Private David Fossett No:2745147, of 1st Black Watch (Royal Highlanders - The fearsome reputation of these kilted soldiers led to their acquiring the nickname "Ladies from Hell" from the German troops that faced them in the Trenches). David entered the Theatre of War on 12.10.1914. He was born on 7.1.1896 in Brown's Close, Queensferry, to Robert, a Shale Miner and Catherine ms McArthur. They married in 1880 in Queensferry. David had 2 Brothers and 1 Sister. Brother Robert of 7th Company Machine Gun Corps, was born on 17.12.1889, and he died, of Pneumonia, aged 29, in 24.10.1918, in Mesopotamia (see 1918's).
In 1901 aged 5, David was living in Browns Close with his Parents and Siblings. Father now a Butcher. In 1911, aged 15, David was a Merchant's Message Boy and living in 21 West Terrace, Queensferry, with Parents and Brother John, who were both General Labourers.
After the War, the regular Battalions (1st and 2nd) served in Garrisons in India and Germany. In 1919 they were in Baluchistan, India, and moved to Allahabad in 1921. Allahabad was an important junction on the main line of the East Indian Railway. This is where David died from a gunshot wound to the head, on 20.11.1921, aged 25.
It is presumed he is buried in India but his Grave or Memorial is not recorded, and we have found no record of any medals awarded.
Lance Corporal Thomas Ley No:40887, of 17th Battalion Royal Scots entered France on 1.2.1916. He was born on 16.12.1884 in Exchange Street, Dundee. He died from Tuberculosis, on 6.12.1919, aged 34, in Post Office Close, Queensferry. He is commemorated on Queensferry Memorial, Queensferry Parish Church and Queensferry Primary School Memorials. His Parents were George, a Tay Bridge Worker at the time, and Margaret Ley ms Smith. They married on 18.11.1881, at Montrose. Thomas had 5 Brothers and 2 Sisters. Brothers William born 1891, of Royal Scots, died in 1917 in France, David born 1893, of Royal Scots Special Reserve, died in 1916 aged 22.
In 1891, age 6 he is living in West Terrace, Queensferry, lodging with a Margaret Marshall, with his Parents, Father now a shale Miner, and Siblings. Thomas' Mother died suddenly, probable cause, Heart Failure, on 27.6.1904 aged 43, in Harbour Head, Queensferry.
Thomas married on 9.8.1907 at Kirklands, Dalmeny, Thomas Ley 22, a Miner, of Smith’s Land, Queensferry and Margaret McArthur 21, of Hill Square, Queensferry , a Domestic Servant.
He died from Tuberculosis, at home, in Post Office Close, Queensferry, on 6.12.1919 aged 34. Thomas was awarded the Victory and British War Medals, and the Military Medal.
Thomas is listed as a' Lieutenant Sergeant' in the Royal Scots, No:40887, when awarded the Military decoration, which was awarded to T. Ley for acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire or for individual or associated acts of bravery which were insufficient to merit the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
Conferment of the medal was announced in the London Gazette issue 30389. M.M.; Awarded for bravery in the field.16/11/1917, page 11968, and Thomas Ley earned the right to add the letters M.M. to his name.
Private James McArthur, No:1052, of Seaforth Highlanders (Depot at Fort George) enlisted in Edinburgh on 29.12.1914. He was a Shale Miner at the time. James was born on 12.10.1894 in Hill Square, Queensferry. He died of Pulmonary Tuberculosis and Myocarditis on 8.1.1923 aged 28 in Hospital, Edinburgh. His usual address was 9 Hill Square, Queensferry. His Parents were John, a Greengrocer and Emily McArthur ms Fossett. They married on 30.10.1874 in Queensferry. John, 20, a General Labourer and Emily Fossett 17, a Field Worker, both of Queensferry. James' Siblings were William-1879, of Royal Scots, who died in 1918 in The Somme, France, John-1881, of Royal Scots Fusiliers, who died in 1921 at home, Peter-c1884, Margaret-c1886, (Married to Thomas Ley, 1894-1919, see 'Memorials'), Elizabeth-c1888 (married to Michael Quigley, 1884 – 1917, see 'Memorials' ), Robert-c1890, Alexander-c1892, Ellen-c1898 and Colin-c1901 who died in 1923 of Tuberculosis.
In 1901 James is living in Hill Square, Queensferry, with his Parents, Father, now a Florist, and Siblings. In 1911, aged 16, an Apprentice Riveter, he is living in West Terrace, Queensferry with Mother and Siblings.
James' Father died of Stomach Cancer on 10.10.1915 aged 57, in Brown's Close, Queensferry.
James became physically unfit for Army Service and was discharged on 3.5.1918, (Dementia aggravated by Military Service). On 22.5.1918, he was admitted to West House Hospital, Morningside, Edinburgh. Report from hospital says 'completely silent for months, unemotional, apathetic of surroundings'. His condition worsened and then he developed Tuberculosis and died 6 months later, on 8.1.1923 aged 28.
We do not know where James is buried but he was awarded the 1914 Star, Victory and British War Medals.
Private John McArthur No:7840, of 1st Battalion Royal Scots, entered the Theatre of War on 14.8.1914. John was born on 16.3.1881 in West Terrace, Queensferry. He died of Tuberculosis, on 5.5.1921, aged 40 in Brown's Close, Queensferry. His Parents were John, a Greengrocer and Emily McArthur ms Fossett. They married on 30.10.1874 in Queensferry. John, 20, a General Labourer and Emily Fossett 17, a Field Worker, both of Queensferry. Johns Siblings were William-1879, of Royal Scots, who died in 1918 in The Somme, France, James – 1894, of Seaforth Highlanders, who died in Hospital in Edinburgh, of Tuberculosis, in 1923, Peter-c1884, Margaret-c1886, (Married to Thomas Ley, 1894-1919), Elizabeth-c1888 (married to Michael Quigley, 1884–1917), Robert-c1890, Alexander-c1892, Ellen-c1898 and Colin-c1901 who died in 1923 of Tuberculosis.
