not long before word reached me saying, “That’s your freen gone.”  I could have cried, for one does not like to hear of anything coming over the ones they know so well.

No one had a better opportunity than I had of knowing his initiative.  He took the snipers in hand and brought them from practically nothing to be the eyes of the Battalion.  He never really asserted his authority but tried to prove to us that his ideas were sound.  Personally, I shall miss him very much for we got on well together.

 I was not in his Company, but all the men in C Company loved and respected him and all who knew him sincerely regret his death.

 He was an example to us all.

 From the “Factor’s Magazine” August 1916

We greatly regret having to record the death of Lieut. A.J. Guthrie, killed in France on 30 July, heading his platoon in an attack.  Lieut. Guthrie was the son of the Rev. W.G. Guthrie, Minister of Glass.  Having served his apprenticeship at Pitfour Estates Office and for some time before he joined the Army in December, 1914, he was chief clerk to Mr Chapman at Dinwoodie, Lockerbie, on the Applegirth Estates.  He received a commission in the 2/5th Gordon Highlanders and was afterwards transferred to the 1/5th Gordons in 1915 and then proceeded to France. He passed all the junior examinations of our society in 1913, obtaining the highest marks of all the candidates.  A very promising life has thus been cut short and to all his relatives we extend the warm sympathy of all the members of our society.

 From Rev John Niven, M.A. Holburn U.F. Church, Aberdeen formerly of U.F. Church, Glass 7th August 1916

Dear Mr Guthrie – This is terrible news you have received; and no matter how much we feel for you in your sorrow and agony, we can do so little to help you to bear it.

It spite of the fact that every week I see the names of old-time friends and acquaintances in the casualty lists, yet I have always had the feeling that death would never cut off Bert at this time.  All that he was and stood for was so opposed to the idea of death in our minds.  His courage and faith and buoyancy and the beauty of his life seemed sufficient to keep death at a distance.  And yet we know that he is not dead, that the spirit that was in him can never die, that out of death comes life.

We weep for ourselves, for the loss entailed, but for him we rejoice.

The noble words of his Commanding Officers, printed in this morning’s papers, will bring joy and thankfulness to your sorrowing hearts and will continue to do so in the days that are to come – thankfulness for all that he was and all that he has done; thankfulness for his spirit of self-sacrifice and thoughtfulness and happiness and joy.

And may God give you all the strength to bear your sole bereavement and to sanctify and hallow it for ever.

 Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
There’s none of them so lonely and poof of old
But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.
These laid the world away; poured out the red

Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be
Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene
That men call age; and those that would have been
Their sons, they gave their immortality

Rupert Brooke

Telegram from Keeper of the Privy Purse Buckingham Palace

To Rev. W.G. Guthrie, Manse of Glass, Huntly

The King and Queen deeply regret the loss you and the army have sustained by the death of your son in the service of his Country.
Their majesties truly sympathise with you in your sorrow.


By Alick when in hospital in  Nieuport, Belgium, the night before Bert, his brother, was killed.

Amid the shadows cold and grey
I wandered in the trenches clay
When suddenly before my sight
A spectre rose! I leapt in fright!

It made me cold to look at him
So cheerless was the earth around
This battlefield, this blood stained ground.
I feared to move, and yet I must
For I was given a sacred trust

To bear despatches to my Chief
When suddenly, to my relief
This dark and dismal battlecloud
Lifted from earth its deadly shroud

Lifted its pall from off that plain
Strewn with our country’s gallant slain.
And in its stead did I behold
A glorious dawn, a gorgeous gold.

It seemed as ‘twere by magic wrought
So quick the change as flash of thought
As quickly too the spectre fled
Vanished it had, and in its stead
A bird arose and met my eyes
Soaring, methought, to Paradise.

Ah! Lovely bird, thou winged they flight
Aloft to fairer realms of light
Realms that were made for such as thee
That though might there rest peacefully

And as it sped off on the wing
I knew it was no earthly thing
It was my brother’s soul that went
Forth from me, for, ere day was spent

Fighting he fell and nobly died
With many a comrade by his side.
Oh! Woe betide that bitter day
When in the furious fiery fray

Fearless of danger, yea, or death
He gave his all, his dying breath
Even for his country’s sake.
And then the cloud declined again

This was the sorrow and the pain
The knowledge that no more on earth
We’d hear his voice or share his mirth
But we well know that from this sorrow
There yet shall break a glorious morrow

When each and all of us in love
Shall meet again in realms above.
This promise God’s own hand shall seal,
And God’s promises never fail.

Click on the link for a photograph of Alexander Guthire and Albert Guthrie


“Y” 32nd T.M. Bty. 1st Highland Bde., Royal Field Artillery who died aged 23 on 12 July 1917.
Son of the Rev. W.G. Guthrie and M.A. Guthrie of Manse of Glass, Aberdeenshire, born 8 October 1893.


Huntly Express January 19 1917 CAPTAIN A. GUTHRIE, GLASS
Second Lieut. A. Guthrie, Highland Brigade RFA (TF) assistant embarkation staff officer graded as Staff Captain has been promoted temporary Captain while so employed.  Captain Guthrie is a son of the Rev. W.G. Guthrie, Parish Minister of Glass and at the outbreak of war was a second year’s Art Student at Aberdeen University.

Banffshire Journal July 24 1917
We regret to say that information has been received that Lieut. Alexander Guthrie, RFA second son of Rev. W.G. Guthrie, Glass has been killed in action.  At the outbreak of war he was a second year’s student at Aberdeen University and joined the RFA.  A brother was killed some little time ago.

Aberdeen University Roll of Honour
GUTHRIE, ALEXANDER; Lieutenant 1st Highland Brigade, Royal Field Artillery; son of Rev. W.G. Guthrie, Glass, Aberdeenshire; born at Corse Schoolhouse, Leochel-Cushnie, 8 October 1893; educated at Ellon H.G. School and Gordon’s College; matriculated 1913; student in Arts 1913-15.

He enlisted at the close of his second winter session, March 1915 and received a commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Highland Brigade R.F.A. in May of the same year.  After nine months’ training in this country he proceeded to France and took part in the defensive fighting on the Ypres and Arras Fronts during the summer of 1916.  He was slightly wounded at the Battle of the Somme and was invalided home for a few months.  He returned to France in the end of the year, followed up the German retreat from the Somme, fought at the capture of Messines Ridge in the spring of 1917 and was killed at Nieuport in Belgium on 12 July 1917 while trying to save a comrade who had been entombed by the explosion of a German shell.  He was promoted Lieutenant a few days before his death and was mentioned in dispatches of 7 November 1917 for distinguished and gallant conduct.

Possessed of a fund of real common sense and a staunchness on which his friends could and did place infinite reliance, Guthrie’s influence was great and always for the highest.  If he had been permitted to carry out his intention of proceeding to the ministry, some parish would have had the inestimable benefit of a minister whose advice and assistance could, as a friend has said “put confidence into the waverer, and restraint upon the impetuous”

Huntly Express 27th July 1917 MEMORIAL SERVICE

A cloud of sorrow has once again fallen on the Manse of Glass.  It is not quite a year since the eldest son of the Rev. W.G. and Mrs Guthrie fell in action and now intimation has been received that their second son, Lieut. Alexander Guthrie, R.F.A. has given his life nobly in an attempt to save the life of a comrade.  Throughout the parish of Glass and beyond it, regret is expressed at the loss of a promising young soldier and heartfelt sympathy is extended to the bereaved family.

