Calum's and Jamie's great great great
great grandfather -see below.
John Brownlee MacFarlane 1837 (approx) - 29/1/1922
John was Calum's and Jamie's
great great great grandfather.
John B. McFarlane's signature, 1879
John was born in Glasgow, Scotland, but at some
stage he moved to Inverness to train as an apprentice tailor. In Inverness, he worked as a master tailor with the father of
his future wife Ann, David MacGillivray, in his family business.
On July 22nd 1860, the banns were called
at Inverness and Bona parish church for the forthcoming wedding between John and Ann MacGillivray (Source:
John Brownlee McFarlane Friars Street and Ann McGillivray
same place, both in this parish.
The civil marriage records note that the couple's
marriage took place on August 9th 1860, in a ceremony according to the forms of the
Church of Scotland. The witnesses to the wedding were Lauchlan Ferguson and John Grant, with the presiding minister being
the Reverend MacGregor. The marriage was registered in Inverness on the following day.
The newly wed
couple lived at 17 Friars Street in Inverness, which is believed to be where the business was based. In the 1861 census John
is listed as head of the household, and his age is down as 24. In the column listed Blind, Deaf or Dumb?, there is a tick,
so it is assumed he must have been slightly deaf. This may have been something to do with the tailoring business, as also
listed are two other tailors with the same column ticked - David McGillivray, his father in law, and Peter
Fraser, who may have been related to David's wife (she was formerly a Fraser). There were several other Frasers listed
at the house also, possibly relations - Ann (Peter's wife, aged 30), John (their son, aged
2) and Alex (another son, 10 months). There were also two lodgers - Hugh Fraser, a 19 year
old blacksmith from Aberdeen, and David Fraser, a 21 year old tailor from Inverness.(GROS:1861/098/09/19)
John and Ann had three children whilst living in Inverness - Ann, David, Jessie and
Isabella. By 1870, the family had uprooted and moved to Nairn, moving to 12 Rose Street. In Nairn, John and
Ann produced another four children, Elizabeth, Charles, Williamina and
In the 1871 census, John's age was put down as 33, and at this stage there were only immediate
family members present in the house. At some stage before 1875 the family moved again to 81 High Street in Nairn.
But John's move to Nairn to set up his own
business did not pay off. By 1878, he was suffering from a serious loss of trade in the town, and had accrued
serious debts as a consequence, forcing him by August to file for sequestration, or bankruptcy. The following documents held
at the National Archive of Scotland give some insight into John's business downfall at this time (NAS:CS319/1911/2202). The first records the Sheriff Court's response to a hearing regarding John's petition for bankruptcy:
Certified Copy First Deliverance in the Sequestration
of John Brownlee MacFarlane, Tailor and Clothier, with concurrence of Charles Bain Mackintosh, Drapier, Nairn.
Nairn, 21st August 1878. The Sheriff Substitute having
considered the Petition, with the Writs produced, Sequestrates the Estate now belonging to the Petitioner, John Brownlee MacFarlane,
Tailor and Clothier, Nairn, before the date of his discharge and declares the same to be long to his creditors for the purposes
of the "Bankruptcy"(Scotland) Act 1856", and acts explaining and amending the same: Appoints the Creditors to hold a meeting
of the time and place mentioned in the Petition, for the purpose of electing a Trustee or Trustees in succession and commissioners
as directed by the Statute and do the other acts provided by the said Statutes; and grants Warrant of protection to the said
John Brownlee MacFarlane against arrest or imprisonment for Civil Debt, until the meeting of creditors for the election of
Alexr Falconer, a true copy, Robt Malcolm, Sheriff Clerk of Nairnshire.
A notice mentioning John's sequestration was duly
published in the Edinburgh Gazette on Friday August 23rd 1878, and then in the Inverness Courier and General Advertiser on
August 29th 1878. A subsequent article announcing a bankruptcy examination & creditors' meeting to be held was carried
in the Inverness Advertiser on September 17th 1878 (this article has yet to be checked).
