Scottish Cyclist Company 2 months 2 weeks ago #73854
The only one of the five fatalities the Corps suffered that I couldn't find a mention of was 7527 Private J. Corstophine, who died of disease at Winburg, 29th December 1901.
1st V.B.R.H.....The War Office wants one company of volunteer cyclists from the Scottish district for service in South Africa. Some little time may elapse before instructions come about enrolment, but men willing to volunteer are asked to send in their names at once. Our eyes are turned to K Company, now one hundred strong. How many will volunteer?
Dundee Evening Telegraph, Wednesday 13th March 1901
SCOTTISH VOLUNTEER CYCLISTS FOR THE FRONT.....An intimation went out on Saturday from the Scottish headquarters to the effect that candidates for active service need not actually belong to the cyclist companies of their corps, but that volunteers who can be certified as good cyclists, and are otherwise eligible, may be accepted. There is little reason to doubt that the rates of pay offered have a good deal to do with the apparent apathy on the part of volunteer cyclists. Those who are in a position to pronounce an opinion on the matter declare that while Imperial Yeomen destitute of any previous military training - some of whom, to begin with, did not know how to sight their rifles - were given 5s a day, there was little inducement to volunteers destined for the important and responsible duties that devolve upon a cyclist in war to go out to South Africa on 1s a day.
Dundee Evening Telegraph, Monday 18th March 1901
CYCLISTS FOR THE FRONT.
DUNDEE MEN ACCEPTED.....Orders have been received by the Recruiting Office in Dundee to attest the following, who have volunteered for active service with the Scottish Volunteer Cyclist Company: -
....Private D. T. Brown, 1st V.B.R.H.
....Lance-Corporal W. Blair, 3d V.B.R.H.
....Private W. U. Butchart, 3d V.B.R.H.
....Private W. S. Lumsden, 3d V.B.R.H.
....Sergeant-Instructor David Swan, of the permanent staff of the 1st V.B.R.H., has, we learn, also received orders to hold himself in readiness to join this company as the colour-sergeant of the company. The above were medically examined on the 27th inst., and passed fit. They are to be attested on Thursday, the 28th, and will probably leave for Perth on Friday, the 29th.
The Dundee Courier, Thursday 28th March 1901
....For the Front. - Private R. W. Nelson, 3½ St Mary's Street, of the Arbroath detachment of the 2d V.B.R.H., was medically examined and attested at Dundee on Thursday for service with the Scottish Infantry Cyclist Volunteers. Private Nelson will shortly proceed to Berwick-on-Tweed, where the Company will mobilise, previous to embarkation for South Africa.
The Dundee Courier, Friday 29th March 1901
....Intimation has been received at Leith Volunteer Headquarters that fourteen more members of the 5th V.B.R.S. are wanted to join the Scottish Cyclist Corps for South Africa. The number, it is said, will be easily obtained.
....We give a portrait of Sergeant M'Alpine, artificer, Leith, who left Leith yesterday with the Scottish Cyclist Corps for South Africa. He has mounted all the members of the Leith section of the corps on behalf of Mr Alexander, Leith Walk, and will have the repairs to do. Sergeant M'Alpine is well-known in racing circles, and has won a good many awards as a cyclist.
Edinburgh Evening News, Saturday 6th April 1901
....The Scottish Cyclist Corps, which is at present undergoing training at the depot of the King's Own Scottish Borderers at Berwick previous to departure for South Africa, is now almost up to its full strength of 120. The men undergo exercise every day. No notice of their departure for the front has yet been received. The officers are Captain J. M. Hunter, 1st Volunteer Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers; Lieutenant W. B. Gray, 4th Volunteer Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers; Lieutenant J. Gray, Seaforth Highlanders; Lieutenant Shortridge, Galloway Rifles; and Lieutenant Foulds, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
Aberdeen Journal, Saturday 20th April 1901
....THE SAILING OF THE SCOTTISH CYCLISTS. - It is understood that the Scottish Volunteer Cyclists' Corps, now in barracks at Berwick, leave Southampton on May 10 in the steamship Orient, for Cape Town.
