The last poem of Walter Wingate.

Following on from our earlier post on Walter Wingate, Iain English sent us a poem that was written by the Hamilton Poet in 1917.
 
This poem until today has never been published and is the first time that it has been read by the public as it has been in the families possession since 1917.
 
Iain told Historic Hamilton:
 
“Walter Wingate (famous Scots poet) knew the Dawson family (and my Grandmother) and wrote this poem dedicated to Robert Dawson who was tragically killed in Passchendaele”
 
Here is Walter Wingate’s poem which was dedicated to Hamilton soldier Robert Dawson, which was to be one of his last poems written as he died the following year (1918)
 
 
“Corporal Dawson died of wounds”
That is all the story.
Brief and poor the notice sounds
Not a word of glory.
 
Sits Etaples by the sea:
There when war is over,
We may find where such as he,
Last have taken cover.
 
Two, whom none are left to call,
Father now or Mother,
Into lonelier years must fall,
Comforting each other.
 
And a symbol, meant to show,
Lovers newly plighted,
Rings a finger with the woe,
Of sweet promise blighted.
 
Shrapnel tore the soldier’s limb,
Here at longer ranges,
Spreads its havoc: reft of him,
Life’s perspective changes.
 
Let consoling Duty say:
“Would you have desired him,
Though you loved him, to say nay,
When my call required him?
 
God accepts your sacrifice,
Pleased with gift and giver,
And in him your comfort lies:
Death is not forever.
 
Walter Wingate 1865 – 1918.
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Jotters….

JotterWM.

Thank you to Sandra Fox who took us on a wee trip down memory lane when she sent us a picture of her old Jotter which she found up the loft.

If you were at school around the 1980s and early 90s and before the region broke up this is what the schools in Hamilton were issued with.

Do you have an old school picture that you would like to share?
Send them to us and we will share with everyone on Historic Hamilton.

2166 (Hamilton) Sqn Air Training Corps circa 1966

Barracks.

2166 (Hamilton) Sqn Air Training Corps circa 1966 Taken outside HQ at Hamilton Barracks on the Bothwell Road.

John Taylor sent us this picture from the Hamilton Barracks and he told us:

“Now I am struggling after 50 years! I remember the officers.

In the centre is Sqn Ldr Smeaton. On his right is Flying Officer Whiteford, and on his left are Pilot Officers Sandy Bruce and Sandy Colvin.

I am in the back row second in from the right. On the left in the first row of cadets is Tam Semple and in the middle row third from the left is Lindsey Adair. Am afraid I am struggling with the rest!

The aircraft was delivered to the Hamilton Barracks on a low loader and was a permanent feature at the Sqn HQ as a gate guardian.

At the time the Hamilton Barracks was such a large area we were fortunate to get this old Gloster Javelin as our gate guardian.”

Do you know any of the lads in this picture? If you do then let us know.

LEST WE FORGET…..

LEST WE FORGET…..

In one way or another, whether being directly or indirectly involved, most of us have been affected by war. For me, I would like to keep the memory alive of two people in my family who were killed in action.

Michael McNamee WM.

The first person who was killed in action was my second great uncle who was called Michael McNamee. Michael was born at 35 Church Street to parents Thomas McNamee & Jane Adams and after leaving school he worked as a coal miner at Ferniegair Colliery.

Michael enlisted in the army on the 7th of June 1915 and was part of the 17th Battalion with the Royal Scots. He was 19 years and 11 months when he joined.

He was not a large boy, being only five foot four inches tall, and he weighed 98 pounds. Michael spent around three years in the army and he was based in France when he was killed.

His division was engaged in the battle of Ypres when he died of wounds on the 19th of October 1918 at No 2 Canadian Casualty Clearance Station. During Michael’s Army Service he had been awarded the Military Medal.

robert-thompson1

My second family member who was tragically killed was my mother’s cousin, Robert McNamee Thompson, who was killed in action during the troubles in Northern Ireland. Robert was a Whitehill man and a father and husband.

Robert enjoyed his time in the army and his regiment was the Royal Highland Fusiliers and his life was brought to a devastating end when on the 27th of July 1980, he was on patrol at Moy Bridge, Maughnahan Road, Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone and was killed by a remote-control Bomb. Robert was only 26 years old.
Today there are still former soldiers who either served in the army or survived war. You will see them out in the shopping centres and standing in the rain collecting money and handing out Poppy’s.

