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.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

James Baird

James Baird was the son of Cumnock potter William Baird and Margaret Barrie. He was born in Belfast in 1897.

Here's the family in 1911 census
114 Townhead St, Cumnock
William Baird 39 potter, thrower, Scotch Motto Ware
Margaret T wife married 15 yrs 4 ch 4 living b Glasgow
Annie 15 b Glasgow
James 14 b Ireland
William 12 b Ireland
Alexandra 10 b Sauchie, Clakmannashire
Alexander Barrie 77 wid father-in-law b Glasgow

James enlisted in the HLI in 1916. His service record survives. He had blue eyes and brown hair.  He was a millwright. He lived at Crossriggs Cottage in Townhead Street, now the vets. He was of good character.
He was discharged just three months after enlisting as he suffered from a lung condition and was in hospital in Edinburgh. He was advised to go to a sanatorium but was not willing.  There was some discussion as to whether army service caused or aggravated his condition. The army concluded it did not. He got £25 as a gratuity.
He married Christina Speirs in 1925 but succumbed to his lung condition in 1928.
He had a son who is still alive. He was only 8 months old when his father died, and his daughter sent me the photos.

James on Cumnock Connections tree

James in hospital blues
James with his sisters

1925 wedding photo

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Robert Thomas Main

Robert Thomas Main was one man who served and survived. He was born in Cumnock about 1889.  His parents were James Baird Main and Jane Gibson. 

James Main and Jane Gibson with children, Robert's on the far right

He served with Ayrshire Yeomanry in the Balkans and with the RSF in France. He was a Sergeant.

He married Annie Sloan of Ochiltree in 1920. The  best Man is Hugh Main, bridesmaid is  Mary Jane Reid, flower girl is Thirza Sloan. 

The Main family on Cumnock Connections tree

Thanks to his granddaughter Jane S for information and photos.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

David Strickland

While walking in Mauchline Gorge today we photographed some 100 year old graffiti - a memorial to Pte David Strickland, RSF.

I previously researched the other soldier George Rowan. I don't think there is anything to link the two men.

David Strickland was born on 17th January 1890 in Sorn to Daniel Strickland and Margaret Brown.

He was 26 when he was killed by the explosion of a German mine at Hill 70 at Loos on 27th February 1916. His father had died in 1911 and his mother lived at Mansfield View, Auchinleck.
The graffiti says he died at Hulloch. This is Hulluch which later was infamous for gas attacks.

He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.

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

Update 9 Sep 2018
Found by Bobby Grierson in 1983 Cumnock Chronicle

the graffiti is behind the bench

Add caption

the writing appears to be signed by JL