KEITH & STRATHISLA DURING WWI
Wednesday 1 Local girls, wishing to wash their faces in the May Day dew, woke to find a hard frost covering the ground. Holy Trinity Church held their annual jumble sale in the Longmore Hall.
Thursday 2 A special prize draw was held by Keith War Savings Committee with the winners coming from Land Street, Drum Road and pupils in the Keith Grammar School War Savings Association. Another prize draw would be held in August. Keith School Board reported that John W. Kynoch, Isla Bank, had donated portrait pictures of Nurse Edith Cavell to each of the Board’s seven schools.
Friday 3 Messrs Park & Co. held a wood sale at Limeburn, Edingight. The funeral of Rev. Alexander B. Thompson, Viewmount, Drum Road, took place to Cairnie Churchyard.
Saturday 4 A meeting in Keith Institute was addressed by Mr Leslie Skene, London, the prospective Labour Party candidate for the new Morayshire constituency, on the ‘Aims and Ideals of Labour’. A thunderstorm swept over central and coastal Banffshire. The Central Banffshire Farmers’ Club agreed to hire Hazeldale and Gallant Stewart as their stallions for 1919.
Sunday 5 Services were held at Keith Holy Trinity Church to celebrate Rogation Sunday. Communion services took place in Grange and in Keith. Registration for bacon and ham came into force.
Monday 6 A displenish sale took place at Mains of Auchoynanie. Rev. Archibald Kerr, Enzie, took the post-communion service at Keith North Church..
Tuesday 7 The Lower District Committee discussed plans for post-war light railways from Banff to Gardenstown and from Banff to Huntly via Aberchirder. Romania was obliged to sign the Treaty of Bucharest ending their war with the Central Powers.
Wednesday 8 The 1918 Tarryblake Crow Raid started at 4am using young climbers as ammunition was scarce and expensive. Several hampers were filled and despatched to the station for sending south. Most Keith butchers were now closed all day on Wednesday instead of Thursday. A displenish sale was held at Newton, Auchindachy. Keith Heritors met in the Parish Church and agreed to increase the salary of Joseph Herd, watchmaker, to £5 for winding the church clock. Cullen Amateur Dramatic Society performed ‘Mains Again’ at St Thomas’ Hall in aid of the Servicemen’s Rest Room.
Thursday 9 Keith Patriotic Club appealed for funds to purchase materials for bandages and war dressings. Ascension Day services were held at Holy Trinity Church starting at 7.30 am. John Maclean, the Bolshevik Consul in Scotland, was tried at the High Court in Edinburgh on charges of attempting to cause mutiny, sedition and disaffection, and was sentenced to five years in Peterhead.
Friday 10 Visiting ministers took the Fast Day services at the two churches in Botriphnie.
Saturday 11 A displenish sale was held at Knauchland, Rothiemay. The Banfshire Herald reported that the Netherdale Ferry across the Deveron had increased its fare from ½d to 1d.
Sunday 12 Communion and Thanksgiving services were held in the Botriphnie Churches. The local branch of the NUR agreed a resolution to abolish the Poor Law and sent copies to J. E. Sutherland, the MP for Elgin Burghs, and to Prime Minister Lloyd George.
Monday 13 Charles Anderson, tailor and clothier, flitted from 118 to 141 Mid Street. Local displenish sales this week took place at Woodhead, Cairnty, at Chapelhead croft in Grange and at Tillydown, Rothiemay. The Tarryblake Crow Raid was continued today. Keith Town Council reported that five large trees in Balloch Road had been cut down and made into rest seats to be located in the two Squares, the Den, the Cuthil and Ladies’ Walk in Fife-Keith Wood. The Council agreed with the Food Committee not to proceed at this time with a communal kitchen for the burgh under the National Kitchens Order.
Tuesday 14 A Board meeting of the Great North of Scotland Railway approved the transfer of William Gordon, stationmaster at Cairnie Junction, to Tillynaught. He was replaced by J. S. Watson, stationmaster at Port Elphinstone. James Gordon Bennett, socialite and publisher of the New York Herald, died at his home in Beaulieu-sur-Mer on the French Riviera. His father had lived in Enzie and Newmill and had worked in Keith before emigrating to North America to make his fortune.
Wednesday 15 A conference on the ‘Moral and Spiritual Issues of the War’ was held in Keith North Church. The local Naval and Military War Pensions Committee met in Keith. German submarine U-90 shelled the Royal Naval Wireless Station on Hirta, St Kilda, damaging the church and domestic buildings. The Finnish Civil War came to an end with German military assistance.
Thursday 16 The Drummuir section of the Banffshire Volunteers held their mid-week drill.