In 1891, John aged 10, is living in West Terrace, Queensferry, with his Parents, Father a Fruit Merchant, and Siblings. In 1901 John, aged 19 a General Labourer, is living in Hill Square, Queensferry, with his Parents, Father, now a Florist, and Siblings.
James' Father died of Stomach Cancer on 10.10.1915 aged 57, in Brown's Close, Queensferry.
The 1st Battalion Royal Scots were involved in the Second Battle of Ypres in 1914, then moved to Salonika in December 1915, where they were in battle until 1918.
John died at home, in Brown's Close, Queensferry, of Tuberculosis, on 5.5.1921, aged 40. It is unclear where John was buried, but he was awarded the 1914/15 Star, Victory and British War Medals.
Can you help us with our "Problem Men"?
The criteria for inclusion on a particular memorial are varied and summarised in the following quote from the www.roll-ofhonourwebsite. "The criteria for inclusion on a war memorial was set by the memorial committee and
the reasons why men were included or excluded is now lost with their records. A man
could be included on a memorial because he was born, resident, attended school or
worked there or that his next-of-kin lived there, or didn't live there in the case of
exclusion. To find the reasons why people were included you need to search out the
minutes of the memorial committee meetings and local newspapers of the time."
While we have managed to research details of most of the men on Queensferry and Dalmeny Memorials, there are still some we are having difficulty with.
Maybe you are related to, or have knowledge of, some of the following men, and can help us identify them correctly. We would be very grateful if you contacted us with anything you think might help.
John Mclean -
As far as we can see, John McLean, on the Queensferry Memorial and the Old School Memorial, was born John Henderson McLean, on 16th May 1893, in Brachla, Cawdor, Nairn. His Father was Thomas Mclean, a Cooper Journeyman, and his Mother was Mary McLean, ms Grierson. They were married on 14th July 1880 in Edinburgh.
As Edinburgh City Archives have a John Mclean on the Old School register, born in Kent Road, Glasgow, on 19th May 1893, with a Father Thomas, either wrong information was given on the register, or there were two John Mcleans. As no further information can be found on a John McLean born in Kent Road, Glasgow, we will go with John Henderson Mclean.
In 1901 the Family were living in Brachla, Cawdor, Nairn. John was 7 years old. His father, Thomas was 46, and a Cooper. His Mother Mary was 44. His Siblings all born in Cawdor, Nairn; –Jane, 17, a scholar; William, 15,; Margaret, 14; Mary, 12; Alexander, 10.
In 1905, Thomas Mclean, a Cooper, was tenant of House and Garden in Morton Terrace, Queensferry.
Thomas's Father died of Pneumonia, on 8th February 1909, aged 54 years, in Lilybank House, Queensferry. He was a Foreman Cooper. His son Andrew was present.
In the 1911 census, Thomas, aged 17, an Engineer Apprentice in Oilworks, presumably Dalmeny, was living in Lilybank, Stoneycroft Road, with his Mother Mary, now a widow and his Siblings; Brother Andrew, 29, a Clerk in Gasworks, born in Edinburgh; other Siblings all born in Cawdor, Nairn; Sister Jane, 27, a Domestic Servant; Sister Margaret, 24, and Brother Alexander, 20, a Railway Clerk.
John's Mother Mary died on 24th September 1925, aged 71, in Priory house, Queensferry. The cause was- Fatty Degeneration of Heart, Syncope (Fainting) and Fractures of both bones in left leg which she had for 2 months. Her Son Andrew McLean was the informant, - his home address was in Perth.
We are finding War information on John McLean difficult to track down. Only 40% of Army Service Records survived enemy bombing in WW2. There are a few 'John Mcleans' with not enough information to say place of enlistment, or birth, or birth year, age at death, or Parents names, any of which would help us to track down the correct person, but we will keep looking, unless anyone out there can help with information!
There is information on a John MacLean born in Nairnshire, No:1632, who enlisted into the 4th Battalion Queens Own Cameron Highlanders, in Cawdor, Nairn, and was killed in action on 28.9.1915, aged 22. As his father is listed as John Maclean, this is the wrong man!
We can find no information on a John Mclean enlisting locally.
We have a few men in both Queensferry and Dalmeny Memorials who, through process of elimination, we believe to be the correct men, but we cannot find that vital 'link' to Queensferry or Dalmeny.
David Moig, (see Queensferry Memorial 1916), has his name on the Queensferry Parish Church Memorial, we believe we have the correct man, however no other Queensferry link has been found so far.
Norman Mathieson, (see Queensferry Memorial 1917), also on Queensferry Parish Church Memorial, so far has no Queensferry link other than that.
W Russell, we believe, again by process of elimination, to be William Russell, however no Dalmeny link has been found. (See Dalmeny Memorial 1915)
R P Brown, we believe, by process of elimination, to be Robert Phorson Brown, however we can find no Dalmeny link. (See Dalmeny Memorial 1915)
P Anderson we believe by process of elimination, to be Peter Anderson but have not yet found a Dalmeny link.(See Dalmey Memorial 1917)
For Dalmeny we cannot establish the identity of the following men -
As the Dalmeny Memorial does not give the first name of the men it is almost impossible to correctly identify them particularly when we can find no Dalmeny link for any of these men, either through registers or war information.