In 2014 the centenary of the outbreak of World War One, Cumnock History Group began researching the names on the War Memorial plus other men and women with Cumnock connections mentioned on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission or in the Cumnock Chronicle of the time. The research is not limited to those who died but also to men and women who served, using family history information.

The group would like to appeal to individuals with knowledge of family members for photographs of the soldier, either in uniform or not, and photos of medals or other memorabilia eg letters sent home from the Front. If you would be prepared to share these on this site, please email the web manager cumnockhistory [at] The group is willing to share any copies of documents found with the soldier's descendants.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Alexander Hodge, MM

Alexander Hodge was born in at Darnconner about 1890 to Archibald Hodge and Jane McDowall.

The family later lived in Skares.

He volunteered early in the war but he made it clear that he could not under any circumstances kill his fellow man. He served in the 17th Field Ambulance Corps He was awarded the MM for rescuing wounded infantrymen under fire.

He died in France on 30th April 1918

photo by Bobby Grierson, added 7/3/2018

His profile on RAMC


Cumnock Connections tree

Update March 2016 from the Ayrshire Post

He was known as Sandy. He had his watch with him when he died and a German soldier collected his belongings and posted them to his parents after the war.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Nurse Agnes Kerr Earl

Agnes was born in Cumnock about 1885 to William Earl and Jane Purdie. Her mother died when she was a baby. Her father brought her  and brother James up. He was a joiner.

She served as a  Nurse in the America Unit of the Scottish Women's Hospital  from 14th December 1916 until her  death on 19 March 1919 in Vranya,  Serbia.
Headstone in Cumnock Old Cemetery, Barrhill Road

Cumnock Chronicle added March 2018

More on Sister Earl

Scottish Women's Hospital names
Find a grave
Scottish Women's Hospital site

Saturday, 29 March 2014

John Hamilton

John Hamilton of  New Cumnock was born in Cumnock. His mother was Jane Hamilton and he was brought up by his grandparents John and Maggie Hamilton.

Cumnock Chronicle - 26th October 1917 THE LATE PTE JOHN HAMILTON

After an anxious wait of many months, hoping against hope that all would be well, the sad news arrived last week that all hope had been abandoned of Private John Hamilton, R.S.F., and that it was now presumed that he was dead. Pte Hamilton was one of the lads who took part in the great attack of the 30th July 1916 and who never returned. At the time he was posted as wounded and missing, but it was hoped that he was a prisoner, as many of his comrades who were similarly posted were afterwards found to be prisoners. All enquiries failed to trace him, and the official notice just received has put an end to any hopes still lingering amongst those he left behind. Pte Hamilton, when only 17 years of age, enlisted a year after the outbreak of hostilities, and three months later he was sent to France. There he took his place in the fighting line until he fell, as stated, on the 30th July last year. He was never home from the day he sailed. Pte Hamilton was brought up by his grandparents, Mr and Mrs John Hamilton, Burnfoot Rows, two much respected residenters, and worked with his uncles at New Cumnock Collieries. He was a likeable lad and was held in general respect. Although not a player himself, he was a keen follower of football and regularly accompanied his uncle Tom, the well known Kilmarnock F.C. full back, to the games. As a carpet bowler he held several prizes won in local competitions. Much sympathy is extended to Mr and Mrs Hamilton and other relatives, all of whom were specially attached to the deceased.

His service papers survive. He enlisted on 24 Aug 1915, stating his age as 19 yrs and 4 months (which seems to tally with the 1901 census).  He was a miner of 155 Burnfoot, New Cumnock.
His grandparents are named as his relatives along with uncle Alex 32, Robert 28 and Thomas 26. The grandmother provided this information after his death.

