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 old Glasgow Herald newspapers.  Although they have no football content, they may be of interest.


Mrs Breckenridge, 18 Princes Place, Ardrossan, has received official notice that her son, William Breckenridge, 1-4th Royal Scots Fusiliers, has been admitted to a Cairo hospital suffering from rheumatism.

                Glasgow Herald, 14 January 1916


MacGowan - Died suddenly at 9 Montgomerie Street, Ardrossan, on Friday 21 January, 1916, Captain William MacGowan, in his 71st year. Funeral private.

                Glasgow Herald, 22 January 1916



The funeral of Captain William McGown, a well-known Glasgow shipmaster took place from his residence, 9 Montgomerie Street, Ardrossan, yesterday.  Captain McGown was born in Saltcoats, over seventy years ago, and served his apprenticeship in the Indian trade.  He was captain of the clipper Benvenue, owned by Messrs Watson Brothers, Glasgow, when she was wrecked along with the City of Perth by a tidal wave in Timaru Bay, New Zealand in May 1882.  His last sailing ship was the Gogoburn, owned by Morris Carswell of Largs.  He afterwards transferred his services to Messrs Gow, Harrison and Company of Glasgow and was latterly commodore captain and shore superintendent for the firm in Glasgow.  He partially retired a number of years ago, but occasionally acted as marine superintendent.  He was a man of considerable mathematical and inventive ability. He was first to have auxiliary engines fitted to a sailing ship and there are numerous successful patents which have been based on his original specifications.  He leaves a widow and two sons – Captain William McGown, in command of His Majesty's Australian Ship Gilgan, and Captain A McGown, 18th Battalion Highland Light Infantry.
                Glasgow Herald, 25 January 1916

The New Zealand Grey River Argus newspaper reported the following on 11 April 1916.

The Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, Scotland, records the death, of Captain John McGowan who was in command of the Benvenue which was wrecked at Timaru in 1882. The following is an extract from an obituary notice in the paper named. Captain McGowan took command of the clipper Benvenue, owned by Messrs Watson Brothers, Glasgow, and in this ship made a number of record passages between Scotland and Australia in the wool trade. This vessel was ultimately wrecked by a great gale and tidal wave in Timaru Bay, New Zealand, in 1882.  The Timaru disaster is one of the outstanding catastrophes in the annals of shipping. The Benvenue and City of Perth were anchored in the bay when the storm broke and the ships were destroyed. In an attempt to save the crew of the City of Perth, a life boat with the harbourmaster and six men was lost.  Captain McGowan succeeded in bringing all his men ashore in his ship's boats. Captain McGowan was a man of wide reading and was possessed of considerable mathematical ability and inventive genius. Only a few days before he passed away he was discussing the usefulness of an edition of Burn's poems, adapted for American readers. He had always the courage of his political convictions and never wavered in his belief in Liberalism. The local organisation will sadly miss his cheery optimism and active co-operation.   Memories of Captain McGowan will always conjure up a lovable kindly, warm-hearted townsman.  He is survived by a widow and two sons. The elder, Captain William McGowan, is at present in command of His Majesty's Australian Ship, Gilgan, and the younger, Captain Archie McGowan, is serving with the 18th Battalion Highland Light Infantry.


The following seven wounded soldiers have been admitted to Ardrossan Red Cross Hospital.

 1807, Sapper John McIntosh; 76310 Gunner Sam Wood; 96680 Bombardier James Richardson; 1787 Driver John Corrigan; (9637) Fusilier S White; 1775 Lance Corporal O’Donnell, 1st Newfoundland Regiment and 2073 Robert Speirs, Highland Light Infantry.

                Glasgow Herald, 5 February 1916


Mrs Cranston, 38 Kilmahew Street, Ardrossan, has been informed that her husband, Thomas Cranston (pictured below), 2nd Black Watch, was killed while serving with the Indian Expeditionary Force.  Private Cranston was a well known footballer and at the time of his enlistment was playing for the Clyde Football Club.  He was a native of Ardrossan and as a youth played with the Ardrossan Celtic and Ardrossan Winton Rovers. He entered the senior ranks as outside left for the Raith Rovers and the following season played for Third Lanark and afterwards joined the Clyde.  He was twenty-three years of age and leaves a widow and one child.

                Glasgow Herald, 14 February 1916



Mrs Burns, 2 Kilmahew Street, Ardrossan, will be grateful for any information about her son-in-law, Charles Smith, C Company, 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers, who has been missing in France since 26 September.  Perhaps the gentleman who left Ardrossan for Belfast about a month ago and who stated that his brother - a prisoner of war in German - had met Private Smith, will communicate with Mrs Burns.

                Glasgow Herald, 14 February 1916
The name, Charles Smith appears on the Ardrossan War Memorial and may refer to Mrs Burns's son-in-law.



