NON-FOOTBALL STORIES 1914

While looking through old documents, it is almost inevitable that the reader's attention will be drawn from the intended target to other articles. The reports below were found in an old Glasgow Herald newspapers.  Although they have no football content, they may be of interest.

DROWNING

The body of an old man named Henry Kerr, who had been missing since Saturday 27 December, was found in the sea at The Inches, Ardrossan, yesterday morning.  Kerr was a native of Saltcoats but had for some time been without fixed abode.

                Glasgow Herald, 6 January 1914

 

PROPOSED PLEASURE GROUND FOR ARDROSSAN AND SALTCOATS

At a meeting of Saltcoats Town Council last night it was agreed to hold a conference with Ardrossan Town Council with regard to the proposal of purchasing from the Earl of Eglinton the Holm Plantation with a view to laying it out as a pleasure ground.  The property is an extensive and well-wooded piece of land lying between the two towns and is convenient to the beach.  A report has been prepared by the two burgh surveyors and by Provost Millar on the cost of the scheme.

                Glasgow Herald, 13 January 1914

 

EPISCOPAL CHURCH BURGLARED

The Episcopal Church at Ardrossan was burglariously entered on Sunday night (18 January 1914).  An offertory box was wrenched from the wall and carried away, the empty box being found on the railway behind the church.  The contents consisted only of some coppers.

                Glasgow Herald, 21 January 1914

 

ARDROSSAN TOWN COUNCIL MEETING

At the monthly meeting of Ardrossan Town Council, the clerk submitted a letter signed by seven ratepayers, objecting to the proposed scheme for the construction of a bathing pond and hot sea water baths.  It was pointed out that seven ratepayers having now formally objected to the scheme, it would be necessary to inform the Sheriff of Ayrshire who would proceed to take a poll of householders to decide whether or not the scheme should be carried out.  There was no discussion, but it was agreed that a public meeting should be held in the Town Hall on 27 January in order that details of the proposed undertaking might be placed before the ratepayers.

                Glasgow Herald, 21 January 1914

 

ARDROSSAN'S PERPLEXITY

A meeting of the ratepayers of Ardrossan was held in the Town Hall on Tuesday evening to hear a statement from the members of the Town Council with regard to the proposed bathing pond and hot sea baths.  Of the nine councillors, eight favour the scheme and one opposes it.  The meeting was at times noisy, interruptions being frequent.  A poll of householders will shortly be taken to decide whether or not the scheme is to be proceeded with.  An expenditure of 3600 is involved.

                Glasgow Herald, 29 January 1914

 

BRITISH EMPIRE SHAKESPEARE SOCIETY

Under the auspices of the Glasgow branch of the British Empire Shakespeare Society a lecture on King Lear was delivered by the Reverend Robert Adamson, Ardrossan (shown below in the early 1900s), in the School of Art yesterday afternoon. The Reverend Professor Cooper, D D presided.  Mr Adamson began by referring to estimates of King Lear by such critics as Coleridge, Hazlitt and Professor Bradley, all of whom considered the tragedy to be the author's greatest achievement.  After mentioning some causes of its unpopularity, the lecturer set forth his reasons for holding it to be a noble and beautiful work of the highest poetic art, full of sweet and gracious elements and free from the charge of pessimism.  While expressing the utmost esteem for Professor Bradley as a critic, he ventured to defend Shakespeare against the critic in the matter of the tragic end of Cordelia and Lear.  A vote of thanks was moved by the Reverend Mr Mitchell and Professor Cooper added that the lecture had been of the best he had listened to and expressed the hope that it would not be the last from the same lecturer.  The Society afterwards entertained the lecturer in the refectory.

                Glasgow Herald, 30 January 1914

ARDROSSAN PARISH COUNCIL OFFICES

At the monthly meeting of Ardrossan Parish Council, Mr Duff moved that the Council consider the advisability of building central offices on the site owned by the Council next to the Stanley Burn which divides the two sections of the Parish, Old Ardrossan and New Ardrossan.  At present the Council has two offices, one in Saltcoats and one in Ardrossan.

                Glasgow Herald, 12 February 1914

 

LAUNCH AT ARDROSSAN - THE ROBINA

The steel screw steamer Robina, 159 feet in length, 26 feet in breadth, and 8 feet in depth – built by Ardrossan Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Company Limited for the New Morecambe Bay Central Pier Company Limited, was launched yesterday.

