Thursday, 22 December 2016

In memory of Alexander Innes

On 22nd December we remember the sacrifice of Alexander Innes, Pte 10947, 6th Battalion Gordon Highlanders.  Alexander was a native of Portsoy and left behind a widow, Alexena, who lived in Cullen Street.  He was 35 years of age when he fell in action on 22nd December 1916.  A gravestone is dedicated to his memory at the Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

Casualty Record Detail

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Portsoy remembers William Moir

On this day we remember William Smith Moir, Pte 123698, 60th Canadian Infantry (Victoria Rifles).  William was the son of Alexander and Alexandrina Moir, and his wife Helen lived at 13 Barbank Street in Portsoy.  He was 38 years of age when he fell in action on 26th November 1916 in the fighting at Vimy Ridge.  A headstone is dedicated to his memory in the Nine Elms Military Cemetery at Thelus, Pas de Calais.

Casualty Record Detail

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Remembering Alexander Main

Today we remember the sacrifice of Alexander Main, Pte 12325, 6th Battalion Gordon Highlanders.  Alexander's parents lived in Cullen Street in Portsoy.  He was killed in action on 23rd November 1916 and is commemorated on the imposing Thiepval Memorial near Albert in France.

Casualty Record Detail

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

In memory of Alexander Murray

On the anniversary of his death, we remember Alexander Murray, Pte 907, 6th Battalion Gordon Highlanders.  Alexander, who was killed in action in France on 22nd November 1916, was the son of Mr James Murray, 26 South High Street in Portsoy.  A gravestone at  Mailly Wood Cemetery is dedicated to his memory.

Casualty Record Detail

Friday, 11 November 2016

In memory of John C. Pirie

Today we remember John C. Pirie, Sgt 629434, 47th Battalion Canadian Infantry.  The son of John and Lily Pirie in Portsoy, he was 35 years of age when he fell in action on 11th November 1916.

A stone in Portsoy cemetery is dedicated to his memory.  He is also commemorated at the Albert Communal Cemetery Extension in France, where he was buried.

Casualty Record Detail

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Sergeant William Murray

On the anniversary of his death, we remember the sacrifice of William Murray, Sgt 13342 of 5th Battalion Canadian Infantry, who died of wounds received during the conflict in France. He had lived at 41 Schoolhendry Street in Portsoy and had a sister there, Mrs I. Duncan.  

A headstone is dedicated to William Murray at Contay British Cemetery in the Somme d├ępartement of France.   

Casualty Record Detail

Saturday, 22 October 2016

James Topp, Pte 23679 Machine Gun Corps



On this day we remember the sacrifice of James Topp, who was serving in the 152nd Coy. Machine Gun Corps when he became a victim of the conflict on the Somme and died of wounds on 22nd October 1916.  He had previously served with the Gordon Highlanders and was the son of Alexander & Jane Topp, who lived at 8 South High Street in Portsoy.

James is named on the Portsoy town war memorial and was buried at the Englebelmer Communal Cemetery Extension in France where a headstone is dedicated to him.

Casualty Record Detail





Thursday, 13 October 2016

In memory of Thomas Mair



On 13th October 1916, Thomas Mair, Pte 43137, 2nd Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders, became a victim of the conflict on the Western Front.  Thomas was the son of Helen Slater who had settled at Sinclair Road in Torry, Aberdeen, and was 23 years of age at the time of his death.

The impressive memorial at Thiepval in France bears a dedication to Thomas and over 70,000 of those who lost their lives during this period.  He is also commemorated on the Portsoy town memorial.

Casualty Record Detail

Friday, 16 September 2016

Portsoy remembers William Russell



On 16th September we remember William Russell, Pte 40326, 12th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry, who was 22 years of age when he fell in action on the Western Front.  William's father James worked as a shoemaker and lived with his wife Mary at 9 Seafield Street in Portsoy.

