John Gairdner McWhirter (1897 – 1985)

An introduction by his son, RWP McWhirter, who transcribed this text

My Father, John Gairdner McWhirter, wrote what become known as the ‘saga’ in a large unused notebook he had obtained at the time he started General Practice in Whithorn. It is leather-bound and measures 34 cm by 22 cm by 4 cm thick. It is not a McWhirter family heirloom item, currently in my possession (May 2015).  Below is (mostly) a transcription of the notes my father wrote about his own life in his “The McWhirter-Macmorland Saga”. This section starts on page 37 and ends on page 76 of the Saga. The text has been transcribed with as little modification as possible and is identified by being indented from the rest which is mainly explanatory. The main text is usually on the even numbered pages of the Saga and on the odd pages are notes which my father added after the main text had been written. In this transcription material on odd pages have been inserted at appropriate places, where possible as footnotes.  1)This is an example of a footnote, and the hope is that by including the additional notes, many of which were added at different times, in this form that this transcript retains historical authenticity while helping the story within the saga to flow as it was written.

R W Peter McWhirter. Saturday, 14 November 1998.

Below: My grandmothers family – the Gairdners

RWPM grandmothers family – the Gairdners.

 

John Gairdner McWhirter (1897 – 1985)

His autobiography

John Gairdner – that’s me! – born in the School House, Ballantrae on 18-12-1897. Birth weight about 12 lbs! My mother nearly died. But as far as my weight is concerned I have never looked back! Ballantrae Public School till 1910. While there I was quite a keen boy scout – I still try to do my ‘good deed for the day!’ I belonged to the ‘Whaup’ patrol. There’s an old colour photo of the ambulance team.

JGMW as a scout

 

Added Notes 2)Copied from Father’s old diary 25-9-1909:- ‘Went with John (i.e. me) to see cairn and cross erected on Kilantringan Moor (on road between Ballantrae and Stranraer – about four miles from Ballantrae) for Robert (Bobbie) Cunningham. Arrived there a little before 3. A few coins and the names of the two men from Scott and Rae’s (the monumental sculptors from Ayr who made the cross) J Shaw, W McEwan, J Lyon, self and John were put in a box and placed under tablet in side of cairn. Helped to put cross in position.  Granite cross inscription:- This cross was erected by the postmen of the United Kingdom (Members of the Postmen’s Federation) to commemorate the heroic attempt of a comrade who lost his life in a noble effort to do his duty.  Marble tablet:- In memory of Robert Cunningham postman who perished in a snow storm on Killantringan Moor 28th December, 1908 aged 27 years. Erected by public subscription.’   On 3-10-1909 about 400 people attended a commemoration service at Robert Cunningham’s cairn in the afternoon. The address was given by the Rev. Mr McGregor of Glenapp Church.]     Note by RWPMW on 1998 Navember 3: “I see on the 1:50,000 OS map (number 76) that there is a cairn marked at grid reference NX069763. It is close to 4 miles south of Ballantrae.”   [Entry in my diary on 14 January 1910:- ‘Daddie said that a man in the west of the United States went 4,146 feet up in the air in his aeroplane.’]

From September 1910 till June 1915 I attended Girvan Higher Grade Public School. I cycled from Ballantrae to Girvan (13 miles) on Monday mornings and cycled home on Friday nights, staying in lodgings during the week. In1913 I was dux of the class I.e. in the third year – and at that time the dux of the third year was considered ‘Dux of the School’. For the first three years (1910-1913) I was in the same class as Anna Macmorland! We seldom spoke to one another.

Nobody ever told us we’d be married to one another!

I was a member of the School Cadets and rose to the rank of colour sergeant. When both our commissioned officers – Mr Haddow and Mr Rogerson – went off with the territorials to the 1914-18 war (they were both killed), I was left to take charge of the cadets till I left school. 3)Added note p.39: on 25-6-1914 a team of our cadets were competing in a shooting match for the Crawford Cup. I occidentally fired a 0.22 bullet into the foot of David Brewster, a member of the team. It was a shattering experience for me but fortunately the wound was superficial; it might have been much more serious. I have seen David several times in the last few years; he has forgiven me! His second wife is none other than Agnes MacFarlane. (Agnes MacFarlane was Peggy McWhirter’s best friend when they were at Girvan school together)]

Being seventeen and a half years of age when I left school I was too young for the army. I went to Alexandria in Dunbartonshire and helped to make munitions (4 inch shells) in the old Argyll Motor works 4)Added note p 39: The Argyll Motor works had been taken over by Armstrong-Whitworth

I was one of about 100 Glasgow University students. Willie Stratton my old school friend was also making munitions and we lodged together in Alexandria.

On 28-2-1916 we both left, he to return to his father’s farm at Meadowmore, Methven, Perthshire and I to go home for a month before joining the Royal Navy at the end of March. 5)Another note on p 39:  Entry in my diary on 18 March 1916:- ‘A huge dirigible air ship (cigar shaped) passes along above the coast at Ballantrae proceeding northwards.’]

On 28-3-1916 my mother saw me off from St Enoch station in Glasgow at 5:30pm en route for Davenport where I and my six travelling companions arrived the next day. That night (29 March), I slept my first night in a hammock on board HMS Eclipse where we were supposed to be isolated for ten days before being allowed to live in Davenport Barracks. On 31 March I had to sit an examination before being accepted as a third writer. On 1st July I joined HMS “Lion” at North Shields. The ship had been badly damaged at Jutland and was having repairs carried out in the Walker Yard of Armstrong Whitworth and Co. On 8-7-16 we sailed to Rosyth for further repairs. I got leave from 9 July till 18 July. Sir David Beatty was flying his flag on the Lion as Vice-Admiral in Command of the Battle Cruisers. 6)Added notes on p 41: At Jutland (31st May 1916) Lion received two direct hits on Q turret. It was completely destroyed and all the marines manning the turret were killed. Major Harvey, who was in command of the turret, was awarded the VC postumously. Just before he was killed by the second shell that hit the turret, he gave the order to close the magazine doors. If he had not done so the second shell would have reached the cordite in the magazine and the ship would have blown up.

At this time the Battle Cruiser Force was divided into two squadrons:- First squadron – Lion, Princess Royal and Tiger. Second squadron – Australia, New Zealand, Inflexible and Indomitable. There were three battle cruisers sunk at Jutland on 31st May 1916 – Queen Mary, Invincible and Indefatigable.

