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.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Nurse Agnes Ross

Agnes (Nannie) Ross was born on 1st January 1887 in Cumnock to William Ross and Margaret Wilson. She was a nurse at Manor War Hospital in Epsom Surrey and died there of pneumonia on 5th February 1918, aged 31.

The family lived in 1891 at
West Elm Cottage, Ayr Road
William Ross 41 superintendent of county constabulary
Maggie Ross 36 b Kirkoswald
John Ross 6 b Maybole
Jessie Ross 5
Agnes Ross 4
Christina Ross 2
Maggie Ross 9 Mo

In 1901 they were in Ayr at 20 Midton Road

William Ross             51
Margaret Ross             47
John Ross             16
Jessie Ross             15
Agnes Ross             14
Margaret Ross             10
William Ross             8
Mary Ross             3

Her father was the son of a ploughman from Edderton in Ross-shire and rose to become Deputy Chief Constable. 

Agnes (as Nannie)was buried in Cumnock new cemetery in the family lair along with Christina who died in Cumnock aged 3 in 1893.  Agnes does not appear on the War Memorial.

Cumnock Connections tree

De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour:

Manor War Hospital Photo

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Thomas Morrison Brown

Thomas Morrison Brown was born in Tarbolton in 1881 and married Margaret Robertson McTurk in Cumnock in 1903.

His service record survives.
He enlisted in the ASC  on 01 May 1917. He was 36 years and 8 days old and a motor driver of 92 Townhead St.

He was a Lance Corporal with the 39th motor ambulance convoy in Mesopotamia when his son David died in July1918 of appendicitis and peritonits aged 12. David Brown the boy's grandfather of Greenholm, Cumnock registered the death.  Tragedy struck a second time when his daughter Margaret died in the influenza epidemic of 1918 aged 10 at 92 Townhead St. Her uncle Robert McTurk of 424 Brick Row, Lugar registered the death this time.

He suffered from malaria when he was demobbed 13 Aug 1919

Here's the family on Cumnock Connections tree

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

John Kay

John Kay 19 yrs 5 months son of John Kay, 82 Barrhill Rd, Cumnock and was one on he first to volunteer enlisting in the RSF on 4 Sep 1914. This information comes from his pension record which survives.

He was 5 ft 8 with brown hair and eyes. His feet were very bad but passed fit for army.
He had no upper teeth.
He was born in Auchinleck.
Discharged 20 October 1914 as medically unfit. No further details.

He was the son of John Kay and Mary Wills. He married Flora McDonald in 1928 and died in Cumnock in 1968.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Lieutenant William James McNaughton

Ancestry has this

Name: William James McNaughton
Death Date: 31 Dec 1915
Rank: 2 Lieutenant T Lieutenant
Regiment: Royal Scots Fusiliers
Battalion: 5th Battalion (Territorial)
Type of Casualty: Died of wounds

CWGC gives us some more information. He is 19 years old, the son of William and Marion McNaughton, Bank of Scotland House, Cumnock.

His father was the bank agent in Cumnock.

The Evening Times
The photo was published on the Glasgow Evening Times, accessed on microfiche at the Mitchell Library. He was educated at Cumnock Public School and Ayr Academy and he worked in the bank.  The quality of the copy is hard to read.

From the Daily Record of 5 January 1916:

William James was born in Partick, Glasgow in 1896 to William McNaughton and Marion McPhee Nicol.

1911 census
3 Ayr Road, Cumnock
William McNaughton 51 bank agent
Marion 47 wife m 25 yrs 3 children 3 living
William J 15 scholar
Jessie Weir servant17
all b Glasgow

1901 census
279 Byres Rd Partick

William Mcnaughton             41 bank clerk
Agnes Mcnaughton             37 think this first name has been recorded or transcribed wrongly
Agnes Mcnaughton             14
John N Mcnaughton             13
William J Mcnaughton             5

1891 census
12 Grosvenor Place

William McMaughton             31 bank clerk
Marion McMaughton             26
Agnes McMaughton             4
John N McMaughton             3

Update 22 Apr 2015
Ancestry has published War Diaries from Gallipoli
Here is the entry for 1/5th Battalion RSF for 30 December 1915

Trenches were shelled with HE for 4 1/2 hours continuously, shells were falling at a rate of 50 an hour.
 The Turks attacked one of our new bomb stations with dynamite and killed or wounded everyone in it.
A total of 3 officers including Lt William McNaughton  and 16 men were killed, and 30 men were wounded as a result of this one day.