William was buried and commemorated at the Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension, near Albert, France.


Casualty Record Detail



Thursday, 4 August 2016

In memory of James Duncan & Alexander Robertson

On the second anniversary of the outbreak of WW1, two Portsoy men became casualties of the conflict.

James Duncan, Pte 1467, 6th Bn. Gordon Highlanders fell in action on 4th August 1916 at the age of just eighteen.  James' mother, Mrs Isabella Duncan, lived at 13 Hill Street in Portsoy.  He is commemorated at the iconic Thiepval Memorial near Albert in France.

Alexander Robertson, Captain, 6th Bn. Gordon Highlanders, also lost his life on the same day.  A married man aged 31, he had lived at Dunalistair, Portsoy, with his wife Elsie Geddes.  The couple later settled in Edinburgh.  A headstone is dedicated to his memory at the Serre Road Cemetery No. 2 in Beaumont-Hamel, France.


Saturday, 30 July 2016

Remembering the fallen: James Kerr

Today we reflect on the sacrifice of James Kerr, Lance-Corporal 10948, 6th Bn Gordon Highlanders.  James was 22 years of age when he lost his life in battle on 30th July 1916.  He was the son of Forbes Kerr and Annie Milne, whose home was at 10 Shillinghill in Portsoy.  James is commemorated at the iconic Thiepval Memorial in France as well as on the family gravestone in Portsoy.

Casualty Record Detail

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Thomas Murdoch, Pte 1532, Royal Scots

On this day we remember Thomas John Murdoch, Pte 1532, Royal Scots.  Thomas was 22 years of age when he died of wounds sustained in battle on 23rd July 1916.  His parents were Thomas and Elizabeth Murdoch of Seafield Street in Portsoy.  Thomas is commemorated at the Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery in France.


Casualty Record Detail

Monday, 11 July 2016

Remembering William J Milne

On 11th July we recall the sacrifice of William J. Milne, Serjeant 3220, 1st/4th Bn Gordon Highlanders.  A native of Portsoy, William was brought up there by his grandparents Mr & Mrs W. Milne, who subsequently lived at Gatehouse, Inverurie.  He was 38 years of age when he fell in battle on 11th July 1916 and is commemorated by a gravestone at Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension in France.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Summer genealogy sessions

Throughout July and August 2016 we will once again be holding weekly drop-in sessions for anyone tracing their local family history.  Come along to the Salmon Bothy between 2pm and 4pm on Fridays from 8th July until 26th August for advice from our genealogy expert, Gene Genie Scotland.  We make no charge for this service, but donations to the Salmon Bothy are always welcome!




Friday, 1 July 2016

Casualties of the Somme

On 1st July 1916, the first day of the battle of the Somme, three Portsoy families were affected by the loss of loved ones.

Alexander Taylor, Pte 3541, 17th Bn Highland Light Infantry, was the son of  Joseph and Helen Taylor, who lived at 8 Schoolhendry Street in Portsoy.  He was 40 years of age when he fell in action.  Before enlisting Alexander had settled in Glasgow, where he left behind a widow, Eliza Jane Burgess.  A gravestone was erected in his memory at Lonsdale Cemetery, Authuille in France.

George Thomson, Pte 11951, 6th Bn Gordon Highlanders was just 21 when he died of wounds sustained in battle.  His parents, George and Mary Thomson, lived at 6 Loch Lane in Portsoy.  He is commemorated by a gravestone at Aubigny Communal Cemetery in Pas de Calais, France.

John Tawse Watson, Lance Corporal 9599, 2nd Bn Gordon Highlanders had enlisted in 1907 and served in India prior to the outbreak of war.  His mother was Annie Watson, who lived at 30 Church Street, Portsoy.  John was 29 years of age when he was killed in action  A gravestone is dedicated to his memory at Gordon Cemetery, Mametz in France.

Details of cemetery locations and memorial inscriptions can be obtained from the records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.