While I was on the Lion, Louis Mountbatten was also on the ship as a midshipman. I was a third writer in the paymaster’s (or ship’s) office. Mr F S Mycroft was the assistant paymaster all the time I was there. I met him after the second world war when he was the secretary of Jenners in Edinburgh. While at sea I was one of the people who decoded signals. The others who did this duty were all officers. Towards the end of the war I was taken off this duty and became a member of the first aid party. 7)Added note on p 41: Earl Mountbatten of Burma (Lord Louis) was killed by an Irish terrorist bomb which blew up his fishing boat as he was sailing out from Mullaghmore, County Sligo on 27-8-79. He was 79 years of age.

Rosyth was our base and we were usually tied up to a buoy just off Inverkeithing. Periodically we went to Scapa Flow in the Orkneys to Practice torpedo running and small calibre gun fire. We had to go out to the North Sea when we were firing our 13.5 inch guns. We were allowed to go ashore on the north side of the Firth of Forth – not on the south side – and also on the island of Flotta when we were at Scapa Flow. 8)Added notes on p 43: Notes from my diary – “In September 1916 Lion was back in Newcastle to have Q turret reinstalled after it had been repaired I got leave and visited my Uncle Jimmy (D2) and Aunt Hetty and my cousins Madge, Winnie and Gilbert at Talkin near Brampton Junction for a few days before going on home to Ballantrae. On 8-9-16 Madge, Winnie and I went to the English Street Picture house in Carlisle.  [There follows a scrap of paper (a page from a notebook which may have served as his diary) written in pencil by three different hands (the second presumably being JGMW’s) as follows:  Sept 8th 1916. Been to the English Street Picture House, Carlisle – with my two cousins seeing I couldn’t get anything better.  Madge wrote the above so you can’t take it for gospel. Depend on it there wasn’t any better or he would have had them.

When Admiral Sir John Jellico (Later Lord Jellico) went to the Adiralty in November 1916 Sir David Beatty was promoted to Admiral and took command of the Grand Fleet. He therefore flew his flag on the Iron Duke though later we went to the Queen Elizabeth. Our new Vice-Admiral was Pakenham. Beatty took his Flag Captain (Chatfield) with him and Pakenham brought his Flag Captain (Backhouse) with him to the Lion 9) There is an unexplained added note (as if there were some accompanying but missing photographs or it may simply be an expansion of the above paragraph) as follows: Admiral Sir David Beatty GCB, GCVO, DSO, with captain Chatfield.  On 29-11-16 the ship’s company mustered on the upper deck to hear Sir David’s farewell speech.  Vice-Admiral Sir WC Pakenham KCB, KCVO with Captain Roger R Backhouse.

When I joined the Lion Ernest Saunders was the Chief Writer and when he left an Irishman called Michael McGarth took his place. His ambition was to be drowned in a barrel of rum! When he came back from shore leave he was always drunk. He always seemed to get more than his fair share of the daily ration or rum I.e. his tot was always a generous one. Philip N Jack was the other third writer in the ship’s office. All the writers on board the ship and the schoolmaster by the name of Morgan, a Welshman, lived in the Master-at-Arms mess. He was the chief Petty Officer on the ship. His name was Kinver (John). 10) [Margin added note: Cory was also in our mess. He was a third writer and worked in the Captain’s office.]  Added note on page 45: See diary for 19-4-30 for walk – Craiglure – Loch Trool. Also father’s diary for same date. Note by RWPMW on  4 November 1998: “My father’s diary for 19-4-30 gives an account of a walk he did with a party led by McCormick who was a great enthusiast for the Merrick hills. I do not have access to my grandfather’s diaries which may explain why this comment is relevant – as it is I do not understand why it is relevant.”

When I joined the Lion the Paymaster-Commander (he was actually called ‘the Fleet Paymaster’ at that time; the title was changed later) was a man called Rowe. He was replaced by Paymaster-Commander Herbert ADJ Giles RN. He had spent many years in China. He was quite a character. If called into his cabin which was next to the ship’s office where I worked, you usually found him dressed in a kimono and lolling on cushions on the floor or even stark naked if he had just returned from the bathroom.]

We never fired a shot at a German warship all the time I was on board but one lovely June day when we were cruising in the North Sea a German seaplane suddenly dropped two bombs which luckily fell into the sea some distance on our port side. It was only after the bombs dropped that the seaplane was spotted; it was very high in the sky. Then we all flew to action stations but nothing more happened. The RNAS pilot whom we carried at that time wanted to fly off in his small plane which when it did go off was catapulted from the top of one of the 13.5 inch gun turrets. But the Admiral wouldn’t let the pilot go. However one of the light cruisers away in front of us did send up its plane and it came back over the Lion for instructions (or something) and as it didn’t answer our challenge quickly enough we started firing at it with our high angle gun, the one and only anti-aircraft gun that we carried. It was called Archibald. The plane of course was quite safe; I don’t think our gunners were sufficiently expert to have hit the proverbial haystack. 11) There is a note in a diary dated 21-8-18 saying: I went ashore to Inverkeithing and along the road towards Aberdour with PN Jack. We had tea in a teashop at 1/5 each – Jack paid.

They say that of you ask a silly question you’ll get a silly answer. Nowhere is this more true than in the Royal Navy – at least it was and I expect it still is. I once met a man walking along the lower deck. He was obviously on his way to the wash-room, he had a towel in one hand and a bucket in the other and was stark naked – nothing unusual about that. I said to him ‘Hello, are you going to have a bath?’ ‘No’ he replied ‘I am going up to the fore top to have my tea!’ 12)Added note on page 47: The fore top is the top of the fore mast.

Armistice was declared at 11:00 am on 11th November 1918. There is a letter at the end of this book. It was written on 12th November on board HMS Lion to my sister Jenny 13)page 289.

Transcript of JGMW’s letter to his sister Jenny:

HMS Lion

12th November 1918.

Dear Jenny,

I began to write a letter to you on Sunday night but never got further than the first line. Last night I tried to finish it but there was such merriment on deck over the armistice being signed that I wanted to go and watch the fun. I think every siren in the harbour was doung its best to beat its neighbour in making a noise; searchlights were flashing all round and fireworks and rockets were going off into the air and making all kinds of picturesque lights; bands were playing and men cheering; in fact it was difficult to hear yourself speak. The C-in-C granted permission for the ‘main brace to be spliced’! I don’t suppose you are quite familiar with this rather nautical expression but I believe that in olden days when sailing ships composed the British Navy the main brace was the pair of ropes attached, one to each end of the main sail yard, and by hauling on one rope and checking away the other the ancient mariners were able to slew round the main sail so that it would catch the wind. If the main brace broke it was never spliced except in very rare occasions – in emergency only possibly – a new rope always being substituted for the broken one. Now it is also a very rare occurrence for two tots of rum to be served out per man – in short it is as rare an occurrence as splicing the main brace! And hence the expression is used when a double ration of grog is distributed. Anyhow the main brace was spliced last night much to the joy of the sailors.

