Prisoner of war gets proof home of his survival

Private McBryde was a prisoner of war in Germany
Private McBryde was a prisoner of war in Germany

The Galloway Gazette continues it’s look back 100 years to the time of the Great War and the stories that were making the headlines.

This week a family in Garlieston get proof their son is still alive and military tribunals continue to hear cases of men who want exemption from conscription into the army.


The parents of Private William McBryde from Garlieston received a photograph in the post of their son at a prisoners’ camp in Muster, Germany. Private McBryde parents, who owned the Galloway Arms Hotel in the village, were told some months ago that their son had been taken prisoner.


Mrs Isabella Hawthorn, who farmed at Drumrae, Whithorn, appealed to a tribunal to try to stop her son George being called up. She said George was her dairyman and indispensable to the working of the farm. Three sons had already joined the colours and the fourth was about to go. The tribunal pointed out that as there was one brother already exempted on the farm and an uncle and two of his sons were on the nearby farm of Dowies, George was not indispensable. Captain Keswick, for the military, said he had received orders to tell Mrs Hawthorn to appeal for her other son Samuel, who was in the army at the time, but the chairman said it made no sense if the War Office were prepared to release one trained single man and replace him with an untrained married one. To laughter in the court, Captain Keswick said the reason why Samuel was being send back was because Mrs Hawthorn had “worried” the Board of Agriculture in Edinburgh so much they had said: “For goodness sake let him go”. But the representative of the Board of Agriculture, Mr J D Scott, said Samuel could be released as an irregularity took place when he was enlisted. The case was continued.