Ardrossan Women’s Liberal Association held a sale of work in aid of the Red Cross Society’s funds.  The sale was opened by Miss Russell of Seafield, and the sum realised was 11 18s.

                Glasgow Herald, 21 February 1916



The monthly meeting of the Trustees of the Carnegie Hero Fund was held at Dunfermline yesterday, Dr John Ross, the chairman, presiding.  The following is a Scottish Award -

Seaman Thomas Foy, Royal Naval Reserve, aged twenty-four, His Majesty's Trawler Ashlyn, on 10 October 1916, endeavoured to rescue a man, aged fifty, from drowning in the harbour at Ardrossan.  Foy was awarded an honorary certificate and the sum of 10.

                Glasgow Herald, 23 February 1916


The following have been admitted to Ardrossan Hospital.

   - Archibald Robertson, 19446, 3rd Royal Scots Fusiliers

   - James Lennie, 17538, 5th Royal Irish Fusiliers

   - Bert Martin, 2072, 4th Lincoln Regiment

   - Thomas Deans, 21031, 3rd Scottish Provisional Battalion

   - Thomas Gulliver, 18964, Royal Scots Fusiliers

                Glasgow Herald, 25 February 1916



Ardrossan United Free Presbytery - the Reverend G Buchanan presiding - yesterday agreed to petition the Central Control Board in favour of prohibition during the war.

                Glasgow Herald, 8 March 1916



The following wounded soldiers have been admitted to Ardrossan Military Hospital.  Privates

   - Angus Sutherland, 2-6th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

   - James Murray, 11th Scottish Provisional Battalion;

   - W R Kerr, 2-5th Sherwood Foresters;

   - George McReyside, 2nd Scottish Rifles

   - James McLeod, 33rd Reserve Canadian Battalion

                Glasgow Herald, 27 March 1916


Mr Thomas Blackwood, 67 Kilmahew Street, Ardrossan, has received official intimation that his son, John Blackwood, Royal Highlanders, has been killed in action.  Private Blackwood was twenty-one years of age and prior to enlisting was employed as a fireman on the Glasgow and South-Western Railway.

                Glasgow Herald, 8 April 1916



The minesweeper Cheltenham, – 245 feet in length and 58 feet in breadth – built by Ardrossan Dry Dock and  Shipbuilding Company Limited for The Admiralty, London, was launched on the above date.

                Glasgow Herald, 12 April 1916



Killed in action on 7 April, 1916, Private Tom Wallace, Australia, and late of Holmerkollen, Ardrossan.

                Glasgow Herald, 17 April 1916

Holmerkollen was the name of a house in South Beach Road, Ardrossan.



At the monthly meeting of Ardrossan Town Council, Doctor Allan, medical officer, reported that for the year ending 31 December 1915, the births registered numbered 175, which was equal to a birth rate of 27.3 per 1000 of the population.  The deaths numbered 110, equal to a death rate of 16.1 per 1000 of the population, as against a rate of 11.3 for 1914. The death rate for 1915 was the highest recorded for many years.  The infantile mortality rate was 10.7 per 1000 births.

                Glasgow Herald, 22 April 1916



Mr Walker, 1 Church Place, Ardrossan, has received intimation that his son, Archibald Walker, Gordon Highlanders, has been killed in action. Private Walker, who was an apprentice engineer, enlisted in October 1914.

                Glasgow Herald, 26 April 1916


Musselburgh Town Council last night accepted the proffered gift by Mr G L Bailey, Ardrossan, of the presentation portrait in oils of Town Clerk Thomson of Musselburgh who held office between 1813 and 1844.  The donor’s late father, Mr James Lambert Bailey, solicitor and bank agent, Ardrossan, had been apprentice with Town Clerk Thomson.

                Glasgow Herald, 10 May 1916



Information has been received by friends in Ardrossan that Second Lieutenant Thomas Cartmell, Lancashire Fusiliers, has died from wounds received in action.  Lieutenant Cartmell, prior to joining the army, was engaged in the Customs Department at Ardrossan. He was also at one time in the Grangemouth collection and for a brief period stationed in Glasgow. He was a member of the Civil Service Rifles and was called up in August, 1914. He saw a considerable amount of service in France and was twice wounded. At the beginning of this year, he was recommended for a commission and was gazetted to the Lancashire Fusiliers.  He was a native of St Annes-on-Sea, Lancashire, where his parents reside.

                Glasgow Herald, 13 May 1916



A body floating in Eglinton Dock, Ardrossan, has been identified as that of William Watt, smelter worker, Harbour Street, Irvine.  He had in his possession a ticket for Belfast and it is assumed he fell into the dock while making for the steamer.

