Kemnay has four memorials to commemorate the Great War, the first is a granite monolith erected in 1922, which bears a roll of honour to 65 people that lost their lives in WWI and a further 10 that lost their lives during WWII. This monument stands at what was once the entrance to Kemnay Railway Station, on the corner of Station Road and Grove Road.
My guess would be that the above photo was taken in September 1922 at the dedication of the memorial. If I’m correct, then the man in uniform on the left would be Col. The Reverend James Smith, and the officer next to him is possibly Lt. Col Robert Bruce D.S.O., M.D. – I can’t see the whole of the rank badge on the third officer, but he is another Lt. Colonel so there are two to choose from. Duncan Downie may be able to identify the other two in the front row. As this memorial was organised by the local doctor, perhaps he would be in the photo?
Gaenor Birken (01 Feb. 2017)
The second memorial is located within Kemnay Primary School hall and consists of a magnificent oak panel in three sections. The central panel features a painting of an Angel walking through war ravaged countryside and about to release a dove of peace from the palm of her right hand. The panels to either side contain photographs of all but one (James A L Durno), of 61 people that gave their lives in the Great War. This panel suffered considerable water damage during the late 1980s at which time the panels containing the photographs had to be renewed in oak plywood. Regrettably, the remedial work was not of the highest standard and in particular, the lettering bears little resemblance to the quality of the original work. The school memorial was rededicated on Saturday 10th November 1990. The third memorial is in the form of a stained glass window located in Kemnay Parish Church of Scotland. The fourth War Memorial is located in the St. Bryde Lodge Of Freemasons (No. 991), in St. Brydes Road, Kemnay and comemorates seven Freemason Brothers.
More information regarding the reasons for having both a granite and an oak panelled monument, and why the latter bears four names less than for former, can best be explained by visiting the Kemnay Newsletter February 2014 page and reading the article written by Duncan Downie, which also appears on his Kirkstyle website. More information regarding the stained glass window memorial can be found by reading the Kemnay Parish Church booklet “They Grow Not Old” (pdf file) which is listed at the foot of this page.
Acknowledgements and many thanks go to Anne Park for all the details relating to all those listed on the WWI roll of honour and Duncan Downie for providing so much information including copies of all the photographs along with his article “They Grow Not Old”, upon which the Kemnay Parish Church booklet is based. Also acknowledged is Rev. Gaenor Berkin for all her past research and indeed her continuing research. Many thanks also to Bill Conn for supplying a photograph of the memorial in St. Brydes Lodge of Freemasons No. 991.
The oak panelled monument bears the following inscription:
IN LOVING MEMORY
MCMXIV – MCMXIX
TO THE MEN OF KEMNAY PARISH WHO, IN THE GREAT WAR,
GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE CAUSE OF HUMANITY
The granite monument bears the following inscription:
IN PROUD AND GRATEFUL MEMORY OF
THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF
KEMNAY WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES
FOR FREEDOM IN THE GREAT WAR
WWI ROLL OF HONOUR:
The following names appear as they are listed on the granite monument and with the exception of the aforementioned James A L Durno, the names without photos are not listed on the oak panelled monument. The S before the Army number is for a short enlistment for the duration of the war as opposed to normal enlistment which was for a fixed number of years.
Abel David Stuart Pte 3808 2nd South African Regt Age 20 Died F & F 12-Oct-16 Son of William Abel, South Ley Lodge, Kintore. Thiepval Memorial M. R. 21 Pier 4 Face C Photo taken 2004 Nov. He is also mentioned on his grandparents gravestone in Kemnay. One reason for his being in the South African Infantry was that his father was working in South Africa.
(Glasgow Herald 7th June 1915) “Private John Anderson, 4th Battalion Gordon Highlanders, has been killed in action, having been shot in the head while in the trenches. He was the fifth son of Mr James Anderson, Don Cottage, Port-Elphinstone, Inverurie, and before enlisting was a butcher with the Don Co-operative Society at Kemnay.” CWGC ANDERSON, JOHN Rank: Private Service No: 3154 Date of Death: 28/05/1915 Regiment/Service: Gordon Highlanders 4th Bn. Panel Reference: Panel 38. Memorial: YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
Auld Douglas Pte 242238 2nd bn. Gordon Highlanders b Kemnay e Aberdeen Killed in Action F & F 26-Oct-17 Tyne Cot Memorial M. R. 30 Panel 135 to 136. Born Kemnay, enlisted Aberdeen, son of William and Catherine Auld. “Another of our gallant lads Pte. Douglas Auld, Gordons, has made the supreme sacrifice. It is only a few short weeks since he was here on draft leave and it is difficult to realise that we will not see his cheery face again. Sincere sympathy is extended to Mr and Mrs Auld, Dunrobin, Kemnay and other relatives in their loss” [Aberdeen Weekly Journal, 16 November 1917]. Also commemorated on the memorial in St. Brydes Lodge of Freemasons No. 991.
