KEITH & STRATHISLA DURING WWI
Sun 1- An evening Service at Grange Parish Church included an organ recital by Herbert Sandison playing music from Gounod, Dvořák and Elgar.
Mon 2 – Keith shoppers enjoyed a choice of Summer Sales at various Mid Street establishments such as Greig’s, Gray’s, Cran’s and Mitchell’s.
Tue 3 – A shooting match took place at the Newmill Rifle Range between teams from the Railway and Isla Bank Mills. Grange School pupils were given an unexpected week’s extension to their Summer Holidays by the School Board because of the illness of their Headmaster, Mr Burns.
Wed 4 – This was the anniversary of the Declaration of War by Britain on Germany. The Western Front in France and Belgium remains static while the German and Austro-Hungarian armies are making advances in the East. Fighting continues in German East Africa and Cameroon. Little headway has been made against Turkey in Mesopotamia and on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Keith Hortus Club held their annual flower show with only fifteen classes compared to the 103 classes of 1913. Pupils at Sillyearn and Crossroads Schools were given stirring patriotic speeches by their respective headmasters, Mr Garriock and Mr Welsh. A tragic fatal accident occurred at Rothiemay when Robert Dey of Cairnhill was found in the Deveron near the Otter Stone. The Banffshire Pharmaceutical Association presented their secretary, Keith chemist Robert Garrow, with an inscribed silver afternoon tea-service on the occasion of his forthcoming marriage.
Thur 5 – Russia withdraws from Warsaw allowing the advancing German army to take over the city. Keith Unionist Club held their annual meeting.
Fri 6 – A shooting match was held at the Strathmill Rifle Range between No 3 Company National Reserve and the Keith District Volunteer Training Corps. The August monthly meeting of Keith Town Council agreed to erect speed warning signs at the entrances to the burgh: “Ten Miles Per Hour”. Further work on the building of the Cuthil Water Reservoir was postponed for the time being. Statutory elections for 1915 had been postponed for a year by Parliament and sitting Councillors would remain in place meantime. This would be repeated every year until after the War in 1919.
Pte Alexander Jamieson, 2nd Australian Infantry, was killed in action at Gallipoli. A native of Botriphnie, his parents had farmed at Starhead.
Sat 7 – The crowds flocked to Balloch Road to Broncho Bill’s Great Wild West Exhibition and Mammoth Two-Ring Circus. It was housed in a tent seating 10,000. The funeral of Mrs Jane Gordon Duff, mother of Drummuir and Park Laird Thomas Gordon Duff, took place from Glenbarry Station to the Kirk of Ordiquhill. The last train ran on the Highland Railway’s line from Buckie to Keith. There were hopes that the line would reopen at some point in the future.
Sun 8 – British troops occupy the Persian town of Bushire. A crowded Sunday Service was held in Sillyearn School by the Grange minister Rev Cranmer.
Cpl John F. Anderson, Wellington Batt, New Zealand Regt, was killed at Gallipoli. A native of Keith, his parents lived in Dunallan, Broomhill Road.
Mon 9 – Andre Letta and his Royal Bohemians start a three-night variety show in Reidhaven Square. A meeting was held at Botriphnie to finalise arrangements for the forthcoming National Registration Day. Similar meetings were taking place around the County. Special Constables were being drafted in to assist.
Tue 10 – The annual meeting of the Banffshire Liberal Association is held in Keith. Sitting MP, Major Walter Waring, serving with the Lothians and Border Horse, confirms he will not stand for re-election to Westminster. Constituency matters are being attended to by Sir Archibald Williamson, his fellow Liberal MP for Elgin and Nairn. After cancellation last year because of the declaration of war, Seafield Park once again hosts the Keith Cattle Show, this year with accompanying Grand Military Display and Sports by the 3/6th Gordon Highlanders. The Scottish Children’s League of Pity held a very successful Heather Day in Keith.
Wed 11 – Banffshire League of Honour organisers, meeting at Rothiemay Castle, heard that 1,200 women in the County had now been enrolled. The meeting was addressed by the Marchioness of Aberdeen who reminded them that “the National Registration, which was about to be made, was the first that men and women had been appealed to on an equality by the State”. A large crowd watched with interest as a Glasgow steeplejack dismantled an 80-foot chimney at Craigellachie.