After we had made enough noise on the upper deck and the band had played ‘The King’ about five times in succession – the band-master not being quite responsible for his actions – we transferred to the for’ard mess-deck and held an impromptu concert till about 11:00 o’clock. That was how we impressed on our memories that the war’s over!! Maybe?

Your letter came on Friday and your parcel the following morning. The socks were very welcome as were the other things although not of such a lasting character! In fact they have all gone now. Do you want the jam dish back again?

I’ll enclose it in my next parcel which I’ll have to send home shortly. Some time ago I mentioned that I’d get parents allowance when I was 21. The order has just been made allowing the parents of men of 18 to draw it and I have completed the necessary form for this purpose. Mother should get another 5/- a week payable every Thursday commencing with the 7th inst. There are so many cases to deal with that I don’t suppose she’ll get authority to draw it for some time but when it does come she should draw all the money retrospective from that date.

We were all delighted with the terms of the armistice published in this morning’s Scotsman. They should take away Germany’s military predominance for ever. We are hoping we’ll have the pleasure of going over for her fleet. All the ‘hostility’ men are wondering how long it will be before we are discharged to the shore, but I expect it will be some time yet although one might imagine we would be sent back to civil employment as quickly as would be consistent with the action necessary to safeguard the terms of the armistice and enforce compliance with them. Tonight’s paper says Germany wants modifications to be made in the terms but I don’t suppose she will get them.

I must now draw to a close. Hope to be home soon for good.

Love to all, your affectionate brother,

John.

By the terms of the armistice the German High Sea Fleet had to be surrendered to the Royal Navy. A rendezvous was arranged 30 miles east of May Island and on 21st November 1918 the Royal Navy with all ships’ crews at action stations, met the German ships and escorted them into the Firth of Forth. 14)(I have a map showing how the German ships steamed in line ahead with British ships in station on both sides of them. This is stored in JGMW’s cylindrical container for large scrolls. It is a little torn but quite legible.

The Germans anchored just east of Inchkeith while the Lion proceeded to her own buoy one mile below the Forth Bridge (i.e. the railway bridge). This was our usual station.

The Queen Elizabeth (Admiral Beatty’s flagship) steamed up the harbour past us. At the fore topmast she was flying the admiral’s flag which the Lion’s ship’s company had presented to Beatty when he left the Lion to take command of the battle fleet in 1916. And how we cheered him as the Queen Elizabeth sailed past us! A great day for the British Royal Navy!

On the 24th November, Sir David Beatty came aboard the Lion and made a speech about the capture of the Hun fleet. Then at 11:00am we slipped our moorings and set off for Scapa Flow with the 1st Battle Cruiser Squadron escorting the German Battle Cruisers in the following order:-

Lion

Princess Royal Seydlitz Repulse

Molthe

Van Der Tam

Hindenburg

Tiger Derfflinger Renown

Speed : 12 knots. By this time we were using oil fuel but the Huns were using coal and making a lot of black smoke. It was a calm night. We arrived at Scapa Flow on 25th November and tied up to our buoy at 8:00 am

On the 8th December we were back in the Firth of Forth and the following day along with half the ship’s company – the port watch – were given shore leave. I spent a few days with the McConnels in Ayr and reached Ballantrae and home on 11th December. I returned to the ship on 22nd December.

On 18th December I was 21 years of age and my parents gave me a present of a silver wrist watch suitably inscribed. I wore it for many years. It was stolen while we lived in Dumfries. I had left it on my desk because it needed to be repaired and one day when we were absent in Glasgow some boys broke into the house and stole it.

During January 1919 men were being demobbed from the ship but Admiralty orders ruled that writers could not be released meantime.

On 31st January we set sail from the Firth of Forth and reached Plymouth sound on 2nd February. On 4th February we were towed up harbour to Devonport Dockyard. In the afternoon PN Jack and I went ashore and went to a picture house (the Palace) to see ‘Where’s the chicken’. That night we slept at Agnes Weston’s which was a large hostel in Devonport mainly for sailors – much like the YMCA hostel. And while the ship remained at Devonport we got ashore quite frequently. Men in certain priority categories were discharged but writers were not amongst them.

I cannot remember when I began, but it was while I was in the Navy that I learned to smoke a pipe; good tobacco cost 7 pence per half lb tin!

On 17th February a party of sailors from the ships in Devonport – I amongst them – about 400 in all – were taken to the Guildhall where the Mayor of Plymouth entertained us as a welcome to the fleet. We had dinner followed by speeches by the mayor and by Vice-Admiral Sir Cecil F Thursby, C-in-C, Devonport then we had an enjoyable concert.

On 20th February I was ashore again this time with PN Jack and Gordon Marter and we went to the George Street Picture House to see Mary Pickford in The Little Princess.

On 28th February I left on leave for the weekend and travelled to Grange Farm, Crawley Down in Sussex to stay with my Aunt Bessie (O8) and Uncle Willie McGarva and their daughters Jean and Jess. The girls were aged about 6 and 4 at that time. Their brother Drew had died. I returned to the Lion on the morning of the 4th of March.

On the 8th of March we sailed from Plymouth with HMS Renown, Tiger and Princess Royal up the west coast of England, Wales and Scotland to Scapa Flow. We passed Corsewell Point on the evening of the 9th but it was too dark to see Ballantrae although I stayed on the signal bridge and saw and identified the lighthouses flashing all around. We arrived in Scapa on the 10th. The surrendered German ships were being guarded by the 5th Battle Squadron who departed the following morning and left us in charge. We raised steam ready to sail just in case!

On 1st April we had a fancy dress ball on the ship. The Paymaster (Giles) went in Chinese costume.  The same day the Surgeon-Commander Robley HJ Browne sent for me to say goodbye and good luck. The following day I took my leave of the Paymaster, Mr Mycroft and Surgeon Lieutenant Parry Price for the man who was relieving me arrived on board. By this time I had been promoted from third writer to second writer on completing three years service. And on the morning of 3rd April 1919 Jack and Cory helped me over the ship’s side into the drifter with my luggage with the master-at-arms John Kinver in the distance making use of his pocket handkerchief!! The mail took me to Scarbster Pier; then a horse bus to Thurso where I caught the train to Perth. There William J Stratton my old school friend with whom I had worked making shells in Alexandsia met me. I spent a few days with him and his father and two sisters; Bella and Mary. His mother was dead by this time. 15)Added note on page 57: The Strattons lived at Meadowmore Farm, Methven, Perthshire. They had moved from Culreoch Farm near Colmonell, Ayrshire. Willie Stratton attended Girvan High School and he and I were in the same class.

