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.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Alexander brothers

I noticed that there was a gravestone in Cumnock new cemetery mentioning 2 men who aren't on the war memorial: Robert and William Alexander.

The parents are William Cochrane Alexander born in Fenwick in 1847. He was a gamekeeper. He died in Cumnock in 1911.
His wife Jane Muir was from Dumfries.
The sons were born in Dunure in the parish of Maybole.

William was the first to fall on the 19th March 1917 aged 25.

William was a private in the Gordon Highlanders.

He sent this photo to his cousin Miss Mary Alexander, 9 Union Avenue, Newton on Ayr, Scotland dated 20th June 1915.

Dear Mary,

This is the photo you wanted and I hope you are satisfied now.
Best love to all from Bill
Which one is Bill is unknown. Not the sergeant.

From Gayle Lee in Australia.

Here is what was reported in the Dumfries and Galloway Standard 28 March 1917

1901 census
Dalblair Cottage, Lugar
William Alexander 43 gamekeeper
Jane Alexander 47
Maryaret C Alexander 14
John M Alexander 11
William M C Alexander 9 b Maybole


This appears to be Robert in the
1901 census
Knockdollan, Colmonell
Robert Alexander 16 gamekeeper b Maybole

The older brother Robert was a company quartermaster sergeant in the ASC, and was mentioned in despatches.

His army service record survives. He enlisted in January 1915 in Blairgowrie. He was a gamekeeper in Drylack, Alyth. His mother was his next of kin. He was mentioned in despatches in the London Gazette on 14 Jun 1918 (a month after his death.) He died in Egypt on the 13th May 1918 from dysentery and is buried in Jerusalem War Cemetery.
D & G Standard 25 May 1918

Robert's entry on the CWGC

The family on Cumnock Connections tree