Edinburgh Evening News, Friday 3rd May 1901
....Last night the 16 volunteers from the 7th Volunteer Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders who have volunteered and been accepted for active service with the Scottish Cyclists' Corps in South Africa were banquetted in the Victoria Hotel, Alloa, by the officers of the battalion. Thereafter a public presentation took place in the Drill Hall, which was packed to the door. Ten of the men drawn from the Alloa companies received gold badges from Dean of Guild Cousin on behalf of Alloa Town Council, and the six from the other companies of the battalion also received gold badges, the gifts of the officers of the battalion. . . Afterwards the men left for and had an enthusiastic send-off at the station.
Dundee Evening Telegraph, Friday 3rd May 1901
....Last night the Scottish Cyclist Service Volunteer Corps, consisting of 115 men and five officers from various parts of Scotland, who have been training at the depot of the King's Own Scottish Borderers at Berwick for the last six weeks, left there for Southampton, where they embark to-day in the steamship Orient for South Africa. The men have during their stay in Berwick been using their own cycles for scouting purposes, but on their arrival in South Africa will be supplied with machines at the expense of the Government. The corps were accompanied from the depot to the railway station by the pipers of the Borderers, playing lively airs.
Edinburgh Evening News, Tuesday 14th May 1901
Edinburgh Evening News, Saturday 18th May 1901
SCOTTISH CYCLIST CORPS.....The Scottish Cyclist Corps, with Lieutenant Shortridge, of Dumfries and Galloway Rifles, has received its baptism of fire. Along with twenty-three men on the Jagersfontein Road Lieutenant Shortridge was attacked by Boers. The cyclists dismounted and held their ground until relieved. Six Boers were accounted for in the struggle. Lieutenant Shortridge, who was prevented through illness at the last moment from going out with the 1st Border Service Company, has been specially congratulated by General Hart for his pluck.
RECEIVES ITS BAPTISM OF FIRE.
The Dundee Courier, Saturday 27th July 1901
....SKIRMISHES WITH THE BOERS. - CYCLES "NO GOOD" IN SOUTH AFRICA. - Corporal J. Linton, son of Mr Linton, tailor, Selkirk, of No. 3 Section of the Scottish Cyclist Company, now on active service in South Africa, writing to a friend from Jagersfontein Road, under date 22nd June, says: - We are having some exciting times here. We are never out a day, but we see some Boers. We had a church parade last Sunday and were in full marching order, including our rifles and bandoliers full of cartridges, in case of being attacked. The church we had to go to was at a village of the name of Thormburg. The service was English. The village is full of Boer spies, who know more of the war than we do. On the following Monday we were away with the mounted infantry of the South Lancashires to loot a Boer farm. We went away about six o'clock in the morning and got to the farm all right; it belonged to a man who is now a leader in the Boer army. The British put him and his family out of it at the beginning of the year. We had a spring cart with us, and we soon had it loaded with loot. I found a Bible belonging to the farmer, and also a large number of stamps. I am going to send them home. After we had enough of loot we made tracks for camp. We were not long on the road when we heard a shot go off, the bullet landing amongst us. We got off our bikes at once, and took as much cover as we could. I went in behind an ant hill and had a look round. I saw a number of Boers about 500 yards away to our left, and we were not long in sending a few shots to them. The mounted infantry galloped away for reinforcements, and they were not long in coming to our aid. They occupied a kopje away to our rear, and in the meantime we were busy firing at the enemy. We had some narrow shaves. One of the bullets struck the ant hill I was behind and sent a lot of dust over me. It makes one feel strange to hear the bullets pinging over one's heads, some of