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NAE NOOKIE
12-02-2015, 03:57 PM
Sorry if this has been brought up before, I noticed it mentioned on the most recent 'Working together' minutes though I was obviously aware of it before.

In May it will be 100 years since the Gretna rail disaster in which the 7th battalion Royal Scots lost over 200 men. As the battalion was drawn almost exclusively from Leith it is also known as the Leith rail disaster. Given the clubs long standing Leith connections and the high chances that a fair few of the dead would have been Hibs supporters would it be appropriate for the club to commemorate the tragedy in some way.

worcesterhibby
12-02-2015, 04:04 PM
Sorry if this has been brought up before, I noticed it mentioned on the most recent 'Working together' minutes though I was obviously aware of it before.

In May it will be 100 years since the Gretna rail disaster in which the 7th battalion Royal Scots lost over 200 men. As the battalion was drawn almost exclusively from Leith it is also known as the Leith rail disaster. Given the clubs long standing Leith connections and the high chances that a fair few of the dead would have been Hibs supporters would it be appropriate for the club to commemorate the tragedy in some way.

My great Uncle was injured, but survived the crash….once he recovered he was passed fit and sent to Gallipoli..where he was shot..he was sent home and recovered and was sent to the Somme, where he was injured by a shell and sent home. he recovered and was sent back to France where he was captured and eventually died in a German Prisoner of war camp in Prussia (now modern Poland).

And people say that watching Hibs last season was tough.

jacomo
12-02-2015, 04:20 PM
For worcesterhibby's great uncle - poor guy - and others it would be good to do something around this. Something that STF might support?

JimBHibees
12-02-2015, 04:23 PM
My great Uncle was injured, but survived the crash….once he recovered he was passed fit and sent to Gallipoli..where he was shot..he was sent home and recovered and was sent to the Somme, where he was injured by a shell and sent home. he recovered and was sent back to France where he was captured and eventually died in a German Prisoner of war camp in Prussia (now modern Poland).

And people say that watching Hibs last season was tough.

Quite simply, wow. Lest we forget.

--------
12-02-2015, 04:24 PM
Sorry if this has been brought up before, I noticed it mentioned on the most recent 'Working together' minutes though I was obviously aware of it before.

In May it will be 100 years since the Gretna rail disaster in which the 7th battalion Royal Scots lost over 200 men. As the battalion was drawn almost exclusively from Leith it is also known as the Leith rail disaster. Given the clubs long standing Leith connections and the high chances that a fair few of the dead would have been Hibs supporters would it be appropriate for the club to commemorate the tragedy in some way.


These books might be of interest to you.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Quintinshill-Conspiracy-Shocking-Britain%C2%92s-Disaster/dp/1781590990/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1423757465&sr=1-1&keywords=Gretna+rail+disaster

.http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ill-Fated-Battalion-Story-Quintinshill-Gallipoli/dp/1849144141/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423757626&sr=8-1&keywords=7th+battalion+royal+scots

Two members of my family were on the train - one died, the other was severely injured and invalided out of the Army.

The second, Sgt. John Combe, was the uncle of Bobby Combe who played for Hibs in the 40's and 50's and may well be related to Alan, our present goalie coach.

There may well have been signed Hibs players in the battalion as well; this is something I've always 'sort of' meant to investigate but never quite got round to it. (My bad.)

I would certainly be interested in getting involved in some sort of commemoration in May - this battalion tends to be forgotten about, I think because of government embarrassment at the way the men had been treated both before and after the crash. The first of those two books explains that much better than I could.

The battalion was travelling in two trains - the first was involved in the crash, the second went on to Liverpool and the 400 plus men in that train were sent out to Gallipoli. By the end of 1915 there were probably less than 100 of the original battalion left fit for service. The large majority of the original 850-900 men were dead, severely injured, or missing.