On 7th April I travelled on to Edinburgh and stayed with Mr and Mrs Hewat and Gladys. They were relations of the McConnells in Ayr and I had visited them after the armistice. He had a drapers shop on George IV Bridge. His father was responsible for starting the institution of the 1 o’clock time gun in Edinburgh.  I then went on to stay one night with Aunt Jean (O5) and uncle Willie Millar in Glasgow and four nights with Aunt Mye (O1) and Uncle Willie McConnell in Ayr before going home to Ballantrae on Monday 14th April.

During the last few months in the Navy and since demobilisation I had had fairly frequent attacks of abdominal pain. I had been examined by some of the Naval surgeons and also by Dr William Baird after I got home to Ballantrae and they put the pain down to indigestion. These attacks continued though less frequently right up to 1954 (i.e. for at least 36 years!!) when it became obvious that I had gall stones which were removed in the Moat Brae Nursing Home by Robin Beveridge. It was alleged that the stones would make a nice rockery.

I went to Glasgow on 22nd April 1919 to begin my training as a medical student the following day.

Peace was declared on 19 July 1919. I paraded with the demobilised soldiers and sailors of Ballantrae and marched to church. After that there were sports and a celebration dinner. Anna and Nancy Macmorland (who were staying in Ballantrae on holiday with their parents) and Jenny, Robert and I walked to the top of Knockdolian where a huge bonfire was set alight. We could see many other bonfires on the hills around. And that was really the start of our courtship.

From April I was a student at Glasgow university and eventually graduated with the degree of MB,ChB. with commendation, taking 14th place in a list of approximately 360 candidates in April 1924.

During the summer vacation in 1920 I was an assistant purser on the Isle of Arran, one of the Williamson-Buchanan steamers sailing daily on the Clyde from Bridge Wharf in Glasgow to Rothsay.

My first job after qualification was with Dr John Thomson in Hamilton where I worked as his assistant in his general practice till the end of 1924. From January to March I was one of the outdoor house surgeons at the Maternity Hospital in Rottenrow. Dr James H Martin was my chief. Dr RAM Davidson was the other outdoor surgeon. Later he was the general practitioner in Moniaive for many years. On the indoor staff were Poldores McCunn (later Mrs Aidan Thomson) and Nell Morton (later Mrs John Hewitt). The latter now (in 1980) lives in Napier Lodge at Strathblane and we see her fairly frequently. 16)Added note in margin of page 62: Poldores died 10-4-83]

On 1st May 1925 I took up my next appointment as assistant medical officer at Bridge of Weir Sanitorium and Quarrier’s Orphan Homes for Scotland under Dr James Crocket where I spent a year.

In June 1926 I bought Dr John H Douglas’s medical practice in Whithorn, Wigtownshire. On 28th July 1926 Anna and I were married in Straiton Church by the Rev. Wellwood Maxwell Landale and the Rev. James Macmorland (Anna’s brother). We spent our short honeymoon at Milngavie in ‘Glenoble’ in Heathfield Drive; the house was let to us by Mr and Mrs Bryce Buchanan, one of whose children Anna had nursed in May – June 1924. 17)Added note on page 63: On 18-11-80 Wendy tells me that Mrs Mitchell lives at No. 1 Heathfield drive. She knew the Bryce-Buchanans who lived next door to her at No. 2. She thinks they moved to Drymen during the war. No. 2 is now occupied by people called Wright]

We lived in the old Reformed Presbyterian Manse in Whithorn till we moved to Priory Croft at the end of 1933. 18)Added margin note on page 64: See page 288 also page 59.

On page 288 there is a reproduction of an etching showing the Reformed Presbyterian Church and Manse, Whithorn. Below this father has written the following:

It was in this house that Peter (F1) and Wendy (F3) were born, Peter on 15th December 1927 and Wendy on 24th August 1930.

On 30-9-27 a patient of mine gave me the following information about the above house: The first Reformed Presbyterian (or Cameronian) minister in Whithorn was Mr Rowatt whose descendants introduced the paraffin oil lamp and founded the Rowatt Institute in Aberdeen. He preached in a tent before the Manse was built. He was followed by Mr McMurtrie, Mr McIndoe, (Mr Andrew Muir who was not a minister), Mr Robertson (whose son was a missionary in Africa – cutting opposite) and Mr Paton.

Cutting reads as follows:

“Scots missioner Dead.

Whithorn man’s knowledge of African dialects.

The London Missionary Society, on Saturday received a cable reporting the sudden death of one of their Central African missionaries the Rev. William Govan Robertson, at the mission station he founded three years ago at Senga Hill, Tanganyika.

Mr Robertson was born at Whithorn, Wigtown, in 1869 and went out to Nyassaland in1891 as a lay missionary. He was ordained at the Free St. Georges Church of which he was a member six years later.

He had a wonderful knowledge of Central African Dialects. His widow, who was Miss Edith Moorhouse of Wakefield is returning home immediately.”}

Then there was a vacancy till Struthers came. (Struthers proper name was John Paterson Struthers – not Gavin as I thought. He was a keen gardner. He died in 1915 aged 63.) He stayed for three years and then went to Greenock where there is the Struthers Memorial Church. He was the last minister to occupy the Manse.

Some of the Cameronian ministers are buried in the plot of ground between the manse and the church. While we lived in the manse (1926 – 1933) the church was used as a drill hall by the Territorial Army.

After Mr Paton left there was no minister in the manse until John P Struthers came and during the vacancy the manse was occupied by Dr John H Douglas (or was it by John’s father who was the doctor before him?) It was from John H Douglas that I bought my practice in 1926 for in those days medical practices were bought and sold like any other business.

After John P Struthers left and went to Greenock he used to come back to Whithorn to preach about every six weeks. When he vacated the manse it was occupied by people called Anderson who had been in the farm of Barwinnock.

Later the Bells lived in the manse. He was a teacher and his daughter had a son while they lived there. The next baby to be born there was Robert William Peter McWhirter.]  19)The added note on page 59 goes as follows: The Cameronians or Reformed Presbyterians were a religious sect formed at the time of the Covenanters in Scotland. The name Cameronians was derived from one of the founders, Richard Cameron, who was born in 1648. He was a schoolmaster in Falkland in Fife where there is an inscribed panel to his memory on a wall of a house in the square. On 22-6-1680 a party of horsemen consisting of Richard Cameron and others gathered at the Cross in Sanquhar in Nithsdale and declared that they disowned Charles II as a tyrant who had forfeited his right to the crown – known as “The Declaration of Sanquhar”. They were rounded up by a troop of dragoons under the command of Bruce of Earlshall at Airdsmoss, five mies south west of Muirkirk. Nine of the Covenanters were killed including Richard Cameron. (See William Robertson’s History of Ayrshire Vol. I Page 287).

