Issued on: Return
Dates of presentations: 10/06/1901, 17/06/1901, 25/06/1901, 28/06/1901, 00/10/1901
Number issued: 11
7623 Private Hector WALKER
1500 Trooper [Lieutenant] George PATERSON
1474 Corporal Thomas MEIKLE
1489 Sergeant James SLOAN
c. October 1901 presentation
1481 Trooper James PARK
Maltese cross with crown suspender.
Reverse: "Presented to Pte. W.M. McCallum by the Public of Sorn Parish on his return from active service in South Africa, June 1901".
McCallum example held in the collection of the National Army Museum, London.
ENTHUSIASTIC RECEPTION TO OUR KHAKI SUN-BURNT VOLUNTEERS.
On Monday last the whole parish was astir in making preparations to give a hearty welcome to the seven members – Lance-Corporals Robt. PARK, John KYLE, Privates John MURDOCH, Geo. STEVENS, Wm. McCALLUM, Hector WALKER, and A. COOK – of the local contingent to the Volunteer Service Coy. Of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. The Catrine Cotton and Bleaching Works and the houses of the respective managers, Mr Hugh W. Pollock and Mr Jas. B.B. Morton, the A.M. Brown Institute, and the private houses of our village were decorated with flags and bunting. The large festoon, the work of Colour-Sergeant James Brown, thrown across the head of Mill Street, bearing the words, “Welcome, Sweet Home”, was very tastefully made and arranged. The banners and streamers displayed by Messrs Seaton were very fine. The “D” Coy. 2nd V.B. R.S.F., the ministers, teachers, school children, Parish Council, Good Templars, Free Gardeners, with their fine banners, and kindred societies, also the general public, assembled in Mill Square at 5.30 p.m. The vast company was put in marching order by Mr Alex. C. Duncan, who acted as marshal. The procession, headed by Mr Duncan on horseback, Catrine school children, and Sorn school children, led by two pipers and attended to by Mr Robertson, teacher, Private J. Rodger, artillerist, on horseback, Friendly Societies, Volunteers and band, and the public, proceeded to Shellie’s Brig, where they awaited the arrival of the South African contingent. Mr Pollock, ex-Quartermaster-Sergeant Meikle, and ex-Colour-Sergeant Gillies were in carriages beautifully decorated with wreaths of flowers and evergreens.
On meeting them, Mr Hugh W. Pollock said, – My gallant young friends, I am commissioned by your comrades of D Coy. and by your fellow-parishioners to welcome you back to the dear old home and to the loving hearts which have kept “watch and ward” over you since the dawn of that bleak wintry morning on which you left us to gallantly fight the battles of your Queen and country in far South Africa. (Cheers). We stand but a stone-throw from the place of parting, where we prayed that the God of Battles would hide you “Under the Shadow of His Wings”, and we give thanks to the Almighty God for His great goodness in sheltering you “from the arrow which flieth by day, and from the pestilence which walketh in darkness”, and bringing you home with unbroken ranks, and in health and strength to our hearts and homes, and we cordially welcome you. (Loud cheers). We parted from you in tears and with drooping hearts, for well we knew the perils of a cruel war and the arduous nature of your voluntary task, but we meet you tonight with smiles and with heads erect, for we have heard how nobly you have done your duty to Queen, King and country amid all the hardships and privations of the long campaign, and we are justly proud of you. Accept then our congratulations and hearty welcome to the dear old home, and may each of you be granted length of days in which to “fight His battles o’er again” in the calm and peace of our village life. (Great cheering).
After the address of welcome, the procession re-formed, and marched to the village by way of Cowan Place, Ballochmyle Street, Mill Street, Mill Square, St Germain Street, Stewart Place, Newton and Park Terrace to the A.M. Brown Institute Park, where a large platform was erected for the presentation of the medals to the volunteers returned from South Africa. Ex-Quartermaster-Sergeant Robert Meikle occupied the chair on the platform, and was accompanied by Lieutenant Thomas Harvey, the Rev. Aeneas C. Gordon, M.A.; Rev. James Wylie Hamilton, Rev. William John, M.A.; Rev. Henry A. Williamson, B.D.; Mr Hugh W. Pollock, Dr David Sloan, …… etc., etc.