The men of the 7th Battalion volunteered for service either before the War or right at the outbreak of hostilities. This gives the lie to the commonly-held belief that until McCrae's came along, the men of the Edinburgh, Leith and Lothians area were unwiilling to come forward to fight in the war.

EdinCapitals
12-02-2015, 04:26 PM
Thanks for bringing this up NN, I knew nothing about it: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quintinshill_rail_disaster

ACLeith
12-02-2015, 05:09 PM
My father told me as a wee boy he stood on Leith Walk with his family watching the funeral procession. His memory was of the pipes playing "The Flowers of the Forest" with the drums muffled and draped in black. He said he didn't really understand what was happening but it sent a cold shiver up his back and for the rest of his life he never heard that lament played without recalling that awful day.

Moulin Yarns
12-02-2015, 05:16 PM
May 30th 2015 would be a good time to remember.


Just saying

erin go bragh
12-02-2015, 05:26 PM
My great Uncle was injured, but survived the crash….once he recovered he was passed fit and sent to Gallipoli..where he was shot..he was sent home and recovered and was sent to the Somme, where he was injured by a shell and sent home. he recovered and was sent back to France where he was captured and eventually died in a German Prisoner of war camp in Prussia (now modern Poland).

And people say that watching Hibs last season was tough.

Your great Uncle was a remarkable man WH .
Such a shame he didnt make it home . Remarkable story tinged by sadness . Hibs could run a tribute in one of our programs . Would be a nice touch .
Ggtth

Scotchmist
12-02-2015, 05:52 PM
Sorry if this has been brought up before, I noticed it mentioned on the most recent 'Working together' minutes though I was obviously aware of it before.

In May it will be 100 years since the Gretna rail disaster in which the 7th battalion Royal Scots lost over 200 men. As the battalion was drawn almost exclusively from Leith it is also known as the Leith rail disaster. Given the clubs long standing Leith connections and the high chances that a fair few of the dead would have been Hibs supporters would it be appropriate for the club to commemorate the tragedy in some way.


Thanks for posting this NN. I have been watching out for events to commemorate this. It's amazing that so few people know about it. My great uncle also survived the crash but was killed in 1917 in Palestine. There is not a doubt in my mind that he was Hibs through and through, just as I expect many of them were. I really hope we can do something to mark the day and show our respect for these guys.

Might be a bit wishful thinking, but lifting the Scottish Cup a week after the 100th anniversary, would be nice :wink:

Half Pint
12-02-2015, 05:53 PM
My great Uncle was injured, but survived the crash….once he recovered he was passed fit and sent to Gallipoli..where he was shot..he was sent home and recovered and was sent to the Somme, where he was injured by a shell and sent home. he recovered and was sent back to France where he was captured and eventually died in a German Prisoner of war camp in Prussia (now modern Poland).

And people say that watching Hibs last season was tough.
Respect WH for your great Uncle.

Puts all our lives into perspective. I'm sure Hibernian will commemorate the anniversary in some way.

Conrad Gray
12-02-2015, 06:02 PM
My father told me as a wee boy he stood on Leith Walk with his family watching the funeral procession. His memory was of the pipes playing "The Flowers of the Forest" with the drums muffled and draped in black. He said he didn't really understand what was happening but it sent a cold shiver up his back and for the rest of his life he never heard that lament played without recalling that awful day.

1429714298

The above images are from part of the funeral procession at Pilrig Street and Leith Walk at Pilrig Street. A terrible sight.

I read recently that Bobby Combe's father and two uncles were on the trains. My limited research so far has found 3 Combe's on the trains, so this seems to tie up.

I am aware that Leith Acadamy are doing a lot of research for the anniversary. Does anyone here have any knowledge of their projects?

ALso, if anyone is aware of any other Hibs links to this I would be very interested to hear them..

NAE NOOKIE
12-02-2015, 06:16 PM
My great Uncle was injured, but survived the crash….once he recovered he was passed fit and sent to Gallipoli..where he was shot..he was sent home and recovered and was sent to the Somme, where he was injured by a shell and sent home. he recovered and was sent back to France where he was captured and eventually died in a German Prisoner of war camp in Prussia (now modern Poland).