Bannerman James Donald Pte 23657 22nd Royal Fusiliers (London Regt)The Queen’s b Old Meldrum e Tarvis(Tarves?) 24 Killed in Action F & F 03-May-17 Son of George Murray, Bannerman & Christian Bannerman, Wester Blair, Fintray, Kinaldie, Aberdeenshire. Arras Memorial M. R. 20 Panel 10
Berry John Porter Barclay Pte 187517 8th Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regt) Age 29 Died F & F 29-Sep-18 Son of Mrs Annie Berry, Roselurie Cottage, Aquithie, Kemnay, Aberdeen. Sancourt British Cemetery Fr 0597 Plot I Row A Grave 11
Booth George Pte 241110 5th Gordon Highlanders b Kemnay e Peterhead Died of Wounds F & F 02-Aug-17 Son of George Booth, Woodend, Braco, Pitcaple. Mendinghem British Cemetery B 018 Plot III Row C Grave 19
Booth Robert G Pte S/40196 1st Gordon Highlanders e Aberdeen 26 Killed in Action F & F 24-Sep-17 Son of Mrs Booth, Wellneuk Cottage, Kintore. Kintore Higher Grade Public School: Roll of Honour. Tyne Cot Memorial M. R. 30 Panel 135 to 136 Kemnay & Kintore PS
Braik John Sjt 22961 4th Canadian Inf (Central Ontario Regt) b Gartly 12/10/1874 Age 45 Died of Wounds Home 05-Aug-15 Son of Adam & Helen Braik. Formerly served as Lt with Gordons also served with Scottish Horse in SA 1899-01 City Roll of Honour: Mill of Kemnay. NoK Peter Braik (Brother) School teacher NZ. Occ: Millwright. 1881 Census Kemnay 207/4/3/ Mill age 13 1901 Census 168/2 3/14 age 32. The Roll of Honour Vol I page 48:Photo. Greenwich Cemetery, London. U. K. London (Greenwich) 3 C Z 102 City & Kemnay
Brown Francis A/sjt 9478 1st Gordon Highlanders b New Deer e Insch Died of Wounds F & F 20-Jun-15 Bedford House Cemetery Enclosure No 2 B 165 Plot IV Row B Grave 34
Burness John A L/cpl 290477 7th Gordon Highlanders e Bedford 19 Killed in Action F & F 23-Apr-17 Son of A W Burness, (Ex RSM Gordons) 158 Market St; Aberdeen. City Roll of Honour: Kemnay. Arras Memorial M. R. 20 Panel 8 & 9 City & Kemnay
Burnett Ian A.K. Captain
Burnett Ian Alistair Kendall Capt 3rd East Lancashire Regt attd 8th Bn b Aberdeen 20/06/1885 Age 31 Killed in Action F & F 31-May-17 Aberdeen Grammar School RoH page 104. City RoH : Migvie House. Roll of Service in the Great War page 61 : Photo. Aberdeen Uni. Book of Remembrance. Arras Memorial M. R. 20 Panel 6 Column 22 City Grammar & Kemnay
Calder William Petrie Petty Officer HMS Bulldog Royal Navy Age 32 16-Apr-16 Son of Alexander Calder, Cults, Aberdeenshire. Chatham Naval Memorial M. R. 1 Panel 15 Drumoak & Kemnay
Cassie William Pte 253063 28th Canadian Inf (Saskatchewan Regt) b Kemnay 01/04/1897 enlisted Maple Creek Age 20 Died of Wounds F & F 10-Apr-17 Son of John Cassie, Farmer & Mary Ann Cruickshank Taylor Cassie, Kemnay, Aberdeenshire. 1901 Census: Tappies, Kemnay. Occ: Rancher. Bruay Communal Cemetery Extension Fr 0032 Row E Grave 12
Chalmers William Pte 2370 2nd Australian Infantry b Kemnay e Kemnay, NSW Age 33 Died of Wounds F & F 12-Nov-17 Son of William & Elizabeth Chalmers. Em papers : NoK Mother : Mrs E McGregor, Sambank Cottage, Kemnay. Husband of Agnes Chalmers, Sinside, Invershin, Sutherland. Native of Kemnay. Ed Kemnay HGPS Occ: Farming. Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery B 011 Plot XXVII Row A Grave 7
Private George Simpson Clark, 351640, 9th Bn Royal Scots, died 3rd August 1917. He is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial Belgium, MR 29. There are no next of kin details.
Collie Andrew Petrie Pte 291576 7th Gordon Highlanders b Kemnay e Aberdeen 22 Died F & F 09-Oct-18 Son of James Maitland Collie & Annie Scott Collie, Craigearn, Kemnay. City Roll of Honour :11 Elmbank Rd; Niederzwehren Cemetery, Germany Gy 3 Plot VII Row E Grave 10 City & Kemnay
Crichton George Cpl 27489 17th Highland Light Infantry b Cluny e Aberdeen r Cluny Killed in Action F & F 26-Jun-17 Ramscappelle Road Military Cemetery, St Georges. B 173 Nieuport Mil Cem Mem 6 Kemnay & Udny Green
Crichton William Pte 13257 2nd Scots Guards b Cluny e Aberdeen r Kemnay 27 Died of Wounds F & F 13-Oct-17 Son of John & Mary Crichton, Woodend Croft, Cluny, Kemnay. Brother George also fell Tyne Cot Memorial M. R. 30 Panel 010
Alexander Fraser Cruickshank Pte 40943 MM CdG (France) 7/8th King’s Own Scottish Borderers born Kemnay 07/11/1893 enlisted Aberdeen residence Sauchen Age 24 Killed in Action F & F 06-Mar-18 Son of Henry Cruickhank & Jemima (nee Martin) Cruickshank. 1901 Census: Paradise Cottage, Kemnay. attd. 46th Trench Mortar Bty. Soldiers Died Alex Cruikshanks: Formerly 22209 RCR. Feuchy Chapel British Cemetery, Wancourt Fr 0531 Plot V Row H Grave 3. Information has been received by Mr H Cruickshank, settmaker, West Mains, Kemnay, that his youngest brother Private A F Cruickshank, Trench Mortar battery, has been killed in action. Before enlisting, he was a blacksmith at Cluny [Aberdeen Daily Journal 13 March 1918]. Also commemorated on the memorial in St. Brydes Lodge of Freemasons No. 991.
