WW1 – Additional Project information

 Additional detail on the Project.

The Thistles were commissioned through Sean Cockburn Blacksmith, Cousland Smiddy, and are hand crafted in a base metal. Each Thistle will also show their Soldier’s name on a polished brass nameplate. The engraved nameplate is being manufactured by Alexander Pollock, Precision Engravers, Haddington.

Each Soldier’s procession, starting at 3pm each on the day, will include the Burgh Flag, a Piper, a representative from the Community Council and the Thistle Carrier – members of the public are also welcome to join each procession. Family descendants of the Soldier being commemorated will be given priority to carry his Thistle. The names webpage contains each Soldier’s details and also shows where each Soldier’s starting place will be, either their last known address of their connection to Haddington* or, where this is not known or they are recorded as being from outside Haddington Town, the starting place will be St Mary’s War memorial.

* The starting point is determined by their last connection to Haddington – this could be their home or family address or the address where their parents were sent notification of their death (although the Solder may have lived outside Haddington) .

The Project would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the research carried out by Alastair Shepherd, Gifford. Alastair published a book in 2013, The Haddington War Memorial 1914 – 1918, which records the war records of each of the 130 names on the War memorial. Haddington Community Council are indebted to Alastair for this research.

Although this section is impersonal, I feel it’s worth listing some key points that have come out of the research –

No of deaths by year

No who died in 1914 – 5

No who died in 1915 – 24

No who died in 1916 – 23

No who died in 1917 – 37

No who died in 1918 – 36

No who died in 1919 – 5

 Names of those who are not on war memorial (of those we know) – 31

  • James Hood Aitchison – buried in St Mary’s churchyard, died 26th July 1918, born in Dirleton.
  • Peter Aitchison – buried in St Mary’s churchyard, died 8th May 1918, born in Dirleton.
  • David Grieg Aitken – buried in St Mary’s churchyard, died 2nd April 1917.
  • Jack Atkinson – recorded on Holy Trinity Church memorial.
  • James Barbour – recorded on RC Memorial.
  • William Black – buried in St Mary’s churchyard, died 10th June 1917, born in Dunbar.
  • Thomas Catto – recorded on St Mary’s Memorial plaque.
  • Hugh Christie – recorded on RC Memorial.
  • William Clark – buried in St Mary’s churchyard, died 9th Sept 1916, aged 30.
  • M Coogan – buried in RC graveyard, died 22nd Feb 1918.
  • David Cowan – he was buried at St Mary’s exactly 100 years from the 2015 Armistice date. Died 5th November 1915.
  • Cyril Crozier – recorded on Holy Trinity Church memorial.
  • James Cunningham killed on 11th May 1916 (note another James Cunningham also died, who is on the War Memorial).
  • Archibald Drummond – There is another Archibald Drummond named on the memorial, and wonder if it was incorrectly assumed this was the same Archibald. (Information from Heather Jackson).
  • William Gemmill – recorded on St Mary’s 1/8 Royal Scots plaque.
  • William Gilmour – recorded on RC Memorial.
  • Alan Gordon –  recorded on Holy Trinity Church memorial.
  • Patrick Keegan – recorded on RC Memorial.
  • Alexander B Melrose – buried in St Mary’s churchyard, died 24th March 1918.
  • John S Merriles – buried in St Mary’s churchyard, died 19th June 1915.
  • J Milligan – no other detail other than his name is on the Lodge WW1 name board and marked to show he died in the war.
  • William Moran – buried in RC graveyard, died 20th Nov 1915.
  • Robert Paxton – recorded on St Mary’s Memorial plaque.
  • F Rorke – buried in RC graveyard, died 21st Feb 1919.
  • Ian Herbert Croal Shannon – buried in St Mary’s graveyard, died 16th June 1915.
  • James Haines Spence – buried in St Mary’s graveyard, died 25th Oct 1916.
  • William Stockdale – recorded on Holy Trinity Church plaque.
  • John Watson – buried in St Mary’s churchyard, died 7th July 1920.
  • Peter Watt – buried in St Mary’s churchyard, died 16th Jan 1917.
  • Thomas White – buried in St Mary’s churchyard, no other detail.
  • Robert Wilson – buried in St Mary’s churchyard, died 12th April 1918.

Youngest and Oldest casualty

Youngest casualty – John Souness aged 18yrs, 2 mths and 10 days.

Oldest casualty – William George Pitcher Aged 56.

Brothers who died

Adam, Alexander, John and James Cranston

John, Robert and William Ramage

James and Robert Dickson

George and John Burns

Thomas and Michael Gaffney – family research has shown they may be uncle and nephew.

David and William Kerr

George and John Souness

Robert and John Young

Father and Son

William and Victor Pitcher, father and son.