Monday, May 26, 2008


Was in the Bier Halle Republic in Great Western Road last night for a wee drink and bit of food prior to attending Evensong. It was £4.15 for a pint of Kronenbourg Blanc. Lovely beer, but outrageous prices!

Evensong was good, with the choir singing Durufle's Ubi Caritas. Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Where charity and love are, God is there.

In the morning, having woken stupidly early for a Sunday, I quit the house and headed towards town carrying my new camera, determined to start playing with it properly and get used to the buttons and dials so that I don't have to think about what to press and when. I got as far as the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and the Transport Museum, which are across the road from each other, but since neither opened until about 11am I confined myself to a wander round outside.

I've seen the war memorial outside the Art Gallery a few times, but only from a distance, and I discovered to my surprise that it is actually dedicated to the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) which was a Lanarkshire based regiment, now long disbanded, which my grandfather (see photo below) joined the TA version of on 29th March 1929 as a Rifleman, leaving again on 19th January 1930 before enlisting with the Scots Guards on 11th August 1930 and serving with them for exactly 3 years before being transferred to the Army Reserve on 10th August 1933. His certificate of service book from this time says he was a clean, sober and hard working man who was honest, willing and reliable. It also says he was a good footballer!

In another subsequent certificate of service book for him, he kept the same army number (3242219) and rejoined the Scots Guards upon mobilisation on 1st December 1939, leaving again on 19th September 1944 after 4 years and 293 days. By this time he was a sergeant, his conduct was again listed as very good, and he was described as a clean, honest, sober and hardworking non-commissioned officer who carried out his duties in a satisfactory manner during his service with the colours.

Clearly he was mobilised due to the outbreak of World War II but left before it was finished. The reason given for his discharge was that he ceased to fulfil army physical requirements. I understand that he caught Tuberculosis, and in my lifetime I know he spent some time in Erskine Hospital, which actually isn't too far from where I now live, which is for injured, disabled and ill service personnel. I have a photo of me taken by him when I was a small child lying at the foot of his hospital bed in Erskine.

In total he spent 7 years and 293 days with the colours, and 6 years and 112 days in the reserve, making a total of 14 years and 40 days service. He enlisted with the Cameronians when he was around 22 years old, joined the regular army in the Scots Guards at about 23, was mobilised at the start of the war when he was about 32 and was invalided out when he was about 37. In fact he, and his contemporaries, obviously packed a lot of experiences into a small number of years around that time.

So anyway, what was I saying? Oh yes, the Cameronians memorial. The photo at the top of the page is a part of the memorial.

I've just this minute been contacted via Friends Reunited by a former school mate who I haven't seen since about 1979. He's thinking about arranging a bit of a reunion, which I'd guess will be no more than meeting in a pub rather than hiring a hall etc, and he's looking for email addresses for our contemporaries. Makes me realise that I've lost contact with all of them, although recently through Facebook I've made contact with a couple. So I think I'm now going to go onto Friends Reunited and start messaging people to try to re-establish some contact. It was all such a long time ago!

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