A beautiful and touching service, in memory of Lieut. Guthrie, was conducted on Sunday last by the Rev. G.H. Donald of the West Parish Church, Aberdeen choosing as his text Eccles. Xii. 6 he paid the following tribute to the brave son of the Manse –

“My friends, I deem it a great and sacred privilege to be present with you on this day of your Minister’s renewed sorrow, to give expression to your sympathy for him and his family and to pay my tribute to the memory of his second and dearly loved son.  Your Minister, as you have grateful cause to remember, has often pour out his love and sympathy to you in seasons like that through which he now passes himself and I feel sure that there is no heart here who is not touched to the very depths for him and his today.

“Like so many more, a double sacrifice has been demanded of him.  Not one, but two gallant and noble sons, in the heyday of their youth and strength have been taken.  The ‘silver cord’ was loosed first and now the ‘golden bowl’ has been broken and all its promise spilled and gone.  And yet not all.  The breaking of the bowl has, in a mysterious and beautiful way, released the fragrance of that promise and it is with us today and will ever linger as a pious and wondrous memory to those who knew and loved him.

“And there must be many such here.  We knew and loved him, not, indeed, in that intimate and sacred way in which he was known and loved by his father and mother, sisters and brothers, but as those who had found a lovable soul, a loyal, true, unselfish  friend, a sincere, upright man.  For he was all these together.

“One of ”is brother officers writes, ‘I loved him as a brother.  He was so cheerful, staunch, brave, true and unselfish that we were all fascinated by him’.  Staunch, yes.  His father said to me last night that when he made friends he stuck to them and would not brook a word spoken against them.  That he was unselfish we know, for he gave his life in the effort to save a comrade from the fumes of a poisonous shell to which he himself succumbed.

“I personally think of him as one of those ‘golden boys’ of whom someone has recently written, who have been taken in the sunshine and glory of their youth.  Like his brother, he had a sunny disposition; but, perhaps, it was of a graver hue, more the gleam of gold than the sparkle of silver.  But both were radiant in their characters and lives.  Their sincerity blazed.  It was a marked characteristic.  You saw it at once.  It attracted you, fascinated you, bound you to them as by a spell – a spell distilled in the simple, religious atmosphere of the pious home from which they came.

“I knew Alick as a student in Aberdeen and a member of the West Church, where he did much useful and greatly appreciated work among the young men and latterly, as secretary of the guild.  He was always winsome, good-natured, and ready with his help.  He took a very high view of the office of the ministry, to which he looked forward as the work of his life and to which he had long since consecrated himself.  In the Army he put in practice his theory of life.  He lived his faith.  There was no dubiety about it.  He was a practical Christian man.  He made no show.  There were no fringes about him.  He simply did the thing he professed.  In a very beautiful way both his brother officers who have written testify to his Christian character.  It was the main feature of his life and the foundation of his charm.

“I knew him as a soldier.  I met him shortly after he arrived in France and from the very first, as his senior officer said to me, he gave promise of courage, common sense and a capacity for leadership.  He subsequently fulfilled that promise beyond all expectations.  He never flinched from his duty.  He had gone out to France to do a thing his soul abhorred, but he never hesitated.  He fought for conscience’ sake.  He was faithful in every detail of his work, even unto death and of any man one cannot say more.

“His brother and he were devoted to one another, almost like lovers.  We believe they are re-united now in still closer bonds of love and service.  Together they have invaded heaven with that great host of young and lusty souls, carrying their strength and glory and faith with them as an offering to the Divine Master they served.  With uncovered head we salute the Sacred Dead today and bit them farewell for a little time.  We also offer our respectful sympathy to their bereaved home.  But not in any hopeless or falsely sentimental fashion.  This is no time for empty heroics.  Every family of the land has given of its bravest and best.  Our generation was born to be a martyr generation.  We are greater for it.  We rejoice in hope and are patient amid tribulation.  We will be remembered throughout the ages as those who counted no loss too severe that we might win the crown of lasting peace and universal justice.  We make our sacrifice standing on our feet and with our faces to the light.  Our faith has taught us this attitude.  And it is from the depths of our faith that we offer our sympathy today to your Minister and his wife and family.  We would like to assure them that hearts are beating high for them in their sorrow, that loyal friends stand round them with their humble gifts of affection, sympathy and sincere regret.

“In every city and country town, in every strath and glen throughout our beloved land the pipes are playing the lament for the brave lads that are no more and for the empty homes from which they came and the echo of that strain is in our hearts here and now as we mourn the death of these two sons of the Manse, so attractive in their lives and so noble in their deaths.

“I feel that these words of mine are altogether inadequate to do justice to the lad whom we remember today, or to convey even a small part of the affectionate thoughts with which our minds are filled.  But the deepest things of life cannot find articulation in common speech and unspoken thoughts and silent sympathy are a tribute that none will despise.  Your regard for the Manse cannot be but very real.  It is offered today without stint and will be received in the spirit in which it comes and with gratitude.  Ane may God give us all grave to bear whatever may befall us in the same brave Christian spirit which is shown in the Manse today”

The psalms and hymns were Ps. Xxiii: Hymns 197, 505 and 297; and Paraphrase 66.  The Lessons read were; Eccles. Xii and 2ndCor. Iv and v to verse 10.
The service concluded with the playing of the Dead March in “Saul” the congregation standing, after which a verse of the National Anthem was sung.

A fraction of the tributes paid following his death are shown below:

From 2nd Lieut. Wm. C.L. Waite, R.F.A. 15th July 1917

Dear Mr Guthrie – It is with deep regret that I have to tell you of the death of your son, who passed away in the early morning of Friday the 13th inst.

He and his servant both made a noble effort to rescue another man from a dug-out which had been blown in by a German shell, but they both succumbed to the fumes of the exploded projectile.
I would ask you to accept in all sincerity my deepest sympathy with you in your great bereavement, but I pray that you will find consolation in the fact that he gave his life in trying to save another.  My brother officers join with me in these sentiments.
We remember with thankfulness his cheerful spirit which prevailed even when circumstances were difficult and dangers many.
His death must have been a peaceful one, for I am told that, when he was taken from the dug-out, his face was a calm as that of a child in sleep.
We laid him to rest yesterday afternoon near to a once stately church, now reduced to ruins by constant bombardment and we know that he has gone to his well-earned rest, to receive the “Well done” of the Master whose example he so closely followed.

From Capt. George Dundas, M.C. R.F.A.

Dear Friends – I feel it my duty to send you a line of sympathy on the death of your son, who was killed in action July 13th.  Cold and formal as this letter may be, I hope it may bring at least a shadow of solace to the bereaved relatives.

When your lad came out last January he was detailed to my battery.  I was then O.C. Y32 T.M.B. and he was my officer.  Since then he became O.C. and I was put in command of another battery.

I used to call him “My bonny Jean”  Day by day, as we worked together, I became more attached to him and a close friendship sprang up between us.  I enjoyed his company and trusted him full in work and play.  He was so cheerful, staunch, brave, true and unselfish that we were all fascinated by him.  The more I was in his company the more I desired it.  I possibly knew him better than any of us here and I assure you I loved him as I would my own brother.