The name Cameronians was perpetuated in the name of a famous Scottish regiment, the Cameronians or Scottish Rifles formed in 1689. This regiment was disbanded a few years ago after the 1939 – 45 war.

The following Covenanters were taken prisoners at Bothwell Bridge in 1679 and confined in Greyfriars Church Yard in Edinburgh. They were among the 257 who were shipped at Leith to be taken to the American Plantations but who were drowned when the ship sank in a storm off the Orkney Islands 10-12-1680(?).

There names are:- Mungo Eccles, Thomas Horne, Robert Mac Garron, John Mac Harvie, John Mac Whirter and William Rodger. Those names are inscribed on a stone which stands in a corner of a field at the side of the road which runs from Maybole to Alloway (B7024) (See page 412 of CH Dick’s book ‘Highways and Byways in Galloway and Carrick’).] 20)Added note on page 63: 24-3-29 ordained an elder in the Parish Curch (later called the Priory Church), Whithorn by the Rev W Arnold Reid BD. For some time I was a member of the town council of Whithorn and later of Wigtownshire County Council.

Dr William Lilico of Wigtown was a very good friend to me all the time we lived in Whithorn. We had wonderful New Year Day parties at his house.

Both Peter and Wendy were born in the old reformed Presbyteriam Manse.

There is the following note in my diary for 11 June 1933: “Wendy and Peter very funny at tea time. Wendy says to Mum ‘We’ll sent for the policeman to take those two kids (Peter and me) to jail.’”

One of the finest men I have known in my life was Ebeneezer K Brown of Drummoral, Isle of Whithorn. He died in August 1968.]

Priory Croft was a lovely house with a good garden. We had some very enjoyable parties in it. While we lived in Whithorn there was no gravitation water supply, no electricity, no sewage system. At the Presbyterian Manse and at Priory Croft we drew out drinking water from a well. Rain water from the roof was collected in water tanks. When the rain water was used up water had to be pumped every morning from the well to fill the tanks. Septic tanks disposed of the sewage. For lighting we used paraffin oil lamps.

We paid £900 for Priory Croft when we bought it in 1933.

Added note on page 65: The doctors who were in Whithorn during the time I was there were:-

1) D L Henderson who was a chronic alcoholic and died of cirrhosis of the liver a few years after I went there.

2) Daniel Linkstone Frew bought Henderson’s practice. He left after a few years and later practiced in Greenlaw in Berwickshire. Frew died in Prestwick on 29-3-1982. He sold his Whithorn practice to:

3) Archie Mac Dougall, one of nature’s gentlemen. He died in Whithorn in February 1944.

Dr David F Craig who bought my practice also bought Mac Dougall’s when he died.]

We left Priory Croft on 6th August 1936 having sold the house and practice to Dr David F Craig. Our next abode was Shalimar, 8 House o’Hill Gardens, Blackhall, Edinburgh. We felt we needed a holiday and on 19th August we went to the Blue Bell Hotel in Bedford near Bambridge in Northumberland for ten days. 21)Added note on page 65:  Beside a slip of paper which has been stuck in the following: This is my membership card presented to me with all due ceremony when I was admitted to the EC Club by the president Robert William Peter McWhirter in Blackhall, Edinburgh in 1937. (EC stands for Electricity and Chemistry).

In October I began my training as a radiologist in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where my brother Robert was head of the x-ray department.  course lasted for a year and then I was appointed to the staff of the department.

I finished there on 13th August 1938 and we moved to 167 Queen’s Drive Glasgow. 22)Added note in the margin and on page 65: The four of us (Peter, Wendy, Anna and I) spent the whole month of July 1939 on holiday at Morar staying with Mrs Mac Donald – a wonderful holiday.  On 22-8-38 A+P+W+I go to Whithorn in James Murdoch’s car. On 23-8-38 we visit my father and mother in Ballantrae.

On 1st September Peter and Wendy started school in Glasgow, Peter at Glasgow High School and Wendy at Hutchison’s. I began work the same day as assistant to Dr George Jackson Wilson in the x-ray department of the Victoria Infirmary where Sister Catriona Macphail was the superintendent radiographer:

both very fine people to work with. Sister Macphail’s home was in Iona. [Sister Macphail died 24-11-81.]

On 3rd September 1939 when Neville Chamberlain declared war on Hitler we borrowed Jim’s car (Anna’s brother) and went off first to Knockdon and then to Troon to leave Peter and Wendy with their Uncle Arthur and Aunt Jessie for we were all advised to to evacuate the children from the cities where there was likely to be bombing. As Anna and I prepared to leave the children, it all became too much for Wendy (aged 9) – and Anna – and Peter – and nearly for me too – and I go home alone. Anna followed the next day.

The children were not very happy in Troon and every time Anna went down to see them she came back feeling sad. So she got a house at 55 Barassie Street in Troon and on 29th September we left Queen’s Drive and moved to Barassie Street. I travelled by train night and morning to Glasgow. 23)Note by RWPMW (Monday,  9 November 1998 ). There is an entry in my father’s diary for 1939 September 27 as follows: “Prepare to flit. It is only a year since we fitted up our flat with so much care and work and expense and now it has all got to be undone.”  Added note on page 67:  In September 1939 Peter started at Marr College in Troon and Wendy to begin with went to Miss Hunter’s Private School but later went to Barassie Street school. In September 1942 she went to Marr College and she like Peter was there till we flitted to Dumfries in the early summer of 1943.

On 11th December I travelled by train overnight and on to Aldershot to report for duty about 10:30 am.

In addition to being a radiologist in the RAMC I was expected to take charge of electro-therapy, light treatment and massage. I might have managed that but I found that when I was the duty officer I was expected if called on to give an anaesthetic. This I just refused to do and so on the 13th I told Major-General (Tuby) Howell that I was not prepared to accept a commission. And so I came back to my job in the Victoria – my army career over!

I did however serve as medical officer in the Home Guard in Troon and carried on in a similar capacity in Dumfries. 24)[Note by RWPMW on 14 November 1998: “Father was clearly concerned that he had done the right thing in refusing to accept his commission in the army for he writes in his diary for 1940 April 25:  ‘Have I lost the old-time pride and esprit de corps I used to feel marching with the cadets or while I was in the RN? Have I lost my nerve for defending the things that matter? Am I a pacifist? – Am I? If the BMA had said ‘We need you in the army to go anywhere and to take a turn at any job where required’ would I be in the army now? If they had said ‘ there will be no wire pulling, your name will be put in a roster and you will go when your turn comes just like all the others, it may be anywhere but we want you’ would I still be at Aldershot? I don’t think there is any doubt about the answer and I should be proud to be there realising I had a very great honour to uphold. Yes I’d be there.’” Added note on page 67:  On 6th April 1940 Anna and I went to Helensburgh where we attended the wedding of our good friend of Whithorn days the Rev. William H Rogan and Miss Nora Henderson in St Bride’s Church. He was married by the Rev. George Macleod MC,DD, of Iona fame. Later Bill Rogan got his doctorate and was in Paisley Abbey for a number of years.  On 13-11-40 Corporal Geoff Lang;ands and Gunner Frank Whelan (commandos) arrived to stay with us.