John's creditors duly met, and appointed a local
draper called Charles Bain Mackintosh as the Trustee to oversee the sequestration of John's estate. Interestingly,
five years earlier, in 1873, John had christened his second son as Charles Mackintosh MacFarlane, and it
may be that he was named after the man who was to now oversee John's bankruptcy, perhaps suggesting that they had been friends
for some time prior:
Copy Act Warrant in favour of C. B. Mackintosh
Nairn, Fifth September Eighteen hundred and Seventy Eight years - The Sheriff
Substitute of the County of Nairn has confirmed and hereby confirms Charles Bain Mackintosh, Merchant, Nairn, Trustee of the
Sequestrated Estate of John Brownlee MacFarlane, Tailor and Clothier, Nairn, and Real and Personal, Wherever situated of the
said John Brownlee MacFarlane, are transferred and belong to Charles Bain MacFarlane as Trustee for behoof of the Creditors
of the said John Brownlee MacFarlane in Terms of the "Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1854", and the said Charles Bain Mackintosh,
has, as Trsutee aforesaid, in terms of the said Act, full right and power to sue for and recover all Estates, Effects, Debts
and Money belonging or due to said John Brownlee MacFarlane
C.D.Malcolm, Sheriff Clerk Dep of Nairnshire.
With Charles Bain Mackintosh now appointed as
a Trustee to oversee the bankruptcy, a second meeting was arranged to be held on October 2nd 1878, giving Mackintosh
several days to work out the extent of John's assets. The new Trustee soon submitted his findings to the meeting:
Report and Valuation of Charles Bain Mackintosh, Merchant, Nairn, Trustee
on the Sequestrated Estate of John Brownlee MacFarlane, Tailor and Clothier, Nairn, to the Second General Meeting of Creditors
to be held within the Writing Office of Donald Fraser, Solicitor, Nairn, on the Second day of October 1878, to instruct the
The Trustee has made such investigation in regards to this Small Estate as seemed to him necessary in the interest
of the Creditors without incurring Expenses.
The Trustee obtained his confirmation on 5th September last and thereafter presented a Petition to the Sheriff
to fix the diet of Examination when his Lordship was pleased to appoint 24th September last for that purpose:- The Bankrupt
has appeared before the Sheriff for Examination, but rhe Trustee having been satisfied with the Bankrupt's explanations as
to want of trade and otherwise he did not consider it necessary to put Questions to him before the Sheriff -
The Trustee has seen no reason to suppose that the Bankrupt has granted any preference in favour of any Creditors.
The Trustee has carefully examined the Bankrupt's Stock in Trade, and furniture, and outstanding Debts due to
the Bankrupt (which are of trifling sums owing principally by poor people) and he cannot put a higher value upon the same
than the following.
1. Stcok in Trade consisting of a variety of small articles of light Drapery goods and Children's Toys
- say £18
2. Household Furniture, say £20
3. Book debts, say £5
Out of which have to be met Rents and Taxes to the amount of £21 14s
Leaving a probable balance of £21 6s to meet £158 17s 6d of ordinary Debts due by the Bankrupt, besides expenses
C. B. Mackintosh, Trustee.
The situation was extremely grim for John and his family, and owing
some £158 to his creditors soon took its toll on the MacFarlanes. By 1881, the Nairn census records that the family had
moved to 6 Church Street, presumably a cheaper place to live, and had also taken in a lodger, a law apprentice called William
Daniel Mitchell, aged 18, who was originally from Avoch. John's age in this census is listed as 41.
From a later correspondence by Charles Mackintosh to an accountant
at New Register House, we also learn that John had become very ill as a result of bankruptcy. This correspondence, sent on
June 23rd 1882, has two parts to it - the first is a copy of the original valuation prior to the meeting of October 2nd
1878, the second is an apology.