UK, WWI War Diaries (Gallipoli and Dardanelles), 1914-1916

Sunday, 27 July 2014

John McGill

Guardsman John McGill was the only son of John McGill and Isabella Baird Lymburner. He was born in Cumnock on 29th November 1894 and was a draper.
His father was Colour Sergeant John McGill who was the recruiting sergeant  for WW1.  (his obituary) What an irony that his own son fell.

Name: John McGill
Birth Place: Cumnock, Ayrshire
Residence: Old Cumnock
Death Date: 12 Mar 1917
Death Place: France and Flanders
Enlistment Place: Cumnock
Rank: GDSN.
Regiment: Scots Guards
Regimental Number: 15090
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

CWGC  gives his age (22) and father John McGill of 10 Shankston Terrace. (His mother had died in 1910)

This is the family in 1901 census
Barrhill Road

John Mcgill             42 commercial traveller b Muirkirk
Isabella B Mcgill             44 b Sorn
Jessie B Mcgill             9
John Mcgill             6

Cumnock Connections tree

This is his entry on De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour

He is remembered on Cumnock War Memorial and at Sailly-Saillisel British Cemetery in France.

Gilbert D White

Gilbert Drinnan White was the brother of William White, both house painters, sons of William White and Elizabeth Drinnan. He was born  about 1883 in Auchencairn, Kirkcudbrightshire where the family lived for a few years.

His pension record survived, as did he.
Gilbert answered the call on 22 Feb 1916 having being served papers by C/Sgt McGill. He was living at 165 Glaisnock St with his mother. He was single.
He  was 32 and 5 ft 31/2 in tall with a chest measurement of 32 and a half inches and weight of 103 lbs.

He was in the RSF but transferred to the Argyll And Sutherland Highlanders in June 1916. He was discharged on 15 Sep 1916 because of deafness and defective vision.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

William White

William White was born in Townhead Street, Cumnock on the 9th May 1880 to William White and Elizabeth Drennan.

He was a 37 year old painter of 3 New Bridge St when he enlisted in Ayr on 18th June 1917 in the 4th Btn RSF having been called up.

He was 5 ft 8 in, weight 137 lbs, chest 36"

He was transfered to the Royal Scots on 12 Nov 1917 afterwards and was killed in action on 21st Mar 1918 in France.

He was married to Helen Hyslop Murdoch known as Nelly.

ca 1913 with wife and 2 older children

After his demise Nelly had to state his living relatives, dated 22 Jun 1920. Nelly, 3 children Helen, William,  James. His mother Elizabeth White and brother Gilbert D White 38 were living at Muirfield Cottage, Cumnock, his sisters Maggie White 48 at Holytown, Mary white 31 at Thornlie Cottage Cumnock and  Elizabeth White 45 at Telephone Exchange, New Stevenston.

Nelly was awarded a pension of 29/7 a week for herself and the three children from 12 Oct 1918.

Cumnock Chronicle report
photo by Bobby Grierson, added on 8/3/2018
He is remembered on Cumnock War Memorial and on the Arras Memorial.

Cumnock Connections tree

Service No:
Date of Death:
Royal Scots
16th Bn.
Panel Reference:
Bay 1 and 2.
Additional Information:

Friday, 25 July 2014

James Scott

James Scott was a private in the RSF and died in Egypt on the 5th May 1917 of wounds received on the 19th April. He was 20 and the son of Robert and Jane Scott of 449 Brick Row, Lugar.


1901 census we get his first name
448 Brick Row, Lugar

Robert Scott             29 ironstone miner b Lugar
Jane Scott             29 b Ireland
Mary Scott             5 b Lugar
James Scott             4 b Lugar
Jane Scott             1 b Lugar

The Cumnock Chronicle printed this

He is remembered on Lugar Memorial and Hadra War Memorial in Alexandria, Egypt.

photo by Morag Gordon

Cumnock Connections tree


Thursday, 24 July 2014

John Martin

John Martin was born in Cumnock in 1879 to Matthew Martin a joiner and his wife Elizabeth Begg.