And people say that watching Hibs last season was tough.

Ye gods .... there's got to be a film in that, sounds like some story.

NAE NOOKIE
12-02-2015, 06:19 PM
These books might be of interest to you.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Quintinshill-Conspiracy-Shocking-Britain%C2%92s-Disaster/dp/1781590990/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1423757465&sr=1-1&keywords=Gretna+rail+disaster

.http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ill-Fated-Battalion-Story-Quintinshill-Gallipoli/dp/1849144141/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423757626&sr=8-1&keywords=7th+battalion+royal+scots

Two members of my family were on the train - one died, the other was severely injured and invalided out of the Army.

The second, Sgt. John Combe, was the uncle of Bobby Combe who played for Hibs in the 40's and 50's and may well be related to Alan, our present goalie coach.

There may well have been signed Hibs players in the battalion as well; this is something I've always 'sort of' meant to investigate but never quite got round to it. (My bad.)

I would certainly be interested in getting involved in some sort of commemoration in May - this battalion tends to be forgotten about, I think because of government embarrassment at the way the men had been treated both before and after the crash. The first of those two books explains that much better than I could.

The battalion was travelling in two trains - the first was involved in the crash, the second went on to Liverpool and the 400 plus men in that train were sent out to Gallipoli. By the end of 1915 there were probably less than 100 of the original battalion left fit for service. The large majority of the original 850-900 men were dead, severely injured, or missing.

The men of the 7th Battalion volunteered for service either before the War or right at the outbreak of hostilities. This gives the lie to the commonly-held belief that until McCrae's came along, the men of the Edinburgh, Leith and Lothians area were unwiilling to come forward to fight in the war.

Thanks Doddie, informative as always.

mim
12-02-2015, 06:30 PM
My great Uncle was injured, but survived the crash….once he recovered he was passed fit and sent to Gallipoli..where he was shot..he was sent home and recovered and was sent to the Somme, where he was injured by a shell and sent home. he recovered and was sent back to France where he was captured and eventually died in a German Prisoner of war camp in Prussia (now modern Poland).

And people say that watching Hibs last season was tough.

That's a quite mind boggling story, JC.
Great respect to your great uncle.

wazoo1875
12-02-2015, 06:33 PM
My great Uncle was injured, but survived the crash….once he recovered he was passed fit and sent to Gallipoli..where he was shot..he was sent home and recovered and was sent to the Somme, where he was injured by a shell and sent home. he recovered and was sent back to France where he was captured and eventually died in a German Prisoner of war camp in Prussia (now modern Poland).

And people say that watching Hibs last season was tough.

What an incredible story, he must've been a hell of a brave man. Terribly sad he never made it back just one more time.

ACLeith
12-02-2015, 06:44 PM
1429714298

The above images are from part of the funeral procession at Pilrig Street and Leith Walk at Pilrig Street. A terrible sight.

I read recently that Bobby Combe's father and two uncles were on the trains. My limited research so far has found 3 Combe's on the trains, so this seems to tie up.

I am aware that Leith Acadamy are doing a lot of research for the anniversary. Does anyone here have any knowledge of their projects?

ALso, if anyone is aware of any other Hibs links to this I would be very interested to hear them..

Cheers for that RU. I had seen one of the pics before but not the other.

Famous Fiver
12-02-2015, 07:12 PM
Puts things in to perspective.

It would be a great gesture for this anniversary to be marked by the club, if for no other reason to acknowledge the sacrifice of the family of Bobby Combe, a truly great Hibby.

I knew nothing of the Combe connection, and there must be many other Hibs connections, unreported and not generally known, which if gathered together would be a fitting tribute to all these young men.