In the copy of the valuation, Mackintosh has a different listing for John's assets as originally
noted above - why this is is as yet unknown. The revised valuation stated:
1. Stock in Trade consistingof a variety of small articles of light
drapery and Children's Toys - £10
2. Household furniture at £20
3. Book debts, nil.
Total, over £30, out of which have to be met rents and Taxes of £21 14s, leaving probable balance of
£8 6s to meet £158 of ordinary debts due by the Bankrupt, besides the expenses of Sequestration which can never be paid looking
to the value of the estate and the poor circumstances of the Bankrupt whose health is also broken down.
C. B. Mackintosh Trustee
John's health had obviously deteriorated with the stress of his situation, and this had a
knock on effect with the ability to repay the debt to his creditors. From Mackintosh's apology to New Register House,
it is clear that John was in dire poverty for at least four years:
Nairn 22nd June 1882 to the accountant in Bankruptcy, New Register
We regret very much the delay in writing up the Sequestration of
John Brownlee MacFarlane, Nairn - I plead in excuse the poverty of the estate and the poverty of the Bankrupt. I enclose copy
of my report and valuation of the estate which was not worth anything and the sequestration was conducted as it had been with
the only desire of getting something to the Creditors.
At a meeting of creditors on 2nd October 1878 an offer of composition
of one shilling per pound was made and accepted - but the poor Bankrupt has not yet been able to pay all the Composition and
as he has also been unable to pay even the agents outlays, it was thought that no harm could accrue to any person by letting
matters lie until the Bankrupt would be able to pay off the Composition for if the Sequestration had gone on in the ordinary
way there would not have been anything for anybody.
We very much regret the delay which has occurred and now promise
to have the Composition paid and the sequestration closed as speedily as possible.
The Trustee has had no intromissions with any portion of the Estate.
Your Most Obedt Servt,
Charles Bain Mackintosh, Trustee.
On 4 JUN 1885, the Inverness Courier reported an unsuccessful attempt to sue John
in the Sheriff Court of Nairn:
NAIRN - SHERIFF COURT - INTERESTING QUESTION AS TO HOUSE RENTING
In the Nairn Sheriff Court on Friday, before Sheriff-Substitute
Mackenzie, Misses Cornelia Alexandria Dickson and Lavinia Dickson, Forres, sued John B. Macfarlane, tailor, 4 Sydney Place,
Nairn, for £9, being loss and damage alleged to have been sustained by them in consequence of his refusal to implement a contracted
lease for one year to Whitsunday 1886 of the house 4 Sydney Place, occupied by him last year as tenant under them at a rent
of £9, in respect he failed to give them due and timeous notice of his intention to remove from the house at the present term
of Whitsunday, whereby they were prevented from re-letting the house to another tenant. Mr J. D. Lamb, who appeared for the
defender, objected to the relevancy of the summons, maintaining that it was a contradiction of terms, the one half of it being
destructive of the other, for while it alleged a contract of lease, constituted by tacit relocation, it concluded for damages
on the ground that they had been prevented from re-letting to another tenant. If it was true that there was a contract of
lease, they did not need and would have had no right to re-let to another, while on the other hand they were asking for immediate
decree for a year's rent in name of damages, but if the defender was their tenant, under tacit relocation, he was not liable
for the rent to the usual terms of Martinmas and Whitsunday. He contended therefore that the summons should be dismissed as
utterly irrelevant on the face of it. Mr Laing appeared for the pursuers, and after being heard at some length, the Sheriff-Substitute
sustained the defence and dismissed the action, holding that the pursuers had not sought the proper remedy.
