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called up to
5th (1st Reserve) Battalion, Gordon Highlanders
Another group of men listed in the Buchan Observer newspaper of 26th January 1915 are the National Reservists. These Reservists were generally but not exclusively, former soldiers, Militia or Territorials and most were aged 30 or over. They did not have to attend the annual camp as other Reservists were obliged to do. Their only obligation was an agreement to serve in time of national emergency. Initially their role, along with that of the Reserve Battalions was to guard railways and ports in order to release men for fighting units.
On December 9th 1914 the following announcement was placed in an Aberdeenshire newspaper:
(Aberdeen Journal 9th Dec 1914)
As many of these men were relatively old, they did not serve overseas and so are hard to trace. The service records (WO363 and WO364) of a few exist and the main details are summarised below.
One man, William Cumming, wrote about his experience as a National Reservist who was called for duty with the 5th (1st Reserve) Battalion in late 1914.
The 28th December found many of us proceeding to Peterhead in answer to a gentle reminder that we had not yet fulfilled our "honourable obligations." A hefty lot we were, varying in age from thirty to fifty, just a little on the "wechty" [weighty] side.
Happy the man who had no wife and children to make his path of duty less clear. Home or country - which should have the first claim? ... To throw too heavy a burden upon the shoulders of one's partner in life by any deliberate action of your own, even for the sake of your countrymen ... requires justification. However, we had swallowed the camel and were now soldiers of the King; and at least we hoped that the action of the "old" boys would lessen the chances of our little chaps becoming conscript soldiers when they reached man's estate.
Our soldiering commenced on 5th January 1915. .. As to soldiering my time on the square was short - 25 days' service saw me a full blown C.Q.M.S - raw but willing. William Cumming (War Book of Turriff p371)
WBT - War Book of Turriff
WO363 - Service Record
WO364 - Service Record (Pension)
|Cumming, William||Turriff||Headmaster, New Byth Public School. 5th Gordons and R E. Company Q M S. Served Scotland and England. (WBT p.180 and pp.371-385)|
|Diverall, Charles Bruce||Peterhead|
|Hutcheon, Albert||Turriff||Farmer. Sgt in Volunteers and Territorials 1904 -1914. National Reserve Aug - Dec 1914. Enlisted 28/12/1914. Commissioned April 1915. Served with 5th Gordons. M.C for conspicuous bravery April 1917. Totally blinded May 1917. WBT p.71 and WBT p.273)|
Blyth, William Frank
|Milne, Thomas||New Aberdour|
|Wilson, William Robertson||Peterhead|
|2789||Bain, Robert||Peterhead||Enlisted 28/12/1914. Age 34 Occupation - cooper. Various transfers. Eventually Labour Corps. Served at Home until 1/3/11918. Address 1914- 1 Prince St Peterhead. Later York Street. (WO363)|
|McKay, John McKenzie||Peterhead|
|Fraser, Charles William||Fraserburgh|
|2792||McRae, Charles||Fraserburgh||Enlisted 28/12/1914. Age 45. Born New Pitsligo. Occupation - cooper. Wife Mary McRae 88 Charlotte St.Fraserburgh. Transferred to Royal Defence Corps 1/9/1917. Discharged 29/3/1919 (WO363)|
|Hall, Herbert John||St Fergus|
|2795||McIntosh, George||Fraserburgh||Enlisted 28/12/1914 age 38. Occupation - cooper. Wife Christina Sim. 5 children - 9 Duke St, Fraserburgh. Served overseas from 9/11/1916. Transferred to Labour Corp 1918 (WO363)|
|Davidson, Thomas Walker||Fraserburgh|
|Innes, James Reid||Fraserburgh|
|2846||Taylor, Robert Joseph||Fraserburgh||Enlisted 6/1/1915. Age 35. Discharged 11/2/1915 "Required for duties". Wife Margaret Taylor 68 Gratton St, Fraserburgh. (WO364)|
|2849||Ogston, William Mathison||Fraserburgh|
|2850||Brown, William||Peterhead||Enlisted 6/1/1915. Age 41.Gas stoker. Address 17 Queen St. Born Glasgow. Trans. to No. 1 Observer Coy, Royal Defence Corps 30/6/1917. Discharged 16/2/1919. Wife - Jane Brown. (WO363)|
|Ledingham, John James||Turriff|
|2854||Alexander, George||Turriff||Occupation - Postman. Served- 5th GH & Signal Section RE 1915-1920. Served Scotland 1915-1916 ; England 1916-1918 ; North Russia 1918-1920. POW 1919-1920. Had 15 years service in GH as Volunteer and Territorial. (WBT p.35)|
|2855||Bower, Robert||Turriff||Enlisted 6/1/1915. Age 32. Wounded in right leg, La Bassee 12th April 1918.(WO364) .Baker's confectioner. Served from 6/1/ 1915 - Scotland 18 months, England 1 month, France 18 months. Served in South African War 1900 - 1902. Began as a drummer boy in Volunteers. Died of endocarditis as the result of military service and wounds at Craigleith Military Hospital, Edinbrugh, 26/7/1919. (WBT p.42)|
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