them striking the ground within a foot. The officer came up to us and told us to ride across the veldt as hard as we could, for the Boers were trying to cut us off. It was a race for the kopjes, but the cyclists won. Talk about the Common-Riding sports; they were not in it. We soon got behind the M.I., and they opened fire on the Boers, and shortly afterwards a fifteen-pounder began to shell them also. It made short work of them. The Boers lost four killed and fifteen wounded, the cyclists accounting for one or two of them. No one was hurt on our side, and we were all thankful that we came through it all right. The officer in command here received a telegram from General Hart saying that the cyclists had done well in their first skirmish, and that cycles would be used more in future in the time of war. Good old Borderers; they are always to the front! They are all Borderers in this section except one or two. The officer in command of the cyclists is a Galloway man, and the sergeant and lance-corporal come from Hawick, while the corporal, as you know, comes from the old burgh. The other day we were nearly in another skirmish. We were away scouting for about five miles down the line, and when we were coming back we saw a Boer on top of a kopje. We got off our "bikes" and went after him. When we got to the top we saw the Boer and a few others galloping away across the veldt like the wind. They were too far away to have a shot at them. The Boers are on the lookout for us every day. I think they would like the "bikes." They are welcome to them, as they would find that they are no good. Horses are the thing for this country. There is no right road, and we have just to pick our way. I was on guard the other night, and I thought the Boers were going to make an attack on the station. We expected that a Boer commando was going to cross the line not far from the station. A squad of our men went away down to try to stop them, but they never attempted to cross, so the men came back again. No sooner had they got back than we heard a lot of firing. The Boers must have been on the lookout for them. We heard in the morning that the Boers were trying to commandeer some cattle, bur they were driven back. We heard a rumour yesterday that No. 2 section had got cut up. The rumour said they had lost four killed and seven wounded. I think they should give each of the cyclists a horse, which is more handy for going across the veldt. If it had not been for the M.I. in the last skirmish, it would have been "up a tree" with the cyclists. We got a nice letter from our captain thanking us for the way we behaved under fire. He also said that No. 3 (our section) had laid the foundation of the Scottish Cyclist Company. So much again for the Borderers. We are enjoying the life here first-rate. It is just like the camp at home. We are getting good meat and plenty of it, and are getting very stout on it. We are having very wet weather. Last night was very stormy, with plenty of thunder and lightning, which I never saw the like of before. The lightning lit up the whole veldt. A good many tents were flooded, and blankets, &c., were floating about. I had my tent trenched before the storm came on, and it saved us from having wet clothes.
The Southern Reporter, Thursday 8th August 1901
....Scottish Cyclist Corps - 8090 Private G. Gordon died from enteric at Norval's Pont, August 22.
Edinburgh Evening News, Wednesday 28th August 1901
....WITH THE SCOTTISH CYCLISTS IN SOUTH AFRICA. - A peculiarly pathetic interest attaches to the following letter, in respect that it was written by Corp. J. Linton (Selkirk), of the Scottish Cyclist Company, now in South Africa, and addressed to Sergeant-Major Adams. The letter is dated from Jagersfontein Road, 26th July, whereas the death of the late Sergeant-Major took place on the 1st of that month. One can imagine the feelings of surprise and regret with which the news of his death will be received by the Selkirk Volunteers now at the front when the news reaches them. The first part of the letter deals principally with the engagement in which the Cyclists