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PERTH, CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY LTD. EMPLOYEES
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dhubthaigh
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
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Location: Blairgowrie, Perthshire

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Human tragedies set in stone

Apr 27 2012 by Denis Brown, Perthshire Advertiser Friday

BEHIND every name on a war memorial is the story of a human tragedy.
Each one represents not just the individual’s sacrifice for the greater good but the immeasurable impact their loss had on loved ones.
But how many people would have walked past a bronze plaque on the old Perth Co-operative Society building down the decades without noticing it, let alone having a cursory look at the 26 names?
Among the forgotten heroes who fell during the two world wars is the only female casualty, Nannie Roberts (nee Kirk), whose story may also be one of the most tragic.
A Leading Airwoman with the Women's Auxiliary Air Force during World War II, she was only 20 when marrying her Glaswegian sweetheart, Albert Roberts (23) of the RAF.
The lovebirds tied the knot at Perth’s St Ninian’s Cathedral on February 16, 1945, a few months before the war ended, a stone’s throw from her family home at 9 Stormont Street.
Only five weeks later on March 25 when the Allies were gearing up for the final push that would lead to victory in Europe, Nannie lost her life.
Stationed at RAF Aston Down airfield in Gloucestershire, the young ‘Waaf’ was killed when a plane slammed into a hanger, leaving behind a heartbroken new husband and extended family.
“You can only imagine how grief stricken her husband and family would have been,” explained Roy Whitehead, the man responsible for resurrecting the plaque.
“The airfield Nannie was based at was where they’d transfer aircraft to other bases from and I believe she was working in a hanger when the plane hit, but I don’t know if it was an enemy plane or one of ours.”
Ceremony
One of the three relatives of the 26 Co-op employees Mr Whitehead has so far been able to find to invite to next month’s ceremony to re-dedicate the plaque at its final resting place, is Perth woman, Emma Kirk.
He said Emma, a keen genealogist, had been able to provide some background about her late relative, Nannie – who was buried in Wellshill Cemetery in Perth – and her family.
One interesting fact is that Nannie’s cousin, George Menzies of Bridgend in Perth, migrated post-war to Toronto in Canada where his daughter, Heather, was born in 1949.
After moving to California and at age 11 she joined an acting school – the Falcon Studio’s University of the Arts in Hollywood.
Then following her first professional gig at age 13, the young starlet-to-be successfully auditioned for the role of Louisa von Trapp in the smash hit 1965 movie, The Sound of Music, a part that opened many doors.
In 1975 she married heartthrob actor, Robert Urich – who died in 2002 – having met during a joint appearance in a TV commercial for corned beef, two years before she starred in hit sci fi TV series, Logan’s Run.
Heather is understood to have just finished the European leg of a promotional tour for her just released The Sound of Music Family Scrapbook, but her appearance at the Perth ceremony is not being ruled out.
“There’s an outside chance – she is aware of the plaque and the re-dedication as Emma (Kirk) has been in touch with her,” explained Mr Whitehead.
“So perhaps she might be enticed over here for what I consider to be a significant event.”
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Kenneth Morrison



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 4095
Location: Rockcliffe Dalbeattie

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On 25 March 1945 a Typhoon of 55 Operational Training Unit crashed into the crew room of a dispersal hut whilst attempting a forced landing.
Details are at http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?11882-Typhoon-accident-Aston-Down-25-03-1945.

The pilot was from Hawick
THOMPSON, ROBERT
Rank:Warrant Officer
Trade:Pilot
Service No:1551830
Date of Death:25/03/1945
Age:22
Regiment/Service:Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Grave ReferenceGrave 199.
CemeteryHAWICK (ST. CUTHBERT) EPISCOPALIAN CHURCHYARD
Additional Information:
Son of Robert and Margaret Thompson, of Hawick.
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DelBoy



Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 4849
Location: The County of Angus

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 5:22 pm    Post subject: re-dedication update. Reply with quote

Article about the story of some on the memorial from their relatives.

