KEITH & STRATHISLA DURING WWI.
Thur 1 – Start of short season of entertainment at St. Thomas’ Hall by the popular Morrison Family.
At the Elgin Show the Championship of the Yard goes to a filly foal from Charles Kemp of Auchencrieve, Rothiemay.
Last day for ordering draff from Strathmill Distillery.
Fri 2 – A Patriotic Concert takes place at Boharm. Induction of Rev. Mr Garrow at Botriphnie U.F. Church.
Sat 3 – Intensive recruitment campaign in Banffshire begins with a meeting in the Longmore Hall in Keith addressed by the Lord Lieutenant, the Duke of Richmond and Gordon. Sharpen up your shooting skills in Jack Cole’s newly-opened Rifle Range in Mid Street. Keith School Board appoints a temporary replacement teacher at Auchanacie School in place of Miss McCulloch. They choose Alice Lyon (Dux of Keith Grammar School 1913-1914) from Limehillock in Grange. Alice later went on to become a missionary in Nigeria. Throughout Scotland today was marked as Belgium Day.
Thirty thousand troops from Canada and Newfoundland embark for Europe.
Sun 4 – First issue of The Post Sunday Special updating the latest casualty list. This became The Sunday Post in January 1919.
Mon 5 – The Elite Entertainment Syndicate opens The Palace Cinema at the Longmore Hall.
Tue 6 – Several country schools resume classes after the harvest holidays.
Wed 7 – Big crowds attend the annual Newmill Market and give generously to the Belgium Day collection (£15.8.10d). Keith Police Court deals with a case of meat unfit for human consumption which had been intercepted at Keith Junction Station en route from Rathven to Dundee.
Thur 8 – Presentation at Boharm U.F. Church to choir member Robert (later Sir Robert) Urquhart before his departure to study at Aberdeen University. At their AGM the Mulben Curling Club decide not to award medals or trophies this year. Mr J. Riddell is appointed interim Pondmaster.
Sat 10 – Despite some initial hesitation organised football continues in Scotland. At the Market Muir in Huntly, Keith beat Huntly 3:1 in the Aberdeenshire Cup. King Carol of Romania died and was succeeded by King Ferdinand. Romania remained neutral until August 1916.
Sun 11 – At the Sunday Service 399 Gordon Highlander recruits are each presented with a New Testament gifted by the Keith branch of The National Bible Society.
Mon 12 – October Meeting of Keith Town Council. It was reported that over 50% of births in the Burgh were now supervised by the District Nurse.
The German Army continues its advance through Belgium.
Corporal Robert Reid, 2nd Gordon Highlanders, was killed in action at Ypres. He was the eldest son of Robert and Mary Reid of Clachnayell, Boharm and had previously served in the Boer War before re-enlisting.
Wed 14 – Distinguished Service Medal established.
Thur 15 – Princess Mary’s Christmas Gift Fund is launched nationwide, eventually raising £162,000. Fortnightly meeting of the Rothiemay War Aid Needlework Guild. Debut of Italian tenor, Beniamino Gigli, as Enzo in Ponchiele’s opera La Gioconda.
Fri 16 – Allied Fleets bombard the Austrian port of Catarro (now Kotor in Montenegro).
Sat 17 – Keith School Board appointed Mrs Jane Wallace of Aberdeen as teacher at Auchanacie School at an annual salary of £65 and a free house.
Tue 20 – Recruitment meetings take place at Grange and Sillyearn Schools. Relief for some anxious families as news is received of soldiers missing in action and now Prisoners of War in Germany. Among them is Private George Mitchell, 1st Gordon Highlanders, of Inverisla, Rothiemay.
Wed 21 – Recruitment meetings for Boharm and Botriphnie were held in Mulben School and in Drummuir Hall. Newmill Literary Society hold their first meeting of the season. Miss Ward’s Physical Exercise classes commence in Keith. A Temperance Meeting in Rothiemay did not attract a large audience.
Thur 22 – The Banffshire Recruitment Drive continues with a meeting in Rothiemay Public Hall.
Fri 23 – Harvest Home dance held in Maggieknockater School with proceeds going to the Belgian Relief Fund.
Sat 24 – Meeting of the Auchlunkart, Mulben and Forgie Work Party at Mulben School.
Private John Reid, 2nd Gordon Highlanders, is reported missing, later confirmed killed in action.
Captain Lachlan Gordon-Duff, 3rd Gordon Highlanders, eldest son of Thomas Gordon-Duff of Drummuir, was killed in action at the Front. He had previously served with distinction in the Boer War and held the Queen’s South Africa Medal with five clasps and the King’s South Africa Medal with two clasps. He was County Councillor for Ordiquhill. At the outbreak of the war, he re-joined the Gordon Highlanders and left for the Front at the start of October. His Aunt Margot was the wife of the Prime Minister H.H. Asquith.
Sun 25 – The National Reserve Companies at Keith and Dufftown each ‘enjoyed’ a route march to Drummuir Hall. P.F. Bruce from Elgin begins a week of Mission Services at Boharm School.
Mon 26 – Evening continuation classes begin at Botriphnie School. Courses were being held for the 1914 – 1915 session by most Parish School Boards in the area, except Rothiemay. At the Shooting Gallery in Mid Street an accident with a faulty rifle results in proprietor Jack Cole receiving a bullet wound to the stomach. He is taken to hospital.
Tue 27 – The Home Secretary, Reginald McKenna, declares much of Banffshire, including Strathisla, a Prohibited Area under an Aliens’ Restriction Order. There is no appetite for a Municipal Election in Keith this year and the four retiring Town Councillors are returned unopposed. Dylan Thomas born in Swansea.
With the tacit approval of the Great Powers, the Greek Army invaded Albania and occupied the Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus.
Wed 28 – One hundred Gordon Highlanders leave from Keith Town Station for Bedford Barracks. The recruitment campaign continues with a meeting at Newmill Public Hall. Keith Parish Church holds their Sale of Work in the Longmore Hall.
Thur 29 – Turkey attacks the Russian Black Sea ports of Odessa and Sebastopol.
Fast Day and Harvest Thanksgiving in Grange.
Killed in Action are Private James Sutherland, 1st Black Watch, and Piper James Grant, 2nd Gordon Highlanders, from Bogbain.
Along with Corporal Robert Reid (12th October) they are remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres.
Also killed was Alexander Rennie of the 2nd Gordon Highlanders. His mother, Mrs Rennie of Land Street, received the letter informing her of her son’s death on what would have been his 21st birthday.
Fri 30 – Dance at Mulben School in aid of Local War Fund. Fatal accident at Keith Junction.
Sat 31 – Mills of Keith had been sold to the sitting tenant, Mr J. Duncan, Cowford Mills, Fochabers. Showing at the Palace Cinema was the film “Twixt War and the Girl”, a dramatic portrayal of military life in the Franco-German War of 1870.
In China, British and Japanese forces shell the German settlement of Kiautschou (now Qingdao).
Jack Cole of Cole’s Rifle Range died at A.R.I. of the stomach wound sustained on 26th October.