Here is the family in 1901 at Mansfield Village
John Hamilton             51
Margaret McCracken Hamilton             47
John Hamilton             19
James Hamilton             16
Robert Hamilton             11
Janet Hamilton             11
Thomas Hamilton             7
John Hamilton             4 grandson

He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial in the Somme, France and on Cumnock War Memorial

Commonwealth War Grave

Cumnock Connections tree

Friday, 28 March 2014

Thomas Kennan

Dumfries and Galloway Standard 08 May 1915

From the Scotsman, Wednesday 5 May 1915
Mrs T Kennan, Waterside Place, Cumnock, has received notice from the War Office of the death of her husband, Private Tom Kennan, 2nd Battalion King’s Own Scottish Borderers. The death took place at the fight for Hill 60 on the 18th April. Private Kennan served several years with the colours, in the course of which he was in the campaign in India during the years 1895-98. He held a medal with 3 bars for the engagements he then took part in. His terms of service, as well as his service period, were over, but on the outbreak of war he volunteered for his old regiment.

He had previously served 1895-7 on the North West Front.

Battle of Hill 60

from the Cumnock Chronicle
This obituary states that he was the 4th Cumnock man to die.  Little did they know at the time that things would get much worse.

He was born in Terregles, Kirkcudbrightshire on 20th June 1874 and his wife was Elizabeth Kennan, of 19, Wallace St, Dumfries (by the time the war grave was set up).  She was the eldest daughter of Mr Short of Wallace Street according to the D & G Standard so presumably she went back to her parents.  He died on 18th April 1915.

He is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres in Belgium and on the Cumnock War Memorial where his name is recorded as Keenan.  Everywhere else it is Kennan.

Menin Gate photo by Philip McGhee

plaque prepared by Mike Ruddick

Cumnock Connections family tree

His entry on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Thursday, 27 March 2014

John Logan

John Logan was born about 1892 in Cumnock the son of James a coal miner and his wife Marion Purdie.
Cumnock Chronicle, added April 2018

In 1901 census he was living in Townhead St.

James Logan             39 coal miner hewer b Dalry
Marion Logan             39
James Logan             21
Agnes Logan             17
William Logan             15
Mary Logan             11
John Logan             8
Maggie Logan             5
Thomas Logan             3
Elizabeth Logan             2mo

He was killed in France on 26th August 1918. He was a Lance Corporal in the Royal Scots Fusiliers and is remembered on the Memorial at Vis-en-Artois and  on the Cumnock War Memorial.
His next of kin was his father, James, of 81 Townhead St, Cumnock.

Here he is on Cumnock Connections tree

And on Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Service Number 13011
1st/4th Bn.
Royal Scots Fusiliers

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Charles Ferguson

Charles Ferguson was born in Cumnock about 1899 to George and Mary Ferguson from Perthshire. He had been a motor mechanic in Hunter's garage. He was a private in the Royal Scots Fusiliers  and had been in France only a week when he was injured on 11 April 1918. He died in hospital in France of shell wounds on 18 April. He was only 19. His parents lived in Kilnholm Place. Reported in the Cumnock Chronicle on 26 April 1918.

1901 census
Hillend Cottage, Cumnock
George Ferguson             33 joiner b Comrie perthshire
Mary Ferguson             34 b Kinnaird, Pertshire
Janet Ferguson             11
William Ferguson             10
James Ferguson             7
Catherine Ferguson             4
Charles Ferguson             1

He is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, France and is remembered on Cumnock War Memorial.

On Cumnock Connections tree

and on Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

John Black

John Black, another resident of Skares when he enlisted, was born in Closeburn in Dumfriesshire.

He served in the 6/7th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers and died in France/Flanders on 9th April 1917.

He is buried in the Faubourg d'Amiens Cemetery, Arras, France and is remembered on the War Memorial in Cumnock.

Ancestry has this on him
NAME:John Black
BIRTH PLACE:Closeburn, Kircudbrightshire
RESIDENCE:Skares, Cumnock
DEATH DATE:9 Apr 1917
DEATH PLACE:France and Flanders
ENLISTMENT PLACE:Cumnock, Ayrshire
REGIMENT:Royal Scots Fusiliers
BATTALION:6 7th Battalion
TYPE OF CASUALTY:Died of wounds
THEATRE OF WAR:Western European Theatre

This looks like the family in the 1901 census in Dumfries (Troqueer parish)
37 Church St
John Black     33 railway labourer
Annie Black     32
Marion Black     12
John M Black     9
Mary Black     6
Sarah J Black     6
Maggie Black     2

Update: This paragraph added 4/4/2018
He was born John Murray Black on 17 sep 1891 at Townfoot Cottage in Closeburn to John Black ploughman and Annie Lind.