Many an evening and morning have I listened to “Jean” singing Scottish songs or going through the Psalms in good Scottish style.  Many times have we discussed the problems of life, of love, of war and after, together.  Often have I heard him mention his brother who was killed at High Wood last year.  He has told me of his mother, his father and sisters.  Often has he said that he did not mind death, except that the people at home felt it so badly.  Often has he said it would all but break his mother’s heart to lose her second boy.  His thoughts were never of himself.  So that I feel as if I were his brother and knew you all well.

Can you wonder at my being so closely attached to him?  Outside his own kin nobody in the world misses him more than I do.

Please accept my heartfelt sympathy on the death of your second great, dear son.  You have my prayers and I join with you in the hope of meeting the departed in Heaven, where we shall be again united and enjoy the bliss of eternity, world without end.

From Rev. Ewen Maclean, Chaplain to H.M. Forces 24th July 1917

Dear Mr Guthrie – Accept my sincere sympathy in your great loss.  I did not know your son.  I happened, however, to be with my battalion in the town where he was killed.  Being a Presbyterian, I was asked to conduct his funeral service.
In the cemetery at Nieuport he lies.  A cross, made by his own unit, marks the place of his rest.
I learned of how nobly your son had died.  He gave his life as he sought to save another.  I was very much struck by the manner in which his fellow officers, all previously unknown to me, referred to Mr Guthrie.  His clean, straight, strong life had impressed them.  It was quite evident to me that officers and men loved him.
May the consolation of God be with you in this your hour of suffering.  It is good to remember that your son died in the sacred cause of righteousness.  He died that others might live.  It cannot be ill with Alexander Guthrie.

From Principal Sir George Adam Smith, D.D. LL.D., Aberdeen University 23rd July 1917

My Dear Sir – I am deeply grieved to read of the death of your gallant son, our student.  Will you allow me, as one who has suffered with you, to express my warm sympathy with you in your bereavement?  I remember your son well and his eagerness to serve his country and the sacred cause committed to her.  I can see his young face still as I saw him the last time we met: clear and fair, the token of an unspoiled and generous heart.

Such deaths as our sons have willingly suffered for such a cause can only have been for them the entrances on higher forms of service; and we have the example of their faith and courage to sustain us through the time of our separation from him.

From Old Class-fellows

The University has lost many of its students, but few will leave a wider circle of sorrowing friends than your son, for he was well known and most popular with us all.

Words cannot express the great sorrow that the news of his death has brought me.  Perhaps you will understand.  He was the last of my friends and he is gone.  But he has gone for the honour of his home, all worthy of it and in a manner worthy of the brother who so nobly fell before him and worthy of the all too short life that was his.

How like him his death was.  He would just as soon have given his life for one of his men as for his Major.  He was always very fond of his men and I am sure they must have been fond of him.  No officer could have died a more noble death and it seems so becoming his character.

Nothing is here for tears, nothing to wail
Or knock the breast; no weakness, no contempt,
Dispraise, or blame; nothing but well and fair,
And what may quiet us in a death so noble


Telegram sent from Buckingham Palace to Rev W.G. Guthrie, Manse of Glass, Huntly, N.B.
The King and Queen are deeply grieved to hear that you have lost yet another son in the Service of his country.  Their Majesties offer you their heartfelt sympathy in your fresh sorrow.

Keeper of the Privy Purse


The War Of 1914-1918  Royal Field Artillery (T.F.) Lt. A. Guthrie, (killed)

Was mentioned in a Despatch from Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig,  K.T., C.C.G., G.C.V.O., K.C.I.E., dated 7th November 1917 for gallant and distinguished services in the Field.  I have it in command from the King to record His Majesty’s high appreciation of the services rendered.

Winston S. Churchill

Secretary of State for War
War Office, Whitehall, S.S.
1st March 1919

“Photograph of Alexander Guthire (with cap) and Albert Guthrie (with kilt)”

Alexander and Albert Guthrie

Click to enlarge the photo.

Marina Alexander  is indebted to Dr Bill Masson of Acharacle, Argyll  for the vast amount of information plus the photograph of the two sons of Rev. W.G. Guthrie, namely  Albert Guthrie and Alexander Guthrie.  He is related to them in some way as is Dr Bill Lawrence of Stirling who also sent me information years ago which sadly I had overlooked.   Marina is very grateful to them both.

The following is the information sent by Bill Lawrence –

“Albert John Guthrie who was a Lieutenant in the 5th Gordon Highlanders, was killed in action at High Wood, Picardy, France on 30th July 1916 at the age of 25 years.

Albert was an estate factor having served his apprenticeship at Pitfour Estates Office.  He was for two years in the Annandale Estates Office and for some time before joining the Army in December 1914 was on the Applegirth Estates, Lockerbie.  By all accounts he was a cheerful well loved and respected soldier.”

 “The other brother, Alexander, was a Lieutenant in 1st Highland Brigade Royal Field Artillery.  Alexander was killed near Newport, Belgium on 12thJuly 1917 at the age of 23 years.  Apparently he had made an effort to rescue one of his men from a dug-out which had been blown in by a German shell, however he was overcome by the fumes and died there.

I understand that he went to the front in March 1916, fought in the Battle of the Somme in that year and then in the German retreat from the Somme early in 1917.  He was then involved in the Battle of Messines Ridge and lastly in operations near the Belgium coast.

Alexander was in his third year at Aberdeen University and intended entering the ministry.

Just as his brother before him, he was well loved and respected by all who knew him.”




L-Corpl. No. 18188, 1st Battn. (75th Foot) The Gordon Highlanders; nephew of Alexander Gordon, of Brownhills, Oyne; born Upper Hilton, Glass, co. Aberdeen 29 Dec 1889; educ. Oyne and Insch Public Schools; went to America in 1910 and was engaged in the service of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company; subsequently returned to Scotland and was employed on his uncle’s farm at Brownhills; enlisted in the Gordon Highlanders 4 June 1917; served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from the following Oct., and died at No. 46 Casualty Clearing Station 1 Sept. 1918 of wounds received in action the same day.  Letters received from his officers testify to the high respect in which he was held by all ranks; Unm.



514236 14th Bn. London Regiment (London Scottish) who died aged 39 on 29 August 1918.  Husband of Lucy Annie Innes, of 95 Ranelagh Road, Pimlico, London.  Born at Derby.

Remembered with honour QUEANT ROAD CEMETERY, BUISSY

DSCF2792Gravestone at Glass Church

Huntly Express September 20 1918 INNES

Killed in action in France on 29 August Private George Alexander Innes, 1st Battalion London Scottish, third son of the late James G. Innes, Old Manse, Glass and of Mrs Jas. G. Innes, 6 Cresswell Square, Queens Park Glasgow.

In 1891, he is a scholar living with his Mother, a dressmaker, at old Manse Cottage. His father had died the previous year. Most of his siblings are still at home. Two of them are living at Old Manse Inn with his grandmother Margaret Wilson.

  • In 1901, he is a bank messenger living at the residence of Frederick Vidgen in St Martin-in-the-fields .
  • In 1907 he married Lucy Anne Gee in St George’s Hanover Square, London. Over the next 8 years they had 4 sons.
  • He was still a bank messenger when he joined the Scottish Reserve of the London regiment on 13 November 1915.
  • He was a casualty in August 1918.