Lest we forget..........

cabbageandribs1875
12-02-2015, 07:18 PM
http://www.oldleither.com/GretnaIcon.html





http://www.oldleither.com/gretna_disaster.jpg


Pilrig st, where i was born and bred, sister and bro in-law got married(and still are) in Pilrig church in the photo, i had my all-green suit on that day and giving any passing jambos the middle finger on their way to ER that day for the Scottish cup game...Hibs 2 Hertz 1 :) i imagine South Leith parish church will have some kind of commemoration for the rail disaster

Jonnyboy
12-02-2015, 07:20 PM
My great Uncle was injured, but survived the crash….once he recovered he was passed fit and sent to Gallipoli..where he was shot..he was sent home and recovered and was sent to the Somme, where he was injured by a shell and sent home. he recovered and was sent back to France where he was captured and eventually died in a German Prisoner of war camp in Prussia (now modern Poland).

And people say that watching Hibs last season was tough.

An amazing story and as others have said, what a brave brave man

son of haggart
12-02-2015, 07:33 PM
Amazing to think that nearly 3 times as many died in this as the Tay Bridge disaster, and how relatively little it is known today

Pinkie
12-02-2015, 07:52 PM
My grandfather's brother was killed in this disaster so I have also been looking out for events. Turns out it is being commemorated as part of the Scottish Government's commemorations programme: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/WW1-commemorations-go-nationwide-144e.aspx

I've not been able to find much online except that there are events planned for Gretna and Leith / Pilrig, but I would expect more info will be released fairly soon cos May isn't far away now.

AFAIK, it's never been something that Hibs have drawn links to publicly. I have only ever known it as a Leith connection rather than a Hibs connection so I'd be surprised if Hibs will have been linked into the commemmorations planning. That is probably quite advanced by now, but I agree that it would be a nice thing if the club could commemmorate in some way.

PatHead
12-02-2015, 08:58 PM
A real tragedy which should be remembered.

brog
12-02-2015, 09:00 PM
In Alan Lugton's 3rd book in his Hibs trilogy he states that " 8 of the soldiers killed at Gretna had at one time or another been on Hibs books". He also provides an interesting piece of information in that Hibs made ER available for military training early in the war & Hibs players, members of the Edinburgh-Irish Brigade & Hearts players all drilled at ER. As mentioned in other posts 101 soldiers were buried in a mass grave at Rosebank cemetery on Pilrig Street & many others were buried in Eastern cemetery behind ER. I have no doubt that the great majority of the dead would have been Hibs fans but it is 100% certain they were all from Leith & as a Leith club we must play an active role in any commemoration. Thanks to the OP for starting this important thread, hopefully we can keep the thread active until May.

PatHead
12-02-2015, 09:08 PM
I have dropped an email to one of the government officials at the end of Pinkie's email. I asked what the form of the commemoration was taking.

I will update when an answer is received.

Jonnyboy
12-02-2015, 09:08 PM
In Alan Lugton's 3rd book in his Hibs trilogy he states that " 8 of the soldiers killed at Gretna had at one time or another been on Hibs books". He also provides an interesting piece of information in that Hibs made ER available for military training early in the war & Hibs players, members of the Edinburgh-Irish Brigade & Hearts players all drilled at ER. As mentioned in other posts 101 soldiers were buried in a mass grave at Rosebank cemetery on Pilrig Street & many others were buried in Eastern cemetery behind ER. I have no doubt that the great majority of the dead would have been Hibs fans but it is 100% certain they were all from Leith & as a Leith club we must play an active role in any commemoration. Thanks to the OP for starting this important thread, hopefully we can keep the thread active until May.

This 100%

jdships
12-02-2015, 09:12 PM
Quite simply, wow. Lest we forget.

Two of my father's relatives were injured and he always told the family -
" There wasn't a family in Leith who wasn't related/friends with/ knew someone who was killed/injured /was there in May 1915. ".
Quite a thought !

Jonnyboy
12-02-2015, 09:16 PM
Without wishing to sound morbid, is there a list anywhere of names of those that perished?