                Glasgow Herald, 24 April 1914

 

NEW VESSEL

The Ardrossan Shipbuilding Company launched yesterday the screw steamer Sportsman which they have built for Messrs George Elsmie and Son, Aberdeen.  The vessel has been constructed to the requirements of Lloyd’s 100 AI class, and will be engaged in the general coasting trade by the owners.  The vessel was named by Miss Mustard, Elgin.

                Glasgow Herald, 27 May 1914

 

WOODYARD ABLAZE AT ARDROSSAN

A most disastrous outbreak of fire occurred at the sleeper yard of Messrs Christie and Company, Ardrossan, last night.  The railway platform adjoining the yard then took fire, and the waggons had to be at once removed. Afterwards two lines of rail buckled with intense heat.  The fire brigades from Kilmarnock and Glasgow were telephoned for and they arrived shortly before ten o'clock.  The fire however spread further, and over one hundred stacks were affected.  All the houses bordering on the railway lines, particularly the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald office, were hosed to prevent them from going on fire with the intense heat.  For miles, the countryside was lit up and the town was crowded with people watching the blaze.

                Glasgow Herald, 28 May 1914

NEW ABERDEEN STEAMER

The Ardrossan Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company launched yesterday the steel screw steamer Starbeam to order of Messrs Elsmie and Son, Aberdeen.  The Starbeam is a sister ship to the Sportsman, built for the same owners, and launched two weeks ago. She is constructed to the requirements of Lloyds 100 A1 class, and will be engaged in the general coasting trade of her owners.  The Starbeam has a topgallant forecastle, bridge, and long raised quarterdeck and three pole masts.  She is fitted with the latest gear for the rapid and efficient handling of cargo.  She was named by Mrs Elsmie.

                Glasgow Herald, 12 June 1914

 

ARDROSSAN AND PORTRUSH DAYLIGHT SERVICE

The daylight service between Ardrossan and Portrush by the Laird Line steamer Royal Mail Ship Hazel will be resumed this week.  The steamer sails in conjunction with the 8.10am train from Glasgow Saint Enoch Station and the 8.50am train from the Central Station to Ardrossan.  Cheap excursions, with suitable connections, have been arranged from principal towns in Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and Ayrshire, as well as from the East and North of Scotland, including Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.  Bookings have been arranged to and from Coleraine, Ballymoney, Ballycastle, Limavaddy, and Londonderry.

                Glasgow Herald, 22 June 1914

 

GLASGOW GENTLEMAN’S TRAGIC DEATH - FALLS BETWEEN STEAMER AND PIER

While the Caledonian Railway Company’s Arran steamer was embarking passengers at Montgomerie Pier, Ardrossan, last night, Mr James M Symington, master plumber, of 39 Albert Road East, Crosshill, Glasgow, fell from the deck of the vessel between the pier and the steamer. He was immediately rescued, and as he was in an unconscious condition he was removed for medical attention, the navy men on board HMS Pactolus providing a stretcher.  On examination by Doctor MacDonald, Ardrossan, it was found that he had sustained a fracture of the skull and was otherwise injured about the face.  It was decided to remove him by train to a nursing home in Glasgow but he died on the journey from the effects of his injuries.  Mr Symington was proceeding to Arran on holiday.

                Glasgow Herald, 17 July 1914


GLASGOW FAIR – 27000 EXCURSIONISTS LEAVE ARDROSSAN

The number of Fair Holiday excursionists travelling via Ardrossan is well up to last year’s figures, there being an increase in the number travelling to the Isle of Man and a slight falling off in bookings for the North of Ireland ports.  The Caledonian Railway Company had nineteen special trains running to the pier station today, while the Glasgow and South-Western Railway Company had also several specials in addition to crowded trains in the ordinary service.  There were seven steamers engaged in taking passengers to Belfast, five were required for the Isle of Man, and three for Portrush.  The estimated number of excursionists was 27000.

                Glasgow Herald, 18 July 1914

MASTER SEAMAN SELLS GOODS FROM HIS OWN VESSEL

At Ardrossan Burgh Court yesterday, a forty-six-year-old master seaman of the steamship Lincoln, Ardrossan, was charged with having between 22 and 23 July, stolen from the steamer Lincoln, then in the old dock, Ardrossan, two hundredweight of rope and a copper pipe, the property of Ardrossan Salvage Company, 45 Hope Street, Glasgow.  The property had been sold to a broker and has been recovered.  Campbell, who is master of the Lincoln, pleaded not guilty, and claimed that he had a right to sell the articles referred to and that it was common practice for the master of a ship to sell such material when it was of no use for the ship.  He was convicted on evidence and fined 2 with the alternative of twenty days imprisonment.

