KEITH & STRATHISLA DURING WWI
Mon 1 – Bread and flour rationing is extended in Germany. Increased Separation Allowances for soldiers’ families come into force. Keith School Board appoints Mr J.J. Gemmell as new head of Maths and Science at Keith Grammar School.
Tue 2 – Tom Aiken, the Scottish billiards champion, plays in an exhibition match at the Keith Club in Cross Street. Monthly meeting of Keith Parish Council.
Alexander Skinner, a sergeant in the First Canadian Division and former Fife-Keith resident, is killed at the Front.
Wed 3 – March meeting of Botriphnie School Board. Newmill Literary Society’s March meetings include papers on “Newmill” and “Should We Adopt Conscripti on?”
Thur 4 – Huntly Feeing Market. Keith School Board experiences further staffing problems with the Maths and Science Department at Keith Grammar School when recent appointee to the position of Assistant Master (Mr William Smith of Buckie) informs them that he has obtained a position elsewhere.
Fri 5 – At Keith Police Court a thief, who stole a pair of corsets, is put on probation and advised to leave the town.
Sat 6 – The Fiars Court for “striking” the 1914 grain crop prices was held in Banff. Before fixing the prices for the year the jury heard evidence from millers, distillers, farmers and merchants. John Duncan announces the opening of the Crown Restaurant at 88 Mid Street. Aultmore Distillery advertises for workers.
Sun 7 – The GNSR ambulance classes finish. Cairnie and Grange members had been able to use a cycle bogie on the line to attend lectures at Keith Junction.
Mon 8 – Keith Town Council March meeting discusses proposals to lay pavements in Banff Road and Broomhill. Webster’s Theatre Company was giving away complimentary Postal Orders during their shows this week at the Longmore Hall. Keith School Board appoints Miss Jeannie Barclay, Stripeside, Botriphnie, as Assistant Maths and Science teacher.
Tue 9 – Rothiemay Woman’s Guild heard a talk on “A Trip to Switzerland”. The “little children” at the Ramsay School in Banff contributed 3/- to buy barley sugar rock for the Gurkha troops in France.
Wed 10 – German submarine U-12 was sunk by HMS Ariel in the Firth of Forth. Start of the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. Eleftherios Venizelos resigns as P.M. of Greece. The AGM of the Rothiemay Mutual Improvement Society takes place. An exhibition of dressmaking was held by the Newmill Continuation Class.
Thur 11 – Cornhill Feeing Market.
Pte James Smart, 2nd Gordon Highlanders, is a casualty at the Front. He is remembered on the Keith War Memorial.
Fri 12 – Cpl William Anderson, born in Dallas, Morayshire, is engaged in action at Neuve Chapelle, for which he would be awarded the V.C.
A meeting of the Independent Order of Good Templars was held in Keith. The smiddy at Market Hill at Glass is advertised for let. Pupils at Alehousehillock School in Cairnie provide comforts for the troops.
Lt Henry Inglis, 6th Gordon Highlanders, was killed in action. He was due to return to Keith in a few days to take up Army duties in the town.
Sat 13 – Aberdeenshire Cup Final: Aberdeen 7 Peterhead 2. Thomas Mackenzie, Dailuaine-Talisker Distilleries proprietor, dies at Dailuaine House near Carron.
Many local soldiers were wounded at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. Among them were the following fatalities:
Pte James Dorran, 6th Gordon Highlanders. He lived in Braco Street and was a tailor with J. & J. Robb, Regent Street.
Pte John H. O’Neill, of the Keith Company, 6th Gordon Highlanders, was killed while advancing on the German lines at Neuve Chapelle.
Pte Charles Watson, B Coy 6th Gordon Highlanders, lost his life in the attack. A native of Grange, he was a grocer with R. Thomson of Mid St.
Pte Charles Innes, 1/6th Gordon Highlanders, an 18-year old farm servant, was reported wounded but later confirmed killed in action.
Pte Hector Rathie, 6th Gordon Highlanders, also 18 years of age and an apprentice plumber, was seriously wounded and later died.
Cpl William Anderson (see Friday 12th) is missing presumed dead.
Sun 14 –Rev J. Grant Forbes, Tullynessle, one of the candidates for the vacancy, preaches at Grange Parish Church.
Mon 15 – Pte Alexander Strachan, 6th Gordon Highlanders, died at 11th General Hospital, Boulogne, from gunshot wounds received at Neuve Chapelle. A fitter at Isla Bank Mills, he lived in Regent Street, Fife-Keith and was the tenth Keith Territorial to be killed.
Wed 17 – Heavy snowfall at Tomintoul as Upper Banffshire experiences the worst winter weather for many years.
Thur 18 –Winter continuation classes finish at Botriphnie School. Jessie Anderson was born at Perth. She later became the world number one female golfer. Britain, France and Russia concluded the Constantinople Agreement whereby Constantinople (now İstanbul) would be given to Russia once Turkey was defeated.
Fri 19 – Pioneer-Sergeant James Murray, 6th Gordon Highlanders, died of his wounds in the Stationary Hospital at Rouen. He was a talented musician, a member of the Amateur Orchestra and of the Keith Town Band, and was a carpenter in his father’s business in Land Street.
Sat 20 – Lower Lynemore, Botriphnie, was advertised to let. Keith Cottar Market takes place with wages of up to £42, an increase of £8 to £10 on last year. There was a considerable scarcity of men and some positions were not filled. Keith mezzo-soprano singer Josephine Anderson performs in Edinburgh.
Sun 21 – Rev R.C. Corrie from Culsalmond preaches at Grange Church. A Service for the fallen of the 6th Gordon Highlanders takes place at Keith Parish Church.
Mon 22 – Keith Town Council hold a meeting to discuss recruitment in the Burgh to the new 3/6th Gordon Highlanders.
Tue 23 – The Order restricting the hours, during which military personnel in Banffshire could be served alcoholic liquor, comes into force.
Wed 24 – The last of five lectures on grass seed mixtures takes place at Auchindoun School. A joint recruiting meeting of the School Board and the Parish Council was held at Botriphnie.
Thur 25 – Newmill Literary Society’s end of season social meeting was cancelled in view of recent local battle casualties at Neuve Chapelle.
Fri 26 – Renovations start at St Thomas’ Church. Botriphnie Continuation Class presented the headmaster with a silver-mounted umbrella. A children’s concert was held at Ruthven School. The headmaster , Mr George McCurrach, was given paid leave to enlist in the Army and was later killed on the first day of the Somme.
Sat 27 – Rothiemay Branch of the Scottish Rural Workers’ Society held their annual meeting.
Sun 28 – A Service was held in Boharm U.F. Church to celebrate the semi-jubilee of Rev. J.D. Hunter’s ministry in the Parish. In Keith the Volunteer Training Corps were issued with their brassards. The Rev J.G. Cranmer from Lanark was the third minister to preach for the vacancy at Grange.
Mon 29 – Unclaimed property to be disposed of by Keith Police includes a £1 banknote. George Chisholm, jazz trombonist, was born in Glasgow.
Wed 31 – The Gordon Highlanders defeat Buckie Sea Scouts in a football match at Seafield Park. After a brief closure to allow staff to have a well-deserved rest, a new batch of wounded arrives at Earlsmount Hospital.