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 about)
- James Cunningham killed on 11th May 1916 (note another James Cunningham also died, who is on the War Memorial).
- David Cowan
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.