Strathard Heritage Archive

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Strathard a Century Ago – 1919

By James Kennedy

Do you ever wonder what was happening in Strathard in early 1919? The columns of the rural edition of the Stirling Observer gives us some ideas as follows.

 In January 1919 a special dance was held in Aberfoyle for soldiers who were on leave and in the same edition there was a full report on the dedication of a memorial windows given by Mrs Fanshawe and her sister in memory of their late mother Althea Hedwige Fanshawe who had died in April 1916. The Fanshawes built and owned Dalveagh near Kinlochard – in the late 1930s Dalveagh became a hotel and the story of Forest Hills begun.

Early February saw the return home of Private James Muns from the High Glassert from Germany. He had been a POW for some 2 years. In late February a presentation was made in Kinlochard School when Sergeant Daniel Campbell received a silver watch and chain and a wallet of cash to reflect the appreciation of the local community as he had been awarded two decorations namely the Military medal and the Belgian Croix de Guerre. Other stories of significance include reference to the influenza epidemic and a special celebration in Kinlochard School hosted by Mrs Fanshawe. As well as awarding the children certificates and prizes Mrs Fanshawe had arranged for Professor Allan a well-known conjurer to visit the school to entertain everybody.

Image 1: The Fanshawe Windows, St. Mary’s, Aberfoyle
Image 2: Stirling Observer 22nd February 1919

As the year progressed April saw a good start to the Angling season with one man catching 14 fine trout during one of the outings from Aberfoyle. Early May saw the reporting of the sudden death of the long standing Aberfoyle Parish Church Minister Rev. William Moncrieff Taylor who died at the age of 64 on 4th May 1919. Later in May the ongoing demobilisation of local soldiers was reported as was the decision to reopen the Aberfoyle Golf Course which had been closed since 1916.

By September 1919 a replacement for the Minister had been found and there was extensive reporting of the ordination and induction of Rev.E.O. Rodger. He was from Stranraer and had been a Lieutenant in the King’s Own Scottish Borderers and had fought in the Somme and at Arras. He held his first service on Sunday 28th September 1919.

Image 3: Rev. E.O. Rodger, from a report in the Stirling Observer on his ordination and induction.

Later thoughts had turned to the issue of a war memorial and in early November the first in a series of Whist Drives was held in the school to help fundraise for the planned memorial [1]. By December a committee was established under the chairmanship of Alexander Blair to consider what form the planned war memorial should take.

In November the Reading Room was a place of regular meetings and activities with access to books and magazines donated by local people. The Reading Room also decided to have a team in the Summer Ice Tournament for the Cayzer Cup.

The Cayzer Cup was presented by Lady Cayzer of Gartmore House in 1907. It was first played for in 1908 by teams from Aberfoyle, Gartmore, Buchlyvie and Drumlean.

There are minutes recorded from 1930 to 2012 when the cup was last played for. The cup is continually engraved from 1908 to 2012 except for 4 years during WW1.

 By James Kennedy with permission from the Stirling Observer and Stirling Archives. Thanks to Laura Nicolson for the Cayzer Cup information.

[1] The War Memorial was unveiled in front of a large crowd on Saturday afternoon 7th May 1921. The unveiling ceremony was performed by the Duke of Montrose, Lord Lieutenant of Stirlingshire.