                Glasgow Herald, 28 July 1914

 

OVERCROWDING IN ARDROSSAN

At the monthly meeting of Ardrossan Town Council - Provost Chrystie presiding - a letter was read from the Local Government Board relating to the visit of their inspector to the town on the subject of the scarcity of houses for the working classes.  The Town Clerk said he understood the question had been raised through the representations of the Ardrossan Shipbuilding Company intimating to the Local Government Board that certain men whom they had given employment had been unable to remain with them owing to the fact they could not get houses in the town.  Judge McKellar and Councillor Reynolds both stated that there was a scarcity of houses in the town and a great deal of overcrowding.

                Glasgow Herald, 23 September 1914

 

ARDROSSAN SOLDER DIES AT BATTLE OF MONS

Daniel McGill, aged 31, of Herald Street, Ardrossan, serving with the Scots Guards fell at the Battle of Mons – the first Commonwealth War Graves Commission-listed death in action of a man from the Three Towns.  A member of the British Expeditionary Force, The Old Contemptibles, Daniel was the husband of Charlotte Innes and the brother of Mrs E Dickie, 5 Fullarton Place, Stevenston.  A brief intimation appeared in The Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald on 23 October 1914.  He is remembered on La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial to the Missing which commemorates 3740 officers and men of the British Expeditionary Force who fell at the battles of Mons, le Cateau, the Marne and the Aisne between the end of August and early October 1914 and have no known grave.

                Glasgow Herald, 26 September 1914

 

ARDROSSAN AND SALTCOATS JOINT HOSPITAL EXTENSION

At the monthly meeting of Ardrossan Town Council held on Monday evening (19 October 1914) - Provost Chrystie presiding - the reports of the Medical Officers of Ardrossan and Saltcoats Burghs relating to the addition required at the joint hospital were submitted.  Both agreed that the extension was necessary.  Dr C R MacDonald, Officer for Saltcoats, advocated a brick building and his suggestion was supported by Saltcoats Town Council.  Dr Allan, Ardrossan, (shown below) pointed out that as the addition would not be in constant use but only for a few weeks in the year on account of the increase in the population of the two towns in the summer time, an iron structure lined with asbestos sheets would be quite suitable.  The relative costs of the two schemes were - brick building 2500 and iron erection, 1100.  In addition to this there was to be an extension to the administrative block costing 600.  Police Judge Flinn, seconded by Police Judge McKellar, moved that the proposal of the Ardrossan Medical Officer should be accepted.  This was agreed to and the Provost stated that as the Saltcoats Town Council had decided upon the more expensive scheme, the matter would probably have to go before Local Government Board for decision.

                Glasgow Herald, 21 October 1914

 

ARDROSSAN SOLDIER PRESUMED KILLED

Alex Morton of Ardrossan, serving with the Scots Guards, was presumed killed at the First Battle of Ypres.  A member of the British Expeditionary Force, The Old Contemptibles, Alex was the son of Thomas Morton.  He arrived in France on 7 October.  He was awarded the 1914 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He is remembered on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial, which bears the names of more than 54000 officers and men whose graves are not known.

                Glasgow Herald, 24 October 1914

 

LAUNCH AT ARDROSSAN

The steel screw steamer Kinabalu, length, 150 feet, breadth, 26 feet and depth, 10 feet – built by Ardrossan Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Company Limited for Sabah Steamship Company Limited (Darby and Company), Ardrossan/Sandakan, was launched yesterday.

                Glasgow Herald, 27 October 1914

SUDDEN DEATH OF ARDROSSAN MERCHANT

On Friday evening (23 October 1914), Mr David McDowall senior, of Mayfield, North Crescent, Ardrossan, died while taking a walk on the North Shore.  He was one of the largest potato growers and dealers in North Ayrshire.  He was seventy-two years of age and had been in failing health for over a year.  He started business as a potato merchant about fifty years ago and afterwards went into the farm at High Boydston (shown below in 2010) which he occupied for some years.  He was a generous hearted gentleman and was highly respected in the town.