Killiehibbie
12-02-2015, 09:24 PM
Without wishing to sound morbid, is there a list anywhere of names of those that perished?I remember reading that the memorial at Rosebank Cemetery lists the names, whether that's all the names or just those buried there I don't know.

Jonnyboy
12-02-2015, 09:25 PM
I remember reading that the memorial at Rosebank Cemetery lists the names, whether that's all the names or just those buried there I don't know.

Thanks for this :aok:

Edit: Found this which pretty much includes the names - sorry, misread re the dates

brog
12-02-2015, 09:48 PM
Commemoration events are apparently planned for Gretna on 22 May & for Leith on 23 May. One well known name amongst those to perish was Lt Christian Salvesen.

Pretty Boy
12-02-2015, 10:03 PM
I live about 5 minutes walk from Rosebank Cemetry and I'm almsot embarrassed to say I've never visited the Gretna memorial. Think I'll try and rectify that this weekend.

It's a really intetrsting story and one I'm going to try and read more about.

Pinkie
12-02-2015, 10:18 PM
I have dropped an email to one of the government officials at the end of Pinkie's email. I asked what the form of the commemoration was taking.

I will update when an answer is received.

Thanks - didn't occur to me to do that. I'll look out for your updates.

BSEJVT
12-02-2015, 10:25 PM
Quite simply, wow. Lest we forget.

Agree 100%

My father was a great British Legion man and I was brought up in that type of environment but even I don't think I have heard a story quite like Worcester's

It's absolutely mind boggling, we owe our service people past and present a debt we can never repay and IMO don't do nearly enough to try to.

God bless them all

Pinkie
12-02-2015, 10:28 PM
Thanks for this :aok:

Edit: Found this which pretty much includes the names - sorry, misread re the dates

I know there's also a memorial outside the church at the foot of Easter Road, just down from the Persevere, but I think that's a memorial to Boys Brigade members who died only.

--------
12-02-2015, 10:37 PM
In Alan Lugton's 3rd book in his Hibs trilogy he states that " 8 of the soldiers killed at Gretna had at one time or another been on Hibs books". He also provides an interesting piece of information in that Hibs made ER available for military training early in the war & Hibs players, members of the Edinburgh-Irish Brigade & Hearts players all drilled at ER. As mentioned in other posts 101 soldiers were buried in a mass grave at Rosebank cemetery on Pilrig Street & many others were buried in Eastern cemetery behind ER. I have no doubt that the great majority of the dead would have been Hibs fans but it is 100% certain they were all from Leith & as a Leith club we must play an active role in any commemoration. Thanks to the OP for starting this important thread, hopefully we can keep the thread active until May.


Actually, they weren't ALL from Leith - the Battalion was the 7th (Leith and Lothians) Battalion, T.A. and drew its men from that whole area. The vast majority however were from Leith itself, and a number of others from the eastern and northern parts of Edinburgh (remember that Leith wasn't part of the city of Edinburgh until 1929). There were a few men from West Lothian - Armadale and Bathgate IIRC. I suspect that those men probably had had a Leith connection, though - originating in the town, then moving away but continuing to be part of the local T.A.

Training took place at the Drill Hall in Dalmeny Street just off Leith Walk. The Battalion was very much a community battalion and the disaster was a huge blow to the community as a whole. Everyone was affected by it - either by the loss of a family member or by the loss of a neighbour or friend.

My great uncle, Pte. Andrew Baillie, was 20 when he was killed. His niece told me that the families were initially denied the usual pensions for widows and for injuries suffered in the crash. the line the War Office took was that since they hadn't actually embarked on the troopship at Liverpool, they hadn't actually been properly mustered into the Army. There was such an outcry, however, that they backtracked and paid up in the end.