Name: John Martin
Birth Place: Old Cumnock, Ayrshire
Death Date: 18 Dec 1914
Death Place: France and Flanders
Enlistment Place: Glasgow
Rank: GDSN (Guardsman)
Regiment: Scots Guards
Regimental Number: 10818
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western EuropeTan Theatre

The CWGC gives us more information on his family. He was married to Margaret Martin, of 30, Old Dalmarnock Rd, Bridgeton, Glasgow

Ayr Road, Cumnock
Matthew Martin             35 carpenter b Whithorn
Elizabeth Martin             36 b Stoneykirk
Janet Martin             11 b Glasgow
James Martin             7 b Govan
John Martin             1 b Cumnock

14 Tower St Cumock
Matthew Martin             42 bWhithorn
Elisabeth Martin             46 b Stoneykirk
James Martin             17 b Linthouse
John Martin             11 b Cumnock

1 Braehead Auchinleck
Matthew Martin             53 joiner
Elezabeth Martin             53

Cumnock Connections tree

John Martin does not appear on Cumnock War Memorial. He is on the Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

John Mair

John Mair was born on 6th December 1896 at 178 Gaswater, in Auchinleck  the son of James Mair an iron miner and his wife Mary Hamilton. He was 21 when he was killed in France on 25th March 1918. He was a private in the HLI. He wasn't  married and doesn't appear to have any siblings.
His mother died in Lugar in 1932.

In 1901 they are at 185 Gas Water

James Mair             25 ironstone miner b Auchinleck
Mary Mair             33 b New Cumnock
John Mair             4 b Auchinleck

CWGC  His parents' address was 178 Gaswater, Cumnock

Cumnock Connections tree

He doesn't appear on the War Memorials of Cumnock, Lugar or Auchinleck but is on the Memorial at Pozieres in France.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Andrew Hutson

Andrew Hutson of New Zealand is on Cumnock War Memorial

I found a post from a family member where it was said that this soldier is Hutson not Hudson

Regimental Number 23/1074
Rank Rifleman
Body or Draft 1st NZRB
Unit or Regiment D Company
Marital Status S
Last NZ Address C/- HMNZT 18 PC
Next of Kin Title Mrs E
Next of Kin Surname THORNTON
Next of Kin Relationship Sister
Next of Kin Address 129 Esplanade Petone Wellington

Initials: A J
Nationality: New Zealand
Rank: Rifleman
Regiment: N.Z. Rifle Brigade
Unit Text: 1st Bn. 3rd
Date of Death: 15/09/1916
Service No: 23/1074
Additional information: Brother of Mrs. E. Thornton, of 58, Hutt Rd.,
Petone, Wellington.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Otago Witness 18 Oct 1916 accessed via paperspast

Andrew Hutson was born in 1884 in Auchinleck. His sister Mrs Thornton above is Elizabeth Hutson.
He was living in at 24 Sydney St,  Hutt, Wellington in 1911 and working as a labourer.

In 1901 the family is in Ayr Rd

Andrew Hutson             62  pedlar of drapery b Ireland
Margret Hutson             57 b Ireland
Lizzie Hutson             18 dressmaker
Andrew Hutson             16 horse driver in a coal miner b 1884
Ellen Hutson             12 
children born Auchinleck

He was about 32 when he died in France on 15th September 1916.

Cumnock  Connections tree

Monday, 21 July 2014

James Wilson

James Wilson was born 31st January 1896, the youngest son of farmer Andrew Wilson and Margaret McCririck of Meikle Auchengilsie Farm in Cumnock parish.

Name: James Wilson
Birth Place: Cumnock, Ayrshire
Residence: Old Cumnock, Ayrshire
Death Date: 3 May 1917
Death Place: France and Flanders
Enlistment Place: Ayr
Rank: Private
Regiment: Royal Scots Fusiliers
Battalion: 1st Battalion
Regimental Number: 41059
Type of Casualty: Died
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

His service record survives. He was 20 when he enlisted and a millwright engineer of Auchengilsie, Old Cumnock. He was unmarried and his mother Maggie was his next-of-kin.

Cumnock Connections tree

CWGC  tells us he on the Arras War memorial

On Cumnock Memorial he is recorded as Trooper James S Wilson of Ayrshire Yeomanry

Here's the family gravestone in Cumnock New Cemetery

Sunday, 20 July 2014

William Lamont

William Lamont was born in Dalmellington on 24 Apr 1874 to Matthew Lamont and Mary Gilmour. He died on 17 May 1915 in France. He was the husband of J H Lamont of 58 Bourtreehall in Girvan.

Name: William Lamont
Birth Place: Dalmellington, Ayrshire
Residence: Fairlie, Ayrshire
Death Date: 1 May 1915
Death Location: France & Flanders
Enlistment Location: Cumnock, Ayrshire
Rank: Private
Regiment: Royal Scots Fusiliers
Battalion: 2nd Battalion
Number: 12491
Type of Casualty: Died of wounds
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre


He had enlisted for a short term of service in the RSF in April, 1893 aged 18 years 11 months. Regimental number 4081. He was a miner. He was 5 ft 5 and 3/4in, chest measurement 32-34 in and weighed 130 lbs.