received their baptism of fire, and the compliments they received on that occasion, details of which have already appeared in our columns. It then goes on to say: - "About a fortnight ago one of our men on the watch at the Vadet, which is about a mile from the station, came in and reported that some horsemen were approaching, so the Commandant ordered the garrison to stand to arms, and sent the Cyclists out to the Vadet. He picked out three and sent them forward to scout, while he watched them through the glasses, and everything the scouts did pleased him very much; the fearless way they went forward, and the speed they rode over the rough veldt coming back to report. The horsemen turned out to be some Yorkshire Yeomanry, a portion of Colonel Bing's column, chased in by a commando of Boers. They brought with them six prisoners whom they had captured on the road, so we formed an escort and marched them into camp, whence they were afterwards sent up to Bloemfontein. This garrison has been changed twice since we came here, and we have now with us the Royal Irish Fusiliers, which I believe is your old regiment. I was talking to Col.-Serg. M'Farlane, and I asked him if he knew you, and he said he knew you well, as he had went through a course of musketry under you. Rimmington's Scouts came in here about a week ago and brought thirteen prisoners with them, so we were kept busy till they were sent off to Bloemfontein, as we had to furnish as extra guard, and as we have only enough men to do one night in and one out it was pretty stiff on the men. Our guard here is a sort of an outpost. We mount at five o'clock at night and come off at six in the morning. We are in trenches situated about two miles from the station all round, three men in each trench. Sometimes it is very cold, as we have no covering but the canopy of heaven, and often our memories wander back to the old Borderland, and especially to 'auld' Selkirk, where I have spent many happy nights with the Volunteers. But suddenly you are brought to mind that you are on active service, and away you have to go and visit the posts. All the Borderers were pleased to hear of the success of Border Cyclists at Edinburgh, and of Arm.-Serg. Scott winning the Caledonian Shield, and hope they will continue their success at Bisley this year. I was up at Bloemfontein with some refugees the other day, and had a look round the place. The town on the whole did not come up to expectations, as I expected to see something good. The only place of any note was the Market Place, where Lord Roberts made the proclamation. This morning General Tucker paid us a visit, but he only went round about two of the trenches and went off again without looking at the Scottish Cyclists, after we had the place all cleaned up. Oliver (Jethart) remarked that he did not think they knew there was such a thing as the Scottish Cyclists' Company. Stuff out here is very dear, and I can tell you it takes nearly all our pay if we want to buy any extras such as condensed milk, cocoa, butter, &c. Fancy having to pay 3s for 1 lb of butter, which you could buy at home for about 1s 4d. Everything is just about double and sometimes more, so that we can't enjoy many luxuries. The Hawick men here send kind regards to you and to their Sergt.-Instr. Buchanan. Kemp is getting on A1."
....Corp. Linton gives the names of the Border Brigade men as follows: - Lieut. Shortridge, Galloway R.V.; Serg. Watson. Hawick; Corp. Linton, Selkirk; L.-Corp. Murray, Hawick; Privs. E. Wemyss, Hawick; R. Robb, Hawick; R. Turnbull, Hawick; G. Scott, Hawick; J. Shaw, Hawick; R. Scott, Denholm; J. Kemp, Selkirk; A. Oliver, "Jethart"; P. Martin, Langholm; T. Campbell, Langholm; L.-Corp. B. Graham, Annan; Privs. S. Lundy, Castle Douglas; A. M'Leod, Castle Douglas; T. Wilson, Stranraer.
The Southern Reporter, Thursday 5th September 1901
DEATH FROM ENTERIC.....Scottish Cycle Corps - 8088 Pte. Walter Thompson, Kroonstad, 26th March.
The Dundee Courier, Friday 31st March 1902
....Deaths.- Scottish Cyclist Corps - 943 Colour-Sergeant D. Swan, Bethlehem, February 10, enteric fever.
