WW1 – The Thistles

Haddington’s WW1 Centenary commemorations

The Thistles.

[Thistle carrier list last updated: 12th Dec 2017]

Armistice Sunday 2017 takes us into the final year of the WW1 centenary commemorations. For this final year, Haddington Community Council is going to recognise the 130 names on the War memorial by committing a hand-crafted Thistle for each of the 130 names; Poignantly, each Soldier’s Thistle will be committed on the date they died.

At 3pm on the date the Soldier died, their Thistle will be carried in a small procession starting from either their recorded home address or, where this is not known or is located outside the Town boundary, from the St Mary’s War memorial, then taken for committal onto the surrounding fence of the Ferguson monument in Memorial Park. [The Park is also known locally as the West Park or the Wee park].

Family descendants of the Soldiers are invited to volunteer to carry their Soldier’s Thistle (contact details below). Also, if you would like to volunteer your time to carry a Thistle please get in touch through the same email contact details (below): Priority will be given to Family descendants.

A list of the Soldiers’ names and the date their Thistle will be committed is available here – Soldiers’ names and procession dates. This web page will be continually updated to reflect the family members or those who have volunteered to carry a Thistle.

Although there are 130 names on the War memorial, there will be 101 committals as some dates have multiple deaths recorded against them.

Here is the email address and Tel No to call for all correspondence, or if you wish to volunteer to carry one of the Thistles –

haddingtonWW1@gmail.com    or Tel: 01620 825946

The format of a Soldier’s committal procession –

• At 3pm a Piper, The Burgh Flag, Thistle holder (others are welcome) and a Community Council rep leave from the starting point  and march to the Ferguson monument in Memorial Park.  The Piper will play a medley of marching music. The starting point will be the last known Haddington address, or St Mary’s War memorial.

• At the Ferguson monument, the Thistle will be placed onto a temporary holder that is attached to the monument’s surrounding fence.

• The Community Councillor will read the 4th stanza of the ‘For the Fallen’

• The Piper will play the Flowers of the Forest lament.

• End of Committal.

To recognise those who are not named on the War memorial it is hoped to commit a 131st Thistle at 11:00am on the 11th November 2018. However, there are higher level discussions being planned for the marking of Armistice 2018, hence this commemoration is yet to be ratified.

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.

If you would like to make a donation towards the cost of this Project, either contact us at the haddingtonWW1@gmail.com  email address, or by post to Haddington Thistles, 20 Dunollie Gardens, Haddington, EH41 4BW. This Project is funded from Community Council funds which includes devolved Local Priority funding.

Web pages last updated: 17th Nov 2017

[Soldiers’ names and procession dates] [Additional Project information]  [Thistle information] [With Thanks to...]