He finished his term in April 1905 and was in the reserves. His address was 31 New St, Riccarton and his next of kin was his sister Jane Lamont or Grant of the same address. His chest was by now 40 inches!

He is remembered on Cumnock War Memorial.

Update October 2014
I found this  in the Cumnock Chronicle. He was married with 3 children, aged 35, and living in the Strand. His wife from a death notice in the paper was Joan McNab. I pulled the marriage certificate just to be sure I had the right man. It was.

Cumnock Connections tree

Update November 2014
From his soldiers will on Scotlandspeople site. He left everything to his wife, in the Strand. Will was dated 7th May 1915 signed at Towhead St.  He died at 23rd Field Ambulance from wounds. on 16th May 1915.

Update May 2018
In Memoriam

Saturday, 19 July 2014

James Haley

Pte James Haley (or Healy) of the Seaforths is on Cumnock War Memorial and Thiepval Memorial in France.

He was born on 1st January 1892 at Benston, Cumnock the son of miner Thomas Healy and Grace Henderson and was 24 when he was killed in France in 1916.

Ancestry gives us this
Name: James Healy
Birth Place: Cumnock, Ayrshire
Death Date: 17 Aug 1916
Death Place: France and Flanders
Enlistment Place: Cumnock
Rank: Private
Regiment: Seaforth Highlanders
Battalion: 8th Battalion
Regimental Number: S/9186
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre


Cumnock Connections tree

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Robert C Hogg

Robert Cavers Hogg was born on 2 Sep 1897 in Cumnock to Andrew White Hogg and Annie Amelie Caird. He was only 19 when he was killed in 1916. He was known as Robin.

De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour

He was a private in the London Regiment and was killed in action in France on 2 Oct 1916.

He is remembered on Cumnock War Memorial and in Maroeuil British Cemetery in France and on the family headstone in Wooler

has him as Robin Cavers Hogg
Service No:
Date of Death:
London Regiment (London Scottish)
2nd/14th Bn.
Grave Reference:
III. G. 6.
Additional Information:
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew White Hogg, of Ravensdowne, Wooler, Northumberland.

Cumnock Connections tree

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Thomas McLean

There are two Thomas McLeans on Cumnock War Memorial. It turns out they are uncle and nephew and died within weeks of each other.

First the uncle
Thomas Mclean was born in Cumnock the son of Thomas and Grace McLean. He married Ellen McCreadie in Auchinleck in 1906. They had a son Andrew and a daughter Isabella.

Name: Thomas McLean
Birth Place: Cumnock, Ayr
Residence: Thornhill
Death Date: 29 Jul 1918
Death Place: France and Flanders
Enlistment Place: Berwick-on-tweed
Rank: Private
Regiment: Cameronian (Scottish Rifles)
Battalion: 8th Battalion
Regimental Number: 37565
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre
Comments: Formerly 46445, R. Scot. Fus.


photo by Bobby Grierson added 7/3/2018 

His gravestone in Penpont graveyard. He is also on the War Memorial there.

Photo taken by Rhonda Queen

photo from Drew McLean

The younger Thomas was the son of James McLean, the half brother of Thomas above.

Name: Thomas McLean
Birth Place: Old Cumnock, Ayrshire
Residence: Old Cumnock
Death Date: 23 Jun 1918
Death Place: France and Flanders
Enlistment Place: Ayr
Rank: Private
Regiment: Cameronian (Scottish Rifles)
Battalion: 5 6th Battalion
Regimental Number: 38597
Type of Casualty: Died of wounds
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

CWGC  gives more information. He was 19 and the son of Mr & Mrs James McLean of 74 Barrhill Road, Cumnock and he is buried in Nine Elms British Cemetery in Belgium.

Here's the family on the Cumnock Connections tree

George Kirkland

Cumnock Parish Medal
Bombardier George Kirkland was born George Simpson Broom to Stewart Simpson of Auchinleck and her first husband William Broom a carter  on 27 March 1890 at 257 South Wellington Street in Glasgow.

In 1891 census his widowed mother was keeping a dairy
257 Wellington st
Stuart M S Broom 34 dairy keeper b
Thomas Broom 4
Janet S Broom 2
George S Broom 1
Mary Ann Conway 13

She later married John Kirkland of New Cumnock.