Edinburgh Evening News, Friday 14th February 1902
....The death, from enteric, of Colour-Sergeant D. Swan, of the Scottish Cyclist Corps, is reported to have taken place at Bethlehem on the 10th inst., and the intelligence will come as a blow to his many friends in Dundee and Perth. He was a soldier out and out, and though the term of his service had well-nigh been spent he volunteered for the front, and in charge of the Cyclist Corps he went out to South Africa in March last. His time in the regulars would have expired in a few months, and in letters to friends he signified his intention of remaining in South Africa. He was actively engaged in blockhouse work, and the corps to which he was attached rendered signal service in scouting and despatch-bearing. He joined the army when a lad, and rose step by step in the Black Watch until he attained the rank of colour-sergeant. At Perth he was highly spoken of as a soldier who would win still further distinction in the service, and when he was promoted to be instructor of the 3d V.B.R.H. at Dundee his comrades and friends were delighted. Enthusiastic in army work, he soon won the hearts of the volunteers, and the instructor became a favourite with all. In the stirring times when men were called for active service he superintended the training of those who left the city, and was genuinely proud of his lads. Smart and soldierly, one would never imagine that he had served his country for well-nigh twenty years, and young at heart and in spirit he also determined to see some fighting. He was an enthusiastic cyclist, and held the opinion that great work cold be accomplished by smart wheelmen in war. In Perth he was regarded as one of the most expert billiard players in the city, and frequently represented Perth against Dundee. Volunteers in Dundee will miss him, for they could have no more enthusiastic or painstaking instructor, while those who had the good fortune to know him in private life will sincerely mourn his untimely death.
The Dundee Courier, Friday 14th February 1902
....The War Office last night notified the following death from enteric: 7502 Private John Brand of the Scottish Cycle Company, died from enteric at Kroonstad on April 2.
Edinburgh Evening News, Saturday 5th April 1902
DEATHS.BRAND. - At Kroonstad, South Africa, on April 2d, of enteric fever, JOHN BRAND, Q.B.R.V. Cycle Company, aged 21, only son of Mrs. Cobban, and stepson of Peter COBBAN, 3 Caledonian Road, Edinburgh.
Edinburgh Evening News, Monday 7th April 1902
SCOTTISH CYCLIST COMPANY.....In a cablegram from Lieutenant Birrell Gray, 4th V.B. the Royal Scots, who has been in South Africa with the Scottish Cyclist Company for the last year and a half, mention is made of the fact that the company has been ordered home.
Edinburgh Evening News, Tuesday 10th June 1902
....RETURN OF SCOTTISH CYCLIST COMPANY. - It is notified that three officers and 96 men of the Scottish Volunteer Cyclist Company are on passage home from South Africa in s.s. Dunvegan Castle due to arrive at Southampton on 6th July. They will be disembodied at Berwick. This company embarked for South Africa on s.s. Orient on 14th May 1901.
Edinburgh Evening News, Monday 30th June 1902
....The Scottish Volunteer Cyclist Company arrived this morning at Berwick, the depot of the King's Own Scottish Borderers, whence the men will return to their various homes. The cycles, it is stated, were of little use in South Africa, but the company acted as mounted infantry.
THE RETURN OF THE SCOTTISH CYCLIST COMPANY.....This morning the Scottish Volunteer Cyclist Company, drawn from Volunteers corps all over Scotland, arrived at the 25th Regimental Depot at Berwick, having landed from South Africa yesterday in the Dunvegan Castle. The men had a cordial reception. The company is under Captain Hunter and Lieut. Shortridge, some of the others remaining in South Africa. They went to South Africa in May of last year, and during their stay in the country have seen much hard service. The men leave for home during the day.
....Sergt. Somerville this afternoon received a wire from Col.-Sergt. M'Lennan, of Queen's Brigade Cyclists Company, who had gone down to Berwick for the purpose of welcoming the Edinburgh men of the Cyclists Company, that they will not reach Edinburgh till 6.20 this evening. It was thought at first that they would arrive about three o'clock.
....Colour-Sergeant David Swan, of the Black Watch, and four privates comprise the death-roll of the Scottish Cyclist Corps, which arrived at Berwick to-day. Sergt. Swan was instructor to the company. He had 19 years' service in the famous Highland regiment, and was in the Volunteers at Dundee. He was an excellent cyclist, and as fine an amateur billiard player as the army could boast. Swan leaves a widow and seven children. He died at Bethlehem from enteric.
....A telegram received from Sergt.-Major Errington, of the 5th Royal Scots, from Berwick, 2.45 p.m., says: "Please correct Leith Volunteers' arrival, Edinburgh, 8 p.m."