He had previously been shot in the left shoulder blade on 28 Sep 1915 and was home in Skares on leave after that. He was a bomb thrower. (Cumnock Chronicle  5 Nov 1915)

On the 1915 valuation roll John Black collier lived at 132 Skares.

He is mentioned along with Thomas Campbell in the Chronicle. He was married with three children.
His wife was Agnes Reid and one of his children was Frederick Thomson Black born at 132 Skares Row in 1914.

Cumnock Connections tree

Here is his entry on Commonwealth War Graves Commission

He is on Cumnock War Memorial as Corporal John Black R.S.F.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Lieutenant Edward Knight

2nd Lieutenant Edward Knight of the Royal Scots Fusiliers was born at Aldershot in 1897.

His parents were Captain and Mrs Mary Knight of 80 Ayr Road,  Cumnock

He was only 21 when he died in France on 20th September 1918.

He is buried at Queant Road Cemetery, Buissy in France and is remembered on Cumnock War Memorial.

All this information came from Commonwealth War Graves Commission 

Update 31 July 2014
His parents are buried in Cumnock new cemetery.
Captain S Knight Ayrshire Yeomanry died 12 5 1924 and wife Mary Mills 22 6 1947, son Ed. Knight  2nd Lieut killed in action 20th September 1918.

I couldn't find a marriage in Scotland or England for them.
I found father's name Stephen Knight by looking for his death record.

With this information found his military pension record
They were married in Dundalk,  Northern Ireland  on 3 Jul 1893.

Stephen Knight     Self (Head)
Mary Mills     Spouse
Stephen Geo Knight     Child
Edward Knight     Child
Arthur Knight     Child
Charles Fredk Knight     Child 

Cumnock Connections tree 

Update 27 Feb 2018
His brother also served as reported in the Cumnock Chronicle 1915

Family gravestone in Cumnock New Cemetery

Taken by Morag Gordon Aug 2015

Sunday, 23 March 2014

John McRobert

Lance Corporal John McRobert of the KOSB died as a result of wounds received on 19th August 1918
In 1901 the family was in Glaisnock Street
Robert Mcrobert         29 coachman born England
Jane Mcrobert             30
John Mcrobert            5 born Cumnock
Agnes Mcrobert          3
Jane Mcrobert             1

John McRobert, photo from his great niece Jane Bowie

From Cumnock Chronicle 1918
Notice has been received of the death of another native in the person of L-Cpl John McRobert whose father Bob McRobert for many years drove the station bus in  connection with the Dumfries Arms. As a youth L/Cpl McRobert acted as groom to the vet James Wallace and this occupation he followed after the family left the district about seven or eight years ago. He had enlisted before he was 18. Mr and Mrs McRobert are now resident in Lockerbie where Mr McRobert is a gamekeeper on the Castlemilk Estate.

The CWGC gives his parents as Robert and Jane McRobert, of Gibbs Yard, Auchincruive, Ayr. 

His great niece Jane Bowie has been in touch. She writes:
His service records say that he joined up in the Scottish Rifles Cameronians right at the start of the war, and was continually transferred due to heavy casualties destroying any company he was in. He served in the Royal Scots Fusiliers, then in the Royal Yorkshire Light Infantry and was finally transferred to the KOSBs. At the time of his death he was attached to an Australian battalion and it was an Australian clergyman who wrote the personal letter of condolence to my great grandparents.His number on joining up was 265443 and was subsequently changed to 41611.His date of birth is given on his birth certificate as 8th September 1894, although the article in the Chronicle states he was 17 on joining up and his gravestone gives his age as 22. He wrote home shortly before his death asking why his family was not writing to him anymore, if they had forgotten him. The letters were all there, but he had been transferred so many times that the postal service couldn't find him. You can imagine his parents' anguish on receiving this letter and shortly after the notice of his death. He was very able with horses and loved them, on one occasion he was able to calm and control the captain's horse which had gone mad through fear during the bombardments, and which subsequently would only let him or the captain touch it.He had three younger sisters, and was part of a very close family. In 1919 his grief stricken parents risked another child, my great grandmother giving birth to my great uncle Robert at the age of 50. My grandmother (the eldest girl) was very close to him and would still write about him to me into the 1980s. 

His grave in Longuenesse. Photo from Jane Bowie.
 My great grandmother made the journey to his grave in France and kept a jar of earth from it all her life.

He was 22 when he was died on 19th August 1918 and he is buried in Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery in France and is remembered on Cumnock War Memorial.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

James Anderson

James Anderson was born at 15 Waterside Place on 11th June 1900.  He served in WW1 and must have been one of the youngest to do so.

This is the photo used in the banner on the title page of the blog.  James is seated on the extreme right of the front row. He was in the Highland Light Infantry.

In 1901 census
William Anderson     33 coal miner
Margaret Anderson     35
Robert Anderson     8
John Anderson     7
Adam Anderson     5
Annie Anderson     1
James Anderson     9 Mo

This is his parish war medal. Each Cumnock man who served was issued with his own engraved medal. You can just make out his name.

He was the father of Bill Anderson of Cumnock History Group who provided the photos.  His war record does not survive so Bill knows little about his service.

Here he is on the Cumnock Connections tree

Update July 2014:  Bill found another photo of B Coy 15th HLI

Friday, 21 March 2014

Aaron Dickens died 3 days before the Armistice

Aaron Dickens was born in Kirkintilloch about 1897 but his family lived in Cumnock for many years.

His father was Charles Dickens who was born in Warwickshire but appears as a lodger with Emanual Rolinson (my great grand uncle) in 1881 census at 7 Glengyron Row, Cumnock. He married a relation of the family he lodged with, Fanny Price, in 1883.

In 1891 they lived at Glaisnock Street
Charles Dickens 28 coal miner b England
Fanny Dickens 24 b Dalry
Thomas Dickens 5
Joseph Dickens 3
Emma G Dickens 1
children born Cumnock

1901 census
6 Freeland Place, Kirkintilloch
Charles Dickens 38
Fanny Dickens 34
Thomas Dickens 15
Joseph Dickens 13
Emma Goodman Dickens 11
James Hancock Dickens 9 b Cumnock
Aaron Dickens 4 b Kirkintilloch
George Dickens 1 b Kirkintilloch

Aaron was a private in the Highland Light Infantry when he died  on 7th November 1918, just 4 days before the Armistice.  He is buried at Valenciennes St Roch Cemetery in France. He was 21. He had previously been wounded in April 1918.

Kirkintilloch Herald Nov 1918
He is remembered on a stained glass window in the YMCA in Kirkintilloch
Kirkintilloch Gazette 4 Jun 1920
See him on
Cumnock Connections tree
He was my second cousin 2x removed

Here is his entry on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site

Thursday, 20 March 2014

George Neil and brother James Neil

James Neil  was born  on 22 October 1888 in Glaisnock Street, Cumnock to James Neil a life assurance agent and his wife Elizabeth Kerr.

He died on 16th June 1915 in Belgium. He served with the Gordon Highlanders. He had previously worked in Burma.

This from the Aberdeen Evening Express, 24th June 1915

James's record on CWGC  He was 28.  He is remembered on the Menin Gate at Ypres. His name is just below the poppy.

Menin Gate, from Phillip McGhee

His brother was also lost.  He was Corporal George Neil (George Henry Neil)

From the Cumnock Chronicle 6 Sep 1918

Died of wounds at a Clearing Station in France on 25 Aug 1918 Corpl George Neil,  H.L.I., youngest son of Councillor James Neil and Mrs Neil, Lugar Street, in his 25th year.