It was on 18th March 1943 that I started work as a radiologist in Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary; a post I was invited to take up by RL Beveridge who was a surgeon there. A few months later, having been provided with a house at 32 Lockerbie Road, Dumfries, Anna and the children left Barassie Street and came to live at the above address.

The x-ray machine in the infirmary at that time – and there was only one – was an old non-shockproof mechanically rectified apparatus made by Alfred Dean. And there was only falf wave rectification for one of the wires to the rectifier was broken! until I got it replaced. 25)Added note on page 67:  On 29 March 1945, I went to London with Bruce Dewar and Ian Morris. The doodle bugs were crashing around but nobody seemed to take much notice of them. The next day we went to Oxford and discussed pelvimetry with Professor Casser Moir. He took us the the Common Room of Oriel College for Lunch.

The work of the department increased, new equipment was obtained, the staff grew in numbers, an x-ray machine was installed in Cresswell Maternity Hospital and for some years to begin with, I arranged for patients to have radiotherapy in my brother’s department in Edinburgh. I visited the x-ray departments of the Crichton Royal once a week and also made periodic visits to the x-ray departments at Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbright and Newton Stewart Cottage Hospitals. I was a member of the Board of Management for some years from 1948.

We celebrated our silver wedding on 28th July 1951. Anna gave me a gold wrist watch which I still wear (12-1-82). I gave her a necklace and earings (given to Deirdre after Anna died). Peter and Wendy gave us our electric coffee pot (still in use – 12-1-82). Anna, Peter, Wendy and I began the day by taking the train to Glasgow and on to Wemys Bay, then the steamer to Rothesay where we had lunch in the Glenburn Hydro. We returned and were at the Whitehall by 6:45 pm where our guests were already arriving.

There is an added note on page 69 with a plan showing the place settings for the guests at the celebration meal:  Our guests at the Whitehall Restaurant 59 Renfield Street, Glasgow on the occasion of our silver wedding:

Miss Wendy McWhirter

Mrs Ian Jennings Miss McWhirter

Mrs Arnold Reid Mr Arthur Macmorland

Prof. Robert McWhirter Mrs John Dickson

Mrs James Murdoch Mr Eben Brown

Dr John G McWhirter Mrs Arthur Macmorland

Mrs John G McWhirter Rev. Arnold Reid

Rev. James Macmorland Mrs Robert McWhirter

Mrs Aitken Mr James Murdoch

Mr John Dickson Mrs James Macmorland

Mrs Eben Brown Mr Ian Jennings

Mr Peter McWhirter.

On 26-9-50 – the only day in my life when I saw the blue sun – and it really was blue.

10-9-52 – Ian Jennings (at that time in the farm of Shioel New, Galloway) presents me with the walking stick that he got one of his shepherds to make for me – a proper shepherds crook.]

My contemporary medical colleagues at the Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary were: RL Beveridge, John Neilson, James Laurie, J Bruce Dewar, Christopher Clayson, Robert S Venters, Workman Carslaw, Charles Stewart etc. I was the oldest of them all!

I had a most loyal and conscientious staff in the x-ray department. I must make special mention of Percy Harling. During the 1914 – 18 war he had served in the Royal Navy and with Dr Richard Connell who was my predecessor in the x-ray department. Connell’s main practice was in Carlisle: his appointment in Dumfries was a part time one. At the end of the 1914 – 18 war Harling came to Dumfries to be the radiographer – the only one – in the department. As a naval reservist he was called up for service in the 1939 – 45 war. When he was demobilised he came back to the department as my chief radiographer and was there till he retired – 28-3-45 to 29-11-53.

All my radiographers were efficient technicians and all the girls in the office and in the x-ray rooms were intelligent, well-mannered and sensible lasses. 26)Added note on page 71:  18-6-52 Anna and I attended the quincentenary celebrations of the founding of Glasgow University when the memorial gates at the main entrance were dedicated.

We had many good friends in Dumfries. Many of us used to meet on Monday evenings for country dancing in Oughton’s restaurant and Anna and I thoroughly enjoyed that. On leaving in 1962 we were presented with our garden seat and a book with the names of the members of the club for I had been the chairman.

I was a member of the Kirk Session of Greyfriars Church.

Up till 1954 I used to cycle to the Infirmary from Lockerbie Road. Then in 1954 I was able to buy a car – the Rover 90 of which I was so proud. It was a good car. During our last few years in Dumfries Anna and I, after I got home from the Infirmary in the evenings, used to run down slowly and quietly Glencaple to see the haaf-net fishermen standing in the Nith catching salmon or to see the wild geese which came to feed in the fields south of the village. We both found those runs so peaceful and relaxing. 27)Added note on page 73:  On 10-8-54 Peter and I went to Solihull and collected the Rover – PSM451 – and drove it home to Dumfries.

 On 21-10-61 we bought Craigfad in Silverburn. Anna fell in love with it as soon as she saw it. It had been built in 1940 by Dr Agnes R Macgregor, the pathologist in the Sick Children’s Hospital in Edinburgh and we bought it from her. She was known as Path Aggie: The becteriologist was Bugs Aggie.  28)Added note on page 73:  Dr Macgregor called her house in Silverburn A’ Chomraich which is, I think, the Gaelic word for The Sanctuary. It has some association with Applecross. We changed the name to Craigfad.  The name Craigfad was the name of the farmhouse in Straiton to which Anna’s father and mother retired when they left the schoolhouse and to which I used to go while I was a student. In this we were following my father’s example for he called his house to which my mother and he retired Tranew.

So when I retired from the Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary on reaching the age of 65 at the end of 1962 we moved from 32 Lockerbie Road to Craigfad. I was employed part time at the Bruntfield, Longmore, Elsie Inglis, and Astley Ainslie Hospitals in Edinburgh for three years and after that intermittently in various other hospitals; Peel, Law Haddington etc till I finally retired in October 1970 when I was nearly 73.