Edinburgh Evening News, Monday 7th July 1902
RETURN OF EDINBURGH AND LEITH VOLUNTEERS.....The Edinburgh contingent of the Scottish Cyclist Company arrived in Edinburgh about eight o'clock last night, and received a cordial welcome home from a large crowd. Berwick being the headquarters of the corps, the men arrived there from Southampton instead of coming straight to Edinburgh, and this gave rise to misunderstandings regarding the time the men would arrive. First they were expected by an early morning train, then at three o'clock in the afternoon. When they did not turn up at three, two Volunteer bands thought they were safe in turning out to meet the 6.28 train, but still the Volunteers came not. Eight o'clock was finally given as the hour of arrival, and by that time a large number of Volunteer officers and men and of the general public had assembled. About half the detachment belonged to Edinburgh and Leith. When the train steamed into the station loud cheers were raised by the onlookers, and there was much hearty handshaking. Headed by their respective bands, the Queen's Brigade and the Leith Battalion marched off to their headquarters. On the way through the streets hearty cheers were raised from time to time.
....Colonel Macrae addressed the Queen's detachment in presence of a large gathering in the Drill Hall. He extended a cordial welcome on behalf of all ranks of the Brigade. They were proud, he said, of the way in which the men had discharged their duty in South Africa, adding new distinction to the Brigade. He was glad to see them back again looking strong and well, and fit for their work. They had shown themselves ready at their country's call to do their duty in war; they would no doubt be equally ready to discharge their civil duties, and the distinction they had won in war would be an incentive to them to do so well and honourably. He hoped they would long be spared to enjoy their well-won honours, and that they would remain in the Brigade to be an example to those who had not had experience of war. After giving in their rifles the men were free to proceed to their homes.
....Lieut.-Colonel Adam addressed the Leith men in the Drill Hall, Dalmeny Street. He congratulated them upon the service they had been able to render the country. At the same time he took occasion to enforce the desire expressed by Lord Roberts, that the general public would be judicious in their reception of the men from the front, and would take care not to lead them astray. (Applause.) The Volunteers were afterwards entertained in the sergeants' messroom.
....The members of the Hawick Cyclist Volunteers, seven in number, returned home last night, and were accorded an enthusiastic reception. They were met by the officers and men of the Hawick Volunteers, the band playing "See the Conquering Hero Comes." Headed by the band, they marched along crowded thoroughfares to the Drill Hall. Captain Innes and Bailie Lawson welcomed the men home. Major Kennedy said that there had been more Volunteers in South Africa under Lord Kitchener than there were British soldiers under the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo.
....Private Andrew Oliver, of the Cyclist Corps, arrived at Jedburgh last night from South Africa. A section of the local Volunteers, under Lieutenant Oliver, met him at the railway station and escorted him to Market Place, where he was welcomed by Provost Miller and members of the Town Council.
....The two Selkirk men, Corporal J. S. Linton and Private John Kemp, who left for the front with the Scottish Cyclist Company over a year ago, returned to the town last night. The men were met at the station by a large company, including Pipe-Major Beaton, who, at the head of a procession, played the men through the streets.
....The local members of the Scottish Cyclist Corps arrived in Alloa by the last train last night. The town had been decorated, and despite the lateness of the hour the returning warriors were met by several thousand citizens, Alloa prize band and Volunteer bugle band were out, and the demonstrations of loyalty were extremely fervid. The men were entertained in the drill hall, and afterwards returned to their own homes.
Edinburgh Evening News, Tuesday 8th July 1902
....The annual ball of the Selkirk "I" Company, B.R.V., was held on Friday evening in the Volunteer Hall . . . In the course of the evening, Major D. C. Alexander presented war medals to the members of the 2nd Service Company and Cyclists, who were out in South Africa, these being pinned on by Mrs Craig-Brown. Those who received the medals were: - Cyclist Serg. J. Linton, Cyclist J. Kemp, Privates R. Renwick, J. Nichol, J. Irvine, J. Henderson, W. Donaldson, J. Grieve, and T. Stoddart. The cyclists received an extra bar, called the "King's Bar," with their medals.