……. Dr Sloan said – In the unavoidable and regretful absence of Mr and Mrs Brown, I have been asked by the committee to present the medals to those who one-and-a-half years ago severed family ties, renounced home comforts, and dared the dangers and the perils of war. I am pleased to be present to welcome home those who have been fighting their country’s battles under circumstances, so dangerous and so difficult, which have tested their bravery and endurance to the very utmost. Before they left, the opinion was expressed that they would do their duty, and they have fulfilled our expectations. While so many of our countrymen have made their graves in South Africa, it is a matter of the utmost gratification that our contingent have returned, or are about to return, having escaped the bullets of the enemy and the far more dangerous and treacherous enemy of fever and dysentery so prevalent there. (Applause). Now, soldiers, I have much pleasure in presenting you with these gold medals. We ask you to receive them, and we express the hope you will long be spared to wear them and to look upon them as a token of our admiration which your heroic conduct has created in the hearts of your fellow-townsmen. (Loud applause).
Miss Sloan then, amidst loud applause, gracefully pinned on the breast of each warrior the gold medal, which in every case was received with becoming modesty and pardonable pride.
……. Mr Beveridge proposed a vote of thanks to Dr Sloan and Miss Sloan, Mr Pollock to the committee, and Mr Paterson to the chairman, all of which were cordially awarded. Then the large company dispersed.
ENTHUSIASTIC RECEPTION ACCORDED TO TROOPER No. 1500 GEORGE PATERSON, OF CATRINE.
Monday was another gala evening on the occasion of the return of Trooper PATERSON of the Ayrshire Yeomanry from the front in South Africa. Trooper PATERSON, the eldest son of Mr John W. Paterson, gave himself and his services to the call of Queen and country. Trooper PATERSON was lieutenant in the D Company, 2nd Volunteer Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers, when he resigned his commission (dated 24th February, 1897) in order to join his comrades in the local contingent for the front. He left his native village on Wednesday morning, the 17th January, seventeen months ago. The three seventeens are rather unique in Trooper PATERSON’s experience in connection with the South African war. He left on the 17th January, was absent 17 months, and returned on the 17th June. …….
The Volunteers of D Company, 2nd V.B.R.S.F., the inhabitants, representatives of Friendly Societies, and the school children, under the care of Mr John Monie, teacher, and the Sorn school children, under Mr Robertson, met in Mill Square, in front of the Teviot Mill of Catrine Works, and were put into marching order. The procession, headed by Mr Alex. C. Duncan on his white charger, decorated with a beautiful garland of choice flowers, followed by the procession and the brass band of the Volunteer Battalion, with Private J. Rodger, R.A. (home from India on furlough), mounted, bringing up the rear, proceeded to Sheille’s Brig to await the arrival of Trooper PATERSON, and those (ex-Colour-Sergeant Alex. Gillies, ex-Sergeant Robert Hyslop, and Sergeant James Meikle) who had gone out to Mauchline Station in the handsomely decorated waggonette of Mr James Murdoch, Sorn, to meet him and escort him home. .......
On the meeting, the Hon. John Nimmo, in extending a hearty welcome on behalf of the community, said he did so with all the more pride, because he was an old volunteer himself, having been among the first to join the movement in Australia when Russia seemed aggressive. He had great sympathy for the movement, and was proud to learn that a number of patriotic young men belonging to his native place had volunteered to go out to South Africa in defence of British prestige and also of British rights. He was glad they had now reached home in safety, and it was a matter of gratification to all that Catrine had given birth to such men, who would ever be highly respected and who had set a good example to those who would come after them. ……. Scottish history proved that in all ages, when ever needed, men were never lacking to fight and die for civil and religious liberty, and he was proud of the young men who, animated by this spirit, volunteered to uphold the honour and dignity of their dear land in South Africa. On behalf of the community, he extended a hearty welcome to Trooper PATERSON.