In 1901 census they are at Bankend Cottage in Cumnock
John Kirkland     41 mason's labourer b New Cumnock
Stuart Kirkland     43 b Auchinleck
Thomas Brown     14 stepson pithead labourer b Glasgow
George Brown     11 stepson b Glasgow
Ellen Kirkland     8 dau b Glasgow
Stuart Kirkland     5 dau  b Glasgow
Margaret Kirkland     2 dau b Cumnock

Medal Roll card has him as a driver

Ancestry record
Name: George Kirkland
Birth Place: Cumnock
Death Date: 23 Oct 1917
Death Place: France and Flanders
Enlistment Place: Cumnock, Ayrshire
Rank: A BDR.
Regiment: Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery
Regimental Number: 103883
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

CWGC record
Acting Bombardier
Service No:
Date of Death:
Royal Field Artillery
31st Bty. 33rd Bde.
Grave Reference:
XII. A. 10.
Additional Information:
Son of John and Stuart Kirkland, of 32, Elbow Lane, Old Cumnock.

Cumnock Connections tree

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

George Grier

Sergeant George Grier was missing from the 1 Oct  1916 and his widow did not receive official notification of his demise until December 1917. (Cumnock Chronicle)

She was Marion Grier (Reid) and was living at 38 Townfoot in 1917.  They were married in Glasgow in 1915. (as George Greer). She was the girl next door at 40 Townfoot.

He was in the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry attached to the Royal Scots, Machine Gun Section.

His entry on  CWGC has him as Sergeant James Greir and Cumnock War Memorial has him with the RSF.

Ancestry has him as James Greer born Barony, Glasgow.

He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial at the Somme as well as the Cumnock War Memorial.

Cumnock Connections tree

Monday, 14 July 2014

Edward Hogg

Edward Hogg was born about 1899 in Cumnock to William Hogg a coal miner and his wife  Elizabeth  in Townhead Street.

He was a private in the KOSB (the War Memorial has RSF)  and he was killed in action in France on 11 April 1918. He was only 19.

Name: Edward Hogg
Birth Place: Old Cumnock, Ayrshire
Residence: Old Cumnock, Ayrshire
Death Date: 11 Apr 1918
Death Place: France and Flanders
Enlistment Place: Ayr, Ayr
Rank: Private
Regiment: King's Own Scottish Borders
Battalion: 1st Battalion
Regimental Number: 33254
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre
Comments: Formerly 5557, 53Rd T.R

His parents were living at Bankend Cottages, Ayr Road at the time of his death.

Update 21 April 2018: His nephew and namesake Edward Martin Hogg Galloway visited the Ploegsteert Memorial on the centenary of his death and has kindly sent the following photograph


Cumnock Connections Tree

Friday, 4 July 2014

Daniel Marrs DCM

Although Daniel Marrs is not on Cumnock War Memorial I found the report of his DCM and death in the Cumnock Chronicle 1918. He served with the Canadian Army  Medical Corps.

Daniel Marrs was born in Cumnock  on the 3rd June 1889. In the 1891 his mother Esther is living with George Phillips in Riccarton along with Mary Marrs and William Marrs.

In 1895 Daniel age 6 and William age 8 are shipped to Canada on the Sarmatia along with many other children. They are Quarriers children. But their mother is still alive as she is his next of his on his army papers. Whatever happened?

 It seems Esther was left with 5 young children when husband Thomas died.  I can't find John in 1891 but in 1901 he is is New Cumnock the adopted son of David and Lizzie Brown.

Thomas was also shipped to Canada age 9 with Quarriers in 1895 but on a different ship. 7,000 Quarriers children were shipped to Canada.  Many were treated badly as free labour.  Thomas also served in the Canadian Forces.

Esther married George Phillips in 1892 in Cumnock. She is running a lodging house in Elbow Lane so hardly sounds destitute. Maybe the 3 boys were already with Quarriers. She is named as next of kin on Thomas and Daniel's army records so they clearly kept in touch. With so little information we should not judge. I wonder if she ever saw the 3 boys again? (see update below)

in 1901 Canadian census Daniel is the adopted son of farmer John Crozier. Was he treated as a farm hand or a son?

I can't see him again until he enlists in 1915

He is awarded the DCM on 2 Feb 1917. This is reported in the Cumnock Chronicle.
Here is the citation.

 This is how he died only a few weeks later on 1st Mar 1917.

He is buried in the Canadian Cemetery at  Neuville St Vaast

Here's the family on the Cumnock Connections tree 

Update16 Oct 2014
I found this article in the Cumnock Chronicle which answers some questions. Daniel was born after his father's death in a coal mine in Fife. And Esther did see at least one of her sons, Tom,  again.