Link for the relevant page from the regimental website:

http://www.theroyalscots.co.uk/page/the-quintinshill-gretna-train-crash-22-may-1915

List of the dead:

http://www.scotsman.me.uk/Newsletters/Amended_Quintinshill_Roll.pdf

The name that always gives me a wee shiver is in the third column - Kerr, Napoleon B. The lad's middle name was Bonaparte - he must have had quite some leg-pulling about that, poor soul.

worcesterhibby
13-02-2015, 12:05 AM
thanks for all the kind words about my Great Uncle.

Here is a newspaper cutting from the time which gives an account of his war and the fate of his brothers. I have a owe debt of gratitude to a friend of my families Richie Walker who helped a great deal in the research. He spent a lot of time tracing the history of all the men who are listed on the WW! roll of honour for Leith Methodist Church.

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x211/worcesterhibby/charlesLcheyne_zps2e2c1c10.jpg

NAE NOOKIE
13-02-2015, 12:40 AM
thanks for all the kind words about my Great Uncle.

Here is a newspaper cutting from the time which gives an account of his war and the fate of his brothers. I have a owe debt of gratitude to a friend of my families Richie Walker who helped a great deal in the research. He spent a lot of time tracing the history of all the men who are listed on the WW! roll of honour for Leith Methodist Church.

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x211/worcesterhibby/charlesLcheyne_zps2e2c1c10.jpg

Two children killed one wounded and one on active service ...... its when you read stuff like that that anger takes the place of pride. What the hell had poor Mrs Cheyne ever done to be put through that. She may be long gone but my heart bleeds for her. politicians !!!

gorgie greens
13-02-2015, 06:16 AM
Great stories guys and hats off to those brave guys, really hope Hibs can do something about the date,if you listened to the Yams they won the wars all by them selves.

--------
13-02-2015, 10:33 AM
thanks for all the kind words about my Great Uncle.

Here is a newspaper cutting from the time which gives an account of his war and the fate of his brothers. I have a owe debt of gratitude to a friend of my families Richie Walker who helped a great deal in the research. He spent a lot of time tracing the history of all the men who are listed on the WW! roll of honour for Leith Methodist Church.

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x211/worcesterhibby/charlesLcheyne_zps2e2c1c10.jpg

Some story.

Green Man
13-02-2015, 11:26 AM
I only found out about the Gretna disaster a few years back. I had been at Easter Road getting tickets and was walking back to work as I passed the cemetery at Pilrig. I noticed the Commonwealth war graves and went in, there I saw the memorial to the disaster. What an awful tragedy, and very appropriate that it should be commemorated.

Just Alf
13-02-2015, 11:45 AM
There's a list of everyone involved here (http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=66932), it includes the guys addresses which really shows the impact across Leith at it's environs..... really, really sad.

brog
13-02-2015, 11:57 AM
[QUOTE=Doddie;4301215]Actually, they weren't ALL from Leith - the Battalion was the 7th (Leith and Lothians) Battalion, T.A. and drew its men from that whole area. The vast majority however were from Leith itself, and a number of others from the eastern and northern parts of Edinburgh (remember that Leith wasn't part of the city of Edinburgh until 1929). There were a few men from West Lothian - Armadale and Bathgate IIRC. I suspect that those men probably had had a Leith connection, though - originating in the town, then moving away but continuing to be part of the local T.A.

You're correct of course Doddie in that not all were from Leith though the 7th Battalion was ( per the Royal Scots' website ) known only as Leith. The piece below ( same source ) explains how the Battalion was expanded for war purposes. The main thing however as we're all agreed on is it was an awful tragedy, which somehow IMO sums up the absolute futility of war, ie being killed in an accident on your way to a battle where huge casualties were incurred. I grew up in Leith Walk, about 50 yards from Dalmeny Street & went to many events in the TA hall there but its only in recent years I became aware of the Gretna disaster.