A couple of months later, on 8 AUG 1885 (p.2), the Inverness Courier then ran
the following between the same parties:
NAIRN SHERIFF COURT - DICKSON v. MACFARLANE
This is a case of considerable interest raised in the Nairn Sheriff
Court, involving the question whether the notice of terminanting a lease of tenancy in a house in a burgh is forty days before
the 15th May (Whitsunday) or forty days before the removal term of 28th May. The facts which are not in dispute are that
Mr Macfarlane, tailor, gave notice that he would cease occupation of a house in Sydney Place, belonging to Misses Dickson,
and removed his furniture accordingly at the term. He gave notice on the 13th of May, but the pursuers maintained that such
notice was then too late, not being forty days before the Whitsunday term. The case was debated before Sheriff-Substitute
Mackenzie, who has now issued the following interlocutor:-
"Elgin, 5th August 1885. - The Sheriff-Substitute having considered
the cause, and heard parties and procurators, sustains the second and third section, please in law for the defender, assoilzies
him from the conclusion of the action, finds him entitled to his expenses, allows account thereof to be lodged, and when lodged,
submits same to the auditor to tax and to report, and decerns.
"D. J. MACKENZIE"
2 Hill Place, Inverness
By 1887, things appear to have turned around for John.
The Inverness Valuation Rolls show that he was now living at 2 Hill Place in the city, paying an annual rent of £15 to landlord
Evan MacDonald. The 1891 census tells us that this was a house with four rooms or more that had a window. John was still working
as a tailor at this point, and at this stage were again giving board to a lodger, this time being Donald Matheson,
a 21 year old clerk from the town. John's age in this census is listed as 54.
On March 15th John registered the death of Jane
MacGillivrary, nee McLean, the widow of James MacGillivray, brother to John's father-in-law David MacGillivray. Jane had died
on the previous day of pneumonia, and John was noted as "a friend of the deceased" and as being resident at 2 Hill Place (NRS/SP
D 1898 098/00 0100).
Several months later, on August 26th 1898, the Edinburgh
Gazette recorded an attempt by John to be recognised as both executor and creditor to Jane's estate, she having died intestate.
The article was as follows (p.845):
A PETITION has been presented in the Sheriff Court at Inverness
by John Brownlie Macfarlane, Clothier, 2 Hill Place, Inverness, for appointment of the said John Brownlie Macfarlane as Executor-dative
qua Creditor to the deceased JANE MACLEAN or MACGILLIVRAY, at one time residing in The Haugh, Inverness.
WILLIAM ANDERSON, Solicitor, Inverness
Agent for Petitioner.
No subsequent confirmation document has been found, which
would seem to suggest that John was unsuccessful in his application.
Three years later, the 1901 census shows that John
and his family were still to be found at 2 Hill Place (GROS:1901/98/0/3) in Inverness. John is by now referred to as
a retired tailor, with his age listed as 66. Living with him were his wife Ann, listed as 59 years old, his
daughter Minnie, now a milliner, and his other daughter Georgina, an assistant confectioner.
The valuation rolls tell us that in 1905, John and family moved to a new home, at 8 View Place, overlooking
the River Ness. The new landlady was Isabella Fraser, who was living in South Africa. The annual rent was now £19 and 19 shillings,
and was collected by Fraser's agent, a farmer called Alex Tolmie residing at Antfield, Dores. In addition to the rent, there
was also an annual feu duty of £1, 13s to be paid.
8 View Place, overlooking the River Ness
Two years later, John's daughter Jessie returned from Brussels with her children, and stayed with him
at the home at View Place for the next three years, ultimately leaving for Glasgow in October 1910, where she resided for
at least the next six months, having been recorded there in the census of April 2nd 1911.
On December 6th 1910, John and Annie had to go through the heartache of watching their daughter Elizabeth
pass away at a young age, well before her time was due. Having buried his daughter in Tomnahurich Cemetery, John was inspired to make preparations for his own passing away, and two months later, on February 1st 1911, he purchased
the lair next to Elizabeth's grave at Tomnahurich Cemetery.