Cumming Marianus Alexander L/cpl 1041 4th Gordon Highlanders b Strichen 09/12/1891 e Aberdeen 23 Killed in Action F & F 13-Jun-15 Son of Marianus & Margaret Cumming , Cuminestown. Teacher on the staff at Kemnay. Roll of Service in the Great War : page 7 : photo. 18 Whitehall Pl; Aberdeen. The War Book of Turriff & 12 Miles Round : Page 200 Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres M. R. 29 Panel 38 Column 5 Kemnay & Monquhitter
Daun James Pioneer 403983 319th Royal Engineers Road Construction Coy b Newhills e Aberdeen r Kemnay 30 Killed in Action France & Flanders 25-Sep-17. Born at Newhills, enlisted in Aberdeen, resident at Kemnay. Son of Alexander Daun and Elizabeth Slorach Daun, Dalmadilly, Kemnay. La Clytte Military Cemetery, Reninghelst B 021 Plot III Row B Grave 19. Prior to enlistment, James Daun raised money for The Aberdeenshire Red Cross Fund. Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal 23 February 1915. He was killed by a shell. Previously served in Royal Garrison Artillery. Also commemorated on the memorial in St. Brydes Lodge of Freemasons No. 991.
Private John Watt Duncan, 138487, 3rd Bn Machine Gun Corps, died 25th August 1918, aged 20 years. He is buried in Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincurt, France, Plot 4, Row G, Grave 23 (FR 84). Son of Robert and Annie Duncan, Kemnay, Aberdeenshire.
Durno George Pte 32535 15th Lancashire Fusiliers b Aberdeen e Aberdeen 19 Killed in Action F & F 22-Jun-17 Son of Mrs A Dunro, Whitestones, Kemnay. Ramscappelle Road Military Cemetery, St Georges. B 173 Plot IV Row A Grave 19
Durno J. A.L ewis Private (no photo)
James Alexander Lewis Durno Pte 12191 6th Gordon Highlanders born Kemnay enlisted Inverurie Age 22 Died of Wounds F & F 13/11/16 Son of Alexander Durno, Farmer & Barbara Jane (nee Mortimer) Durno, Leschangie, Kemnay, Aberdeenshire. 1901 Census: Leschangie. Monymusk Memorial : Grant Lodge. Brother Leslie and sister Maggie also died. Forceville Communal Cemetery Extension Fr 0002 Plot III Row C Grave 18 Blairdaff Kemnay & Monymusk Memorials
Leslie N M Durno Pte S/21717 4th Seaforth Highlanders born Kemnay enlisted Aberdeen Age 19 Killed in Action F & F 20/07/18 Son of Barbara Jane (nee Mortimer) Durno, Grant Lodge, Kemnay & the late Alexander Durno. 1901 Census: Leschangie. Father’s Occ: Farmer. Monymusk Memorial : Grant Lodge. Formerly 2632 TR. Sister Maggie and brother James also died. Soissons Memorial M. R. 18 Blairdaff Kemnay Monymusk & Udny Green Memorials
Margaret Isabella Kathleen Durno Voluntary Aid Detachment born Kemnay Age 21 Died London 14/09/18 Daughter of Barbara Jane (nee Mortimer) Durno, Grant Lodge, Kemnay & the late Alexander Durno. 1901 Census: Leschangie. B 1897. Father’s Occ: Farmer. Monymusk Memorial : Grant Lodge. Died Woolwich, London. Brothers James & Leslie also died. Blairdaff & Monymusk. Margaret Durno was not on active service but was with Voluntary Aid Detachment working as a laundress at Brook War Hospital, Shooters Hill Road, London where she died having succumbed to the influenza prevalent at that time. She is buried in a communal grave in Greenwich Cemetery. Her condition was classified as non-war related resulting in her not being considered by the Imperial War Graves Commission’s criteria for inclusion in the Debt of Honour Register.
Ewen Robert Anderson Pte 273051 13th Royal Scots b Kemnay e Aberdeen r Kemnay 34 Died F & F 27-Dec-18 Husband of Isabella Ewen, Kirkville, Kemnay. Formerly S/14569 Gordons. TR/1/16133 TR Bn 2668 Lanark Yeo. St Germain-Au-Mont-D’Or Comm Cemetery Ext Fr 1858 Row B Grave 43
Ferries William Pte 290464 6th Gordon Highlanders e Banchory Age 21 Killed in Action F & F 07-Apr-17 Son of Robert & Elizabeth Ferries, Mains Cottage, Kemnay, Aberdeenshire. Anzin-St Aubin British Cemetery Fr 0266 Plot II Row A Grave 12 Ballater & Kemnay
Findlater Forbes CSM 2265 7th Gordon Highlanders b Kemnay e Kemnay Age 43 Died of Wounds F & F 07-Jul-16 Son of Lewis Findlater, Supervisor in the Kemnay Granite Quarries & Mary (nee Reid) Findlater. Husband of Violet Walker Findlater, Back War, Kemnay, Aberdeenshire. City Roll of Honour. Maroeuil British Cemetery Fr 0015 Plot III Row A Grave 8 ADJ 22/07/16 City & Kemnay
