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Pitsligo War Memorial
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kinnethmont



Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 1663
Location: Aberdeenshire

PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 11:54 pm    Post subject: Pitsligo War Memorial Reply with quote

PITSLIGO PARISHIONERS
UKNIWM Ref: 8626


Address
ROSEHEARTY
ABERDEENSHIRE
SCOTLAND

Location : ON CAIRNHILL OVERLOOKING TOWN AND MORAY FIRTH

OS Map Ref: NJ 932 669













Below are details of the mine disaster referrred to which claimed eight lives at Rosehearty on 10th January 1918

............................................................

Rosehearty Disaster
Thursday, 10th January, 1918

It was a time in the War, following the disastrous battles of 1917, when things looked bad for the Allies on the Western Front - when throughout Scotland, “Food Economy Week” urged citizens to eat less - when Lord Saltoun was on the losing side in the House of Lords voting against granting women the Parliamentary vote - and a “Fraserburgh Herald” news story headed “Broch in Blizzard”, informed its readers that the district was in the midst of the heaviest snowstorm ever experienced in the locality.
Rosehearty was quiet. At 1.30 in the afternoon, most of the children of school age were in school, although two of them, eight-years old James Downie, and six-years old, John, were at home with their fifteen-years old brother, George. They were known as “Tosha”, “Troha” and “Tosh” respectively.
Snow shrouded the village. It was a silent village, where many families grieved over the deaths of their young men, lost at sea or on the battlefields of Flanders, victims of “Enemy Action”.
Then at 2pm, a ripple of excitement swept the village. Something was coming in on the tide, a big round black object, washing towards the harbour’s western wall. The youths of the village, too old for school but too young for war, flocked to the rocky shore. Some men were there, concerned that if it were a mine it could destroy the harbour wall. It was about fifty yards from the pier and it had wire ropes hanging from it, obviously from broken moorings.
Eighty-six years old James Duthie, of 27 Brucklay Street, now recalls how two men - Charles Watt and John Duthie, tried to get a rope round the object to tow it out to sea. “Those two men were trying to sweep it - to tow it out clear of the rocks.”
But they were unsuccessful.
At 2.30 in the afternoon, a loud explosion was heard five miles away in Fraserburgh. Rosehearty shook to a deafening bang, and a cloud of spray and smoke rose above the village. Tiled roofs were stripped and windows blown in. The mine - whether of British or German origin - had exploded.
With ears still ringing, and in a daze from the blast, the villagers saw a scene of dead and dying and injured men and boys lying on the rocks and along the harbour wall.
Killed instantly in the explosion were Charles Watt, (44) of 12 Mid Street, who left a widow and a large family, Alexander “Loch” Downie (15), 8 Mid Street, James “Bogie” Sim (16) 19 Loch Street, and Andrew James “Tummy” Duthie (15), 16 Loch Street . James “Troop” Ritchie, 6 Mid Street, mate of the Glasgow vessel “Oran” and home on holiday, died thirty minutes later. That evening, between 6 and 7 o’clock, George “Tosh” Downie, 5 Mid Street, and John “Two” Duthie, 1 Loch Street, died of their injuries.
Rosehearty had no resident doctor, but Drs Beddie and Slessor, of Fraserburgh, accompanied by Mr Smith, a dentist, along with nurses, struggled through the snow to come to the aid of the stricken village. Dr Stephen, joined them from Strichen. And the Fraserburgh Ambulance Corps “comandeered” a bus to transport the injured to Fraserburgh.
A convoy of ambulance vans left Fraserburgh about a quarter to ten that evening to carry the seriously injured the 45 miles journey to the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. On board were John Ritchie, Junior, 29 Fordyce Street, suffering a broken arm and other injuries, James “Tosha” Downie, 5 Mid Street, with serious abdominal injuries, his brother, John “Troha” Downie, with cuts and bruises, 12-years old Robert Taylor, 63 Union Street, also cuts and bruises, John Buchan (14), 2 Well Street, a broken leg, John “Bogie” Sim, (16) 16 Loch Street, cuts and bruises, James Forbes, (15) Fordyce Street, a broken arm, and William Green, of 86 Union Street.. William Gordon Watt, 12 Mid Street, who had abdominal injuries, stayed at home in Rosehearty.
James Downie died as the ambulances struggled through a blizzard of snow towards Mintlaw. That brought the death roll to eight.
After Mintlaw, the road became more difficult. Three times they had to dig through snowdrifts to clear a way for the vehicles. Then about 1am, and only nine miles out of Mintlaw, they ran into a four-feet deep drift which stretched for some 50 feet. It was obvious there was no way forward that night so they made their injured charges as comfortable as possible and decided to wait out the snowstorm till daylight.
However, about 4am, an attempt was made to look for shelter and hot food and drinks. One of the lamps from an ambulance was used to light the way and the searchers found a farmhouse not too distant - Nether Kinknockie, tenanted by a Mr Wilson Smith - who welcomed the stormbound party and provided them with hot drinks. It would have been too hazardous to carry the injured through the snow to the farmhouse, so they remained in the ambulances, and with the hot drinks and extra blankets from the farmhouse, were able to pass the night till daybreak in moderate comfort.
Next morning, they returned to Mintlaw, where an ambulance train of the Great North of Scotland Railway Company waited to carry them on to Aberdeen. The body of young “Tosha” Downie was taken off the train at Maud, and returned to Rosehearty. And so the injured were brought safely to the Royal Infirmary where crowds waited to greet them. For them, the ordeal was over.
But the weather had still a hard blow to inflict on the people of Rosehearty.
On the Sunday morning, the Rev James Gibb of Rosehearty United Free church conducted funeral services in the homes of those who had been killed by the mine. Then a united service was held in the Fordyce Street Hall, where the coffins of the eight victims were lined up on the platform, again conducted by Rev Gibb, with Mr Forbes, the local headmaster, reading the scripture lesson.
At 2pm, the funeral procession, four abreast, left the hall with the coffins borne by two lorries, to force a way through a blizzard of snow, going by way of Fordyce Street, Ward Street, Pitsligo Street, The Square and Union Street, and on up the road behind Rosehearty to the Churchyard of Pitsligo cemetery on the hill. Once out of the lea of the village, the full force of the wind and snow battered the mourners. They had to dig through a number of snowdrifts before being forced to leave the road and continue up a turnip field where snow was less deep. This too became impassable, so they abandoned the lorries and carried the coffins on the shoulders of relays of men. Nearer the church they broke a hole in a wall to let the procession get through to the cemetery. And here, the weather inflicted its final blow on the mourners.
The graves were filled with snow. A blizzard was blowing. So it was deemed impossible in those conditions to bury the dead. The coffin bearers left their burdens inside the church, to return another day when weather conditions would permit the funerals to be completed.
Sadly, the funeral procession turned back in the gathering darkness of the January afternoon to the village below. Seventy-two hours had passed since the explosion, an explosion which had ripped the heart from Rosehearty.
And the War Memorial in Pitsligo Parish Church, Rosehearty, now stands as mute testimony to that war-time tragedy of yesteryear:

“Perished in Mine Disaster at Rosehearty 10 Jan. 1918”

Alexander Downie
James Ritchie
George G.Downie
Andrew Duthie
James Sim
James Downie
John Duthie
Charles J.Watt

"A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on." - Carl Sandburg



William Wood was killed at Etaples Camp during the infamous mutiny and riot there on 9th Sept 1917. He was an innocent bystander who was shot in the head when a military policeman fired into a crowd.

Name: WOOD
Initials: W B
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Corporal
Regiment/Service: Gordon Highlanders
Unit Text: 1st/4th Bn.
Age: 21
Date of Death: 09/09/1917
Service No: 240120
Additional information: Son of John and Rebecca Wood, of 10, Mid St., Rosehearty, Aberdeenshire. Native of Rosehearty, Aberdeenshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: XXV. P. 7A.
Cemetery: ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY
_________________
Jim

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

www.kinnethmont.co.uk


Last edited by kinnethmont on Sun Nov 11, 2007 12:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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Adam Brown
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jas

The Second world War panel lists several names under the title 'By Enemy Action'. Were these people civilians killed in an air-raid?

Adam
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dhubthaigh
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure Jas. will have more detail of the incident(s), however from CWGC the following entries;

Name: BRUCE, ALICIA WEST
Initials: A W
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 70
Date of Death: 29/01/1942
Additional information: of 27 Pitsligo Street. Daughter of John and Christian Ritchie Bruce. Died at 27 Pitsligo Street.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Reporting Authority: ROSEHEARTY, BURGH OF, SCOTLAND

Name: CRUICKSHANK, JAMES
Initials: J
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 29
Date of Death: 05/11/1940
Additional information: of 11 Brucklay Street, Rosehearty. Son of Annie Cruickshank, of the same address; husband of Jessie Duthie Cruickshank. Died at 3 Broad Street.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Reporting Authority: FRASERBURGH, BURGH OF, SCOTLAND

