Gala Water and the First World War, by Fraser Simm

Gala Water and the First World War, by Fraser Simm

Published by the Gala Water History and Heritage Society, 68 pages. Paperback (N7773)

From the rear side cover: This book opens a page of the history of Stow and the Gala Water valley, focusing on the impact of 'The Great War' on the lives of those who went off to the war and those they left behind. It tells their story through a chronological account of the war which is also interwoven with themes from the wider pages of history.

Using the war memorials in the parish as a starting point, the lives of all those commemorated have been carefully researched. This is probably the first time the individual stories have been gathered together and then set in the context of the broader picture of the local area as revealed from historical documents, memorabilia and family accounts. In addition, a timeline showing the main events of the First World War, helps give additional background to the personal stories of tragedy and triumph.
Contents include:

1914 - Commentary; early initiatives; recruitment and relief; occupations before the war; reserved occupations and work on the land

1915 - Commentary; collections; two brothers in arms - Stow's first casualties of the war; the fatal 12th July 1915 - five Stow boys fall; war measure - Zeppelins and prisoners of war

1916 - Commentary; two brothers from Haltree; the Gala Water valley and its lost men; Stow Parish Archive Poppy Memorial; mementos of a brave man; remembered in Heriot; war measures - home restrictions and military medal

1917 - Commentary; the war takes its toll; the battle of Arras­the loss of three men from Heriot; Stow minister lost at sea; casualties in the Middle East; two Stow chums - Andrew Burrell and Jimmy Guthrie; the war drags on - naval deserters and Bulgaria; taking on the Ottoman empire - and Stow postmen at war; map of the wider theatre of war

1918 - Commentary; two images from the war and the Heriot Draughts Cup; heroism at Buzancy - the Stuart brothers of Burnhouse; desperate measures - buying a submarine; hardship at home and casualties as the war nears its end; tragedy for Torquhan; wider issues - and the end. They came back

The condition of the booklet is generally very good. The covers are clean and bright, the spiral spine is tight and intact and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound.