In 2014 the centenary of the outbreak of World War One, Cumnock History Group began researching the names on the Cumnock 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.

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.

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