County: Aberdeenshire
Issued on: Return
Date of presentation: 04/12/1902
Number issued: 1


Gold medal, suitably inscribed, to:

Royal Scots Greys –
Lieutenant W. Duguid McCOMBIE
Presentation made by the Rev. R. Robertson, on behalf of the tenants of the Easter Skene & Lynturk estates, at the mansion-house, Easter Skene.



Aberdeen Press & Journal, 6th December 1902



When it became known on Monday that Lieutenant W. Duguid McCOMBIE, second son of Mr P. Duguid McCombie of Easter Skene and heir to the estate, was expected to arrive at Easter Skene from South Africa on Thursday afternoon, the tenants on the Easter Skene and Lynturk estates resolved to meet at Easter Skene and give their young laird a hearty welcome. The Lynturk tenants drove in a large brake provided by the genial innkeeper of Muggerthaugh, Alford (himself a tenant), and met the Easter Skene contingent at the Kirktown of Skene at 2 p.m.  About half-past two the carriage containing Lieutenant Duguid McCOMBIE and the brother, Mr Simpson Duguid of Cammachmore, drove up amidst the enthusiastic cheering of a large crowd drawn together from all parts of the parish. Captain Hamilton, D.S.O., of Skene, was the first to step forward and shake hands with Lieutenant McCOMBIE, who afterwards had to submit to a lengthened round of handshaking and kindly inquiries. Lieutenant McCOMBIE has been in South Africa for two years and a half with the Scots Greys, and has seen a good deal of hard service, for which he got special mention in despatches. When the carriage arrived at the lodge the horses were promptly taken out, and a long rope was attached to the vehicle, a hundred willing hands immediately fastened to it, and next minute the carriage, with Lieutenant McCOMBIE and Mr Simpson Duguid inside and Captain Hamilton on the box as “steersman”, was speeding up the long avenue to the mansion-house of Easter Skene. On arrival there, more handshaking had to be gone through, and the whole party were most hospitably entertained by Mr and Mrs Duguid McCombie. A short toast-list was gone through.

Rev. R. Robertson, Skene, in presenting Lieut. McCOMBIE in the name of the tenants with a handsome gold medal as a memento of the occasion, said – It gives me the greatest pleasure to be here today to welcome home from the war a gallant young soldier, who had already distinguished himself in no small degree in his profession. (Cheers). Amongst our Scottish landlords there is hardly a family but has had one son or more at the front fighting for the honour of the old land, and showing that Scotland can still breed heroes as of old. (Hear, hear, and cheers). It is sad to think how many brave young fellows, fine sportsmen, agreeable companions, with everything to make life pleasant and worth living, are now sleeping their long sleep out on the African veldt. It is infinitely sad, but it is the risk of war, and we have men, aye, and boys too, who will take the risk as long as war is the only effective method of settling international disputes. …….

At the same time I believe that for the time being, at least, our soldiers, officers and men alike, have had their fill of war and are unfeignedly glad to be home again. Indeed, it would  be strange if Lieutenant McCOMBIE, after his long absence and arduous toil, did not feel the thrill of pleasure and thankfulness to find his foot once more upon his native heath. (Cheers). His country’s need was his opportunity; when the call came, breaking the home ties, and another tie at least equally dear, he shouldered his rifle, and possibly setting his teeth and crushing his helmet down a little more firmly on his head, he hurried away. Even a brave man has to do something of that kind to hide his emotion, when it comes to leaving all he holds dear, perhaps never to see them again. We are deeply thankful, and I am sure his father and mother and brother, and that other one, not a sister, feel their hearts surging over with gratitude to see him back once more safe and sound, and looking remarkably fit and strong. (Cheers). He has, I know, done capital work in South Africa. He has been mentioned in despatches, and he has been mentioned in another way equally telling. (Cheers). A young soldier from Aberdeen, writing home to a friend, remarked that they had young Duguid McCOMBIE of Easter Skene in the regiment; and that he was greatly liked by the men, and had plenty of vigour and “go”, and was making a splendid officer. (Cheers). What better certificate of character could an officer want? I’m sure we wish him all success and speedy promotion if he chooses to remain in the army, and our best wishes will be equally with him if he elects to settle down quietly amongst us at home to the less exciting life of a country laird. (Hear, hear, and cheers). I cannot let this opportunity pass without congratulating him on his approaching marriage, and wishing him and the young lady he is soon to lead to the altar good luck, long life, and happiness. (Prolonged cheers). And now, in the name of the tenants of Easter Skene and Lynturk, who have loyally gathered to give their laird a hearty welcome, I have great pleasure in presenting you with a very charming little gold medal in the hope that you will hang it at your watch-chain and wear it as a memento of your own hard work in South Africa and of their respect and esteem and their thankfulness to see you safely home again. (Renewed cheering).

Lieut. McCOMBIE briefly and feelingly replied. He was glad to be home again amongst the old familiar faces, and in thanking the tenants for their pretty gift, he said he would always wear it on his watch-chain as a remembrance of the hearty and kindly welcome he had received. (Cheers).

Mr Barclay, Roadside, proposed the health of Mr and Mrs Duguid McCombie, and remarked on the cordial relations that had always existed between Mr McCombie and his tenants.

Mr McCombie, in replying, asked the company to drink the health of Mr James Laing, Drumstone, who, in spite of ill-health, had had all the hardest work in making the arrangements for the meeting of the tenants to welcome home his soldier son. (Cheers).

Mr Laing proposed the health of Mr Simpson Duguid, which was drunk amid the heartiest applause, and after singing “Auld Lang Syne”, the company separated with another ringing cheer for Lieut. McCOMBIE.