James Poulton.123

One of these men is called James Poulton who served in the Army and never misses collecting money for Remembrance Day. You will find James standing in the doorway at Morrisons superstore over in Whitehill.

Remember to stop by and donate what you can, and wear your poppy with pride, to remember the men who fought and died, not only in both World Wars but in every other war that happened after.

Did you have an ancestor or family member who was killed in action? Send us their picture and we will add it to our ‘Hamilton Folk’ Album and have your picture proudly displayed on Historic Hamilton which is viewed all over the world.

John Reynolds aka Jukebox Johnny R.I.P. 1948 – 2017.

Juke BoxJohnny WM.Hi all, I just wanted to let you all know that sadly John Reynolds passed away on Wednesday. John who was well known around Hamilton and in his younger years he played football and was a football agent. Later in life, he cleaned windows and was a pioneer of the music singing contests where he appeared on Michael Barrymore’s ‘My Kind of People’.

John was a karaoke singer and he sang I a lot of pubs & clubs around Hamilton & Lanarkshire. In his recent years, he has been in a home with Alzheimer’s.

Our thoughts are with John’s family at this time and I am sure that you will all agree that we have lost another Hamilton legend who will ever be in our thoughts for years to come. John’s family will let us know in due course where & when his funeral will be held.

John Reynolds 1948 – 2017.

WOMAN KILLED AT THE KEEPERS HOUSE AT THE MAUSOLEUM.

WOMAN KILLED AT THE KEEPERS HOUSE AT THE MAUSOLEUM.

Keepers House.

A sad tale occurred on Saturday the 16th of September 1911. Mrs Thomas Kerr, wife of the keeper of the Mausoleum at Hamilton Palace, died at one o’clock Saturday morning from injuries sustained by explosion of gas in her house late the previous night.
Her husband had gone out to post letter, leaving in the house his wife and two children, aged respectively two years and six months. After making some calls, he returned home between ten and eleven, and entering the house a painful scene confronted him. His wife was lying the stair leading from the kitchen the coal cellar. Her clothes were practically burned off, and her body was scorched in a terrible manner.
He lifted her into the kitchen, and ran for assistance, Mrs Kerr was still conscious, and was able say that when she was going down to the cellar fetch coals something went up in a blaze at the gas jet on the stair. The elder of her two children, a bright little girl, was with her, but Mrs Kerr had the presence of mind to push the child down the stair when the explosion occurred. In this way the girl escaped the flames which enveloped her mother.
The younger child was asleep in a perambulator in the kitchen, and was uninjured. Mr and Mrs Kerr are a young couple, who only entered upon duty at Hamilton Palace three weeks ago, having previously lived at Caledonia Road, Glasgow.

Keepers House1

On the morning of 30th of October 2016 I took a drive over to the keeper’s house to take some pictures for Historic Hamilton. As I walked through the woods and across the overgrown and once well-kept grounds I approached the house. Possibly my mind was playing tricks on me, but I swear that I could hear voices coming from inside the old caretaker’s cottage. The voices were not very clear, but more of a whisper! But nonetheless, as you can imagine after hearing this it dawned on me that I had not told anyone where I had intended to be!

Do you ever get that feeling that someone is following you when you are walking alone? Well, I couldn’t get out of the woods quick enough and I had this very same feeling all the way back past the Mausoleum caretakers house, back through the overgrown hedges and through the trees back to my car. This is the first and last time that I will visit an old house on a dark morning on my own.

The mausoleum caretakers house has a lot of History connected to it and is now sitting in a very bad state. This week I am going to ask for your help to try and save this Historic Building from disappearing forever.

GHOULISH VANDALISM AT MEIKLE-EARNOCK.

First published on Historic Hamilton on the 20th of April 2016 and republished for Halloween.

Historic Hamilton

Skull

The following story was reported in the Hamilton Advertiser on the 20 April 1895.

“Cadzow” writes to the Glasgow Herald; Please give me space for the following statement of facts. In a secluded corner on the confines of Fairhill and Earnock estates, within two miles distance of Hamilton Cross, there lies a small burying-place of some old Meikle Earnock families.

It has long since been disused, but a sweeter and more peaceful resting place it were hard to find, or apparently one more unlikely to be disturbed. What was my horror then, sir, on taking a quiet walk along the road that passes this God’s acre to find a human skull lying on the side walk, and grinning in all its ghastliness at passers-by! I reverently lifted the “thing” intending to replace it in the hallowed ground, when I observed that the door and window of the mausoleum which stands…

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