The Southern Reporter, Thursday 12th February 1903
....The Hawick Detachment of the B.R.V. provided a grand assault-at-arms on Tuesday night in the Drill Hall, in presence of a crowded attendance of the public . . . In the course of the evening Colonel Elliot presented the South African war medals to the men of the Scottish Cyclist Company, namely: - Sergeant W. Watson, Corporal D. Murray, Privates J. Armstrong, R. Gilland, J. Middlemiss, A. Pirrie, R. Robb, G. Scott, R. W. Scott, J. G. Shaw, R. Turnbull, E. Wemyss.
The Southern Reporter, Thursday 2nd April 1903
A very good article on the use of bicycles in the ABW, including the Boer cyclist corps. Some excellent photos.
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Scottish Cyclist Company 2 months 2 weeks ago #73855
What happened to......Captain Hunter and Lieutenant Birrell Gray?
....The King has approved of the rank and dignity of King's Counsel to His Majesty in Scotland being conferred on Mr Willam Ingram, advocate; Mr John Mair Hunter, advocate, and Mr John Charles Watson, advocate.
....Mr Hunter is a native of Kilmarnock and is a son of the late Mr John Hunter, manufacturer. Educated at Spiers School, Beith, and at Edinburgh University, he was called to the Bar in 1904.
....Previously he had served in the South African War, in command of the Scottish Cyclist Company. In the Great war he served from 1914 to 1918, first as a major with the Royal Scots Fusiliers in Gallipoli until the evacuation; afterwards in Egypt, in Ireland in command of a battalion of the South Wales Borderers, and in France as lieutenant-colonel attached to the Cameron Highlanders.
....About eight years ago Mr Hunter was appointed junior counsellor for the Board of Trade, and two years later one of the Advocates Depute. Last month he was apponted Sheriff of Roxburgh, Berwick, and Selkirk, in room of the late Sheriff Chisholm.
Dundee Evening Telegraph, Friday 29th March 1929
NOTABLE FIFE MAN DEAD
DISTINGUISHED CAREER IN AFRICA
....The death took place yesterday after an illness of about five months of Major William Birrell-Gray, C.M.G., Glenard House, Auchtermuchty.
....Deceased, who was 68 years of age, was a Kiconquhar, but went to Auchtermuchty when a boy.
....He served in the South African War in the Scottish Cyclists' Corps and the 15th Mounted Infantry.
....Major Birrell-Gray entered the Nigerian Service in 1907 as an assistant district commissioner, where he had a distinguished career. He served as a district commissioner in various districts, and he also acted on different occasions as police magistrate, Crown prosecutor, municipal secretary, &c.
....He was promoted to the staff grade in 1927, and in the same year he was appointed to fill the important position of administrator of the Colony, which post he held until his retiral in 1932.
....Deceased was a member of the Executive Council as well as the Legislative Council of the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria, and was president of the Lagos Town Council. He was also chieftain of the Lagos Caledonian Society.
Auchtermuchty Activities.....He received the C.M.G. in the New Year honours list in 1930. Since his retiral to Auchtermuchty eight years ago he had taken an active interest in the welfare of the burgh. He served for a short time on the Town Council. He was vice-chairman of Auchtermuchty Savings Bank, president of the Legion branch, president of the amateur dramatic society, and also acted on the East Fife Public Assistance Committee.
....He took an active part in the local and Cupar Unionist Association. Only a short time ago he was co-opted an honorary district delegate of the Scottish Savings Committee.
....He took a keen interest in the Boy Scout movement and acted as district commissioner for East Fife.
The Dundee Courier, Friday 26th April 1940
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