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Events leading to war

A mess tin which belonged to former Dr James McIntosh Rattray, who was deployed to France in December, 1916 with the Royal Field Artillery. He served the Kirriemuir community as a GP from 1926 to his death in 1963.

A mess tin which belonged to former Dr James McIntosh Rattray, who was deployed to France in December, 1916 with the Royal Field Artillery. He served the Kirriemuir community as a GP from 1926 to his death in 1963.

Staff at the Kirriemuir Gateway to the Glens Museum are trying to recruit help to assist with their commemoration of the First World War.

Volunteeers from the Kirriemuir Heritage Trust have joined forces with the museum staff to undertake a lot of behind the scenes research into the war years between 1914 and 1918.

They are preparing for a programme of events to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, which began on July 28, 1914; the Austro-Hungarian army fired the first shots in preparation of an invasion of Serbia, a month after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo. The invasion of neutral Belgium and Luxembourg by German forces followed shortly after.

The museum’s programme will start in September with an exhibition depicting all aspects of life in Kirriemuir and the surrounding area at the time, including how people were affected by the war, living their lives with war-time restrictions and the effect of family members serving in the Home Guard and abroad.

The remembrance will continue for the four-year long centenary period with further displays, talks, children’s workshops and other events.

But the staff are hoping that local people will get in touch with their own personal family stories connected to the war as well as artefacts relating to relatives’ service both on the battle front and the home front.

A spokesperson said: “As the Secretary of State for War at the time, Lord Kitchener said: ‘We need you’.

“If you can help add to our research we would love to hear from you now with any stories, postcards, photographs, medals, recipes, uniforms or other objects from the period.

“Please call in to the museum or contact us at Kirriemuir Gateway to the Glens Museum.”

Nationally, major milestones of the conflict, including major military battles such as Loos, Arras and the naval battle of Jutland, will be marked by public events all across Scotland. There will also be a commemoration of a train crash at Quintinshill, near Gretna, which killed 214 servicemen in 1915.

Anyone who can help the museum or add to the items for the exhibition can contact staff at The Town House, 32 High Street, Kirriemuir; telephone 01575 575479 or e-mail kirriegateway@angus.gov.uk The museum is open between Tuesday and Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

 

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