Second Lieutenant DONALD MACDONALD
MM 4th Regt. (Inf.) South African Infantry who died aged 36 on 22 October 1917, born 31 January 1881, son of Donald and Margaret MacDonald, Glass, Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland; husband of Miriam Rose MacDonald, 19 South Parade, Blossom St., York, England

Remembered with honour YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

Huntly Express May 4 1917 Pte. D,. MacDonald, Glass

Mr & Mrs MacDonald, Markethill, Glass have received word that their son Pte. MacDonald of the South Africans, intimating that he has been admitted to hospital suffering from shrapnel wounds in the hands.

Huntly Express October 26 1917 Glass Hero Promoted

We are pleased to hear of the promotion of Sergeant Donald MacDonald of the South African Scottish to be 2nd Lieut.

Lieut. MacDonald is one of a very patriotic family, other two brothers having joined the colours and one of them Duncan made the supreme sacrifice in the brave stand of the Canadians in the Spring of 1916.  Lieut. MacDonald distinguished himself lately on the field of battle by performing an act of bravery for which he was awarded the Military Medal.  His parents live at Market Hill, Glass.

Huntly Express 2 November 1917 FALLEN HEROES

Lieut. Donald MacDonald MM, Glass

Sincere regret was felt throughout the parish of Glass when it became known that Second Lieut. Donald MacDonald MM had been killed in action.  In last week’s issue of the Huntly Express we recorded the good news of his having received his commission and now have to record the sad news of his death.  He came over to fight for the honour of the motherland from South Africa and was a member of the South African Scottish.  He received rapid promotion.  Only a month or so ago he received the Military Medal for devotion to duty and bravery in the field.  As was said in the report last week, he was one of a very patriotic family, two of his brothers also having joined up.  One, Duncan was a member of the Canadian Forces and made the supreme sacrifice in the Spring of 1916, the other Tom is serving in France.

Banffshire Journal November 6 1917

Last week we were pleased to report the promotion of Lieutenant Donald MacDonald of the South African Scottish, a native of Glass and it is with great regret that we now intimate that he has fallen in action.  He was one of three brothers, sons of Mr & Mrs MacDonald, Market Hill, Glass, who joined the army.  One brother Duncan made the supreme sacrifice last year and another brother Tom is still serving.  The sympathy of the community goes out to the father and mother of these brave men in their noble sorrow.

Banffshire Journal November 6 1917 GLASS LATE LIEUTENANT MACDONALD

In the Parish Church on Sunday Rev. W.G. Guthrie at the close of his sermon made the following reference to the late Lieut. Donald MacDonald who has fallen in action.

“What a reaping time these three years have been.  Thousands upon thousands of our best and bravest have been cut down.  When we consider the number of the mortal years the first thought that strikes us is that they died before their time.  And yet it has often seemed to me that those dear lads whom I have known were visibly ripening for heaven.  The development of the Christian character which in the case of most of us is a slow and often disappointing process with them, advanced with rapid strides.  They pressed forward toward the mark.  They went from strength to strength.  And so as an old writer has put it.  Having lived a short time they have fulfilled a long time.

Today we mourn the passing of the thirteenth on our roll of honour.  I did not know Lieutenant Donald MacDonald.  I met him only once when he was home on leave for the last time.  On that occasion he impressed me as being one of nature’s gentlemen of whom our glen might well be proud and everything I have heard of him since has confirmed the high opinion I then formed of him.  The very fact of his leaving a thriving business in South Africa to fight for his native land in her sore distress showed the manner of man he was.  His career in the army has been full of honour.  He was the first from this parish to win a Military Medal and only a few weeks ago he was promoted to commissioned rank without special training or examination.  Now his career in this world is ended.  But we believe that for him and all such as he, who have responded to the high call of duty and taken up their cross and followed Christ, death is only the entrance on a higher form of service.

Our hearts go out in sympathy to his sorrowing widow, his aged father and mother and his brothers and sisters to whom this has brought sorrow upon sorrow”

UK De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour, 1914-1924 for Donald MacDonald.

MACDONALD, DONALD, M.M. 2nd Lieut. 4th Battn. The South African Infantry, 5th son of Donald MacDonald of Market Hill, Glass by his wife Margaret, dau. Of Thomas Duncan: and brother to Private Duncan MacDonald (also killed in action) b Glass, co. Aberdeen 31 Jan. 1881; educ. Public School, Glass; went to South Africa at the age of 21 and worked as a Carpenter; subsequently became a partner in the firm of F. Dey, Builders and Contractors of Pretoria; joined the Transvaal Scottish in 1908, in which he served four years; volunteered for foreign service 15 Dec. 1915 and joined the 4th Battn.
The South African Infantry, with the rank of Sergt; served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from 25 July 1916; received a commission as 2ndLieut. On the field and was killed in action near Langemarck 22 Oct. 1917.  Buried there.  He was awarded the Military Medal (London Gazette, 9 April 1917), for bravery in the field.  He married at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Pretoria 18 Dec 1913, Miriam Rose (15 Bishophill Senior, York) 2nd dau. Of John Shepherdson.

Private  DUNCAN MACDONALD 420323 43rd Bn., Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment)

Died aged 28 on 20 May 1916, son of Mr F. MacDonald of Market Hill, Glass, Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Remembered with honour HODGE CRATER CEMETERY

From his Attestation Paper
Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force

What is your name?  Duncan McDonald
In What Town, Township or Parish and in which Country were you born?  Aberdeenshire, Scotland
What is the name of your next-of-kin?  Louisa McDonald (wife)
What is the address of your next-of-kin?  295 Arnold Ave., Winnipeg
What is the date of your birth?  4/10/87
What is your Trade or Calling?  Carpenter
Are you married?  Yes
Are you willing to be inoculated or vaccinated?  Yes
Do you belong to any Active Militia?  No
Have you ever entered in any Military Force?  No
Do you understand the nature and terms of your engagement?  Yes
Are you willing to be attested to serve in the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force?  Yes

Signed. D. McDonald 11 January 11915  Age on enlistment 27 years 2 months

Height 5ft. 7 ins.
Complexion Fresh
Eyes Brown
Hair Dark

Huntly Express June 16 1916

Killed in action in France on 20th May Private Duncan Macdonald 43rd Battalion Canadians aged 28 ½ years youngest son of Mr & Mrs MacDonald, Markethill, Glass and beloved husband of Louisa Grant, Winnipeg.

Huntly Express June 16 1916

News has been received by Mr Donald McDonald, Markethill, Glass of the death of his son Private Duncan McDonald of the Cameron Highlanders of Canada.  Previous to joining the Canadians, Private McDonald was working as a carpenter with the Hudson Bay Company.  He had been three months at the front.


Thomas MacDonald Queens Own Cameron Highlanders

British Army WW1 Service Records 1914-1920

Born abt. 1869 Glass


Age at enlistment 45 years 302 days

Tattoo – India Heart Bella L Arm

Home Address Market Hill, Glass

Document year 1914

Regimental No. 11485

Form Title Army Reserve (Special Reserve)

Wounded in action 28.5.16

Gun shot to Thigh 27.9.15

Family Members

  1. MacDonald – Mother

Donald MacDonald – Father

Donald MacDonald – child

Margaret MacDonald – child

Helen Ann MacDonald – child

Mother Guardian of children

Discharged   31.3.1920


Lieutenant GEORGE MACPHERSON, 4th Section, Machine Gun Corps

Died aged 20 on 15 September 1916, son of George and Hilda M. Macpherson of “The Lloyd House”, Near Wolverhampton, Educated at Lockers Park and Winchester.