The 7th Battalion, with their Drill Hall in Dalmeny Street, just within the then Burgh of Leith, drew nearly all its recruits from that Burgh, Portobello and, a sizeable number, concentrated in A Company, from neighbouring Musselburgh. This very local recruiting had not altered much by 1915 although the Battalion had been reinforced to War establishment for deployment overseas by a Company from 8th Battalion The Highland Light Infantry, drawn mostly from the Lanark area, two of whom were killed. Within the Battalion roll of those involved in the crash are listed a few men from the Lothians and from Fife and one, Pte John Fyfe, who was killed, from Lima, New York, USA.

--------
13-02-2015, 12:17 PM
[QUOTE=Doddie;4301215]Actually, they weren't ALL from Leith - the Battalion was the 7th (Leith and Lothians) Battalion, T.A. and drew its men from that whole area. The vast majority however were from Leith itself, and a number of others from the eastern and northern parts of Edinburgh (remember that Leith wasn't part of the city of Edinburgh until 1929). There were a few men from West Lothian - Armadale and Bathgate IIRC. I suspect that those men probably had had a Leith connection, though - originating in the town, then moving away but continuing to be part of the local T.A.

You're correct of course Doddie in that not all were from Leith though the 7th Battalion was ( per the Royal Scots' website ) known only as Leith. The piece below ( same source ) explains how the Battalion was expanded for war purposes. The main thing however as we're all agreed on is it was an awful tragedy, which somehow IMO sums up the absolute futility of war, ie being killed in an accident on your way to a battle where huge casualties were incurred. I grew up in Leith Walk, about 50 yards from Dalmeny Street & went to many events in the TA hall there but its only in recent years I became aware of the Gretna disaster.

The 7th Battalion, with their Drill Hall in Dalmeny Street, just within the then Burgh of Leith, drew nearly all its recruits from that Burgh, Portobello and, a sizeable number, concentrated in A Company, from neighbouring Musselburgh. This very local recruiting had not altered much by 1915 although the Battalion had been reinforced to War establishment for deployment overseas by a Company from 8th Battalion The Highland Light Infantry, drawn mostly from the Lanark area, two of whom were killed. Within the Battalion roll of those involved in the crash are listed a few men from the Lothians and from Fife and one, Pte John Fyfe, who was killed, from Lima, New York, USA.


Sorry - I took the 'Leith and Lothians' tag from Lyn MacDonald's book excellent book '1915'. Obviously the regiment website give the right title.

Your other point about the utter stupidity and futility of the whole business just sums the whole thing up - more than 200 men killed in a train crash on their way to the troopship to be taken out to a campaign which even for the First World War was exceptionally pointless and futile, and all down to incompetence and greed on the part of the railway company and the government ....

Aye, well.

itslegaltender
13-02-2015, 12:39 PM
I have a relative who died, William McEwan. His daughter (my great Auntie) died at the age of 99 on Boxing day. She never spoke of it, she never knew him because she was so young at the time of his death. She lived on Dalgety Street for 60 years, remember many times hearing the roar of the crowd from Easter Road when we visited her.

The crazy thing for me is that my Grandfather, her brother was born just over a year after this.... Potentially, I wouldn't be here today if William McEwan had survived. It does make you wonder what its all about when an event like this changes the course of future generations.

surreyhibbie
13-02-2015, 04:23 PM
sad number of people from Musselburgh, my home town. Including al least one who was probably related to me.

Must dig deeper. I was aware of the disaster but hadn't seen the list of names before.

Very moving.

ACLeith
11-03-2015, 10:34 AM
http://www.oldleither.com/GretnaIcon.html
i imagine South Leith parish church will have some kind of commemoration for the rail disaster

A brief update .... on Saturday 23rd May there is a parade and commemoration service in Edinburgh, centred on Dalmeny Street Drill Hall and Rosebank Cemetery.
On Sunday 24th, alongside other services, as part of their regular Sunday service, South Leith Parish Church is laying wreaths at their main war memorial (some survivors may have subsequently been killed and would be listed on that memorial) and on the memorial to the 7th Battalion Royal Scots.

lord bunberry
11-03-2015, 10:41 AM
There's a Facebook page for anyone who's interested. It's called remembering the leith battalion gretna 1915-2015

Fife-Hibee
11-03-2015, 01:04 PM
Brings a tear reading the list. Must have been a very sad time for the city ( poor souls ) :(

jdships
11-03-2015, 04:19 PM
I remember reading that the memorial at Rosebank Cemetery lists the names, whether that's all the names or just those buried there I don't know.