In the 1911 census, recorded on Sunday April 2nd, John is located with his
family at 8 View Place. He is described as 76 years of age, born in Glasgow, and with no occupation listed. He and his 71
year old wife Ann, also present, had been married 50 years, and had had eight children, seven of whom were
still alive. Also present were his 48 year old daughter Ann, with no occupation, and 29 year old widowered
son-in-law Martin Cooney, a caretaker at a motor garage. John's four month old grandson George Martin
was also present, as were 27 year old boarder Fred B. MacLaren, a shop assistant and fishmonger (from
Melrose, Roxburghshire), and his daughters Georgina, 26 years old and a clerkess at a jeweller's, and Minnie,
a 30 year old milliner. None of the household could speak in Gaelic, and the house itself was described a shaving seven rooms
with one or more windows (SP 1911 098/0A 010/00 004).
First World War must have been a particularly anxious time for the MacFarlanes. John's son Charles
had signed up for the war effort, as had his grandson William Paton. But also of worry was the fact that
his daughter Jessie was in occupied Brussels during the war, with his grandson John Paton interned in the civilian prisoner of war camp of Ruhleben in Germany from 1916 after his arrest in the city. Perhaps
the saddest event was the death of his son-in-law David Paton, who had passed away whilst in hiding from the Germans in the city.
In the 1921 census, recorded on June 19th, John
was found at 91 Church Street in Inverness. He was noted as aged 87 and a retired tailor, born in Glasgow. With him were his
80 years old wife Ann, his 56 year old daughter Annie, his forty year old daughter Minnie
(a millener working at 107 Castle Street), his 37 year old married daughter Georgina K. Cooney, 10 year
old grandson George M. Cooney (scholar), and three boarders, Kenneth McKenzie (a 28 year
old tailor from Creich, Sutherland), 29 year old watchmaker Robert Kerr (from Lanark), and 35 year old tailor
Alexander Ross (also from Creich, Sutherland). (SP/NRS 1921 RD 098/A ED 20 p.15 Inverness).
John eventually died the following year in his
house at 91 Church Street, Inverness, on January 29th 1922, at 3pm. The cause of death, as certified by Dr Samuel Nicolson,
was 'senile decay'. His son, Charles, resident at 36 Waterloo Place, Inverness, informed the registrar
of his death (GROS:1922/098/A0/52).
The Inverness Courier and General Advertiser carried the
following death notice for John on Tuesday 31st January, 1922 (p.1):
Died at 91 Church Street,
Inverness, on the 29th inst., JOHN BROWNLIE MACFARLANE beloved Husband of ANN MACGILLIVRAY. Funeral on Wednesday, at 2 o'
clock to the New Cemetery. This (the only) intimation and invitation.
John's grave at Tomnahurich Cemetery, Inverness
And a few days later, on February 3rd, the following thank you was also printed
in the paper (p.1):
Mrs MACFARLANE and FAMILY desire to return sincere thanks for the many
kind expressions of sympathy extended to them in their recent sore bereavement. 91 Church Street, Inverness.
After John's death, he was interned in Tomnahurich Cemetery, Inverness.
The gravestone inscription reads:
Annie was born at 11.15am on June 15th 1861, in the family home of 17 Friars Street in Inverness.
Her birth was registered by her father on June 29th in the town (GROS: 1861/098/240).
In the 1871 census, Annie was listed as a scholar in the new family home of 12 Rose Street in Nairn,
Nairnshire. She is also listed in the 1881 census, but with no job description, at Church Street in Nairn. By 1891, Annie
had become a dressmaker in Inverness, still at home.
On September 12th 1895, a short advert appeared in the Scottish Highlander newspaper advertsing
Ann's skill as a dressmaker (p.1, col. 1):
MISS MACFARLANE, Dressmaker, 2 Hill Place. Fit and
style guaranteed. Charges moiderate.
In Slater's Directory for 1911, Annie was later listed as residing at 8 View Place in Inverness.