Findlater Francis L/cpl S/12015 8th/10th Gordon Highlanders b Kemnay e Aberdeen Age 19 Killed in Action F & F 28-Jun-16 Frank. Son of Lewis Findlater (Supervisor in the Kemnay Granite Quarries), Paradise Sidings, Kemnay. & Christina Findlater (ne Aitken, second wife of Lewis Findlater married Nov 1893). Loos Memorial M. R. 19 Panel 115 to 119 ADJ 08/07/1 Page 6
Findlater William Summer Sjt 290073 4th Gordon Highlanders (Reserve) Bn b Kemnay e Kemnay Age 37 Died Home 23-Aug-18 7th Bn. Son of Lewis Findlater & Mary Ann (nee Reid) Findlater, Kemnay. Husband of Elsie (nee Gaull) Findlater, 67 Pickering St; Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Awarded Territorial Efficiency Medal. Kemnay Parish Churchyard U. K. Kemnay Row A Grave 27
Garden John Private
Garden John B Pte S/24826 5th Seaforth Highlanders b Kemnay e Aberdeen Age 19 Died of Wounds F & F 29-Aug-18 Son of John & Alexanderia Garden, 54 King’s Cres; Aberdeen formerly TR/1/13580 TR Ligny-St Flochel British Cemetery, Averdoingt. Fr 0014 Plot II Row F Grave 4 Kemnay
Gemmell David Pte 201817 2nd Gordon Highlanders b Glasgow e Aberdeen r Airdrie Died of Wounds F & F 19-Oct-17 Son of Jane Riddell, Riggend, Airdrie, Lanarkshire. Native of Kemnay, Aberdeenshire. Godewaersvelde British Cemetery Fr 0139 Plot I Row O Grave 45
Gilroy William Charles Pte 220427 1st Royal Berkshire Regt b Glasgow 13/09/1898 e Aberdeen r Kemnay 20 Killed in Action F & F 07-Sep-18 Son of Jessie Leal (formerly Gilroy), Ivy Cottage, Hillford, Kemnay & the late William Gilroy. Formerly 153217 Scottish Horse. The Roll of Honour V page 68. Vaulx Hill Cemetery, Vaulx-Vraucourt Fr 1484 Plot II Row H Grave 6
Gray Alexander Private
Gregson Francis Robert Maj City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders) b Monymusk Age 62 Died of Wounds F & F 15-May-17 Husband of Helen Gregson, 5 Lowndes Street, Belgrave Square, London. Attd 4th Australian Div. Mont Huon Miltary Cemetery, Le Treport Fr 0013 Plot IV Row A Grave 2
John Imlach L/cpl 2841 7th Gordon Highlanders b Kemnay e Banchory Killed in Action F & F 29/07/16 Son of John & Sophia (nee Smith) Imlach. 1901 Census: Hope Cottage, Kemnay. Age 4. Father died 1901. Flat Iron Copse Cemetery, Mametz Fr 0453 Plot X Row I Grave 05
Gordon Stewart Pte S/7103 1st Gordon Highlanders born Clatt enlisted Aberdeen Age 32 Killed in Action F & F 29-Mar-18 Son of William, Everton, Rothienorman & the late Mary Jane Mackie Ingram. 1891 Census: Towie, Clatt. 1901 Census: Burnside, Fyvie: Occ Grocer. B 1886. Working for his brother who farmed at Greenmoss, Kemnay at the time of enlistement he was working. The War Book of Turriff & 12 Miles Round : Page 287: Occ Grocer. Brother of Robert. Bellacourt Military Cemetery, Riviere Fr 0504 Plot II Row E Grave 1 Auchterless Clatt School Kemnay & Ythanwells
Lawrence William Grant Pte S/23513 4th Gordon Highlanders b Banff e Aberdeen Age 19 Killed in Action F & F 25-Jul-18 Son of the late Lawrence, Banff & Lily Lawrence, North Beech Hill, Kemnay, Aberdeenshire. Soissons Memorial M. R. 18. (NB service no. amended from S/22513 to S/23513 on 04/03/2016, correction made after receiving information from nephew Samuel F Lawrence). The War Diary for 4th Gordons for 35th June 1918. It reads: “25/7/28- Disposition in Reserve. Batt HQ on X Roads 1 km NW of ST.DENIS. Order of Comp right to left B,A,C,D. Some heavy shelling from Field Guns.”
McHardy James Pte 2864 4th Gordon Highlanders e Aberdeen Died of Wounds F & F 11-Apr-15 Boulogne Eastern Cemetery Fr 0102 Plot III Row D Grave 89 Photo taken 1999 Nov
McInnes Angus Pte 39243 13th Royal Scots (Lothian Regt) b Cluny e Aberdeen 20 Killed in Action F & F 14-Sep-18 Nephew of Mrs Harriet Ewen, Milton Cottage, Kemnay, Aberdeen. Formerly 31100 R.Sco.Fus. Loos Memorial M R 19 Panel 10- 13
Melvin George Pte S/15295 7th Gordon Highlanders b Kemnay e Aberdeen Killed in Action F & F 20-Nov-17 Orival Wood Cemetery, Flesquieres Fr 1498 Plot II Row C Grave 42
Morgan Alexander Gnr 5658 3rd Australian Field Artillery e Brisbane 26 Died of Wounds F & F 17-Dec-16 Son of Archibald & Margaret Morgan, Hillford, Kemnay. Occ: Joiner. Ed Kemnay Higher Grade. St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen Fr 0146 Block O Plot III Row L Grave 6. Alexander Morgan was wounded in action on 18 November 1916 sustaining shell splinter wounds to his left hip and heel. He died of those wounds at 12.12 pm on 17 December 1916. Also commemorated on the memorial in St. Brydes Lodge of Freemasons No. 991.