After the address of welcome delivered by the Hon. John Nimmo, the procession returned to the village by way of Cowan Place, Ballochmyle Street, Mill Street, Mill Square, St Germain Street, Stewart Place, Newton and Park Terrace, to the A.M. Brown Institute Park, where a large platform had been erected. Trooper PATERSON, who was mounted, was taken off his horse and carried shoulder-high by Volunteers to the platform, there to be presented with a medal. Ex-Colour-Sergt. Alex. Gillies occupied the chair on the platform. ……. Before entering on the programme the chairman, ex-Colour-Sergeant Gillies, called for three hearty cheers for their young friend, which were lustily given. …….
Mr Monie, in presenting the gold medal, said it had fallen to him, in the absence of Mr Morton, to perform one of the pleasantest duties that ever devolved upon him. He was there to welcome Trooper PATERSON and to give him a little memento of that great and enthusiastic meeting. It was a matter for regret that all their lads did not come home together, but they would keep up the enthusiasm and give the others the same spontaneous welcome. He paid a high tribute to the Ayrshire Yeomanry, which was comprised of all sorts and conditions of men, and referred to the eulogies which their action in South Africa had called forth at various times. Concluding, Mr Monie said – On behalf of the inhabitants of Sorn Parish he had much pleasure in presenting Trooper PATERSON with a gold medal, not in any way as a recompense for his services in South Africa, and not as a memento of the trials and perils he had endured – he was not to look upon it as such – but it would call to his mind how they respected his courage, admired his patriotism, and heartily welcomed him back again to home.
Mrs Morton then, amid loud applause, gracefully fixed on Trooper PATERSON’s breast the gold badge. …….
The singing of the King’s Anthem terminated the proceedings.
ANOTHER KHAKI NIGHT AND HEARTY WELCOME TO TROOPER No. 1520 CORPORAL THOMAS MEIKLE (Son of Mr Thomas Meikle, painter, Ballochmyle Street, Catrine).
Trooper Meikle arrived at Southampton, per the Hawarden Castle, on Tuesday morning, the 25th inst. He left his native village along with his comrades – Trooper No. 1481 James PARK (a cousin), and Trooper No. 1500 George PATERSON – 17 months ago, for South Africa. Trooper PATERSON arrived last week, Trooper PARK is still in South Africa, and Trooper No. 1489 Corporal James SLOAN is recovering from an illness (caught at the front) in Netley Hospital. It is no doubt trying to rekindle our enthusiasm for the third man in as many weeks; but was it not more trying, or even as daring, for those young sons to leave dear hearth and home to fight our battles in South Africa. We rejoice as heartily and accord Trooper MEIKLE as warm a reception as that given to those of his comrades who have returned to their native village, improved in health and in muscular power, with faces bronzed with an African sun. There was a great display of flags, banners and bunting throughout the village, chiefly at the Catrine Cotton and Bleaching Works; Ayrbank and Broomknowe, the residences of the respective managers. Mr Hugh W. Pollock and Mr James B.B. Morton. Near to the home of Trooper MEIKLE, at Ballochmyle Street, a motto was thrown across the street, from Ayrbank to the Established Church Manse, bearing the words, “Welcome, Sweet Home”, the tasteful ingenious work of Col.-Sergt. James Brown. At the entrance gate of the Twist Mill of Messrs James Finlay & Co.’s Cotton Works, there was the motto in figure – the Lion Rampant in possession of the Globe, emblematic of power and universal sway over our empire, on which the sun never sets. Near to the head of Mill Street, stretched across from the houses, was the motto, “Welcome”. The banners and streamers thrown out across the Mill Square, by Messrs Seaton & Co., were very fine. The tower of the A.M. Brown Institute also exhibited its loyalty at the home-coming of Trooper Corpl. MEIKLE. The Volunteers of D Company, 2nd V.B.R.S.F. (under the command of Lieut. Thomas Harvey), the inhabitants, Free Gardeners (with fine banner), and representatives of other Friendly Societies, the school children of Catrine and Sorn, assembled in front of the Twist Mill and then proceeded to Shellie’s Brig, conducted by Mr Alex. C. Duncan (mounted), and followed by the Volunteer Brass Band, to await the arrival of Trooper Corporal Thomas MEIKLE and those (ex-Quartermaster-Sergeant Robert Meikle, ex-Sergeant Robert Hyslop, and Sergeant Hugh Campbell) who had gone out to Mauchline Station in the handsome and well-appointed waggonette of Mr James Murdoch, Sorn, to meet him and escort him home. Corporal MEIKLE was accompanied by Trooper G.G. PATERSON, both mounted, also Private J. Rodger, R.A., home from India on furlough.