                Glasgow Herald, 27 June 1916



It has been ascertained that the correct name and designation of the man drowned at Ardrosssan Harbour was William Kelso, labourer, Irvine.

                Glasgow Herald, 29 June 1916

Killed in action, on 1st July, James McCallum, youngest son of the late Duncan McCallum, 13 Barr Street, Ardrossan.

                Glasgow Herald, 22 July 1916



Killed in action, 1st July, Private Duncan Auld, Highland Light Infantry, aged twenty-two, youngest son of the late J P W Auld, Maxwellton, Ardrossan and of Mrs Auld, 2 Glenavon Terrace, Partick.

                Glasgow Herald, 26 July 1916



No prizes were awarded by the Board to the pupils of Ardrossan Academy this year and the duxes received framed certificates in place of the customary medals.  The duxes were:

   boys - George A Adamson

   girls - 1 Ella Butters, 2 Agnes J A Barnett, 3 Netta Begg.

The only prize presented was Miss Becket's prize, gained by Bessie Gemmill, dux girl of the intermediate school.

                Glasgow Herald, 1 July 1916


Died on 4 July, of wounds received in action on 1 July, James Ranald Beckett, aged thirty-two, Second Lieutenant, Highland Light Infantry, youngest son of the late Hugh Beckett, 7 Windsor Terrace, West Glasgow, and Glenfoot, Ardrossan.

                Glasgow Herald, 11 July 1916



Ardrossan gave a hearty welcome home on Saturday afternoon (15 July 1916) to Lance-Corporal Thomas Lightbody of the Tenth Highland Light Infantry, the first local man to win the Distinguished Conduct Medal. The streets and houses were profusely beflagged. A procession, headed by a band, was formed at the station and marched to Winton Park (shown below in 2011) where, in the presence of a large crowd, he was presented by Police Judge George McKellar on behalf of the townspeople, with a gold watch, Exchequer bonds to the value of 75 and a purse containing 8 10s in Treasury notes. Lance-Corporal Lightbody was awarded the honour for leading a bombing party into the German trenches and for seizing a live bomb which had come from the German trenches and throwing it back amongst the enemy.

                Glasgow Herald, 17 July 1916


Previously reported missing, now officially presumed killed, Lance Corporal Alexander Muir, aged 23 years, older son of the late James B Muir and Mrs Muir, teacher, 28 Montgomerie Street, Ardrossan.

                Glasgow Herald, 22 September 1916


Previously reported wounded and missing, now officially presumed killed, Sergeant John Raymond Laughland, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, aged twenty-three years, third son of James Laughland, 19 South Crescent, Ardrossan.

                Glasgow Herald, 25 September 1916


Killed in action, 15 September, 1916, Private James Charles Cassells, New Zealand Expeditionary Force, beloved son of Sarah Craig, late of Partick and Ardrossan - deeply mourned.  New Zealand papers, please copy.

                Glasgow Herald, 11 October 1916



William McMillan, aged fifty, residing at 3 Paisley Street, Ardrossan, was drowned on Tuesday night (10 October 1916) at Ardrossan Harbour.  He was rowing out to the steamer, on which he was employed as watchman, when his boat capsized.

                Glasgow Herald, 12 October 1916



A private in the Scottish Rifles was yesterday remanded at Ardrossan Court on a charge of fraud. It is alleged that his method of procedure was to call upon parents of soldiers on service, informing them that their son had been wounded and attempting, by a plausible tale, to induce them to give him money.   A man whom accused called upon in Saltcoats received word immediately afterwards that his son was well, and having suspicions aroused, informed the police who arrested the soldier.  He is said to be wanted in Glasgow on similar charges.

                Glasgow Herald, 12 October 1916



A body found floating in Ardrossan Harbour has been identified as that of Edward Bell, aged twenty-six, labourer, who resided at 1 Alexander Street, Alexandria.  Bell left home nearly a month ago to pay a visit to Ireland, and he is supposed to have fallen in the harbour while making his way at night to the Belfast steamer.

                Glasgow Herald, 7 November 1916



BROWN - Killed on service, on 7 October, J Ritchie Brown, Royal Army Medical Corps, late of Rhodesia, second son of the late J Ritchie Brown, MD, Saltcoats and Mrs Brown, 14 Montgomerie Street, Ardrossan.

                Glasgow Herald, 14 November 1916



Mr J Ritchie Brown, RAMC, attached to the Royal Garrison Artillery, who was killed recently, was the second son of the late Dr J Ritchie Brown, Saltcoats and Mrs Brown, 14 Montgomerie Street, Ardrossan.  He was born in Saltcoats in 1873 and was educated at Ardrossan Academy and Stanley House, Bridge of Allan, graduating MB, CM, at Glasgow University in 1897.  He was a house surgeon at Teignmouth Hospital and was for a time assistant to Dr Dunlop, Dalmellington.  In the South African War, he acted as civil surgeon to the Field Force, and subsequently settled in Rhodesia under the BSA Company. Returning to this country he joined the RAMC.  He was a brother of Dr Mackenzie Brown, Dalry.  Lieutenant Brown leaves a widow who resides in London.