In the 1911 census, recorded on April 2nd, she was noted as 48 and living at her parents' house at 8 View
Place, Inverness, where she was listed without an occupation(SP 1911 098/0A 010/00 004).
Annie never married in her lifetime, and continued to work as a dressmaker. She eventually died at
the age of 65, at 2pm on July 2nd 1927 in her home of 93 Church Street, Inverness. The cause was myocardites degeneration,
and a cerebral thrombosis, as certified by Dr. Ranald Carnhill. The informant to the registrar was Annie's brother Charles,
living at 27 Ross Avenue in Inverness (GROS:1927/098/A0/0318).
Annie's death was recorded in the Inverness Courier and General Advertiser on Tuesday, July 5th 1927
Died at 93 Church Road, Inverness, on 2nd last, ANNIE, beloved
and eldest daughter of the late John Brownlie MacFarlane and Mrs. MacFarlane. Funeral private.
David John MacFarlane
b: 10/9/1863 d: 1/12/1921
In the 1871 census, David was listed as a scholar
in his home at 12 Rose Street in Nairn. In 1881, he had become an apprentice druggist in Nairn, living at 6 Church Street.
On June 2nd 1886, David married Florence Mary
Ann Roch at 138 George Street in Glasgow, Lanarkshire. David was a chemist's assistant, living at 2 Hill Place in
Inverness, whilst Florence was a 23 year old post office clerk living at 4 Gilmour Street in Ibrox. She was the daughter of
James Roch, a coachman domestic servant, and Agnes Jesstina Palmer. The wedding was performed
with a warrant from the sheriff substitute of Lanarkshire dated June 2nd, and took place in the presence of Agnes Jesstina
Roch and Mary Roger (GROS:1886/644/5/83).
Shortly after, the couple celebrated the birth of their daughter, Ethel
Annie McFarlane, at their home of 2 Hill Place, in Inverness (GROS:1886/098/00/0445). David, the informant to
the registrar, was still listed as a chemist's assistant.
On October 28th 1886 the Scottish Highlander
newspaper recorded that David was about to move to England:
Mr. D. J. Macfarlane, on the occasion of his leaving Inverness,
where he had been for some time assistant to Mr Allan, chemist, for an appointment in London, was entertained to supper by
a few friends on Thursday evening, and presented with a handsome present, consisting of the works of Burns, Scott, and Longfellow,
beautifully bound in morocco, and inscribed with the names of the donors. Mr. J. Martin made the presentation, and Mr Macfarlane
feelingly replied. A pleasant evening was spent with songs, recitations, and toasts.
In 1891, David was back in Inverness, but he
was not with the rest of his family on census night. His wife and daughter Ethel were in fact with his father-in-law James
at No. 1 Fairley St, Govan, Glasgow (listed here as a an engineers fencekeeper from South Wales). Present in the house were
Florence, listed as a music seller's cashier, her four year old daughter Ethel, her father
James and mother Agnes, her sister Gertrude, and aunt Mary Roch,
all of whom were from South Wales, except Ethel.(GROS:1891/646/02/006/000/007).
On September 7th 1896, Florence's mother Agnes died of cardiac failure at the
Victoria Infirmary in Govan, and Florence informed the registrar on the same day - it is noted that she was still living with
her parents at the same address of 1 Fairley Street, but it is not known where David was at this point.
In 1901, David's wife Florence was located in London, in the parish of St. George's,
Hanover Square, Westminster, with her 14 year old daughter Ethel, resident at 56 Maddox Street. Florence was noted as
a housekeeper, born in St Petrox, Pembrokeshire, living on her own account, with Ethel still at school. Also present
on census night were 64 year old visitor William Adlington, concert director of the art school, from
Southwell, Nottinghamshire, and 21 year old domestic servant Lily Eliza Land, from Scotland (GROE:1901/RG13/81/44/p.29).
