Doc’s diary entries of 1914 take readers back to the past

An extract from the diary of Selkirk doctor John Muir
An extract from the diary of Selkirk doctor John Muir

Life in Selkirk during the First World War is being revealed in daily online postings by staff at Hawick Heritage Hub, following the donation of a doctor’s diaries.

Descendents of Dr John Stewart Muir gave his diaries to the hub’s archives team just in time for staff to post his daily entries from the start of the war online.

As well as providing an insight into Dr Muir’s work, his diaries also reveal attitudes towards the war, and how it affected the town, and its residents.

The entries are being posted on the Heritage Hub’s Tumblr website at 10am each day.

Paul Brough, archive manager, said: “We are as much on a voyage of discovery as everyone else, as we are only working on the diary a fortnight ahead.”

He added: “The diaries run from 1891 to 1938, when Dr Muir died, and we are going to carry on posting the entries for as long as we can, but definitely plan to run those from the First World War period.”

Among the entries already online is that from August 4, 1914, in which Dr Muir states: “Only a slight shower. Pleasant day with some sunshine. Baptie went on his holiday. River in tip top order and I wish I could have fished. Cycled to Ashiestiel and saw some 10 town cases.

“The imminence of war is the all-absorbing topic and the telegrams in the Southern Reporter window are scanned by eager crowds. The Territorials have been called out.”