                Glasgow Herald, 14 November 1916



FLEMING - Died from wounds at Central Hospital, Boulogne on 28 November, Private John Fleming, Royal Scots, elder son of John Fleming, Prudential Assurance superintendent, Ardrossan.

                Glasgow Herald, 30 November 1916



Five workmen lost their lives yesterday afternoon through being overcome by fumes in the hold of the steamer Hjortnes at Ardrossan Harbour.  This vessel, which went ashore at Ardrossan some months ago and has been lying for some time off Montgomerie Pier, was being discharged and a gang of four men went down number 2 hold to start work. Those on deck noticed that the men immediately collapsed and several went down to their assistance. Of these, three were overcome, and others were taken out in a state of collapse.  An attempt was then made by William Milne with a diver's helmet on, to get at the men and he succeeded in getting a rope round one of them who was pulled up. As the air pressure was too great, Milne had also to be brought up.  Medical aid soon arrived but it was some time before the other men were brought out, this operation being accomplished by the use of ropes and grappling irons.  Five of the six men were found to have succumbed, and the sixth, although alive, was unconscious.  The names of the dead men are:

      William McGraa, married, Herald, Street, Ardrossan

      William Templeton, married, Paisley Street, Ardrossan

      John Armstrong, married, Herald Street, Ardrossan

      J Aitkinson, married, Ardrossan

      Peter Farrell, married, Herald Street.

The man whose life was saved was James McIlhatton, Harbour Street, Ardrossan.  Templeton, McGraa and Aitkinson were the three men who were overcome in an attempt to rescue the others.  Aitkinson belongs to Hull and it is a pathetic incident in connection with his death that his wife was on her way from Hull to join him at Ardrossan when the accident occurred.  The bodies were brought ashore in a steamer, and all except one, were conveyed to the homes of the men, the remaining body being removed to the mortuary.  McIlhatton, after receiving medical attention, was taken home but his condition is critical.  The gas fumes which overcame the unfortunate men are described as carbonate oxide and arose from the grain, which had lain long in water.  Anthony McGowan, who went down along with the deceased Aitkinson to the assistance of the men, says that immediately he reached the bottom of the hold the fumes seemed to grip him and he lost consciousness. He managed, however, to empty the basket employed in discharging the grain and intended to place one of the unconscious men in it. His mate Aitkinson then collapsed and he put him in the basket. While Aitkinson was hauled up, however, he fell back striking McGowan on the head. The latter by this time had almost collapsed but as he had a firm grip of the rope those above were able to pull him up.

                Glasgow Herald, 9 December 1916



The number of deaths in connection with the Ardrossan Harbour accident by which five men were fatally gassed in the hold of the steamer Hjortnes on Friday afternoon (8 December 1916), has now been increased to six.  James McIlhatton, aged 44, labourer, 29 Harbour Street, Ardrossan, who was one of the gang that first went down the hold,and who was brought out alive, has succumbed.

                Glasgow Herald, 11 December 1916



The funerals of five of the victims of the accident at Ardrossan Harbour took place yesterday afternoon.  Three of the men, James McIlhatton, Peter Farrell and William McGraa, were buried in Ardrossan Cemetery. The cortege was headed by a large representation of Ardrossan shipyard workers and among those attending were the Provost, Magistrates, and Councillors, representatives of other bodies and fellow workers of the men.  The Roman Catholic service was carried through at the graveside in each case, the Reverend Fathers Gallaugher and Power taking part.  The other two victims were buried in West Kilbride Cemetery and the shipyard workers and others took part in this funeral also.  Blinds of shops and houses on the route were drawn and many people lined the streets.  The body of the remaining victim, J Atkin, was conveyed to Hull on Sunday night (10 December 1916).

                Glasgow Herald, 13 December 1916



At Ardrossan Justice of the Peace Court yesterday Mrs Davis, Kirkgate, Saltcoats, Mrs Margaret Black, 9 Harbour Street, Saltcoats and Robert Young, Sheriff Officer, Kilmarnock were convicted of attempting to defraud the Glasgow and South-Western Railway Company by attempting to evade payment of the railway fare.  Mrs Davis and Mrs. Black were each fined 10s with 1 of expenses or seven days imprisonment and Young was sentenced to pay a fine of 2 with 1 expenses or suffer 20 days imprisonment.  Mr J J Boyd Gilmour, solicitor, Ardrossan acted on behalf of the railway company.

                Glasgow Herald, 30 December 1916