Royal Field Artillery
Died 3rd September 1917
Private William Jamieson
4th Battalion, Cameron Highlanders
Died 9 June 1917
It is not clear why William Jamieson is named on Wigtown War Memorial as his association with the town is unclear. Perhaps he worked here. He was born on 3 February 1893 at Port William, the only son of James Jamieson, a mason, and his wife, Janet Parker. He served with the 4th Battalion, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) as a motor driver. It is not clear precisely when Private Jamieson signed up but the 4th Battalion was in Hamilton in August 1914 when war broke out. The Battalion became a training unit and remained in Britain throughout the war. In August 1914 it moved to Gourock and then in April 1916 to Greenock. During the First World War, the Clyde was the most important British centre of production of warships: 43 per cent of the tonnage of ships ordered by the Admiralty between 1914 and 1919 was built in the Clyde yards so there was clearly a need for a strong defense force. In 1917 the battalion took over coastal defence work at Haddington and in June 1918 moved to Edinburgh for duty with the Forth Garrison.
William Jamieson was taken ill and admitted to Greenock Infirmary some time in 1917. His life could not be saved and he died on 9 June 1917; his death certificate records that he died of Tuberculosis, meningitis and endocarditis.
The Galloway Gazette (16 June 1917) carried a brief report:
JAMIESON – On the 9th inst suddenly at Greenock Infirmary, Private William Jamieson, Scottish Rifles, only son of James and Janet Jamieson, Mid Barsalloch, Port William aged 24 years. Sadly missed.
William Jamieson is buried at Greenock Cemetery and he is named on both Wigtown and Port William War Memorials.
Private Robert Hughes
1st/6th Battalion, Black Watch
Died 2 July 1917
Private 285030 Robert Hughes was born on 21 April 1898 at Railway Crossing Cottage, Sorbie, the son of railway surfaceman, Peter Hughes, and his wife, Margaret Higgins.
Before the war Robert was employed at Carsegowan Farm just outside Wigtown by the Lindsay family . He enlisted in Ayr in October 1916, joining the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. After a period of training at Ripon, North Yorkshire, he transferred to the 1st/6th Battalion, Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) and was sent to the Front.
On 2 July 1917, only 9 months after enlisting, Private Hughes was dead, aged only 19.
The Galloway Gazette (21 July 1917) carried the news of his death:
Mr & Mrs Peter Hughes, Barsalloch, Newton Stewart, have received notice from the War Office that their son Pte. Robert Hughes, Black Watch, was killed in action on July 2nd. Pte. Hughes joined the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in October 1916, and after receiving training at Ripon he was transferred to the Black Watch and sent to the front. Previous to joining the army he was employed by Messrs Lindsay, Carsegowan, and he was popular and well liked by those who knew him. He was nineteen years and ten months old.
Robert Hughes is buried at Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery, near Ypres in Belgium. The cemetery contains 1,813 Commonwealth burials of the First World War. He is also named on Newton Stewart memorial.
On 5 July 1919 the Galloway Gazette carried this memorial to him from his family:
Do not ask us if we miss him,
Oh, tis such a vacant place,
Oft we think we hear his footsteps,
Or we see his smiling face.
Your guardian angel’s work is done,
Farewell our brave and noble son.
Your young life gone ere yet begun
Alas! You’re one who won’t return.
Around a half of all First World War army records were destroyed as a result of bombing and consequent fire in the Second World War but Adam Horner’s survived. We know that he signed up for the army on 10 December 1915, opting to join the Royal Garrison Artillery. At that time he was a 35 year old gamekeeper living at Glenturk, just outside Wigtown and having married Margaret McDowall six months earlier. On 6 June 1916 Gunner 95460 Horner was mobilised and was posted to the Heavy Artillery depot at Woolwich in London the following month. After a period of training he was posted to the 119th Heavy Battery in France on 28th December 1916. He saw action over the following months but on 1st August 1917 he was killed in action. His death was briefly reported in the Galloway Gazette (23 August):
Information has been received that Gunner Adam Horner, RGA, second son of Mr & Mrs Horner, Mossend, Wigtown, and husband of Mrs Horner, High Vennel, Wigtown, was killed in action on 1st inst. He was 37 years of age, and was a gamekeeper previous to enlisting.
Four months after his death, on 11 December 1917, the RGA Records Office in Dover wrote to Adam’s widow, Margaret, returning the following personal articles: Letters, photo, pouch, 3 pipes, purse, watch and strap, glove, penknife, matchbox cover, spoon, Religious book and numeral. The writer added, “Gnr Horner had in his possession the sum of 10 francs and 40 centimes which has been credited to his account.” Mrs Horner would later receive a pension of 13 shillings and 9 pence and (in 1922) the two campaign medals awarded to her husband (British War and Victory).
Adam Horner is buried at Duhallow Advanced Dressing Station, a medical post 1.6 kilometres north of Ypres. He is also remembered on the family gravestone in Wigtown’s High Cemetery. On the anniversary of his death his wife inserted this tribute to him (Galloway Gazette 3 August 1918): HORNER. In loving memory of my dear husband, Gunner Adam Horner, RGA, who was killed in action in France on 1st August 1917. Interred at Dunhallow ADS Cemetery, North of Ypres.
I pictured his safe returning
And I longed to clasp his hand
But death has postponed our meeting
It will be in a better land
Inserted by his widow, 4 High Vennel, Wigtown
On 7 April 1917, killed in action, Private Robert Boyd RSF, beloved husband of Annie Nicholson, 2 North Main Street, Wigtown, aged 38 years.
Mrs Turner, Clarksburn, Monreith village, Port William, has received official intimation that her nephew, Private Alexander Broadfoot MM, Seaforth Canadian Highlanders, died of wounds on November 8th. Private Broadfoot was twice mentioned in despatches and at Vimy Ridge he was successful in winning the Military Medal for bravery in the field. Private Broadfoot served five years as a grocer with Wm Cook, Port William and is the second employee to receive the Military Medal. In 1913 Private Broadfoot went to Canada and joined the colours shortly after war broke out. His last leave was in August [the Gazette had reported on 11 August that Alexander was home on leave at his old home, Mrs Turner’s at Clarksburn. It further mentions the award of the MM at the Battle of Vimy Ridge for “some daring work as a runner”.] Most sympathy is felt for his bereaved friends at home and his brother who is on active service at the front. His sister has received the following letter from a chaplain to the forces.It is with sorrow I write to inform you of the death of your brother. He was brought along with many other Canadians to hospital some days ago. I have seen him each day and have tried to keep him cheerful. It was not difficult because he was a brave soul. Each time I came away from his bed I felt more and more glad because he was so certain of the presence of God with him. Yesterday he was exceedingly cheerful, and I had no doubt of his recovery. But he must have had some internal injury, and this morning I stood by his bed and held his hand as he passed into the larger, brighter Blighty, the true Home. God give you all needful grace and strength and comfort.