KEITH & STRATHISLA DURING WWI
Mon 1 – James Esson of the Gordon Evangelistic Mission holds one of his week-night services in Mulben School. James Milne has announced the opening of his new business as a consulting engineer at Kinnoir in Drum Road, Keith. A Findochty butcher appears at Banff Sheriff Court charged with obtaining two hens by false pretences from a resident in Moss Street, Keith. He was remanded back into custody.
Tue 2 – Edward A. Thurburn, Laird of Mayen and County Councillor for Rothiemay, died following an operation in Banff. He had been engaged in the tea business in Calcutta before purchasing Mayen Estate in 1889 and was the current Convener of Banff County Council.
Wed 3 – Newmill Literary Society held a mock Council Election for the village for the first of its weekly November meetings. Henry Taylor, manager at Strathmill Distillery, submitted his letter of resignation from Keith Town Council. He would later also manage Glenspey and Knockando Distilleries.
Pte James M. Watt of the Royal Army Service Corps, originally from Boharm and son of Mrs Murray of Regent Street, Fife-Keith, was among eight killed aboard the SS Woodfield. En route from Britain to Salonika in Greece, it was attacked by the German submarine U-38 off the Spanish port of Ceuta in Morocco. He is remembered on the Keith War Memorial and on the Cross of Sacrifice in Gibraltar.
Thur 4 – Keith School Board agreed to allow teachers to enlist with their Army pay being made up by the Board to their current salary level. The Board also received approval for the teaching of cookery to boys in the supplementary class in Newmill. A public auction was held at Moor of Maisley to dispose of two wooden houses left behind by the 3/6th Gordon Highlanders at the site of their recent encampment. A Fast Day service was held in Grange Parish Church in preparation for Communion. Grange Kirk Session appointed Miss Donald of Ladyhill as organist and Mr Welsh, Headmaster of Crossroads School, to the newly created position of Master of Music.
Fri 5 – Keith Town Council’s statutory November meeting appointed a Derby Recruiting Scheme Appeal Committee for the burgh of Keith. They also donated two guineas to the Nurse Cavell Memorial Fund. Both churches in Botriphnie conducted Fast Day services.
Sat 6 – The Countess of Seafield hosted a Banffshire League of Honour meeting at Cullen House. The League now had 1778 members in the County. It was reported in the Banffshire Herald that the Red Cross Depot in Drummuir had sent 180 pine dressings to the War Dressings Depot in Aberdeen and 810 dressings to the depot in Edinburgh.
Sun 7 – A fine day allowed farmers to bring in part of their unsecured crop. Communion services were held in Botriphnie Parish Church and the U.F. Church at Woodend. An afternoon Gospel Service was held in Drummuir Hall.
Mon 8 – Bad weather and heavy rain returned.
Tue 9 – Keith Parish Council November meeting discussed and approved revisions to the Poor Roll. A Harvest Thanksgiving Service was held in Grange Parish Church. The Isla was in spate and floods affected the Auchindachy Station Master’s House. A congregational meeting was held at the U.F. Church at Whitehill, Grange. In common with cinemas around the country, tonight’s takings at the Palace Cinema went to a fund to purchase fifty motor ambulances for the Front.
Wed 10 – Two inches of rain contributed to flooding in Strath Isla. A recruitment meeting was held in Drummuir Hall. A similar meeting took place in Keith Grammar School for Keith and Fife-Keith. It was estimated that there were still 3,000 to 4,000 men in the County available for military purposes. Emperor Yoshihito was enthroned as the 123rd Emperor of Japan.
Thur 11- The area experienced snow, sleet and hail. Winston Churchill, the Liberal M.P. for Dundee and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, resigned from the Government and joined the Army in France. At Banff Sheriff Court permission was granted for a doctor to examine the Isla Bank Mills manure works in Keith. A claim had been brought against G. & G. Kynoch under the Workmen’s Compensation Act by Mrs Moggach whose husband John had died of suspected anthrax at the beginning of June.
Fri 12 – A whist drive in aid of patriotic funds was held at Maggieknockater.