Lieut.George Macpherson
Remembered with honour GROVE TOWN CEMETERY, MEAULTE

Huntly Express September 22 1916


The sad news was received this week that Lieut. George Macpherson, only son of Mr and Mrs Macpherson of Edinglassie, Glass had been killed “somewhere in France.”  Details have not yet been received.  The deceased was a young gentleman of an unusually bright and hopeful disposition and was a great favourite with all who knew him.  In the heavy loss they have sustained, much sympathy goes out to Mr & Mrs and Miss Macpherson.

It will be noticed from advertisement that a memorial service is to be held in Glass Parish Church on Sunday afternoon, when the organ will be presided over by Sir Frederick Bridge, C.V.O. presently at Cairnborrow Lodge.

Huntly Express 29 September 1916


Last week brief reference was made to the death of Lieut. George Macpherson who died on 15 September from wounds received in action.  As readers know, he was the only son of Mr and Mrs George Macpherson of Lloyd House, Wolverhampton and Edinglassie Lodge.  Born in 1896 and educated at Locker’s Park and Winchester, where he was in the O.T.C.    Leaving there in July 1915 he obtained a commission in the Buffs on September 19th.   In April 1916 he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps.  He became Lieutenant in July and went to the front at the end of August.  By all who knew him, the deceased officer was held in the highest regard and had he been spared his would have been a useful and honourable career.

A memorial service was held in Glass  Parish Church on Sunday, conducted by Rev. W.G. Guthrie for whose own son also fallen at the front, a similar service was held but only a few weeks ago.  There was a very large congregation, a considerable number of the worshipers having come from neighbouring parishes, where Lieut. Macpherson was well known.   The musical part of the service was in the hands of Sir Frederick Bridge V.C.O. organist of Westminster Abbey whose rendering of the various hymns and of “The Flowers of the Forest” arranged by himself at the organ and of the Dead March in “Saul” was marked by deep feeling and impressiveness.

There followed an extremely long sermon by Mr Guthrie which can be seen in the Huntly Express of the above date.


St Bartholomew’s Church Penn 1916

George Macpherson, Lieutenant 4th Section Machine Gun Corps

Killed in Action 15/09/1916 age 20

Son of George and Hilda M. Macpherson, of “The Lloyd House” Educated at Lockers Park and Winchester Grave/Memorial Reference I.C.19


England and Wales National Probate Calendar
Macpherson, George the younger of Lloyd House near Wolverhampton, Lieutenant Machine Gun Corps died 15 September 1916 in France on active service. Administration London 15 November to George Macpherson esquire. Effects £240 18s.3d.

Huntly Express August 26 1921



A bronze mural tablet in memory of Lieut. George Macpherson, only son of Mr and Mrs Macpherson of Edinglassie, was dedicated in Glass Parish Church at the close of the forenoon service on Sunday.  Notwithstanding the heavy rain which fell throughout the forenoon there was a fairly large congregation, the tenantry on the Edinglassie estate being well represented.

The service was conducted by the minister (Rev. W.G. Guthrie), who preached from the text “These all died in faith” (Hebrews xi 13).  Sir Frederick Bridge, C.V.O. presided at the organ and played a lament based on the fine old Scots tune “The Flowers of the Forest” which he composed in memory of Lieutenant Macpherson, about five years ago.

The  tablet, which is placed on the south wall of the church in close proximity to the family pew, is a fine specimen of metal work, and bears the following inscription:-

 In Loving Memory of George Macpherson Lieut. H.S.M.G.C.

Who died of Wounds in the First Advance of the Tanks in France. Sept. 15th 1916 and was buried at the British Cemetery, Meauite, aged 20 years, only son of George and Hilda Macpherson of Edinglassie.

 Above the inscription is a cross flory, and on either side the badges of The Buffs and the Machine Gun Corps, the two units with which the deceased officer served.

The service closed with the singing of the National Anthem. Among those present were Mr and Mrs Macpherson, Commander and Mrs Pinsent and Mr Pinsent, Sen., from Edinglassie: Mr and Mrs E. Allan Cameron, Miss Cameron, Masters Donald and Sandy Cameron and Miss Sutherland from Blairmore: Sir Frederick Bridge and Mr and Mrs Reginald Bridge from Cairnborrow Lodge: Sir Thomas and Lady Birkett, Mrs Forbes and Mr A. Forbes from Beldorney: Mrs and Miss Kessler, Masters Denny and Duncan Kessler, and Miss Kinross from Invermarkie Lodge.

Private ADAM MORRISON 265280, 1st/4th Bn., Seaforth Highlanders

Note: We are not sure if details for Private Adam Morrison shown below are correct. If you have information you can share please contact us or make a comment at the bottom of the page.

Died aged 20 on 20 July 1918.  Son of Peter and Helen Morrison of 24 Duke St., Huntly, Aberdeenshire.  Born  Aberdeen.  Enlisted Elgin.


UK Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-1919

Adam Morrison
Born:  Aberdeen
Death Date: 20 July 1918
Death Location:  France & Flanders
Enlistment:  Elgin, Morayshire

Rank:  Private

Regiment;  Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, the Duke of Albany’s)

Battalion:  4th Battalion
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of war: Western European Theatre


Lance Corporal ALEXANDER ROBERTSON M2/117242 Mechanical Transport, Army Service Corps attd., Royal Garrison Artillery

Died aged 34 on 1st November 1918.  Son of John and Annie Robertson of Hilton, Glass, Aberdeenshire: husband of Elizabeth Robertson of 50 Albion Road., Edinburgh.


Attestation of No. 117242 Name A. Robertson  Corps. A.S. Corps

What is your name? Alexander Robertson
What is your full address?  50 Albion Road, Edinburgh
Are you a British Subject?:  Yes
Are you married?: Yes
Have you ever served in any branch of His Majesty’s Forces, naval or military, if so state particulars:  No
Have you truly stated the whole, if any, of your previous service?; Yes
Are you willing to be vaccinated or re-vaccinated?:  Yes
Are you willing to be enlisted for General Service?:  Yes
Did you receive a notice and do you understand its meaning and who gave it to you?:
Did you receive a notice and do you understand its meaning and who gave it to you?: Yes  M. Lawson
Are you willing to serve upon the following conditions provided His Majesty should so long require your services? Yes

Name – Alexander Robertson
Apparent age 31 years 41 days
Height 5ft 6 1/8ins.
Distinctive marks – Scar left side of neck
Name and address of next of kin – Elizabeth, 50 Albion Road, Edinburgh
Relationship – Wife
Christian and Surname of woman to whom married – Elizabeth Davidson, Spinster. Married 5/9/1909 Musselburgh
Children – Alexander born 15/1/1910  Edinburgh

Banffshire Journal November 12 1918

Died in General Hospital on the 1st November, Lance Corporal Alexander Robertson ASC MT aged 34 beloved husband of Lizzie Davidson of 50 Albion Road, Edinburgh and only son of Mr & Mrs Robertson, Hilton Croft, Glass – Deeply mourned.

Banffshire Journal November 12 1918
Lance Corpl. Alexander Robertson ASC NT only son of Mr & Mrs Robertson, Hilton Croft, Glass and whose wife and son reside at 50 Albion Road, Edinburgh, died on 1st inst. Of influenza in hospital abroad.  Before enlistment he was employed with the Leith Corporation Tramways.