Morgan Leslie Private
Leslie MORGAN B: 4 Aug 1896 Kemnay, Aberdeenshire. D: 31 Dec 1921 (having been disabled during the war), Kemnay, Aberdeenshire. Parents James & Isabella Morgan. 1901 Census: Kemnay, Aberdeenshire: Melville Cottage
Morrison Keith Alexander Pte 922240 27th Canadian Inf (Manitoba Regt) b Kemnay 06/11/1892 Age 25 Died of Wounds F & F 28-Apr-18 Son of Jemima Duncan, 299 Union Grove, Aberdeen. City Roll of Honour. Occ: Farmer. Native of Kemnay. Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt Fr 0084 Plot I Row A Grave 8 City & Kemnay
Nicol Henry Durward Pte 201932 8/10th Gordon Highlanders b Leochal Cushnie 22/08/1896 e Aberdeen Age 20 Killed in Action F & F 09-Apr-17 Son of James Nicol, Gardener. City Roll of Honour : Nether Aquithie, Kemnay. Born Logie-Coldstone. Roll of Service in the Great War : page 54 : photo. Aberdeen University Book of Remembrance Arras Memorial M. R. 20 Panel 8 Column 29 City & Kemnay
Petrie James Howie Cpl 265736 6th Gordon Highlanders e Alford Age Age 28 Died of Wounds F & F 26-Mar-18 Son of Andrew Pirie, Merchant & Bank Agent & Annie (nee Kemp) Petrie, Kemnay, Aberdeenshire. City Roll of Honour : Bank House, Kemnay. North of Scotland Bank Ltd: War Record : page 109 : photo. St Hilaire Cemetery, Frevent Fr 0225 Plot V Row F Grave 9 City & Kemnay
Reid Henry Gordon Pte 202427 4th Gordon Highlanders b Kemnay e Aberdeen 21 Killed in Action F & F 25-Mar-18 Son of the late George & Margaret S Clark Reid. Arras Memorial M. R. 20 Panel 8 & 9
Reid Randolph Alfred Pte S/25867 4th Seaforth Highlanders b Kemnay e Aberdeen Age 19 Killed in Action F & F 21-Mar-18 2nd son of Alexander George Reid, Landsteward, Kemnay, Aberdeen. Formerly TR/1/9587 Arras Memorial M. R. 20 Panel 8
Reid Robert Pte 202739 6th Gordon Highlanders b Monymusk e Kirriemuir 33 Died Germany 26-Jul-18 Son of Margaret Reid, Paradise Cottages, Kemnay, Aberdeenshire & the late Alexander Reid. Soissons Memorial M. R. 18
Ritchie William L/cpl 290458 7th Gordon Highlanders e Banchory Killed in Action F & F 26-Mar-18 Arras Memorial M. R. 20 Panel 8 & 9
Robb Albert Victor 2nd Lt MM MiD 5th Cameron Highlanders Age 27 Died of Wounds F & F 12-Mar-18 M.M. Mentioned in Despatches. Husband of Elsie Milne Robb, Olrig Lodge, Castletown. Native of Kemnay Aberdeenshire. Officers Book page 168. Fins New British Cemetery, Sorel-Le-Grand Fr 0439 Plot IV Row D Grave 7
Scott James Pte 10090 1st Gordon Highlanders b Kemnay e Aberdeen Killed in Action F & F 13-Oct-14 Age 26 Date maybe 11th Vieille-Chapelle New Military Cemetery, Lacouture Fr 1106 Plot V Row A Grave 10
Sim George Alexander Pte 124168 30th Machine Gun Corps (Inf) b Kemnay e Aberdeen r Kemnay 19 Died of Wounds F & F 22-Aug-18 Son of Margaret Sim, Lachshellach, Kemnay. Arneke British Cemetery Fr 0100 Plot III Row C Grave 22
Snowie John L/cpl 2654 7th Gordon Highlanders b Alford 20/05/1897 e Alford Age 19 Died of Wounds Home 25-Nov-16 Son of William Snowie, Leslie Pl; Kemnay, Master Baker & Marjory Forsyth nee McDonald. The Roll of Honour : Vol III page 253 : died Aberdeen, Albyn Place Hospital. Kemnay Parish Churchyard U. K. Kemnay E.56 ADJ 27-11-16 RoH
Snowie William L/cpl S/2568 1st Gordon Highlanders b Ruthrieston e Aberdeen 27 Died of Wounds F & F 02-Nov-18 Son of William & Marjory Forsyth McDonald Snowie, Don Cottage, Kemany, Aberdeenshire. Also John Snowie 25-11-16 St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen Fr 0146 Block S Plot III Row L Grave 9
Sutherland William Pte S/4162 10th Gordon Highlanders b Kemnay e Aberdeen Age 29 Killed in Action F & F 25-Sep-15 Son of the late John Sutherland, Mason & Martha (nee Hacket)Sutherland, Kemnay, Aberdeenshire. 1891 Census: Dalmadilly Road Paradise Siding. Loos Memorial M. R. 19 Panel 115 to 119
Tawse Bertram Wilkie Sjt 1851 4th Cameron Highlanders b Aberdeen 14/09/1884 e Inverness r Aberdeen Age 31 Killed in Action F & F 26-Sep-15 2nd son of Peter Tawse, Contractor & Marion Tawse, Cotton Lodge, Aberdeen. 1901 Census Cattofield House, Woodside. MA BSc (Hons) Aberdeen University. City Roll of Honour: 95 Beaconsfield Pl; Roll of Service in the Great War: page 22 : Photo. Aberdeen University Book of Remembrance. Alma Mater: 1916: page 89. Loos Memorial M. R. 19 Panel 119 Col 2 City & Kemnay
Thain Alexander L/cpl 315718 13th Black Watch (Scottish Horse) b Kemnay e Dunkeld Age 29 Killed in Action F & F 03-Oct-18 Husband of Marjory Thain, Roslyn Cottage, Kemnay. Formerly 6022 Scot Horse. Unicorn Cemetery, Vend’huile Fr 0212 Plot IV Row E Grave 19. Mrs Thain, Roslyn Cottage, has received word that her husband Private Alexander Thain, Scottish Horse, has died of wounds. Private Thain was previous to enlistment a Blacksmith at the Quarries. [Aberdeen Daily Journal14 October 1918]. Also commemorated on the memorial in St. Brydes Lodge of Freemasons No. 991.