We were very happy in Silverburn where we found good friends in the Taylors, the Blacks, the Walkers etc, Anne Harley helped us with the house work and became a friend too. Jimmy Glasgow helped me in the garden.  29)Added note on page 75:  Anna, Peter, Joy, Tessa, Fiona, Gavin, Wendy, Lockhart, Donald, Deirdre, Sheila and I enjoyed our holiday in Balmacara from 30 July to 3 August 1968. Nancy and Anna and I enjoyed Balmacara from 13 September to 20 September 1968 staying at Coel-na-Mara the excellent boarding house run by Alasdair and Mrs Macdougall.

On 16 September 1976 we came to live at 74 Drumlin Drive, Milngavie bringing the name of our house, Craigfad, with us. Wendy by this time was living in Bearsden. 30)Added margin note on page 76: (See page 174 for Golden Wedding) but on page 174 there is no word of the Golden Wedding which took place on 26 July 1976. I searched elsewhere for a description of but failed to find any.

We had very good friends in Dr Alex and Doris Chalmers who lived next door to us. Doris was very good to Anna in her later years. Their daughter Elizabeth graduated MB,ChB. on 7-7-84.

After Anna died on 14 October 1981 I lived by myself in Craigfad with Wendy visiting me frequently. In September 1982 I sold the house and on 7th September I flitted to Wendy’s house, Rogarth, 2 Westgarth Avenue, Edinburgh. I’ll be spending the rest of my life with her and Lockhart in Rogarth and with Peter and Joy at 13 Park Crescent in Abingdon. 31)Note added by RWPMW:- “My father John Gairdner McWhirter died 1985 November 27 at 14:15 at 13 Park Crescent Abingdon of left cerebal glicoma. He was cremated and his ashes buried in Straiton cemetery beside those of his wife Anna.

————————————————————

In a note of introduction at the beginning of the Saga written at Silverburn on 1971 April 30 my father sets out his intentions in writing it as follows:-

“The information which follows has been gleaned over many years from various people. I cannot vouch for its accuracy. It is recorded here (in case it gets lost) for some one in the future may want to collect further information about the members of the family tree. To me it is all very interesting. Until now it has been scattered in various notebooks and diaries. I am now going to try to set down the information in an orderly fashion.

I got as far as page 210 by January 1983.”

 

The Saga continues to page 220 with a couple of family trees and some information collected by JGMW’s father about the ancient McWhirters (1270 – 1749).

R W Peter McWhirter. Saturday, 14 November 1998

References   [ + ]