Huntly Express November 15 1918

Died in General Hospital on 1st November, Lance Corpl. Alexander Robertson ASC MT aged 34 beloved husband of Lizzie Davidson, 50 Albion Road, Edinburgh and only son of Mr & Mrs Robertson, Hilton Croft, Glass.  Deeply Mourned.


Private JAMES ROBERTSON, 241453 2md Bn. Seaforth Highlanders who died aged 36 on 15 July 1918, son of Alexander and Betty Gordon Robertson of Glass Parish, Aberdeenshire., born November 16 1881 at Greystone, Glass.


Banffshire Journal October 23 1917
Private James Robertson, Seaforths is reported wounded.  He was a farm servant before enlistment.  His mother resides at Bodylair, Glass.

Huntly Express August 2 1918
Killed in action in France on 15th July, Private James Robertson, Seaforth Highlanders, son of the late Alex. Robertson, farmer, Greystone, Glass, in his 36th year.

Huntly Express August 2 1918
Private James Robertson (killed) was the son of the late Alexander Robertson, farmer, Greystone, Glass.  Previous to enlisting two years ago, deceased was employed at farm work.

Huntly Express August 2 1918
Another victim of the war has fallen in France in the person of Private James Robertson, Seaforth Highlanders, fifth son of the late Mr Alex. Robertson, farmer, Greystone, Glass.  Private Robertson fell in the advance on the 15th July mortally wounded and died soon afterwards.  He served in the Seaforths over two years and was formerly wounded in action in France about a year ago.

Testimony from his officers received in letters since he was killed, bear out that Private Robertson was a good soldier never flinching his duty and that he bore an excellent reputation in his regiment.  He is the fifteenth son of Glass that has been killed in the war, a fact which bears ample testimony that the thinly populated district are making the due sacrifice in the cause of liberty.  Rev. E.G. Guthrie, Parish Church made suitable allusion to the death of this well-known parishioner at the close of his discourse on Sunday last.

Banffshire Journal August 6 1918
Information has been received that Private James Robertson, son of the late Mr Alexander Robertson, farmer, Greystone, Glass has been killed in action.  Previous to enlisting Private Robertson was engaged in farm work at home.

Huntly Express July 11 1919
In loving memory of James Robertson, fifth son of the late Alexander Robertson, Greystone, Glass who died from wounds received in action 15th July 1918 and interred in Mount Bernenchon Cemetery near Bethune, dearly loved and deeply mourned.

His warfare o’er his battle fought
His life could not be saved
So God has ordered otherwise
His resting place a soldier’s grave.

Inserted by his mother, sisters and brothers, Bodylair, Glass


Private A. SMITH, 54966, 15th Bn. Highland Light Infantry

Died aged 25 on 6 October 1918, son of Mrs Annie Smith, born Glass October 11 1893.


Huntly Express May 18 1917

Private Smith, Glass

Private Smith has been wounded.  His parents reside at Edinglassie, Glass.  He was in the H.L.I.

Huntly Express October 18 1918
Died of wounds at Casualty Clearing Station, France on October 6th Private Roualyn Smith, H.L.I. aged 25 years, dearly beloved son of the late James Smith and Mrs Smith, Haugh of Glass.  Deeply Mourned

Soldiers Died In The Great War 1914-1919 Highland Light Infantry. Allan Smith b Glass, Aberdeenshire enlisted Huntly Aberdeenshire, 54966 Private Died of wounds 6/10/18 formerly 12550 Gordon Highlanders.

Banffshire Journal August 6 1918
Private Alexander? Smith son of the late Mr James Smith, Haugh of Glass has been wounded.

Huntly Express October 18 1918


We regret to report that last week Mrs James Smith, Haugh of Glass was informed by the Chaplain of his battalion, that her son Private Rouallyn Smith, H.L.I. had died of wounds received in action.  Private Smith was previous to enlisting employed as chauffeur.  For some time he was in the service of Dr Wilson, Huntly and previously driver of the Glass-Huntly bus.  He was very popular and well liked in the district , being obliging and attentive.  The sympathy of all in the district is extended to his widowed mother and the other members of the family.  On Sunday in the Parish Church the Rev W.G. Guthrie made feeling reference to the death of Private Smith.

Huntly Express October 3 1919  IN MEMORIAM


In loving memory of my dear son Rowallan Smith, H.L.I. who died of wounds in a Casualty Clearing Station, France on 6 October 1918.
Inserted by his Mother Mrs Smith, Haugh, Glass.

UK De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour 1914-1919


Private No. 54966, 15th (Service) Bttn. The Highland Light Infantry, son of the late James Smith of Haugh of Glass, Huntly, by his wife, Annie, dau.  of Alexander Gordon, of Oldyne Glass; b Parkhead, Glass. Co. Aberdeen 11 Oct. 1893; educ. Central School there; was a Chauffeur; enlisted in the Highland Light Infantry 27 Jan. 1916; served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from March, 1918, and died at a casualty clearing station 6 Oct. follow, of wounds received in action.  Buried in Tincourt New British Cemetery, near Peronne; unm.


Junior Third Engineer Officer GEORGE SMITH, S.S. “Malda” (Glasgow), Mercantile Marine who died aged 25 on 25 August 1917.  Grandson of Mr & Mrs George Smith of Brae Head Cottage, Glass, Huntly.  Born at Banff.

Remembered with honour TOWER HILL MEMORIAL

U.K. Commonwealth War Graves 1914-1921
SMITH, Jun. 3rd Engr. George S.S. “Malda” (Glasgow) Drowned as a result of an attack by an enemy submarine, 25th Aug., 1917. Aged 25. Grandson of Mr & Mrs George Smith of Brae Head Cottage, Glass, Huntly.  Born at Banff.

Malda S.S. was a British Liner Steamer of 7,884 tons built in 1913.  On 25th August 1917 when enroute from Boston for London.  The British Liner Malda S.S. Capt. Charles Davidson, was torpedoed by a German submarine U-70 when 130 miles W by S of the Bishop Rock, Scilly Isles, on August 25th 1917.  The attack took place at 1.40 pm  in a north-westerly gale, the ship being struck on the port side and the engine-room flooded.

She did not sink at once, however, and the submarine surfaced and endeavoured to contact the boats but could not make her demands known owing to the gale.  Capt. Davidson set course for the Scillies but was picked up by a ship in an eastbound convoy and landed at Milford Haven.   Meanwhile the first officer’s boat found the Malda still afloat and stood by in the hope of boarding her the next morning, but the submarine again came on the scene and forced the boat to sail away.  By morning the Malda had foundered.  The boats reached land in various places and it was first reported that seven men had lost their lives, four of them were killed by the explosion, one died from exposure in the boats and the remaining two were lost overboard.  An official report published later, however, gave the number of lives lost as 64.


Private CHARLES ALEXANDER TAYLOR, 202337, 6th/7th Bn. Gordon Highlanders who died aged 21 on 14 October 1918, son of James and Barbara Taylor, Midtown, Glass, Aberdeenshire, born June 15 1897, Quarryhead, Glass.  Enlisted Aberdeen.

Remembered with honour IWUY COMMUNAL CEMETERY

Banffshire Journal October 29 1918
Private Charles Taylor, killed, was youngest son of Mr & Mrs James Taylor, Midtown, Glass.  In both the Parish and UF Church of Glass on Sunday, the respective ministers made fitting reference to the late Privates James Cameron and Charles Taylor.  The sympathy of all in the district is extended to the bereaved families.