Walker James Pte 12204 6th Gordon Highlanders b Kemnay e Keith Killed in Action F & F 13-Nov-16 Son of Mrs H Walker, Dalmadilly, Kenmay, Aberdeenshire. Mailly Wood Cemetery Fr 0131 Plot I Row K Grave 28
Watt Richard Pte 10888 6th Gordon Highlanders e Inverurie Age 17 Died of Wounds F & F 25-Jun-15 Son of Alexander & Margaret Watt, Cairnton, Kemnay, Aberdeenshire. Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery Fr 0134 Plot Row A Grave 168
Weir Alexander James Stuart Pte 66257 2nd Cheshire Regt “B” Coy” b Kemnay, Aberdeen. e Aberdeen 18 Killed in Action Serbia 15-Apr-18 Eldest son of Mr & Mrs A. S. Weir, Blythwood, Kenmay. Formerly 2197 RAMC Doiran Memorial, Greece M. R. 37 ADJ 03-05-18 RoH P4 Col3
Wishart George Pte 11770 1st Scots Guards born Kemnay 23/03/1893 enlisted Crieff residence Kemnay Age 23 Killed in Action F & F 01-May-16 Son of the late George Wishart, Postman & Jessie (nee McPetrie) Wishart, Albyn Pl; Kemnay. The Roll of Honour: Vol III page 290: Educated Pulic School. Occ Watchmaker. Potijze Chateau Wood Cemetery B 047 Row B Grave 22
WWII ROLL OF HONOUR:
THEY GROW NOT OLD
By Duncan Downie
A small lancet window in Kemnay Parish Church is fitted with stained glass. It was installed in memory of those from the parish who paid the supreme sacrifice in service to their country during the two major conflicts of the twentieth century. The design is simple but this simplicity seems to increase the window’s significance. A plain white cross fills the central area of the window, and in the four quarters are placed the emblems of the four services, the Royal Navy, the Army, the Merchant Navy and the Royal Air Force. Along the foot of the window are the dates of the two conflicts: 1914-1918, 1939-1945. Around the outer edge of the window is written:
“GREATER LOVE THAN THIS HATH NO MAN THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS.”
A plaque below the window states: “This window was installed to the Glory of God and in memory of the fallen of both World Wars.”
The stained glass was fitted in the window at the same time as the memorial window on the opposite side of the church was installed in 1972.
A brass plaque below this bears the names of the fallen of the Second World War:
1939 – 1945
KEMNAY ROLL OF HONOUR
THEY DIED THAT WE MIGHT LIVE
Service no. 3808; 2nd Regiment, South African Infantry, died 12th October 1916 aged 20 years. He is commemorated on The Thiepval Memorial, France, Pier 4 Face C [no known grave]. He is also mentioned on his grandparents gravestone in Kemnay. One reason for his being in the South African Infantry was that his father was working in South Africa.
John Cheyne was born at Muiryfold, Turriff on 1st May 1916. (The night the German airship crossed over the district). He was the second son of George Cheyne who was a horseman at that farm. Up to May 1929, John received his education at Woodhead, Fyvie, at which time his father moved to Todfold, Kemnay, where he worked with Allan Forbes, Tillybin, Kintore. John finished his education at Kemnay Secondary School and then worked for two years on local farms. At a little over sixteen years old, he lied about his age and joined the 2nd Battallion Gordon Highlanders doing spells of service in Gibraltar and Singapore. Following his seven years in the Gordons, he worked with J. Joss in the sand quarries at Bridge of Don. At the first sign of hostilities, he was recalled from the reserves to train conscripts, a job which he disliked, as he could not thole to train boys to go out to be killed, while he, a trained soldier, remained at home.
When the 11th Scotch Commandos was formed, he was one of the first volunteers and took part in many of the first raids. The 11th Commando was disbanded in the summer of 1941 and John Cheyne was one of the first to be picked by David Stirling to form the S.A.S., the elite band who were trained to work in small numbers behind enemy lines.
He perished on their first raid on the night of 17/18 November 1941. They set off from an airfield in Cyrenaica in Libya, fifty five men in five old Bombay aircraft, with the intention of parachuting behind enemy lines to place a limpet mine on every plane at Malene and Tmimi aerodromes at Gazala. They ran into a terrific thunderstorm and no one knows yet what happened to most of them. He has no known grave and his name appears on the pillar of the Alamein Memorial.
Lyall Harvey was born at Osborne, Dalmadilly, Kemnay, on February 28 1915, the son of Mr and Mrs Archibald Harvey. The family later moved to Orient, Kendal Road. He attended Kemnay School, following which he served his apprenticeship as a baker with Thomas Milne in Station Road, Kemnay. He then worked as a confectioner with Kennoways Bakery in Aberdeen. He was a sportsman of some repute, being a champion golfer at Kemnay on several occasions, and also had a keen interest in badminton.
On the outbreak of hostilities he went to Stevenson in Ayrshire to the army supply bakery, which was a reserved occupation. He joined the R.A.F. in 1941 and gained his wings at Evanton in Rosshire and served later at St. Johns Wood, London.
He was posted missing presumed killed, on 23rd January 1944, after a bombing mission over Norway.
Bertie Knowles was born in Aberdeen in 1912, the son of Mr and Mrs William Knowles. His parents moved to Lilydale, Aquithie Road, Kemnay, in 1924 from where his father carried on a fish retail business. Bert trained as a mental nurse at Cornhill Hospital in Aberdeen and enlisted in the Gordon Highlanders in 1940. He was killed at Tripoli in 1943.