Sunday, 19 June 2016

In memory of Alexander Mair

One hundred years on, we remember the young Portsoy soldier, Alexander Mair, Lance-Serjeant 912 in the 1st/6th Bn Gordon Highlanders.  Alexander was 21 years of age when he fell in action on 19th June 1916 and is commemorated by a gravestone at Maroeuil British Cemetery near Arras in France.  His parents, John and Ann Mair, lived at 55 Schoolhendry Street in Portsoy.

Casualty Record Detail

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

In memory of Frank Simpson

Today Portsoy remembers Frank Simpson, Pte 81798 10th Bn Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regiment), who fell in action on 14th June 1916.  He is commemorated at the Bedford House Cemetery, near Ypres in Belgium, as well as on the family gravestone in Portsoy.  Frank's parents were John and Jessie Simpson.

Casualty Record Detail

Monday, 13 June 2016

Remembering Hendry Angus

On this day we reflect on the sacrifice of Hendry Angus, Pte 3599, who served with the 7th Gordon Highlanders on the Western front.  He was killed in action on 13th June 1916 at the age of 31 and is commemorated by a stone at Aubigny Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.  His parents, Alexander and Mary Watson Angus, lived at 9 Cullen Street in Portsoy.

Casualty Record Detail

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Remembering Portsoy's war casualties

On this day we remember two Portsoy soldiers who lost their lives on 30th April 1916.

Pte 76131 Martin Duncan was the son of John and Ellen Duncan who lived in Seafield Street, Portsoy.  He was serving in the 29th Canadian Infantry (British Columbia Regiment) and is commemorated at Dickebusch New Military Cemetery, Belgium.

Pte 6616 James Morrison served in the 1st Bn Gordon Highlanders and was aged 38 when he fell in action.  His mother, Mary Morrison, lived in South High Street, Portsoy.   A headstone is dedicated to James at Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, Belgium.


Sunday, 27 March 2016

In memory of Andrew West

On this day we remember the sacrifice of  Pte S/13346 Andrew West, who served in the 2nd Bn Gordon Highlanders.  He was aged 21 when he was killed in action on 27th March 1916.  Andrew's parents were Henry and Margaret West, who had been residents of Portsoy before moving to Dennistoun, Glasgow.

He is commemorated by a headstone at the Norfolk Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt, Somme.

Casualty Record Detail
 

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Remembering the fallen: James Clark

Pte 240550 James Alexander Clark was serving on the Western Front with the 5th Bn Gordon Highlanders when he fell in action on 26th March 1916, aged 18.  He was the son of George and Elspet Jane Clark, who lived in Chapel Street, Portsoy.

James is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

Casualty Record Detail

Monday, 15 February 2016

James Johnston, watchmaker in Portsoy

We have been asked to investigate the family of James Johnston, who in 1841 was a watchmaker in Portsoy.  The census schedule for that year shows him  living at South Street in Portsoy, accompanied by his sons William (3) and James (1) and a female servant Isabel Fraser (20).  All were stated to be natives of Banffshire.  James' stated age of 35 suggests that he was born between 1800 and 1805, although no baptism record has been identified in the immediate area.  A gravestone in Portsoy is dedicated to James' wife Ann Brodie who died early in 1841.

James cannot be traced in the census for 1851 and a search through local newspapers reveals that he died in March 1846.  His sons William and James were found in 1851 as lodgers living in the household of Margaret Saunders, a lodging house keeper in the Square in Portsoy.  They were both scholars, i.e. attending school.  By 1861 William had moved to Urquhart, Moray, where he was an assistant teacher living in the household of William Bruce, the schoolmaster there.  His brother James junior was still fairly close to home, working as a railway clerk based in neighbouring Boyndie parish.  They cannot, however, be located in subsequent UK census records.  Did they leave the UK in search of better prospects overseas?

We would be very interested to hear from any living descendants.