Huntly Express November 1 1918

Killed in action on 12 October Private Charles A. Taylor, Gordon Highlanders aged 21 younger son of Mr & Mrs Taylor, Midtown, Glass.

Huntly Express October 10 1919

In fond remembrance of our dear son and brother Charles A. Taylor, killed near Cambrae on 12 October 1918 aged 21 years

Loving him dearly his memory we’ll keep
Dear to our hearts in the place where he sleeps

Inserted by his Father, Mother, Sisters and Brother, Midtown, Glass


Private JOHN WALKER, 130199, 72nd Bn. Canadian Infantry (British Columbia Regiment) who died aged 31 on 9 April 1917, son of Alexander and Annie Walker, Finnerey Cottage, Kemnay, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, born pm August 11 1885 at Corsemaul, Glass.

Remembered with honour VIMY MEMORIAL

72nd O.S. Battalion C.E.F. Attestation Paper
(Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force)
Questions to be put before attestation

What is your surname? Walker
What is your Christian name? John
What is your present address? Vancouver
In what Town, Township or Parish and in what Country were you born? Huntley, Aberdeenshire
What is the name of your next of kin? Annie Walker
What is the address of your next of kin? Glass, Huntley, Aberdeen, Scot.
What is the date of your birth? 11th August 1885
What is your Trade or Calling? Labourer
Are you married? No
Are you willing to be vaccinated or re-vaccinated and inoculated? Yes
Do you now belong to the Active Militia? No
Have you ever served in any Military Force? No
Do you understand the nature and terms of your engagement? Yes
Are you willing to be Attested to serve in the Canadian Over Seas Expeditionary Force ? Yes
Signed John Walker
Witness G.W. Adams

Description of John Walker
Apparent age 30 years 4 months
Height 5ft 5 ½ inches
Complexion Ruddy
Eyes Grey
Hair Brown

Huntly Express May 4 1917
Killed in action in France on the 9th April, Private John Walker, Canadian Seaforth Highlanders aged 31 years, eldest son of Alexander and Annie Walker, Waterside Cottages, Glass.

Peoples Journal May 6 1917
Killed in action, Private John Walker, Canadian Seaforth Highlanders, eldest son of Alex. And Anne Walker, Waterside Cottage, Glass.  (American Papers please copy)

Huntly Express May 3 1917
Intimation has been received by Mr & Mrs Walker, Waterside Cottages, Glass, that their son Private John Walker of the Canadian Seaforth Highlanders was killed in action in France on 9th April. Previous to emigration Private Walker was a postman in Glass and was a great favourite throughout the district. His sterling upright character, his cheery manner and lovable disposition made him much respected and greatly beloved by all with whom he came in contact. Eleven years ago he emigrated to the States where he was employed with a construction company. Much sympathy is felt for the sorrowing relatives in their bereavement.

On Sunday a memorial service was held in Glass Parish Church when the Rev. E.G. Guthrie, preaching from the text Rev iii 12 made the following reference to the deceased soldier:-
Today we remember with pride and thankfulness to God, the eleventh in the list of our brave lads who have laid down in their lives in defence of righteousness and liberty since the great world tragedy began. Like so many of our most enterprising youths, John Walker sought a wider scope for his energies than his native parish afforded him. It is exactly eleven years yesterday since he sailed for the United States of America where by his steadiness and trustworthiness and uprightness of character he was gaining a position honourable to himself and a credit to his early training. But when his native land was in danger the call of the blood was imperative and summoned him home. Twice he offered his services through the British Consul in San Francisco who strangely enough, was German in his sympathies and endeavoured to dissuade him. But John Walker was not to be turned back. Leaving everything he travelled to British Columbia and joined the noble army of Canadian Volunteers who have once more covered themselves with glory on the blood stained heights of Vimy Ridge where our hero fell on the 9th April last.

Our tender sympathy goes out to his father and mother, brother and sister in their noble sorrow. May the Lord comfort their sore hearts and uphold them and strengthen them by His Almighty Grace.

Suitable psalms and hymns were sung and after the benediction, Miss Guthrie played the Dead March in “Saul” the congregation standing.

Mrs Walker has received a letter from the deceased’s Commanding Officer (Lieut-Col. J.A. Clark) in which he says:-
Your son was one of the original members of this battalion and consequently was very well known by all ranks. He was always cheerful and bright and a more willing soldier never lived. With his comrades he was one of the most popular and only a man of the best qualities can be that. It may be some comfort to you to know that your son suffered no pain as he was killed instantly. I trust you will accept the sincere sympathy of myself and all ranks of this battalion in the great loss you have sustained.


PRIVATE J. WILSON, 460207, 2nd Bn., Canadian Infantry (Eastern Ontario Regiment) who died on 1 September 1916.

Remembered with honour VIMY MEMORIAL

Attestation Paper Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force

Questions to be put before Attestation

What is your name?   James Wilson
In what Town, Township or Parish and in what Country were you born?   Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
What is the name of your next of kin?   Jane A. Wilson
What is the address of your next of kin?   532 Young St. Winnipeg
What is the date of your birth?   29th May 1891
What is your trade or calling?   Labourer
Are you married?   Yes
Are you willing to be vaccinated or re=vaccinated?   Yes
Do you now belong to the Active Militia?   Yes
Have you ever served in any Military Force?   No
Do you understand the nature and terms of your engagement?   Yes
Are you willing to be attested to serve in the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force?   Yes

Signed James Wilson
Witness James McLean
June 2 1915 Winnipeg, Manitoba

Description of James Wilson
Apparent age  24 years 1 month
Height  5 ft. 6 inches
Complexion  Fair
Eyes  Blue
Hair  Light
Religion  Church of England
Distinctive marks  Teeth need attention

Huntly Express September 15 1916

Intimation was received yesterday by Mr Wm. Wilson, Dillybrae, in the employment of Sir Frederick Bridge, Cairnborrow Lodge, Glass, that his younger son Private James Wilson of the Canadians, had been killed at the front.  Private Wilson had visited his parents in spring , after coming from Canada for training in this country.  He was 25 years of age and had only been two months on the front.  He leaves a widow and child.  Private Wilson was of a  quiet and industrious disposition and his death is much regretted in the district.

Huntly Express 22 September 1916


Killed in action in France on 2nd September, Private James Wilson, 2nd Battalion Canadians aged 25 years, fourth son of Mr and Mrs Wilson, Dillibrae, Glass – dearly loved and deeply mourned.

We little thought when he left home
That he would ne’er return
But now he rests in a soldier’s grave,
And leaves us here to mourn.

Fold him, dear Father, in Thine arms,
And let him henceforth be
A messenger of love between
Our loving hearts and Thee.

Inserted by Father, Mother, Sisters and Brothers.

Huntly Express August 30 1918


In loving memory of Private James Wilson who was killed in action in France 2nd September 1916 aged 27 years, dearly beloved son of Mr & Mrs Wilson, Dillibrae, Glass.

Often do we think of him
And think of how he died
It seemed so hard for us to part
And never say good bye.

Though far from his native land he lies
We will trust the promise given
That we who travel here below
Will meet with him in heaven.

