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Three Unfortunate Brothers

 
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4897
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:31 am    Post subject: Three Unfortunate Brothers Reply with quote

this is an article I wrote for a local magazine, I thought that forum members might be interested

In 1901, Hugh and Esther Clark were living in Craigielea, Dalry with their three sons and four daughters. The sisters are not part of this story but the fate of the three brothers shows the sadness that can affect a family.

The oldest son was named Hugh after his father with his brothers being John Martin and Robert James (Martin being their mother’s maiden name). Hugh and Robert both served in the First World War in the Gordon Highlanders. Robert was unfortunately killed on the battlefield by a shell on 1st November 1916; he had been an apprentice joiner to his father and was also a relief postman, he is remembered by being the first named on the village war memorial.

John took his own life by cutting his throat on 5th February 1917 in Dalry. As was customary in such cases, no newspaper report of his death was published, just an obituary. In order to spare the feelings of anyone who might read this, I will also publish no further details of the event. I will also not speculate as to the circumstances other than to observe that this took place just two months after his brother was killed at the front.

Hugh eventually returned safely to Dalry after his war service and became the village postman for forty years before retiring and becoming the relief lighthouse keeper at Ross lighthouse in the Solway. On 18th August 1960, Hugh was found murdered in the lighthouse. He had been shot three times in the head by Assistant Keeper Robert Dickson who was eventually caught, tried and convicted of murder and theft. His death sentence was commuted but he committed suicide in prison some two years later. There are some well written articles about the case to be found on the web, just put “Ross Lighthouse Murder” into your favourite search engine.

The names of their parents, Hugh and Esther can still be seen in the village. As you leave Dalry on the road to Carsphairn, a little way past Bone’s garage is a bench with a plaque dedicated to them.

Three unfortunate brothers indeed; killed by enemy action, suicide and murdered.

One last puzzle remains………..on the family gravestone beside the entrance to Dalry church, John Martin Clark is described as their eldest son. But we know from the 1901 census that Hugh was older by a year!
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David McNay
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 7613
Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An interesting story, thanks for posting it.
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