Memories recorded, lest we forget

John Nichol in IDEOMS 'Best Laid Schemes'
John Nichol in IDEOMS 'Best Laid Schemes'

Souters are being invited to share their family stories of the First World War at the latest event organised by the Saving and Sharing Scottish Borders Stories of WWI project.

The two-year scheme, run jointly by the Scottish Borders Museums, Archives and Library Services, under the auspices of local charity Live Borders, aims to provide a unique and lasting commemorative record of the First World War and its legacy in the Borders region.

Funded by £33,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £21,000 from the Armed Forces Covenant, the project will document the region’s social and family heritage of this period by recording material in various formats, including scans, photographs and sound recordings, so that it can be made widely available for future generations.

A free event will take place on Saturday, November 12, between 10am and 2.30pm at Selkirk Parish Church Hall and members of the community are invited to bring along their WWI letters, diaries, photographs and more and share their family’s story.

Councillor Vicky Davidson, SBC’s executive member for culture, sport, youth and communities, said: “This unique project will document the impact and significance of these turbulent years on our local and national heritage.

“The generation who have a direct link with those who participated is getting older and this may be our last chance to capture their recollections.” 

Support for the project has also been received from Councillor John Greenwell, SBC’s Armed Forces champion.

He said: “I am pleased that the Armed Forces Covenant funding scheme has helped this project come to fruition and am looking forward to visiting as many of the events being planned as possible. 

“I would encourage anyone that has an interest in WW1 activities to attend and be part of continuing the important legacy that this conflict has for us all, whatever our age or background.”

Ewan Jackson, chief executive of Live Borders, added: “This is an opportunity for us all to recognise the contribution to the war effort made by individuals and families across the Borders.”

As part of the Selkirk event, John Nichol and Hilary Bell will perform extracts from War and Glaur at 11.30am, and at 1.30pm, Alan Cumming will present his popular talk on Scottish Women’s Hospitals during the First World War.

There will also be a chance to step back in time with the Scots in the Great War Living History Society.

Refreshments will be available, with all proceeds going to Poppy Scotland and the Selkirk and Ettrick Forest branch of the Royal British Legion, as well as displays from Live Borders Museums and local schools.

More information about the project, including volunteer opportunities, is available from project officer, Morag Cockburn on 01450 360699 or by emailing