He was the son  of James and Elizabeth Neil of 13, Lugar St, Old Cumnock 

Here's the family in the 1901 census 
Lugar St
James Neil     39 commercial traveller b Auchinleck
Elisabeth Neil     36 b New Cumnock
Agnes Neil     18 draper's assistant
John Neil     15 app baker
James Neil     12 app draper
Maggie Neil     10
George H Neil     8
Bessie Neil     6
children  b Cumnock

He is buried in Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt, France.

Cumnock Connections tree


Both men are on Cumnock War Memorial.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Influenza Outbreak 1918

It was not just the War which was taking its toll on the population in 1918.

Reported in the Cumnock Chronicle October 1918:

Not within the memory of the oldest inhabitant has such an epidemic been experienced in our parish as that through which we are passing at the present time. What makes it really serious is the number of death(sic) that have followed in its wake. During the past fortnight, no fewer than twenty-five deaths have been registered all traceable to influenza. The young, the middle-aged and the aged alike have been taken, and the whole community mourns with the bereaved ones in their time of trial. Our doctors have had a very hard time, but throughout it all they have been most attentive at all hours wherever their services were required. The influenza is of the most virulent type, and differs from the ordinary kind in that it attacks the respiratory organs. Practically all the males who have succumbed to it were miners, pneumonia, bronchitis, or other complications setting in in most cases. It was found advisable to close the schools until the first Monday in November, while the dancing classes, the Musical Association practices, and other meetings  have been put off on account of the epidemic. While it is hoped that we have seen the worst of the attack, there are still a number of serious cases under treatment.
Among the deaths are the following:
A well know form has passed away on the person of Mr George Rankin, Glengyron, who fell victim to influenza on Thursday last after a short illness at the age of 70 years.

I looked up George Rankin's death certificate in the Burns Centre.  I also looked at the pages before and after. Almost all the deaths in October and November were attributed to influenza. As the report suggests, miners seemed to be particularly susceptible. Also there were some children and elderly people and one young woman who had just given birth. The illness was short. The longest period of illness I saw was 8 days, most recorded 6 or 7 days influenza and 3-4 days pneumonia. There were 5 deaths from influenza on 17 October alone plus one from bronchopneumonia.

Here are the names I noted between 9 - 23 October 1918
Robert Reid Harvey 27 coal miner
William Hutchison 57 coal miner
Margaret Brown 10 (father Thomas in the ASC)
George Manson Finlay 26 colliery blacksmith
Janet Kay 23 influenza 5 days, confinement 3 days
James Kelly 32 coal miner ( and William Kelly 28 yrs his brother died in November)
Agnes Reid McCartney 34 * photo below
Charles Hastings 10
the aforementioned George Rankin 70 coal miner (it didn't say he was retired)
Jane Rankin 29
Cunningham Richmond 14
Samuel Hyslop Coltart 4  (bronchopneumonia)
John Johnston McCall 52 coal miner
Elizabeth Walker 16
Annie Carr 61
Frederick Goodyear coal miner
Cornelius Kerr 42 coal miner
Robert Murdoch 2 ( his father Robert serving in the RSF)
John Penrose 43 coal miner
Archibald Hodge 43 coal miner

also all on the same Death Certificate
Frank McCarthy 29 pithead worker on 29th October of diabetes, influenza and pneumonia
Joseph Riley 35 woodcarter 30 Oct of influenza pleuron pneumonia
William Corbett 34 pit engine keeper influenza and pneumonia

Agnes Reid McCartney ms Harvey and 2 of her 6 children. Photo from Rhonda

The first name above,Robert Reid Harvey, is her younger brother, son of burgh officer Andrew Harvey and Janet Reid

Lt James Hyslop

Lieutenant James Hyslop is buried in Cumnock Cemetery.

He was born in Auchinleck to James Hyslop and Margaret Brash Crossan on 23rd December 1885.

In 1901 this is the family at 364, 7th Row, Lugar

James Hyslop             49 school master
Margaret Hyslop        45
William Hyslop          24
Margaret Hyslop        18
James Hyslop             15 pupil teacher
Laurence Hyslop        12
John Hyslop   10
Marion Hyslop           8

In 1891 the family was at the Schoolhouse, Cronberry

James Hyslop             39 elementary school teacher
Maggie B Hyslop       35
William Hyslop          14
Thomas C Hyslop      10
Maggie B C Hyslop    8
James Hyslop             5
Lawrence C Hyslop    3
John Hyslop   7 Mos

He was a second lieutenant in the Royal engineers and died of influenza on 15 Feb 1919. He was 33.

Link to him on the Cumnock Connections tree

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Smith Brothers

From the Cumnock Chronicle of 7 June 1918

Mrs George Smith received a letter from the Lieutenant of her husband’s platoon
informing her that her husband was killed along with 2 comrades by a shell on Thursday of last week. He was the eldest surviving son of William Smith, Roadside and was employed in Cumnock Pottery until it closed down after which he worked at Highhouse Colliery. He was called up last summer and went out to France in December 1917. He has 2 brothers with the colours, 1 of whom gained the Military Medal for service with the Tank Corps. The other one is home on leave. He leaves a widow and child.

He was Private George M Smith of the RSF and died on 30 May 1918 aged 31. He is buried at Le Peuplier Military Cemetery, Caestre in France.  His wife was Jessie Hutton. They married in 1913. Jessie went on to marry James English in 1919.

He was the son of William Smith potter and Janet McClymont, of Cumnock; husband of Jessie Hutton, of 15, Glaisnock Street, Cumnock, Ayrshire.

The brother who was awarded the MM was William Smith of the Tank Corps.

Here is the family in 1901 census
Burnfoot Tileworks, Ochiltree
William Smith             42
Janet Smith     39
George Smith 14 b New Cumnock
Janet Smith     12
William Smith 9 b New Cumnock
David Smith    4
David Black    41 boarder

Monday, 17 March 2014

Duncan C Ferguson

Duncan Cunningham Ferguson was the son of John Ferguson and his wife Marion Arthur, 104 Townhead St.

1901 census
Townhead St
John Ferguson     35 coal miner
Marion Ferguson     35
Jeanie Ferguson     12
Maggie Ferguson     10
Duncan Ferguson     8
David Ferguson     3
Marion Ferguson     2
Lizzie Arthur     23 sister in law
all born Cumnock

He was a private in the Royal Scots and died of wounds on 14th April 1917 in France.

He is buried in Aubigny Communal Cemetery in France and is remembered on Cumnock War Memorial.

Cumnock Chronicle

He had been home on leave in 1915

This is his record on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

See him on Cumnock Connections tree 

Family headstone in Cumnock New Cemetery.

Taken by Morag Gordon Aug 2015

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Stillie cousins

John Stillie, the son of Mr and Mrs Hamilton Stillie, was 32 when he was killed in action in the Balkans on 19 September 1918. He was a private in the Royal Scots Fusiliers and he is buried in Doiran Military Cemetery in Greece. He left a wife living at 103 Townhead Street. He is remembered on the Cumnock War Memorial.

From the Cumnock Chronicle 1918
It is now officially announced that Pte  John Stillie who was reported missing some time ago was killed in action on the Bulgarian front on 19th September Pte Stillie was the youngest son of the late Hamilton Stillie, and learned the mason trade with the late Provost Richmond. When the building trade came to a standstill owing to the war, he entered the pits and was employed there when he was called up. He had been on foreign service for fully a year. Pte Stillie who was a quiet well-living young man of 23 years leaves a widow and three children.
This is his entry on the Commonwealth Graves Commission
and on the Cumnock Connections family tree

Andrew Stillie, a cousin of John Stillie above, of 98 Townhead Street, Cumnock, survived the war. He was born on 17 Sep 1893 to Andrew and Christina Stillie. He served in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders  and the Royal Field Artillery in France and enlisted in the Territorials in 17 Dec 1920 and completed another year's service in the 5th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers and was promoted to  sergeant. He had grey eyes and fair hair and was 5ft 7in. He married Grace Armstrong in Ripon, Yorkshire in 1918 and they had children Andrew and Margaret Mary Wilson in 1919 and 1920 at Townhead St.

See Andrew on Cumnock Connections tree

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Samuel Stewart

from Cumnock Chronicle
Samuel was born about 1888 in Riccarton to Irish miner William Stewart and his Cumnock born wife Mary McGinness. The parents lived at 69 Skares Row.

He married Elizabeth Hope, daughter of confectioner John Hope and Catherine McPhee  in Cumnock on 1 Dec 1911.

His wife and young son William lived at 12 Townfoot.

He worked at Whitehill Pit.

He was a private in the Royal Scots Fusiliers and died on 23 Oct 1916 in France. He was killed by a shell while digging a trench.

He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial and on Cumnock War Memorial.

His wife remarried to John McKinnell and  lived at 446 Brick Row, Lugar.

Cumnock Connections tree



Robert Gilmour

Robert Gilmour was born in Cumnock on 25 April 1878 to Robert Gilmour and his wife Agnes Irvine.

In the 1901 census he was a police constable in Largs and later that year he married Barbara Ellen Murray of Saltcoats by which time he was a police constable in Ardrossan. He had left the police by the time he enlisted.

He was a Sergeant in the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers and died in France of wounds on 2nd August 1915. He was 37. He is buried in Lillers Communal Cemetery in France and is remembered on the Cumnock War Memorial.

He was the brother-in-law of William Twigg who also died.

See the family on the Cumnock Connections tree. I realised he is related to me by marriage!

His entry on Commonwealth Graves Commission

I've just received this photo from his grandson William Braniff in Norfolk. He says it is a photo of RSF corporals taken at Aldershot. He was in the 6th Battalion.
Robert is the one on the extreme right. Maybe one of the others is his brother-in-law William Twigg?

His soldier's will is available from scotlandspeople for £2.50.

William Wright

William Wright was born about 1895 in Lugar to Robert John Wright and Elizabeth Baillie.

In the 1901 census, the family is at
420 Brick Row, Lugar
Robert John Wright     31 boilermaker b Ireland
Elizabeth Wright     29  b Lugar
Margaret Wright     10
Mary Ann Wright     8
William Wright     5
Robert John Wright     3
Thomas Wright     8m b Kilmarnock

all others born Lugar

He was a private in the Cameron Highlanders and he died of wounds in France on 28th of September 1915.  He was 20. By this time his parents were at  10 Avon Street, Glasgow.

He is buried in Ninth Avenue Cemetery in Haisnes, France.

William Twigg

Lance Corporal William Twigg of the Royal Scots Fusiliers was another soldier from Cumnock to die in the Battle of Loos on  29 Sep 1915. One of 950 soldiers who lost their lives in the Battle of Loos.

William was born about 1882 in Dreghorn to George and Janet Twigg.

By 1901 he was already a serving soldier in the Gordon Highlanders.

He was married to Agnes Gilmour and they had 2 children Georgina and William Findlay born in 1913 and 1915 in Cumnock and presumably 6 others.  He was the brother-in-law of former police constable   Robert Gilmour  who also died.
from the Scotsman Thurs 7 Oct 1915

The following have been killed;

William Twigg, Royal Scots Fusiliers, leaves 8 of a family;

Samuel Stewart, Royal Scots Fusiliers Leaves family;

William Wright, died of wounds Cameron Highlanders.

The following have been missing since the recent fighting:

James Sharp, of Cumnock Post Office staff, Royal Scots Fusiliers;

Hugh Williamson (William Baird and Co., Lugar Office), Camerons.
(James and Hugh also died.)

His name is on the Loos memorial In France and on the War Memorial in Cumnock.

