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.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Hamish Weir Samson MC the soldier who returned from the dead

Hamish Weir Samson was born James Weir Samson on 8th February 1896 in Craigston Square in Lugar the son of John Samson a colliery salesman and Catherine Oliver.

His mother  died in 1903 and his father remarried in 1906 in Derby. By 1911 he was attending a private school in London.

By 1915 his father was a managing partner of Sanquhar and Kirkconnel Collieries and they were living at Burnfoot in Sanquhar.   They also appear to have lived in Glaisnock House in Cumnock in 1917.

He was a Lieutenant at Arras and went missing presumed dead. But in fact he was wounded and a POW in Germany (more info in the links below).

His father was so grateful to have him returned that he donated a large sum to St Bride's Church in Sanquhar.

John Samson died at Norwood in Downhill, Glasgow in 1920. He also had  an address of Glaisnock House and Hamish was an engineer and died in1971 in Hove, Sussex.
Samson family on Cumnock Connections tree.

POW record
H W Samson
Regiment6th Battalion. K.O. Scottish Borderers
Date Missing3 May 1917
Repatriation Date2 Dec 1918
NotesAttached from Royal Scots.
Record Number2237

Lots of articles appeared on the 3rd of May the anniversary of his supposed demise.

Church of Scotland article with gravestone

ITV with photo of him outside St Bride's Church ca 1917

BBC article

Herald article