On the meeting, on the call of Rev. William John, three hearty cheers were given for Trooper MEIKLE, after which Mr John, in welcoming home the returned yeoman, said – After the heartiness with which those cheers had been given, it was almost unnecessary for him to add anything more.
……. After the address of welcome delivered by the Rev. William John, M.A., the procession returned to the village by way of Cowan Place, Ballochmyle Street, Mill Street, Mill Square, St Germain Street, Stewart Place, Newton, and Park Terrace to the A.M. Brown Institute Park, where a large platform had been erected. Trooper Corporal MEIKLE, who was mounted, was taken from his horse and carried shoulder high. Colour-Sergeant James Brown occupied the chair on the platform, and was accompanied by Corporal Thomas MEIKLE, Trooper George PATERSON, Lace-Corporal John KYLE, Privates Wm. McCALLUM, John MURDOCH, and George STEVENS, of the local contingent of the Volunteer Service Company of the Royal Scots Fusiliers, returned previously from South Africa; Lieut. Thomas Harvey, Mr Hugh W. Pollock, Miss Pollock, Mr and Mrs Alexander, sen., Mrs James Alexander, Belfast; Mr John Paterson, Mrs Paterson, Mr John Kemp, Mrs Kemp, Dr David Sloan, Rev. Wm. John, M.A., Hon. John Nimmo, ex-Quartermaster-Sergeant Robert Meikle, Messrs John Monie, John Beveridge, Edward Robertson, Wm. Park, James Murdoch, Alex. Gibson, James Buchanan, Hugh Gemmell, and Andrew Cowan. The volunteers and band acted as a guard of honour.
After singing four lines of the 100th Psalm, the Chairman said they were met to accord a hearty welcome to Corporal MEIKLE, whom they were pleased to see back in health and strength, surrounded by his old comrades, with whom he fought side by side in South Africa.
……. Mr Hugh Gemmell, in presenting the gold medals, said he had been deputed, on behalf of his fellow-parishioners, to ask Trooper MEIKLE’s acceptance of a gold medal as a small mark of their appreciation of his gallant and patriotic services, so disinterestedly given to King and country, and as a memento of the reception he had experienced that night. As was pointed out on a former occasion, this badge could not be regarded as a fitting or adequate recompense for all the trials and hardships he had undergone, but he (the speaker) trusted that it would serve to remind him in coming years that they, his fellow townsmen, went out in spirit with him to do and dare the dangers of what had become an historic campaign, and that they rejoiced at his safe return, and wished for him prolonged peace and happiness in his native place.
Miss Pollock, in a most fascinating and kindly way pinned on Corporal MEIKLE’s breast the gold badge.
……. Votes of thanks to the speakers, Miss Pollock, Grand Marshal, and Chairman, proposed in most felicitous terms by Dr Sloan, were heartily accorded, and the singing of the King’s anthem closed the proceedings.
KHAKI NIGHT AT SORN.
HOME-COMING OF SERGT. JAMES SLOAN (No. 1489), BLAIRMULLOCH, SORN.