George W Lawrie was the youngest son of James and Margaret Lawrie, Brownhill, Kemnay. He was educated at Kemnay School and left at sixteen years of age to take up employment on a farm. One of the school teachers of the time, Miss Elsie Harper, persuaded him to return to school to carry on with his studies. This he did and in 1934 was dux of the school. He then went on to Aberdeen University where he graduated M.A. with 1st Class Honours, before going out to Malaya to work in a rubber plantation. When war broke out the Japanese moved into Malaya. George was called up, joining the Johore Volunteer Engineers. Tragically, while being treated for injuries sustained in battle, he and everyone in the hospital were massacred on 23rd February 1942. He is commemorated on column 9 of Singapore Civil Hospital Grave Memorial, Singapore.
The following poem entitled “Thoughts of a Dead Brother” was written on 18th January 1946 by his eldest brother, James, who retired to Balloch, Victoria Terrace, Kemnay, in 1944 after a lengthy career in the Ayrshire Police, in which he attained the rank of sergeant.
Fair Scotia’s son at Empire’s call
In a land across the sea
In danger’s hour his life laid down
That we might all go free.
His name now swells the honours roll
Of loyal true and brave
And a wooden cross now marks the heath
Of a soldier’s sun-kissed grave.
The sun will chase the winter snows
And clouds will drop their rain
The cuckoo’s note the woods make ring
And swallows cross the main.
The lambs will skip on hillocks green
And salmon seek the burn
But Kemnay’s vale wil never hail
Our brother’s proud return.
‘Neath Orient’s sun mid leafy bowers
God’s acre, calm, serene,
Cream of Britain’s manhood rests
Oh glorious be his dream.
The passer-by may heave a sigh
Or scan home of the grave,
But kinsmen ne’er may drop a tear
Or flower upon his grave.
Great ruler of our universe
Our hearts are full and sore.
Pray give us strength to bear our loss
And bid us grieve no more.
Though far may be our homes apart
By mountain, sea and valley,
In that temple never made by man
We will gather at reveille.
Lamond Nicol Milne was born at Fetterangus on 30th September 1914, where his father, Mr Thomas Milne, carried on the local bakery. He took over the bakery in Monymusk in 1916 and moved to Kemnay in 1932, taking over the business in Station Road of McLeay. In his youth Lamond was a very active member of the boy scouts, then in their infancy in the village. He was also a very keen golfer and after leaving the local school, he served his apprenticeshio as an architect with McMillan’s in Aberdeen.
He was called up in 1940 and trained with the Royal Engineers at Pinefield, near Elgin and later moved to Northallerton. He was transferred to the Red Caps (Military Police) with whom he was serving in Burma when he was reported missing, presumed killed on 6th April 1943.
Charles McLeod was born at Kemnay on September 17 1914. His father, also Charles, served in the war 1914 – 1919, and was discharged in 1919 as wounded. Charles jr., joined the Territorials in the early 1930s, but employment eventually took him to the north of Scotland, where he was unable to carry on with his training.
On the outbreak of hostilities in 1939, he was not called up with the Territorials, but when his turn came by age. He first saw service with the Cameronians, but was later transferred to the Gordons and was stationed among other places in Orkney, where he was in the Guard of Honour inspected by the Duke of Gloucester. During leave in 1943, he married a girl in Montrose. He was wounded in France during the offensive in the summer of 1944 and was flown home to Basingstoke, where he died on September 1 1944. His body was taken home to Kemnay and buried in the churchyard. It saddened some of the local residents that Charles was never commemorated with a war graves memorial and it was not until the 1980s that steps were taken to rectify this. An approach was made to the Commonwealth Graves Commission from whom it was learned that Charles’ name appeared on a memorial in France – they had no knowledge of his having been repatriated to Britain. It also transpired that the local Council had no record of the interment. However, both organisations accepted the validity of the local undertaker’s records and details were changed accordingly. In due course a marble memorial was erected on Charles’ grave.
Coert Malcolm was the son of Dr John and Helen Jane Malcolm of Kemnay. He was serving with the Intelligence Corps when he was killed on 26th September 1942 aged 29 years. He is buried in Yokohama War Cemetery, Japan. [Malcolm family history: Coert Grobbelaar Malcolm, April 13 1913 – 26 September 1942, youngest son and last of Dr John and Helen’s family went into banking in various branches of the Bank of Scotland in Donside. He then went to Malaya and Singapore where the war found him. He was captured as a lieutenant in the Intelligence Corps in Sumatra; he worked on the infamous Burma Railway and was also sent to Korea and is buried at the Military Cemetery at Yokohama. He died on Saturday 26th September 1942 aged 29 years.]
William Petrie’s father was employed on the farm of Milton, Kemnay. He was serving with the 2nd Battalion The Gordon Highlanders when he died on 23rd November 1944 aged 26. After the war his grave was among those the Graves Registration Service was unable to trace and he is commemorated on Column 80 of the Singapore Memorial, Singapore.
James Duguid Rae was born at Kinnernie, Cluny in 1915 where his father, James Rae, was a horseman. The family moved to Kemnay in 1916 where James Rae was employed as a horseman at Kemnay House. In 1918 the family moved to North Cottown, Kintore and James jr., walked from there to school at Kintore. On leaving school he served his apprenticeship as a butcher with William Gerrard, Station Road, Kemnay. He married Doris Daun in 1938 and they had one son John Daun Rae.
He was called up in 1940 and received his training at Bridge of Don Barracks, moving from there to Colchester. He was with the 51st Division throughout the campaign in Alamein and North Africa, moving up to Sicily. He came home from Sicily to take part in the “D” Day Landings at Normandy. He was killed in France on 22nd June 1944 and is buried in Banneville-la-Campagne War Cemetery in France.