See him on the Cumnock Connections tree

Photo added March 2019 with Agnes and 6 children. Date ca 1914

Friday, 14 March 2014

William McCaa

William McCaa was born in Cumnock about 1885, the son of William McCaa and his wife Elizabeth Ritchie. In 1901 census the family is at Garallan Smithy in the parish of Cumnock.
William McCaa 48 blacksmith
Janet McCaa 23 dau
William McCaa 15  son apprentice blacksmith

He was a farrier staff sergeant in the Royal Field Artillery and died on the troopship Kinfauns Castle on the 11th January 1918. He was on his way home having been invalided and was buried at sea.

 He is remembered on the Memorial Panel at Basra in Iraq and on the Cumnock War Memorial and on Dalbeattie War Memorial.

He left a wife Thomasina McGhie of 8 Burn Street, Dalbeattie. She was a maid at Garallan House when they married in 1915 at Dalbeattie. They don't appear to have any children.

payments to his widow

Here is his entry on CWGC

The family on Cumnock Connections tree

His brother James Ritchie McCaa, also a farrier, enlisted in the Lifeguards in 1897 at the age of 18 and served through the war. His service record survives. In all he served 22 years and 55 days.
He married Amy Briggs in London in 1915 and was living in London in 1923.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Andrew Cochrane

Andrew Cochrane was the son of William Cochrane born about 1895 in Cumnock.

Here's the family in 1901

William Cochran 48 cloth draper b Lochwinnoch
Margaret Cochran 39 b Kirkconnel
John Cochran 18 draper's assistant b Kirkconnel
Mary Cochran 16 dressmaker b Penpont
Alex Cochran12 b Keir
William Cochran 7
Andrew Cochran 5
Thomas Cochran 2

Cumnock Chronicle 13 Sep 1918
On 9 Sep 1918 killed in action at Alexandria, Signaller, HLI, 22 yrs, son of Mr and Mrs Wm Cochrane, Craigmore, 173, Glaisnock St., Cumnock
and a week later, it seems he wasn't killed in action but died while on service.

photo by Bobby Grierson, added 7/3/2018

His enlistment papers survive
He was 21 years and 180 days old, a draper, 5 ft 5 and weighed 8 st 7lbs when he enlisted in the Highland Light Infantry in Glasgow in 17th August 1915. The papers also reveal that he died in hospital in Alexandria after an operation for appendicitis. He was admitted on the 5th September and died on the 9th.

In a will dated 15 Apr 1917 he left £10 to his sister, Mrs Jas Rodger, Georgeville, Ayr Rd, Cumnock and the rest of his property to his parents.

His family members were
His parents and brother Thomas Gibson Cochrane, 22 of Craigmore, Cumnock, brother John 36 of Georgeville, Quebec, Canada, brother William 29 of Glaisnock Cottages, Cumnock, sister Mrs Rodger 33 of Georgeville, Ayr Rd, Cumnock. This information provided by his father in 1920.

He was serving with the Royal Scots, Lothian Regiment (203275) and was previously with the Highland Light Infantry (4542). He was sent out with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force on 22 Dec 1916. He was buried in the British Cemetery in Cairo on the 9th Sep 1918 and on the Cumnock War Memorial.

See him on Cumnock Connections family tree


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Maitland Crolley

He was born on 21st April 1891 to James Crolley and Maitland McMinn.
Here is the family in 1901 census

1901 census
Tanyard Lane
James Crawley             47 carter
David Crawley             18
Maitland Crawley             10
John Crawley             6
photo from Kelly Agnes Clark his great grand niece

He enrolled at Bank School on the 18th April 1904 from Old Cumnock and left on 30th June 1904. His guardian was his brother James of Craigbank.

He served with the Cameron Highlanders and was killed in action in Ypres on 23rd April 1915 in France and he is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres in Belgium, on the Bank School Memorial  and on Lugar and Cumnock War Memorials.

 Cumnock Connections tree

Menin Gate. He is on the right. Thanks to Phillip McGhee for photo.