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, 28 September 2015

Archibald Mair

Archibald Mair is on his grandfather's headstone in Cumnock New Cemetery.

He was the son of William Mair a farmer at Gordonston, Dalry, Kirkcudbrightshire and Elizabeth Martin. Her father was Bryce Martin a farmer of Knockshinnoch Farm

His service record survives. He was was about 1891 in Dalry, Kirkcudbrightshire and was quick to enlist in the Cameron Highlanders in September 1914. He was an electrical engineer aged 22.  He had previously served in Glasgow Yeomanry.

He was killed in action at the Battle of Loos on 26th September 1915. His father was now living at Craigbrae, Drongan, Ayrshire. His mother had died in 1899.

He is on the War Memorial at St John's Town of Dalry and on the Loos Memorial


With thanks to Cumnock History Group members Morag and Mary who spotted the headstone in the undergrowth in the cemetery. It says at the bottom Arch. Mair killed in the Battle of Loos age 23.

Photo by Morag Gordon

Dumfries & Galloway Standard9 Oct 1915

Saturday, 19 September 2015

John Duncan

John Duncan was born in Cumnock on the 22nd June 1888.

His father was also John Duncan and the family lived at Kilnholm Place in 1901 census.
John Duncan 48 coal miner b Auchinleck
Elizabeth Duncan 49 b Douglas
James Duncan 21 coal miner b New Cumnock
Janet Duncan 20 gen servant b England
David Duncan 18 coal miner b England
William Duncan 15 grocer app
John Duncan 13
Alexander Duncan 11
Peter Duncan 8
Elizabeth Duncan 6
rest scholar b Cumnock

John senior died in 1903 and his widow Elizabeth and all the children except James left for Canada in 1907 on the Empress of Ireland to work on the Canadian Pacific Railway.  Son Peter was accidentally drowned at Fitzhugh, Alberta on 1911 aged 18.

In the 1916 census they are living at Edmonton, Alberta.

Elizabeth Duncan 63 none
Janet Duncan 34 clerk
David Duncan 33 fireman
William Duncan 30 blacksmith 138th Battalion
John Duncan 28 fireman
Alexander Duncan 26 fireman 138th Battalion
Elizabeth Duncan 21 none

Alexander and William enlisted in March 1916.  Alexander was a farmer and William a blacksmith.
Alexander and William visited Cumnock while on leave in 1916. This was reported in the Cumnock Chronicle of 22nd September 1916

John was called up in the summer of 1918. He was single and an engineer. He died on October 6th that year.
According to his gravestone on Cumnock New Cemetery he died at sea.


He is remembered on the Halifax Memorial in Nova Scotia and on his father's headstone in Cumnock New Cemetery

On Cumnock Connections family tree

Monday, 7 September 2015

Colin McIntyre

Colin or Coll McIntyre was born in Kilfinan, Argyllshire in about 1886.  In 1901 census he was a kennel boy at Otter House.

He married Janet Steele of Leith in 1910 in Leith by which time he was a game keeper and their son Duncan was born in Glasgow that year.

By 1914 they were at Holmhead in Sorn where their second son David was born.

Coll enlisted in the 6th Btn  RSF in Cumnock on 11th December 1915. His service record survives. He was sent to France on the 7th October 1916 till the

He died of wounds in France on the 1st February 1917.

His wife was living in Boreland Park, Auchterarder by this time and he remembered on the Auchterarder War Memorial and Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension in the Somme.

His record on CWGC