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The Fernhurst Society

Tales from the Archives - 1

Kilts and Bagpipes in Fernhurst

One hundred years ago this month the big attraction on a Sunday was to go to Fernhurst Cross (now known as the crossroads) to watch the Gordon Highlanders as they marched and counter-marched before an admiring crowd of villagers. With kilts swaying rhythmically to the skirl of the bagpipes playing rousing tunes, they were a colourful and exotic sight, which few locals would have seen before.

The soldiers were No 13 Platoon, H Company, 9th Gordon Highlands and were billeted at Vanlands, with the officers staying in various local houses, such as the home of the Hutchinson family at Moses Hill.

The men said that they would never forget the kindness and hospitality shown them by Lady Schuster of Verdley Place, and Mrs Stanley Duke, wife of the local doctor, who raised funds to provide a camp kitchen for them.

It was however noted in the school log that the school was requisitioned in November 1914 by the military and the Highlanders used until February 1915. ‘Since that date the school has been thoroughly disinfected, cleansed, redecorated and painted’ and was not fit for use until April!

Sadly, all the platoon died in the First World War.

If you would like to know more about this story, or research other local topics, the Archive is open on Tuesdays, 2.30-5pm in the Village Hall. Other times by arrangement.

Christine Maynard
Fernhurst Archive

One of a series of short articles bringing you some of the incidents from our rich village history. Collated by Christine Maynard, based on documents preserved at the Fernhurst Archives, these originally were published in the monthly Fernhurst News.

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