1. This is an example of a footnote, and the hope is that by including the additional notes, many of which were added at different times, in this form that this transcript retains historical authenticity while helping the story within the saga to flow as it was written.
2. Copied from Father’s old diary 25-9-1909:- ‘Went with John (i.e. me) to see cairn and cross erected on Kilantringan Moor (on road between Ballantrae and Stranraer – about four miles from Ballantrae) for Robert (Bobbie) Cunningham. Arrived there a little before 3. A few coins and the names of the two men from Scott and Rae’s (the monumental sculptors from Ayr who made the cross) J Shaw, W McEwan, J Lyon, self and John were put in a box and placed under tablet in side of cairn. Helped to put cross in position.  Granite cross inscription:- This cross was erected by the postmen of the United Kingdom (Members of the Postmen’s Federation) to commemorate the heroic attempt of a comrade who lost his life in a noble effort to do his duty.  Marble tablet:- In memory of Robert Cunningham postman who perished in a snow storm on Killantringan Moor 28th December, 1908 aged 27 years. Erected by public subscription.’   On 3-10-1909 about 400 people attended a commemoration service at Robert Cunningham’s cairn in the afternoon. The address was given by the Rev. Mr McGregor of Glenapp Church.]     Note by RWPMW on 1998 Navember 3: “I see on the 1:50,000 OS map (number 76) that there is a cairn marked at grid reference NX069763. It is close to 4 miles south of Ballantrae.”   [Entry in my diary on 14 January 1910:- ‘Daddie said that a man in the west of the United States went 4,146 feet up in the air in his aeroplane.’]
3. Added note p.39: on 25-6-1914 a team of our cadets were competing in a shooting match for the Crawford Cup. I occidentally fired a 0.22 bullet into the foot of David Brewster, a member of the team. It was a shattering experience for me but fortunately the wound was superficial; it might have been much more serious. I have seen David several times in the last few years; he has forgiven me! His second wife is none other than Agnes MacFarlane. (Agnes MacFarlane was Peggy McWhirter’s best friend when they were at Girvan school together)]
4. Added note p 39: The Argyll Motor works had been taken over by Armstrong-Whitworth
5. Another note on p 39:  Entry in my diary on 18 March 1916:- ‘A huge dirigible air ship (cigar shaped) passes along above the coast at Ballantrae proceeding northwards.’]
6. Added notes on p 41: At Jutland (31st May 1916) Lion received two direct hits on Q turret. It was completely destroyed and all the marines manning the turret were killed. Major Harvey, who was in command of the turret, was awarded the VC postumously. Just before he was killed by the second shell that hit the turret, he gave the order to close the magazine doors. If he had not done so the second shell would have reached the cordite in the magazine and the ship would have blown up.
7. Added note on p 41: Earl Mountbatten of Burma (Lord Louis) was killed by an Irish terrorist bomb which blew up his fishing boat as he was sailing out from Mullaghmore, County Sligo on 27-8-79. He was 79 years of age.
8. Added notes on p 43: Notes from my diary – “In September 1916 Lion was back in Newcastle to have Q turret reinstalled after it had been repaired I got leave and visited my Uncle Jimmy (D2) and Aunt Hetty and my cousins Madge, Winnie and Gilbert at Talkin near Brampton Junction for a few days before going on home to Ballantrae. On 8-9-16 Madge, Winnie and I went to the English Street Picture house in Carlisle.  [There follows a scrap of paper (a page from a notebook which may have served as his diary) written in pencil by three different hands (the second presumably being JGMW’s) as follows:  Sept 8th 1916. Been to the English Street Picture House, Carlisle – with my two cousins seeing I couldn’t get anything better.  Madge wrote the above so you can’t take it for gospel. Depend on it there wasn’t any better or he would have had them.
9.  There is an unexplained added note (as if there were some accompanying but missing photographs or it may simply be an expansion of the above paragraph) as follows: Admiral Sir David Beatty GCB, GCVO, DSO, with captain Chatfield.  On 29-11-16 the ship’s company mustered on the upper deck to hear Sir David’s farewell speech.  Vice-Admiral Sir WC Pakenham KCB, KCVO with Captain Roger R Backhouse.
10. [Margin added note: Cory was also in our mess. He was a third writer and worked in the Captain’s office.]  Added note on page 45: See diary for 19-4-30 for walk – Craiglure – Loch Trool. Also father’s diary for same date. Note by RWPMW on  4 November 1998: “My father’s diary for 19-4-30 gives an account of a walk he did with a party led by McCormick who was a great enthusiast for the Merrick hills. I do not have access to my grandfather’s diaries which may explain why this comment is relevant – as it is I do not understand why it is relevant.”
11.  There is a note in a diary dated 21-8-18 saying: I went ashore to Inverkeithing and along the road towards Aberdour with PN Jack. We had tea in a teashop at 1/5 each – Jack paid.
12. Added note on page 47: The fore top is the top of the fore mast.
13. page 289
14. (I have a map showing how the German ships steamed in line ahead with British ships in station on both sides of them. This is stored in JGMW’s cylindrical container for large scrolls. It is a little torn but quite legible.
15. Added note on page 57: The Strattons lived at Meadowmore Farm, Methven, Perthshire. They had moved from Culreoch Farm near Colmonell, Ayrshire. Willie Stratton attended Girvan High School and he and I were in the same class.
16. Added note in margin of page 62: Poldores died 10-4-83]
17. Added note on page 63: On 18-11-80 Wendy tells me that Mrs Mitchell lives at No. 1 Heathfield drive. She knew the Bryce-Buchanans who lived next door to her at No. 2. She thinks they moved to Drymen during the war. No. 2 is now occupied by people called Wright]
18. Added margin note on page 64: See page 288 also page 59.
19. The added note on page 59 goes as follows: The Cameronians or Reformed Presbyterians were a religious sect formed at the time of the Covenanters in Scotland. The name Cameronians was derived from one of the founders, Richard Cameron, who was born in 1648. He was a schoolmaster in Falkland in Fife where there is an inscribed panel to his memory on a wall of a house in the square. On 22-6-1680 a party of horsemen consisting of Richard Cameron and others gathered at the Cross in Sanquhar in Nithsdale and declared that they disowned Charles II as a tyrant who had forfeited his right to the crown – known as “The Declaration of Sanquhar”. They were rounded up by a troop of dragoons under the command of Bruce of Earlshall at Airdsmoss, five mies south west of Muirkirk. Nine of the Covenanters were killed including Richard Cameron. (See William Robertson’s History of Ayrshire Vol. I Page 287).
20. Added note on page 63: 24-3-29 ordained an elder in the Parish Curch (later called the Priory Church), Whithorn by the Rev W Arnold Reid BD. For some time I was a member of the town council of Whithorn and later of Wigtownshire County Council.
21. Added note on page 65:  Beside a slip of paper which has been stuck in the following: This is my membership card presented to me with all due ceremony when I was admitted to the EC Club by the president Robert William Peter McWhirter in Blackhall, Edinburgh in 1937. (EC stands for Electricity and Chemistry).
22. Added note in the margin and on page 65: The four of us (Peter, Wendy, Anna and I) spent the whole month of July 1939 on holiday at Morar staying with Mrs Mac Donald – a wonderful holiday.  On 22-8-38 A+P+W+I go to Whithorn in James Murdoch’s car. On 23-8-38 we visit my father and mother in Ballantrae.
23. Note by RWPMW (Monday,  9 November 1998 ). There is an entry in my father’s diary for 1939 September 27 as follows: “Prepare to flit. It is only a year since we fitted up our flat with so much care and work and expense and now it has all got to be undone.”  Added note on page 67:  In September 1939 Peter started at Marr College in Troon and Wendy to begin with went to Miss Hunter’s Private School but later went to Barassie Street school. In September 1942 she went to Marr College and she like Peter was there till we flitted to Dumfries in the early summer of 1943.
24. [Note by RWPMW on 14 November 1998: “Father was clearly concerned that he had done the right thing in refusing to accept his commission in the army for he writes in his diary for 1940 April 25:  ‘Have I lost the old-time pride and esprit de corps I used to feel marching with the cadets or while I was in the RN? Have I lost my nerve for defending the things that matter? Am I a pacifist? – Am I? If the BMA had said ‘We need you in the army to go anywhere and to take a turn at any job where required’ would I be in the army now? If they had said ‘ there will be no wire pulling, your name will be put in a roster and you will go when your turn comes just like all the others, it may be anywhere but we want you’ would I still be at Aldershot? I don’t think there is any doubt about the answer and I should be proud to be there realising I had a very great honour to uphold. Yes I’d be there.’” Added note on page 67:  On 6th April 1940 Anna and I went to Helensburgh where we attended the wedding of our good friend of Whithorn days the Rev. William H Rogan and Miss Nora Henderson in St Bride’s Church. He was married by the Rev. George Macleod MC,DD, of Iona fame. Later Bill Rogan got his doctorate and was in Paisley Abbey for a number of years.  On 13-11-40 Corporal Geoff Lang;ands and Gunner Frank Whelan (commandos) arrived to stay with us.
25. Added note on page 67:  On 29 March 1945, I went to London with Bruce Dewar and Ian Morris. The doodle bugs were crashing around but nobody seemed to take much notice of them. The next day we went to Oxford and discussed pelvimetry with Professor Casser Moir. He took us the the Common Room of Oriel College for Lunch.
26. Added note on page 71:  18-6-52 Anna and I attended the quincentenary celebrations of the founding of Glasgow University when the memorial gates at the main entrance were dedicated.
27. Added note on page 73:  On 10-8-54 Peter and I went to Solihull and collected the Rover – PSM451 – and drove it home to Dumfries.
28. Added note on page 73:  Dr Macgregor called her house in Silverburn A’ Chomraich which is, I think, the Gaelic word for The Sanctuary. It has some association with Applecross. We changed the name to Craigfad.  The name Craigfad was the name of the farmhouse in Straiton to which Anna’s father and mother retired when they left the schoolhouse and to which I used to go while I was a student. In this we were following my father’s example for he called his house to which my mother and he retired Tranew.
29. Added note on page 75:  Anna, Peter, Joy, Tessa, Fiona, Gavin, Wendy, Lockhart, Donald, Deirdre, Sheila and I enjoyed our holiday in Balmacara from 30 July to 3 August 1968. Nancy and Anna and I enjoyed Balmacara from 13 September to 20 September 1968 staying at Coel-na-Mara the excellent boarding house run by Alasdair and Mrs Macdougall.
30. Added margin note on page 76: (See page 174 for Golden Wedding) but on page 174 there is no word of the Golden Wedding which took place on 26 July 1976. I searched elsewhere for a description of but failed to find any.
31. Note added by RWPMW:- “My father John Gairdner McWhirter died 1985 November 27 at 14:15 at 13 Park Crescent Abingdon of left cerebal glicoma. He was cremated and his ashes buried in Straiton cemetery beside those of his wife Anna.

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