St Boswells war dead descendants sought to help with remembrance page

St Boswells War Memorial on the A68.
St Boswells War Memorial on the A68.

A web page designed to pay tribute to each of the men remembered on St Boswells war memorial is being developed.

The village’s community council hopes to have the commemorative page up and running before the centenary of the end of World War 1 in November.

But it must first gather background about each of the men’s military actions, particularly those in which they were engaged at the time of being wounded or killed in action, where relevant.

Allan Drummond said: “A great deal of research has gone into this already, using resources publicly available, such as census records, valuation rolls, military documents etc, and one or two descendents have been in touch to give us more personal details which are greatly appreciated.

“Although it will always be a ‘work in progress’ and open to amendment as new information becomes available, it would be wonderful to have more family input before the initial biographies are uploaded.”

It is appealing for any descendants from the men named on the memorial to check over, add to, or help fill in the gaps of the information already gathered.

In particular, information is needed for KOSB soldiers John McVittie, Robert Scott and John Wilson, John Munro, Royal Scots, and William Walter (or Walker), Royal Field Artillery.

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The full list of men is as follows:

George Balloch, Royal Field Artillery; Alexander Bell, Lancers; John Blain, KOSB; John Brown, KOSB; Andrew Charters, KOSB; William Gow, HLI; Joseph D Graham, Army Vet Corps; James Gray, Gordon Highlanders; James Gurney, Scots Guards; John L. Kelsall, Royal Field Artillery; Andrew Lindores, MM,KOSB; John McVittie, KOSB; David Marshall, KOSB; Walter Melrose, KOSB; John Munro, Royal Scots; Walter S Paton, Border Regt; William Preston, Manchesters; John McD. Rae, Royal Scots; George Robertson, KOSB; David W. Scott, Royal Garrison Artillery; Henry Scott, MM, KOSB; Robert Scott, KOSB; John Somervaille, Rifle Brigade; George L Swinton, KOSB; Robert Tait, KOSB; Alastair F Watson, Royal Highlanders; William Walter, Royal Field Artillery; Adam Weatherstone, Argyll and Sutherlan Highlanders; George B Wilson, Post Office Rifles; John Wilson, KOSB; John Youngson, Seaforth Highlanders.

Allan added: “These biographies are part of an ongoing project which should culminate in the re-siting of the Memorial to a safer, more central and accessible position within the village, after this proposal received overwhelming support from local residents at an exhibition in 2016.

“Unfortunately, due to legal complications, the repositioning has been delayed and will not be completed by the original target date of November 2018. “However, the work continues and if all goes to plan, will reach fruition before the anniversary of the original unveiling of the Memorial.

“There will be a Smartlink on an information board which will take interested parties direct to the biographies, and it may be possible to have that ready and in place at the existing Memorial site by November this year.”

To contribute information, or review your ancestor’s biography, email: memorialnames@outlook.com