{url=http://www.perthshireadvertiser.co.uk/perthshire-news/local-news-perthshire/perthshire/2012/05/29/descendants-honour-bygone-heroes-73103-31064010/]Perthshire advertiser link[/url]

DESCENDANTS were among those honouring bygone heroes at a special ceremony in Perth’s Garden of Remembrance.

Yesterday Fair City man Roy Whitehead, the catalyst behind the rededication of a 91-year-old memorial to 26 brave souls, said around 100 people attended last Friday, including 50 family members of the fallen.

Originally erected in 1921 on a Co-op building in Scott Street, the plaque lists the names of 23 workers killed serving their country during World War I and three who fell in World War II.

Tracking down descendants has revealed some of the human tragedies stemming from the losses.

John Norwell, a Royal Field Artillery driver, was one of the older casualties at age 38. The Canal Street resident was killed in action on October 23, 1918, just weeks before the war ended, leaving his wife Elizabeth (nee Kay) and five children to fend for themselves in the harsh post-war era.

Among descendants attending last week’s ceremony was Graham McLaren, a relative of Edmund Adams who was killed in action on April 15, 1918.

He took along some fascinating relics, including a photograph of Edmund with Co-op colleagues from 1914, the year World War I broke out.

The general opinion was that the war would be over by Christmas but the bloody trench conflict dragged on for four long years and the unprecedented body count – over 15 million deaths and 20 million wounded – rank it amongst the deadliest conflicts in human history.

Mr McLaren also showed a letter penned by Perth Co-operative general manager John Clark to Edmund’s wife on May 13, 1918.

Expressing deepest sympathy to the James Street resident, Mr Clark explained he had spoken to Edmund on his most recent visit home from the front line.

“I had always a very high regard of his services to the society and of his general good conduct and attention to his duty,” he wrote.

“If he had returned, which, alas fate has not permitted, there is no doubt that he would have made his mark as a young man in whom every confidence and trust could be placed.

“I hope you will be granted all necessary strength to bear up under your very sore trial. These trials are coming now to very many households and all of us now know more or less what it means.”

In the January 12, 1921, edition of the PA, a report on the Co-op memorial plaque’s dedication quoted Mr Clark expressing how proud he was of brave staff who had gone to war.

He said 145 local employees had enlisted to fight, willing to sacrifice all, and that 23 of them would sadly never come home again.

Another three staff perished in World War II, among them Perth’s Nannie Roberts (nee Kirk), who was only 20 when marrying her Glaswegian sweetheart Albert Roberts (23) of the RAF.

The lovebirds tied the knot at Perth’s St Ninian’s Cathedral, a stone’s throw from her family home at 9 Stormont Street, on February 16, 1945, a few months before the war ended,

But only five weeks later on March 25, when the Allies were gearing up for the final push that would lead to victory in Europe, Nannie lost her life.

Stationed at RAF Aston Down in Gloucestershire, the young Waaf was killed when a British plane shot down by enemy fire slammed into a hangar.

“It must have been a horrible death and so sad as she’d only just got married,” said Emma Kirk (25), a descendant of Nannie who was at the rededication ceremony.


Derek.
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anne park
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Joined: 25 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:47 am    Post subject: Forrester Squire Gowans Reply with quote

Forrester Squire Gowans A/Cpl S/19824 6/7th Gordon Highlanders b Perth e Perth Age 19 Killed in Action F&F 13/10/1918 Son of Alexander and Mary D. Gowans, of 17, Unity Place, Scott St., Perth.Motheer: Mary Lorimer Douglas. 1901 Census: 91 Scott Street, Perth. Father's Occ: Plumber. Service Records: 17 pages. Soldiers Effects: Father: Alexander. Service Returns: 118/AF 384. Avesnes-Le-Sec Communal Cemetery Extension Fr 0271 Row B Grave 09 The Scotsman 09-12-18 P7: Perth & Perth Co-op
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