David by this stage appears to have separated from Florence, as he is found in the same census
in Bury, residing at 7 Houghton Street as a boarder in the house of William and Elizabeth Harwood. William was a 32 year old
theatre stage carpenter from Blackpool, and David was noted as a 24 year old Scottish theatrical baggage man (GROE 1901
RG13 piece 3646, folio 103 p.11).
In 1909 however, circumstances were very different. David remarried to a Nellie Cohen
in Chorley, England, in the second quarter of the year (1909 Chorley D Vol E p.1212). Whether he had previously divorced Florence, or
whether she had died, has yet to be established. He may, of course, have also been a bigamist!
In 1911, both David and Nellie were found in the census to be residing at 46 Seymour
Street in Liverpool. Both were noted as actors, working on the stage, and as boarders at the house of Walter and Margaret
Davies, and their sons Walter and Donald. Also in the house were three other actresses, May Adams, aged 24, Ethel May aged
21, and Roberta Williams, aged 26. Curiously David and Nellie are noted as having been married for six years. Nellie was 26
and from London, Middlesex, whilst David was noted as 37 and from Inverness.
Little is known of their theatrical career just yet. In the 1908 edition of The Stage Year Book,
David is noted as playing Captain Valrose in a play called "Some Day" by V. Temple. In Autumn he was noted on p.144 as
playing Steven D'Arcy in "Rollicking Rory", a romantic Irish legendary play, by Chalmers Mackay, who also appeared in the
production as Rory O' Donohue. A review of the play described it as dealing "with the '98 Rebelllion in somewhat melodramatic
fashion, into which the Boucicault model much declined" (p. 21). The play was perfomed in Preston on August 3rd at the
Royal and at Whitehaven's Theatre Royal on November 4th (p.323).
In 1909, David is noted as playing P. C. Michael Flanagan in "His wife no longer" by Stephen Pritt,
at the Royal in Preston. In 1910, again at the Royal, he appeared in "Almost his Bride", again by Stepehen Pritt, this time
as the Earl of Ullswater. The play was also repeated at the Lyric in Hammersmith in April 1911. In 1913 David is noted as
having appeared as Captain Stephen Vanbrough RE in "Two Little Scout Boys" by John Dunbar and Herbert Lloyd, performed at
the Royal in Rotherham.In 1915 he is then found in a Scottish comedy called "The Panel Doctor" playing Dr. Davidson at
the Alexandra. In the same year he was also at the Pavilion in Liverpool, playing Denzil Riversdale in "The Girl Who Broke
Her Mother's Heart" by Geoffrey Fulton.
In the 1921 census, recorded on June 19th 1921, David was found at 46 St. Andrew's Road, Tendring,
Essex, England, He was 57 years and 9 months old, amarried touring actor, and employed by Laurence and West Symes Repertoir
Company, noted as of no fixed abode, but also at the Palace Theatre, Clacton. His 59 year old wife Nellie,
from London St Pancras, was described as an unemployed actress. (Source: 1921 census RD 197 RSD 1 ED 9 Great Clacton parish,
David eventually died in Burnley, England, on December 1st 1921, at the Burnley
Sanitorium. He was noted as normally residing at 100A Parkinson Street, and was noted as an actor. The cause of death was
erysipelas, suffered for 14 days, as noted by J. M. Ferguson, and the informant was his widow, N. McFarlane, of 5 Fairview
Road in Burnley (GROEW 1921 Q4 Burnley 302). Erysipelas is a severe streptococcus bacterial infection - it was not a pleasant
way to go. David was subsequently buried in the lair in which his father would himself be buried a year layer
at Tomnahurich Cemetery, back in his home town of Inverness.
On the day he died, The Stage newspaper printed the following notice (p.16):
Friends of Mr David McFarlane will regret to learn he is
lying seriously ill in the Saniotorium in Burnley.