Name: CRUICKSHANK, JESSIE DUTHIE
Initials: J D
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 24
Date of Death: 05/11/1940
Additional information: of 11 Brucklay Street, Rosehearty. Daughter of C. Ritchie, of 15 Dingwall Street, Rosehearty, and of the late John Ritchie; wife of James Cruickshank. Died at 3 Broad Street.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Reporting Authority: FRASERBURGH, BURGH OF, SCOTLAND

Name: DUNCAN, DOROTHY DUNBAR
Initials: D D
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 14
Date of Death: 29/01/1942
Additional information: of 12 Queen Street. Daughter of C.P.O. Andrew Duncan, R.N. Died at 25 Pitsligo Street.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Reporting Authority: ROSEHEARTY, BURGH OF, SCOTLAND

Name: GUNN, JAMES MCKENZIE
Initials: J M
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 10
Date of Death: 29/01/1942
Additional information: of 25 Pitsligo Street. Son of Alex Gunn, and of Marjorie Gunn. Died at 25 Pitsligo Street.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead

Name: SLATER, JAMES
Initials: J
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Fisherman
Regiment/Service: Fishing Fleet
Unit Text: Steam Trawler Ocean Victor (Aberdeen)
Age: 37
Date of Death: 05/08/1941
Additional information: Son of William and Margaret Coule Slater; husband of Matilda Slater, of Rosehearty, Aberdeenshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 127.
Memorial: TOWER HILL MEMORIAL

Reporting Authority: ROSEHEARTY, BURGH OF, SCOTLAND

Name: GUNN, MARJORIE
Initials: M
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 32
Date of Death: 29/01/1942
Additional information: of 25 Pitsligo Street. Wife of Alex Gunn, at 25 Pitsligo Street.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Reporting Authority: ROSEHEARTY, BURGH OF, SCOTLAND

Name: NOBLE, BETSY MARY
Initials: B M
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 39
Date of Death: 29/01/1942
Additional information: of 25 Pitsligo Street. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Burnett; wife of William Noble. Died at 25 Pitsligo Street.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Reporting Authority: ROSEHEARTY, BURGH OF, SCOTLAND

Name: NOBLE, FLORENCE
Initials: F
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 8
Date of Death: 29/01/1942
Additional information: of 25 Pitsligo Street. Daughter of William Noble, and of Betsy Mary Noble. Died at 25 Pitsligo Street.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Reporting Authority: ROSEHEARTY, BURGH OF, SCOTLAND

Name: NOBLE, GEORGE
Initials: G
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 3
Date of Death: 29/01/1942
Additional information: of 25 Pitsligo Street. Son of William Noble, and of Betsy Mary Noble. Died at 25 Pitsligo Street.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Reporting Authority: ROSEHEARTY, BURGH OF, SCOTLAND

Name: NOBLE, WILLIAM
Initials: W
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 10
Date of Death: 29/01/1942
Additional information: of 25 Pitsligo Street. Son of William Noble, and of Betsy Mary Noble. Died at 25 Pitsligo Street.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Reporting Authority: ROSEHEARTY, BURGH OF, SCOTLAND

This one slightly confused me. Only match for Duthie but he was in the Forces, so technically on active service?

Name: DUTHIE, ANDREW MASSON
Initials: A M
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sergeant (Pilot)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Age: 20
Date of Death: 11/06/1941
Service No: 1053684
Additional information: Son of Joseph and Jessie Duthie, of High Blantyre, Lanarkshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Plot A1. Grave 1.
Cemetery: PITSLIGO PARISH CHURCHYARD
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dhubthaigh
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This memorial is quite strange. Was this an original or a structure that was chosen at some later date? The panels certainly seem 'newer' and it comes across a bit of a mix-match really
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spoons



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The description in UKNIWM is as the memorial stands now, with no mention of changes and it was unveiled in 1921.

The plaques look very fresh and so does the pointing so via google I found out that the council allocated £4000 in the current financial year for painting and pointing of the memorial. Well done the local council.

\Paul
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Adam Brown
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dhubthaigh wrote:
...Was this an original structure?...The panels certainly seem 'newer' and it comes across a bit of a mix-match really


To me it looks like a pre-1914 building has been re-used as a memorial. I know what you mean about the plaques as well.

I think they've used the text from original panels but I'll bet they changed the orignal panels for new ones when the mine disaster names were added. Perhaps the civilian dead were added at this time as well.
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dhubthaigh
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I looked at the Pitsligo entry on UKNIWM and saw that the architects were Jenkins & Marr. Checked the Dictionary of Scottish Architects but there was NOTHING on their bibliography for this memorial - which is unusual given the importance of such projects.