Thur 12 – Miss Murray of the Auchlunkart, Mulben and Forgie Ladies’ Work Party, was presented with a sugar sifter to mark her forthcoming marriage.
Fri 13 – It was prizegiving day and start of the holidays for Boharm and Forgie schools. The annual summer meeting of the local Onwards and Upwards Association was held in Milltown of Rothiemay. They enrolled a further 50-60 recruits to the League of Honour. Onwards and Upwards was established by Ishbel Hamilton-Gordon, the Marchioness of Aberdeen, to provide servant girls with postal courses on a range of topics from geography to literature to domestic science.
Sat 14 – Whitehill U F Church in Grange held their annual treat in the grounds of the Church, escaping the worst of a thunderstorm. Rothiemay, Cairnie, Grange and Ordiquhill Live Stock Breeding Association met in the Milltown Hall. A German Army helmet, a war souvenir, was on display in McGillivray’s in Keith Square.
Sun 15 – National Registration Day : males and females aged 15-65 had to register in a nationwide census. An NUR meeting in Keith, addressed by National President Arthur Bellamy, stressed the need for equal pay for female railway employees. The dedication of new stained-glass windows took place at Glass Church.
Able Seaman Angus Fraser, Royal Naval Division, was 18 years old and died in the Naval Hospital in Plymouth from dysentery contracted while overseas. He was a native of Newmill.
Tue 17 – W. & J. Peterkin of Land St. began a twice-weekly lorry service between Keith, Enzie and Buckie. For Sale: Henheads – area 18 acres 1 rood 1 pole
Wed 18 – The Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair opened a Fancy Fair in the Drill Hall, Keith, in aid of 6th Gordons comforts. A popular attraction at the Fair was “Nailing the Kaiser’s Coffin”. Botriphnie U.F. Church enjoyed its annual picnic in a field adjoining the Church at Woodend.
Thur 19 – A Sheriff Small Debt Court was held in the Keith Institute with the Hon. Sheriff-substitute Adam Annand on the bench.
Sat 21 – The twelfth AGM of the Central Banffshire Auction Mart Company reported increased profits. The Banffshire Herald was able to quash the rumour that a man had been killed by lightning near Keith Town Station.
Mon 23 – The Keith and Newmill August holiday, the first fine day for some time, saw lots of people taking the train to Inverness, Aberdeen and the Coast. Isla Bank Mills began their annual week’s holiday but Seafield Mills were busy with urgent Government orders.
Wed 25 – The Drill Hall in Union Street was the venue for a Grand Concert in aid of the 3/6th Gordon Highlanders Pipe Band fund.
Thur 26 – A Cake and Candy Sale was held at Rothiemay for the War Aid Needlework Guild. The local branch had sent over 1,000 garments so far to the troops.
Fri 27 – Lizzie Stronach and Drumblade farmer, John Ingram, were married at her home of Roadside, Auchinderran.
Captain Edward A. Hume, South Staffordshire Regiment, died on board ship in the Mediterranean from wounds received at Suvla on the Gallipoli Peninsula. A former Chief Magistrate of The Gambia, he was the Unionist Party’s Parliamentary Candidate for Banffshire.
Sat 28 – A Sale of Cycle Agent’s stock at No 91 Mid Street included a 1913 Rudge Multi motor cycle. Owner, Harry Sutherland, had enlisted in the Army Motor Transport Section. The Gordon Arms Hotel, Mid Street, was advertised for sale. The Edingight and Sillyearn Flower Show and Industrial Exhibition was held in Sillyearn School. Pte William R. Watt, 6th Gordon Highlanders, had been awarded the Cross of St. George (4th Class) by the Tsar for bravery on the Western Front.
Sun 29 – Actress Ingrid Bergman was born in Stockholm.
Mon 30 – It was the end of the summer holidays and back to school for pupils at Newmill where the School roll now stood at 123. John Rose, aged 81, died at Mannachmore at Rothiemay. He had been a Corporal in the 79th Regiment of Foot and had served in the Crimean War and during the Indian Mutiny.
Tue 31 – James Colley, previously manager at Glenugie and Craigellachie Distilleries, took up duties at Towiemore. The first batch of 3/6th Gordon Highlanders left their Maisley camp for “somewhere in France”.