                Glasgow Herald, 28 October 1914

 

ARDROSSAN TOWN COUNCIL HOUSING

At the monthly meeting of Ardrossan Town Council on Monday evening - Provost Chrystie presiding - the Council had under consideration the communication from the Local Government Board on the alleged scarcity of houses in the burgh, and the Board's inquiry as to what action the Council purposed taking to meet the demand.  It was decided to reply to the Local Government Board that at May last there were fourteen unoccupied houses in the burgh; that workmen from Irvine and Stevenston at present residing in Ardrossan were likely to remove to these districts as soon as there was accommodation for them; that in the event of peace being declared, the employees of HMS Pactolus would doubtless be recalled from Ardrossan; that there was no appreciable increase in the need for houses in the burgh; and that the present demand for houses was caused mainly by workmen employed in other localities.  In view of these circumstances, the Council did not purpose meantime increasing the housing accommodation at their own hand and were of the opinion that if the demand became pressing it would be readily met by private enterprise.

                Glasgow Herald, 18 November 1914

 

ARDROSSAN PROVOST’S SON REPORTED MISSING

Second Lieutenant James A Chrystie, of the 3rd Battalion (Special Reserve) Royal Scots Fusiliers, who is reported among the missing, is the only son of Provost Chrystie of Ardrossan.  He joined the Royal Scots Fusiliers last November and prior to that, had been an officer in the Ardrossan Academy Cadet Corps.  When he went to Glasgow, he joined the Officer Training Corps in which he latterly filled the rank of Captain.  He was in his last year for the medical degree at Glasgow University and was within a few days of sitting his final examinations when called up.  Second Lieutenant Chrystie was member of the British Expeditionary Force, The Old Contemptibles, he entered the theatre of war on 6 October 1914 and was awarded the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

                Glasgow Herald, 27 November 1914

In March 2008, James Chrystie’s British War Medal came up for auction with a guide price of 80 to 100.  Sold with copied papers and other research, it fetched 260.  The footnote in the auction catalogue was: James Alexander Chrystie was born on 30 May 1888 and lived at 18 South Crescent, Ardrossan, Scotland.  His parents were James Brown and Elma Eliva Chrystie.  He was educated at the Ardrossan Academy and Glasgow University.  He was a member of the Ardrossan School Cadet Corps which was affiliated to the 1st Volunteer Battalion Royal Garrison Artillery.  In 1907, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Volunteer Battalion Royal Garrison Artillery and was promoted to Captain in 1908.

         On 19 November 1913, he was commissioned as a Special Reserve Officer in the 3rd Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers.  By September 1914, he had passed the Matriculation Examination to gain entry to Glasgow University and was in his fifth year of Medical Training.  He was immediately called up and was attached to the 2nd Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers.  The 2nd Battalion had returned from Gibraltar in 1914 and were quickly sent to Flanders in October 1914 to join the Contemptible Little Army.  They were part of 21 Brigade, 7th Division and took a major part in the heroic defence of Gheluvelt during the First Battle of Ypres.  At this battle, the 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers were reduced to a mere handful of men commanded by a subaltern, but held their place in the Line.  During this period, Lieutenant Chrystie came to notice by utilising his medical skills to bandage wounded soldiers.  His Adjutant, later wrote that this skill saved many lives.  At 6am on 28 October 1914, Lieutenant Chrystie was sent out in command of a patrol to make contact with the battalion on their right flank near Gorndvoorde, five miles East of Ypres.  He returned from this patrol and at 9am set out again with a second patrol with the same mission.  In the patrol, Privates Hill and Douglas acted as point followed by Lieutenant Chrystie.  Following Chrystie were Corporal Richardson and three other soldiers of the 2nd Battalion including Private Hardman.