My understanding is that it was the memorial at New Pitsligo which received 4000 of funding - a different memorial completely.

No there is something not quite right with this. There is NO WAY this was an original war memorial or I'll eat my hat. Mind you I've been wrong before and a "Get the salt & pepper out" comment still gives me nightmares!
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kinnethmont



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The civilians were killed in a German air raids at Rosehearty & Fraserburgh
As can be seen, most died in their homes. I believe the intended targets will have been the nearby air station, RAF Rosehearty and Fraserburgh town / harbour.

Andrew Masson Duthie being included as Civilian is very odd and appears to be an error.

He is buried in the family ground at Pitsligo. I am aware his father was residing at High Blantyre, Lanarkshire shortly after WW2. He declined CWGC's offer to erect a standard war-pattern headstones, electing instead to mark the grave with a private memorial. It states he was " killed on active service".


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Jim

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

www.kinnethmont.co.uk
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David McNay
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pasted from duplicate thread:

UKNIWM Ref No. 8626

The memorial takes the form of a tall tower constructed of rustic roughly hewn granite blocks with wide joints. The commemoration and names of the dead are listed on two polished granite tablets set into the wall on either side of the blocked arched doorway. A small pink granite tablet with the inscription
1914
1919
is set into the face above the archway.
The tower looks to me as if it may be an older structure which was perhaps incorporated into the design for the war memorial?
Photograph supplied and reproduced by kind permission of Stan Bruce. Copyright Stan Bruce.
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anne park
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:49 pm    Post subject: David Anderson Reply with quote

David Anderson Pte 241261 5th Gordon Highlanders born Longside enlisted Peterhead Killed in Action F & F 21-Mar-18 Son of Alexander Anderson & Margaret Andrew. New Pitsligo MI 374. Brother Alexander KiA 6-11-17 age 26. Pozieres Memorial M. R. 27 Panel 73 New Pitsligo & Pitsligo
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:51 pm    Post subject: Duncan McEwen Anderson Reply with quote

Duncan McEwen Anderson Pte S/9284 1st Gordon Highlanders born Coatbridge enlisted Edinburgh Age 28 Killed in Action F & F 14-Aug-15 Son of Christina Anderson, Viewfield Cott; Sandhaven, Fraserburgh. Was Organist in Aberlour Parish. Chester Farm Cemetery, Zillebeke B 056 Plot I Row D Grave 01 Fraserburgh Herald 24-08-15 Pitsligo & Rosehearty
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anne park
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:52 pm    Post subject: George Beedie Reply with quote

George Beedie Pte 2653 5th Gordon Highlanders born Aberdour enlisted Strichen Age 19 Killed in Action F & F 31-Jul-16 Son of George & Caroline Beedie, 45 Pitsligo St; Rosehearty, Aberdeenshire. Son of George Beedie, Stonehaven, Well known in the Bervie area: Cpl. Occ: Farm Work. Soldier's Died has 1917. 1901 Census: Galashiels:775/28/4: Hind's Ho : Mossilee. Thiepval Memorial M. R. 21 Pier 15B & 15C PJ 19-8-16: Photo. BO 15-8-16: Rosehearty Info. Bervie Pitsligo & Rathen
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anne park
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:53 pm    Post subject: Alexander Downie Buchan Reply with quote

Alexander Downie Buchan Pte S/14512 2nd Seaforth Highlanders born Pitsligo enlisted Kirkwall Age 32 Killed in Action F & F 08-Aug-18 Pont-Du-Hem Military Cemetery, La Gorgue Fr 0705 Sp Mem 7 Kirkwall & Pitsligo
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:54 pm    Post subject: William G Buchan Reply with quote

William G Buchan Pte 27939 16th Royal Scots born Peterhead enlisted Fraserburgh residence Aberdeen Killed in Action F & F 01-Jul-16 North St; Fraserburgh. Thiepval Memorial M. R. 21 Pier 06D & 07D City Fraserburgh & Pitsligo
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:56 pm    Post subject: Jack Catto Reply with quote

John Catto Pte 2127 5th Gordon Highlanders born Peterhead enlisted Peterhead Age 19 Killed in Action F & F 14-Nov-16 Son of John & Agnes Catto, The Smithy, Coburty, Rosehearty, Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire. Buchan Observer: 1914: Ardlaw, Fraserburgh A Coy. 1901 Census 232/1 Peterhead 21/2. Thiepval Memorial M. R. 21 Pier 15B & 15C BO 05-12-16: New Aberdour Info. New Aberdour Peterhead & Pitsligo
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