Sleep on dear Jamie


Notes from the Huntly Express

  • May 4 1917
    • PRIVATE WINK, Glass
      • Intimation has been received by Mr John Wink, Glass from his son Private James Wink of the Royal Scots that he has been wounded and is in hospital.
      • Mr & Mrs McDonald, Market Hill, Glass have received word from their son Private McDonald of the South Africans intimating that he has been admitted to hospital suffering from a shrapnel wound in the right hand.
  • May 18 1917
    • PRIVATE DOW, Glass
      • The parents of Private Dow wounded, reside at Lowrie, Glass.  This is the second time he has been wounded.
    • PRIVATE SMITH, Glass
      • Private Smith has been wounded.  His parents reside at Edinglassie, Glass.  He was in the Highland Light Infantry.
  • June 16 1917
      • Lance Corporal Robert Gauld, Black Watch, wounded, son of Mr & Mrs Gauld, Blairmore, Glass was prior to the war in the employment of Messrs Geo. Sellar & Son, Huntly.
  • August 10 1917
    • James_Bonnyman2
    • Intimation has been received that Sec Lieut. James Bonnyman has been wounded in action.  Previous to enlistment Lieut. Bonnyman was manager on his mother’s farm at Belnaboth, Glass and joined the army as Private in the Scots Guards.  After a month’s training in that regiment he obtained a commission in the Machine Gun Corps.  His mother Mrs Bonnyman resides at Belnaboth, Glass.
  • August 24 1917
      • Private William McIrvine is reported wounded.  He is son of Mr & Mrs Irvine, Cairnarget.  Prior to enlistment he was employed as a Farm Servant in Glass.
      • Intimation has been received by Mr John Smith, Glenmarkie, Glass to the aspect that his son James has been severely wounded in action.  Before enlistment he was employed at the farm of Glenmarkie.
  • September 21 1917
      • Intimation has been received by Mr & Mrs Douglas, Cairnborrow Lodge, that their son Private Charles Douglas has been wounded.  Private Douglas served in India for a few years and had only been home a short time when war broke out and he was called up.  He has been in France since 17 August 1914 and has been twice wounded though not severely.  We are pleased to say he has got home to recuperate.
  • October 19 1917
    • GUNNER G. MILNE, Glass
      • Intimation has been received by Mrs Milne, Waterside, Glass to the effect that her husband Gunner G. Milne, RGA has  been wounded and is dangerously ill lying in hospital in France.  We are pleased to say he is progressing favourably.  Prior to enlistment Gunner Milne was a gamekeeper to Mrs E. Allan Cameron, Blairmore House, Glass.
  • October 26 1917
    • Glass Hero Promoted
      • We are pleased to hear of the promotion of SERGEANT DONALD MACDONALD of the South African Scottish to be 2nd Lieut.  Lieut. MacDonald is one of a very patriotic family, other two brothers having joined the colours and one of them Duncan made the supreme sacrifice in the trench stand of the Canadians in the Spring of 1916.  Lieut. MacDonald distinguished himself lately on the field of battle by performing an act of bravery for which he was awarded the Military Medal.  His parents live at Market Hill, Glass.
  • November 9 1917LIEUT. VIVIAN F. MURDOCH, GLASSIntimation has been received by the Rev. A.G. Murdoch, U.F. Manse, Glass, that his son Sec.-Lieut. Vivian F. Murdoch, Gordon Highlanders, had been seriously wounded.  Lieut. Murdoch was mentioned in dispatches and was educated at Ayr and Glasgow Academy.  He is a good all-round sportsman and athlete.  At the latter named school he was chosen for the 1st fifteen in the seasons 1914-1 and -16.  He has two brothers in the Army.  One, a Captain, is meantime invalided in a convalescent home in Aberdeen.  We are glad to learn that Lieut. Murdoch is progressing favourably after undergoing an operation and he now lies in Lady Carnarvon’s Hospital for Officers, Bryanston Square, London.
  • January 25 1918
    • Military Cross – Honour for Glass Officer.
      • SECOND LIEUT. VIVIAN F. MURDOCH who has been awarded the Military Cross is a son of the Rev. A.G. Murdoch, UF Church, Glass.  Lieut. Murdoch was severely wounded recently but has now recovered.  He was home recently on brief furlough and upon his distinction he has received many congratulations.
  • April 5 1918
    • PRIVATE J. WINK, Glass
      • Mr John Wink, Hillockhead, Glass has received intimation that his son Private James Wink has been slightly wounded and is now in hospital.
  • September 6 1918
    • LIEUT. E.G.MURDOCH, Glass
      • The Rev. A.G. Murdoch, UF Manse, Glass has been notified that his eldest son Lieut. E.G. Murdoch RFA has been wounded.
  • October 11 1918
      • Mr & Mrs Walker, Waterside, Glass have received official intimation that their son Private Alexander Walker, Canadians has been admitted to hospital suffering from gunshot wounds and contusions to both legs.  Prior to enlistment he was employed as a gardener in California USA.
  • Huntly Express December 27 1918


At a meeting of parishioners on Friday last – Mr E, Alan Cameron, Blairmore,  presiding – it was agreed to erect a monument in honour of those belonging to the parish who have been killed in the war and a committee was appointed to make arrangements as to style, site, etc.

Huntly Express July 25 1919

Peace was celebrated in this parish by a picnic and games held in a field at Asswanley kindly lent by Mr Alexander Robertson, tenant of the farm.  The field was admirably suited for the purpose, being situated on the banks of the Deveron, with the picturesque hill of Straitinnan on one side and on the other the sheltering woods of Blairmore House.  The weather, though somewhat overcast, was quite pleasant towards evening and there was a large gathering of parishioners and visitors.  A varied programme of sports was arranged for both young and old.  The children’s games were in the capable hands of Mrs Cameron, Blairmore and Mrs Kessler, Invermarkie Lodge, who with their assistants, Misses Brettal and Hale, spared no pains in providing an afternoon’s excellent enjoyment for the young people.  At the conclusion of the programme the prizes were presented to the successful competitors by Lady Geddes, Old Aberdeen.  The adult sports were efficiently managed by a local committee and were keenly contested.  Much interest was shown in the tug of war between the married and single men of the parish.  Although the former were able to muster a formidable-looking team, they were no match for the bachelors, who won a comparatively easy victory.

An excellent tea was provided by Mrs Dey, Sunnybrae and Mrs Robertson, Blairmore Cottage.  During the evening the dancing board was well patronised, the music being kindly supplied by Messrs Aiken, Robertson and Thomson.  The King’s message was read and a hearty vote of thanks given to all who had contributed to the success of the picnic.

Huntly Express November 14 1919

ARMISTICE ANNIVERSARY – The signal for the two minutes’ pause in commemoration of our glorious dead was given in the parish by the ringing of the Parish Church bell.  Immediately afterwards a short memorial service was conducted in the church by the Rev. W.G. Guthrie.

7 thoughts on “Glass Remembered … World War 1 ( WW1)

  1. Angela Guest

    Thank you so much for this information. My great uncles were Donald, Thomas and Duncan Macdonald. I knew that Duncan and Donald had been killed in action but had no details. Very moving to read the eulogy for Donald.

    1. secretary glasscommunityassociation

      Thank you for your message Angela. I am so glad you were able to find something out about your Great Uncles from our site.

      1. Angela Guest

        I visited Glass 34 years ago exploring my family history. It looks like new life has been breathed into it since then!

  2. joanna thomson

    Just seen another mention for my Great Granddad George Milne, to say that Janet had recieved info that he was wounded in France but was really ill at one point, but was making slow progress, My dad has the book which was done bymy dad’s cousin Andrew Duncan,where the deveron flows and there is a couple of pictures in there of him in the military hospital in France.


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