Friday 17 The National Union of Railwaymen, the Scottish Farm Servants’ Union, the Railway Clerks’ Association and the General Workers’ Union established a local branch of the Labour Party.
Saturday 18 A public auction of dairykeeper’s stock and plant was held at 17 Moss Street. The Humphrey Bursary competition, open to pupils at Botriphnie School and worth £10 a year for four years, was held at Drummuir and was won by Robert McConnachie, Lynemore. A sale of coal merchant’s plant belonging to the late Councillor McConachie took place at 74 Land Street. Nicaragua became the latest country to declare war on Germany.
Sunday 19 Rev. Weir, minister of Rothiemay UF Church, announced his election to a charge in Cowdenbeath. An evening intercessory service under the League of Honour was taken by both local ministers. Whitsunday services were held in Holy Trinity Church in Keith.
Monday 20 Grange War Savings Committee agreed with the County Council that the recent War Weapons Week should fund a cruiser to be named the ‘Banffshire’.
Tuesday 21 The estate of the late James Simmie Sharpe of Whitestones offered a bursary of £30 to a male student from Rothiemay going on to Aberdeen University. The displenish sale at Corsemaul included two working oxen. George Morrison, carpenter, Botary, was advertising for an apprentice.
Wednesday 22 A meeting in Keith was addressed by John Duthie of Cairnborrow, Assistant Director General of Voluntary Organisations, on the urgent need for sphagnum moss for war dressings.
Pte Robert Clark (18), 456th Agricultural Company, Inverness, was drowned while swimming in the Boat Pool in the Deveron at Forglen. The son of Alexander and Annie Clark, Knockdhu Cottages, Grange, he had been working as a farm servant at Mains of Carnousie.
Thursday 23 Local farmers attended the displenish sale at Broadfield, Auchanacie. The Women’s County Committee discussed training women as mole catchers and arranged fruit bottling demonstrations. Costa Rica followed its neighbour Nicaragua in declaring war against Germany.
Friday 24 Empire Day was marked at local schools with patriotic speeches to the pupils. At the request of the Lord Lieutenant, schools closed early to celebrate. A meeting was held in Keith by the YWCA, the League of Honour and the Mothers’ Union as part of the Empire Week of Prayer.
Saturday 25 Country people gathered in Mid Street for the Keith Feeing Market. Boys under and men over military age were much sought after and readily engaged at wages up a pound or two since last year. J & J Gray were advertising men’s made-to-measure suits from Government Tweeds for £2 and £2 10s. Keith watchmaker James Budge, who was still on military service, was selling off his stock of jewellery, watches and plated goods. The monthly meeting of Rothiemay WRI enjoyed a talk on Russia by a speaker from Culsalmond and an address on beekeeping by local headmaster Mr Donald Corrigall. It was reported that Norway planned to introduce a post-war hydroplane route from the Norwegian capital, Christiania, to Aberdeen with a journey time of nine hours.
Pte William Milne (21), 1st Gordon Highlanders, died of his wounds. The son of Thomas and Mary Milne, Cummingston, he had been a farm servant in Mulben.
Sunday 26 Rev. Robert Wood, Patna, Ayrshire, preached at Keith Parish Church and Rev. Duncan McAulay, Glass, took the service at Keith North Church. It was the 300th anniversary of Keith minister Patrick Forbes being enthroned as Bishop of Aberdeen at St Machar’s Cathedral.
Monday 27 Pte Robert Clark’s funeral was held at Rothiemay Churchyard with a firing party from the local Volunteers joining the procession en route. The funeral of William Smith, well known tenant farmer on Drummuir Estate for 40 years and stalwart of the Central Banffshire Farmers’ Club, took place from Davidston House to Cairnie Churchyard.
Pte Alexander Smith (19), 22nd Durham Light Infantry, was killed in France. An Union Bank accountant, he was the son of William and Annie Smith, Mid Street.
Tuesday 28 Whitsunday Term Day in Keith was much quieter than in pre-war times. An advert appeared in a local paper for Strathpeffer Spa currently being used as an American Naval Hospital. Transcaucasia splits up as Armenia and Azerbaijan declared independence and Georgia signs the Treaty of Poti to become a protectorate of Germany.
Wednesday 29 Pte John N. Collins (40), Royal Army Medical Corps, died in Aberdeen. A native of Keith, he was the son of Daniel and Mary Collins, Land Street, and is buried in Broomhill Cemetery.
Thursday 30 Boharm School Board reported there were 131 children of school age in the parish.
Friday 31 Keith Burgh Tribunal referred appeal cases to the Ministry of Food and the Scottish Committee on Manpower and Production in the Woollen Trade. The flu outbreak in Glasgow appears to be affecting mainly young female factory workers.