Cpt James Ogilvie Grant, 5th Cameron Highlanders, died of his wounds at the Front. He was the 11th Earl of Seafield, Chief of Clan Grant and the Superior of Keith. His nine year old daughter, Nina, became the 12th Countess of Seafied and the youngest peeress of the Realm.
Sat 13 – A Fatal Accident Inquiry was held at Banff Sheriff Court into the death of retired farmer Robert Wilson of Walktop, Grange. He was building sheaves of oats on a cart at the farm of Whiteley at Edingight when the horse bolted and he was thrown to the ground. The jury returned a formal verdict.
Sun 14 –The Kirkin’ of the Council took place at the North U.F. Church in Keith.
Mon 15 – The Gordon Mission moved from Mulben to the U.F. Church Mission Hall at Maggieknockater. Recruitment meetings at Rothiemay and Grange.
Tue 16 – Mrs Dr Cruickshank, the wife of Rev W.W. Cruickshank of Holy Trinity Church, was appointed temporary assistant to the Medical Officer of Health of Aberdeen. A concert was held in the Longmore Hall in aid of the Belgian Red Cross and featured Auguste Bouillez, principal baritone of the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, Mme Mary Rizzini, prima donna of the Opéra-Comique in Paris along with Paul Kocks, pianist from the Théâtre Royal de Liège.
Wed 17 – The Roller Skating Rink in St. Thomas’ Hall reopened for business several nights a week “with music”. In Glasgow tens of thousands marched to the Sheriff Court in a protest organised by Mary Barbour and Helen Crawfurd of the Glasgow Women’s Housing Association and supported by the Clyde Workers’ Committee and the Independent Labour Party. Mrs Barbour’s Army and the possible threat of disruption to the supply of munitions shocked the Government into introducing legislation ten days later to restrict housing rents to pre-war levels for the duration of the conflict.
Fri 19 –The Curling Club held a Whist Drive in Mulben School. Grand Concerts were held at Crossroads School and Newmill. Auchanacie School was the venue for the pupils’ annual concert. Dairying and butter-making classes start at Keith School under the auspices of the North of Scotland College of Agriculture.
Sat 20 – A Russian Flag Day was held in Keith in aid of the Anglo-Russian Hospital in Petrograd. The pupils at Glenrinnes Public School had collected Christmas gifts for forwarding to soldiers at the Front. Drummuir Red Cross Depot had sent 24 tins of plum pudding to Banffshire POWs in Germany.
Mon 22 – Keith Junior and Fife-Keith schools reopen after the measles outbreak but medical certificates were still required from affected households. Rothiemay School had been closed because of diphtheria and the Board arranged for the school to be deep cleaned before reopening.
Tue 23 – Miss Leslie resigned as Matron of Turner Memorial Hospital, a position she had held for the last 26 years. P. Tewion, Merchant, Rothiemay, was advertising for Christmas poultry. A dryster or an apprentice miller was required for Crooksmill near Keith.
Wed 24 – The farm of Riggins near Newmill was for sale by public roup in the Royal Hotel, Keith. The upset price of £650 was not reached and the sale was adjourned.
Thur 25 – In Berlin Albert Einstein of the Prussian Academy of Sciences published his paper on General Relativity.
Fri 26 – A cinema show depicting the latest war and naval pictures was held in the Longmore Hall in aid of the Moray Firth Royal Naval Division Comforts Fund.
Sat 27 – Martimas Term rents were payable today to Fife Estates. There was a large attendance at the half-yearly Keith Feeing Market and wages showed a good advance. The Serbian Army which had withdrawn across the mountains of Albania was evacuated to the island of Corfu.
Sun 28 – The German, Austro-Hungarian and Bulgarian armies were completing their occupation of Serbia.
Mon 29 – A meeting to arrange evening classes was held in Drummuir. Sir John Anderson, a native of Gartly, was appointed Governor of Ceylon.
Pte Edmund A. Wright, 10th Gordon Highlanders, died of his wounds at No 33 Casualty Clearing Station in France. He was 26 years old and the son of William Wright of Bog of Paithnick.
Tue 30 – An exciting new serial, “The Black Box”, started at the Palace Cinema in Keith.