Kirkinner man killed leaves family of seven

The Galloway Gazette continues its World War One diaries.

Sunday, 17th July 2016, 6:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:34 pm
Private Thomson

The Galloway Gazette, August 12th, 1916


Private Robert Thomson, from Stewarton, Kirkinner, serving with the Royal Scots Fusiliers, was killed in a mine explosion on July 20th. Private Thomson, a father of seven, joined the colours at the outbreak of the war and he was wounded at the Battle of Loos in September 1915. Before enlisting he worked for the Newton Stewart Town Council.

The Chaplain of the regiment, W J McConnell, wrote to his widow, beginning with the most heartbreaking of opening lines:

“I enclose a letter written by your husband for your daughter. He had not posted it, and I regret to say that since writing it he has been taken away.

“He was doing his work faithfully when a German mine was exploded and he died on July 19th. I conducted the funeral service, which was attended by a lot of his friends and many of his officers. He lies at rest, where many other brave men lie, within the sound of the guns.

“I trust that your daughter, who has been ill, is alright again and that the future for you all may be brighter than it now seems.”


Whithorn brothers Private J Smith, Cameron Highlanders; Private A Smith, Glasgow Highland Light Infantry; Lance-Corporal Peter Smith and Corporal Frank Smith, both Royal Scots Fusiliers, have all been wounded. The boys all lived with their mother in King’s Road before joining up. Frank, who went out to France in October 1914 has now been wounded four times. For Peter, who was one of the first to land in France after war was declared, this was his second wound. He recovered from it but was killed in action shortly after going back into the frontline.