Sad thing is this quote from a reputable publication about the disaster.

" A number of bodies were never recovered having been wholly consumed by the fire and the bodies that were recovered were buried together in a mass grave in Edinburgh's Rosebank Cemetery. Four bodies, believed to be of children were never identified or claimed and are buried in the Western Necropolis, Glasgow. "

A statement at the time on behalf of the Provost and Ministers of every Church in Leith stated

" There isn't a household in Leith which does not contain someone or was known by someone who was involved in this disaster , albeit direct relative friend, neighbour , work mate whatever "

My aunt's told me my family had five involved injured .

:not worth

JimBHibees
11-03-2015, 04:29 PM
Sad thing is this quote from a reputable publication about the disaster.

" A number of bodies were never recovered having been wholly consumed by the fire and the bodies that were recovered were buried together in a mass grave in Edinburgh's Rosebank Cemetery. Four bodies, believed to be of children were never identified or claimed and are buried in the Western Necropolis, Glasgow. "

A statement at the time on behalf of the Provost and Ministers of every Church in Leith stated

" There isn't a household in Leith which does not contain someone or was known by someone who was involved in this disaster , albeit direct relative friend, neighbour , work mate whatever "

My aunt's told me my family had five involved injured .

:not worth

Dont really understand that one though suppose given the numbers involved and the fact there were a number of trains colliding it could happen. How can four children not be known to have died?

cabbageandribs1875
22-05-2020, 09:38 PM
never forgotten

RIP :(

offshorehibby
22-05-2020, 09:59 PM
Ok, this is not relay Leith or Edinburgh related but only heard about this disaster on the Forth today. Known as the battle of May island.


The “Battle” of May Island is the name given to the series of accidents that occurred during Operation EC1 in 1918. Named after the Isle of May, an island in the Firth of Forth, close by, it was a disastrous series of accidents amongst Royal Navy ships on their way from Rosyth in Scotland to fleet exercises in the North Sea. On the misty night of 31 January to 1 February 1918, five collisions occurred between eight vessels. Two submarines were lost and three other submarines and a light cruiser were damaged. 104 men died, all of them Royal Navy. Although it took place during the War it was an entirely accidental tragedy and no enemy forces were present. It was therefore not a Battle and was only referred to as such with black humour. The subsequent investigation and court martial were kept quiet, with much of the information not released until the 1990s.

http://www.scotlandswar.co.uk/may_island.html

Largshibby
22-05-2020, 10:00 PM
Dont really understand that one though suppose given the numbers involved and the fact there were a number of trains colliding it could happen. How can four children not be known to have died?

Some of the victims were so badly burned as a result of fire following the collisions that the remains resembled those of children. As no one subsequently came forward looking for missing children it was decided that the remains were actually those of adults, probably soldiers from the troop train many of whom could not be formally identified.

JimBHibees
22-05-2020, 10:27 PM
Some of the victims were so badly burned as a result of fire following the collisions that the remains resembled those of children. As no one subsequently came forward looking for missing children it was decided that the remains were actually those of adults, probably soldiers from the troop train many of whom could not be formally identified.

Ok I understand that.

Clarence
22-05-2020, 10:29 PM
My great Grandad from Balfour Street was involved and survived. He unfortunately died whilst my grandad was still an infant in the thirties, so we only have a word of mouth recollection of him passed down from my great grandmother. Even though my grandad never met him, he’s had a big influence on the family and I make sure that my kids know their heritage and the sacrifice their great great grandfather Rab made by ensuring that disaster and being shipped off to Gallipoli after.