George Robb was born in Kintore and lived with his foster parents, Mr and Mrs A. G. Reid at Backward, Kemnay. Following his education at Kemnay School he worked as a farm servant at Bridgefoot, Monymusk, before enlisting in the Gordon Highlanders in the early 1930s. When war broke out he saw service in France and after the evacuation of Dunkirk he was stationed for some time at Kintore. He then served in the Middle East campaigns and was killed in Sicily on 29th July 1943 where he is buried in Catania War Cemetery. [People’s Journal, September 18 1943, page 5 col 4: KEMNAY Mr and Mrs A G Reid, Gowan Lea have been informed that Sergt. George Robb, who made his home with them, was killed in Sicily in July. Sergt. Robb was 29 years of age, was a regular soldier for 11 years, and came through Dunkirk.]
Kemnay St. Bryde Masonic Lodge Of Freemasons (No. 991) War Memorial
The fourth War Memorial is located in the St. Bryde Lodge Of Freemasons (No. 991), in St. Brydes Road, Kemnay. Details shown below are extracted from a newspaper cutting from Aberdeen Journal, dated Friday 11th February 1921.
Details as listed above under the Kemnay Primary School memorial. Auld Douglas Pte 242238 2nd bn. Gordon Highlanders b Kemnay e Aberdeen Killed in Action F & F 26-Oct-17 Tyne Cot Memorial M. R. 30 Panel 135 to 136. Born Kemnay, enlisted Aberdeen, son of William and Catherine Auld. “Another of our gallant lads Pte. Douglas Auld, Gordons, has made the supreme sacrifice. It is only a few short weeks since he was here on draft leave and it is difficult to realise that we will not see his cheery face again. Sincere sympathy is extended to Mr and Mrs Auld, Dunrobin, Kemnay and other relatives in their loss” [Aberdeen Weekly Journal, 16 November 1917]
Details as listed above under the Kemnay Primary School memorial. Alexander Fraser Cruickshank Pte 40943 MM CdG (France) 7/8th King’s Own Scottish Borderers born Kemnay 07/11/1893 enlisted Aberdeen residence Sauchen Age 24 Killed in Action F & F 06-Mar-18 Son of Henry Cruickhank & Jemima (nee Martin) Cruickshank. 1901 Census: Paradise Cottage, Kemnay. attd. 46th Trench Mortar Bty. Soldiers Died Alex Cruikshanks: Formerly 22209 RCR. Feuchy Chapel British Cemetery, Wancourt Fr 0531 Plot V Row H Grave 3. Information has been received by Mr H Cruickshank, settmaker, West Mains, Kemnay, that his youngest brother Private A F Cruickshank, Trench Mortar battery, has been killed in action. Before enlisting, he was a blacksmith at Cluny [Aberdeen Daily Journal 13 March 1918]
Details as listed above under the Kemnay Primary School memorial. Daun James Pioneer 403983 319th Royal Engineers Road Construction Coy b Newhills e Aberdeen r Kemnay 30 Killed in Action France & Flanders 25-Sep-17. Born at Newhills, enlisted in Aberdeen, resident at Kemnay. Son of Alexander Daun and Elizabeth Slorach Daun, Dalmadilly, Kemnay. La Clytte Military Cemetery, Reninghelst B 021 Plot III Row B Grave 19. Prior to enlistment, James Daun raised money for The Aberdeenshire Red Cross Fund. Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal 23 February 1915. He was killed by a shell. Previously served in Royal Garrison Artillery.
(no photo available)
Macpherson – Johnstone
Private 7718, 1st Bn. Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) 01/11/1914 aged 34, died of wounds France and Flanders. Born and enlisted in Aberdeen. Son of Johnstone and Isabella Macpherson. Brother od Isabella, Jean and Elizabeth. In 1911 lived at 35 Ashvale Place, Aberdeen and was employed as a Postman at the General Post Office, Aberdeen. Sailed to France on 13th August 1914 aboard the “Italian Prince”. Ypres Town Cemetery Extension II. A. 11.
Details as listed above under the Kemnay Primary School memorial. Morgan- Alexander Gnr 5658 3rd Australian Field Artillery e Brisbane 26 Died of Wounds F & F 17-Dec-16 Son of Archibald & Margaret Morgan, Hillford, Kemnay. Occ: Joiner. Ed Kemnay Higher Grade. St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen Fr 0146 Block O Plot III Row L Grave 6. Alexander Morgan was wounded in action on 18 November 1916 sustaining shell splinter wounds to his left hip and heel. He died of those wounds at 12.12 pm on 17 December 1916.
Captain (Retired), Chaplain to 4th (Donside) Volunteer Battalion, Gordon Highlanders and 9th Cameronians, 3/12/1919 aged 41. Rev. Smith studied Divinity at Glasgow University and was ordained to the Parish of Kemnay in 1904, leaving for the Parish of Kippen in 1908. After the war broke out, he worked for a year at Colville’s Steel Works, Motherwell. He then served for two years as a Chaplain in France and Belgium. After the Armistice, he was stationed in Cologne but had a breakdown in health and was sent home to Craigleith Hospital, Edinburgh, where an operation was performed. He died of carcinoma of the stomach, liver and spleen, leaving a widow and six children. [Motherwell Times 5th December 1919.
Details as listed above under the Kemnay Primary School memorial. Thain Alexander L/cpl 315718 13th Black Watch (Scottish Horse) b Kemnay e Dunkeld Age 29 Killed in Action F & F 03-Oct-18 Husband of Marjory Thain, Roslyn Cottage, Kemnay. Formerly 6022 Scot Horse. Unicorn Cemetery, Vend’huile Fr 0212 Plot IV Row E Grave 19. Mrs Thain, Roslyn Cottage, has received word that her husband Private Alexander Thain, Scottish Horse, has died of wounds. Private Thain was previous to enlistment a Blacksmith at the Quarries. [Aberdeen Daily Journal14 October 1918]