This page contain additional detail on the Project.
The Thistles were commissioned through Sean Cockburn Blacksmith, Cousland Smiddy, and are hand crafted in a base metal. It is also our intention to have each Thistle engraved with their Soldier’s name, this still subject to testing due to the handmade nature of each Thistle. The engraving would be performed by Alexander Pollock, Precision Engravers, Haddington.
Each Soldier’s procession will include the Burgh Flag, a piper or drummer, a representative from the Community Council and the Thistle Carrier – members of the public are also welcome to join each procession. As mentioned previously, priority to carry a Thistle will be given to a family descendant of the soldier. The webpage which contains each Soldier’s details also shows where each Soldier’s starting place will be, either their home address 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. Each procession will start at 3pm.
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 131 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 – 25
No who died in 1916 – 23
No who died in 1917 – 37
No who died in 1918 – 36
No who died in 1919 – 5
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
David and William Kerr
George and John Souness
Father and Son
William and Victor Pitcher, father and son.