         As they moved forward, they met and joined with a patrol of a corporal and three soldiers from the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.  Suddenly, according to Private Hardman, they ‘got into a trap’ and Lieutenant Chrystie, the two soldiers on point and the four soldiers from the Royal Warwickshire Regiment were taken prisoner.  Private Hardman hid in a ruined church but saw that Lieutenant Chrystie was unwounded but standing up with his revolver in his hand.  He then saw Chrystie and the six soldiers being marched away as prisoners.  On their return to the Battalion, Corporal Richardson and Privates Elliot and Hardman reported the incident to Sergeant J McBain and their Company Commander, Captain J C Whigram.  Captain Whigram initially thought that James Chrystie had either been hit or had become separated from his patrol and had stayed with the Household Cavalry who were in the area.  He did however send out a patrol to look for Lieutenant Chrystie and his soldiers but this was unsuccessful.  On 30 October 1914, Chrystie was officially reported as ‘Missing 28th October 10am while on patrol taken prisoner unwounded with six men’.
         The parents of Lieutenant Chrystie then made strenuous efforts to discover the whereabouts of their son.  His mother first met Captain Whigram in London then his father, Mr James Brown Chrystie, who was now Provost of Ardrossan, met Captain Whigram in Greenock.  Captain Whigram consistently stated that when he interviewed the remaining soldiers of Chrystie's patrol, they all said that Chrystie had been unwounded when he was captured.  Provost Chrystie then contacted Sergeant McBain who wrote that Private Elliot had no doubt that Chrystie was captured without being wounded and was standing untouched in any way.  Provost Chrystie then interviewed Private Hardman, who had subsequently been wounded, who also confirmed that Mr Chrystie was unwounded and had been made a prisoner with the six other soldiers.  The Army then officially interviewed Private Hardman and on 7 March 1915, a Captain Stanton wrote to Provost Chrystie confirming that the evidence all pointed to the conclusion that Mr Chrystie was unwounded when he had been marched away as a prisoner.
         On 5 August 1915, Provost Christie wrote to the Military Secretary asking for information as to whether his son was a prisoner of war or killed.  The American Authorities in Berlin passed this request to the German Government who on 30 September 1915 sent a ‘Note Verbale’ which stated that at the beginning of March 1915 while deepening the bed of the road from Tenbrieler to Zandvoosde, the body of an English soldier had been found by a working party.  The body had been reburied due west of the road but apart from an identification disc - Chrystie J A 21 Pres RSF - nothing further was found on the body.  On 14 December 1915, Provost Chrystie was informed by the War Office that as the identity disc of his son had been forwarded by the German Government through the American Embassy ‘the death of 2nd Lieutenant Chrystie has now been accepted for official purposes as having occurred on or since 30 October 1914, the date he was reported missing’.
         James Alexander Chrystie's body was not recovered and his name is on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial.  His name is also on the Ardrossan Academy Roll of Honour that is sited in the Assembly Hall and is on the Roll of Honour of Glasgow University and the Town War Memorial of Ardrossan.

ARDROSSAN SOLDIER KILLED

Alexander McCaskill, serving with the 1st Batallion Royal Scots Fusiliers, was killed.  The husband of Maggie Lewis, 15 Hill Street, Ardrossan, he is buried in Poperinghe Old Military Cemetery.  A member of the British Expeditionary Force, The Old Contemptibles, he entered the theatre of war on 22 August 1914 and was awarded the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

                Glasgow Herald, 27 November 1914

 

FARM FIRE AT ARDROSSAN

A destructive fire broke out yesterday at the farm of Little Busbie, Ardrossan, occupied by James Parker.  The outbreak occurred in a shed near the steading which contained six stacks of the season's hay and a quantity of grain and, as there was a strong north-west wind blowing, the entire contents of the shed were speedily destroyed.  As the farm is situated on high ground about a mile and a half from the town, it was impossible to get any effective assistance from the fire brigade.  It is believed that the fire originated through a spark from the house chimney getting in contact with the dry hay.  Owing to the direction of the wind the farm-house and adjoining building were not in any danger.  The damage is estimated at 300.

                Glasgow Herald, 1 December 1914

 

FATAL ACCIDENT IN ARDROSSAN

Yesterday forenoon a fatal accident occurred at Ardrossan Harbour, as a result of which John Evans, a ship's painter, lost his life.  Evans, who lodged at 5 Princes Place, Ardrossan, was engaged in painting in the afterhold of the Leith steamer, Craidard, when he fell from a staging to the bottom of the hold, a distance of eighteen feet and died shortly afterwards as a result of his injuries.  Evans was a native of Dundee.

                Glasgow Herald, 11 December 1914

 

ARDROSSAN SOLDIER DIES

Ardrossan resident John Meechan, serving with 1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry, has died.  He is commemorated on Le Touret Memorial.  He entered the theatre of war on 30 November 1914 and was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

                Glasgow Herald, 19 December 1914

 

ARDROSSAN SOLDIER DIES

Intimation was received in Ardrossan from the War Office on Saturday (26 December 1914) that Private Alexander McCaskill of the Royal Scots Fusiliers has died in France of wounds received on 21 November. Private McCaskill, whose wife resides at Hill Street, Ardrossan, was a reservist and went out with the Expeditionary Forces. He was through the retirement from Mons and took part in subsequent engagements in France. He was employed at the shipyard, Ardrossan.

                Glasgow Herald, 28 December 1914