This was followed with an obituary a week later:
MR. DAVID McFARLANE
Mr. David McFarlane, a well known provincial actor, passed
away on December 1 at the Burnley Sanitorium. He practically died in harness, as he played at the Victoria, Burnley, with
Mr Leonard Laurence's company on the Monday night, although he was ill. However, he could not appear again. He was taken to
the sanitorium on the Thursday of that week, and died the following Thursday. He was esteemed by all for his sterling qualities.
His last engagement was one of five years with Mr. Laurence. Mrs McFarlane (Miss Nellie Lawson) wishes to thank Miss
West Symes, Mr. Laurence, and the members of the company for their kindness to her. Also Miss Horner, of the Victoria, Burnley,
and the directors.
Following his death, David's estate was confirmed to his widow Nellie
in a letter of administration, the summary of which is as follows:
McFARLANE David John of 25 George-Street Euston
Middlesex died 1 December 1921 at the Sanitorium Briercliffe Road Burnley Administration London
16 January to Nellie McFarlane widow. Effects £382 5s 11d.
Three years after he passed away, the following notice was placed by nellie in
McFARLANE. - In sweet memory of David McFarlane, at rest,
December 1, 1921. Sadly missed by his devoted wife.
CHILDREN of DAVID MACFARLANE and FLORENCE ROCH:
Ethel Annie MacFarlane
b: 9/8/1886 d: 4/4/1945
Ethel was born at 7pm on August 9th 1886, at 2 Hill Place, Inverness. On the
birth entry, the wedding date of her parents was listed as July 17th 1885 in Glasgow - it was in fact a month before Ethel's
birth in 1886! The informant to the registrar was her father, on the 28th (GROS:1886/098/00/0445).
An Ethel Annie MacFarlane is listed in the Edinburgh Gazette of August 12th 1930
as having been appointed by the Civil Service Commissioners without competition to be the female sorting clerk and
telegraphist at Whitehall Crescent, Dundee.
Ethel died a single woman, at 5.30am on April 4th 1945, at 2 Rosiebank, Annan,
in the county of Dumfriesshire. The cause was carcinoma uterus as certified by W. Elder. The informant to the registrar was
her uncle, Andrew Urquhart, who lived at West View, North Street, Annan. In the entry, Ethel was described as living by independent
b: 5/6/1866 d: 1948
Calum's and Jamie's great great grandmother
In the 1871 census, Isabella lived at 12 Rose Street
in Nairn. In 1881, she was a scholar at 6 Church Street in Nairn.
It is believed that Isabella may have had an illegitimate daughter called
Isabella Ottoina Hock MacFarlane, born June 9th 1888 at 34 Muirtown Street, Inverness (GROS:098/00/0358).
If so, this daughter married a fitter called Harold Paterson on September 24th 1909 at 70 Church Street,
Inverness (GROS:1909/098/00/0156). She later died at the young age of 32 of abdomenal cancer, on October 26th 1926, at their
home of Rose Street, Inverness (GROS:1926/098/A0/0358). This relationship is as yet unconfirmed, as all certificates list
her mother as housekeeper Isabella MacFarlane, but with no father.
b: 3/8/1870 d: 3/12/1910
Elizabeth was born at 2.00am on August 3rd 1870, at
the family home of 12 Rose Street in Nairn. Her father registered the birth in the town on August 19th.
In the 1871 census, Elizabeth was listed as a nine
month old baby at the Rose Street home, and soon after moved to 81 High Street in the town. In 1881 census, at 6 Church Street,
she was a scholar, but by 1891, Elizabeth had become a household worker in Inverness.
On September 27th 1907, Elizabeth, or "Lizzie", was
a witness to her brother Charles' wedding in Inverness (GROS:1907/098/137).
On Saturday, April 3rd 1909, Elizabeth, still working as a domestic servant, married
29 year old motorman Martin Cooney, son of mason's labourer Martin Cooney and Elizabeth
Cooney, (previously Reid, maiden surname Campbell). The wedding was irregular, performed at 4 Kinnoull
Street by declaration in the presence of William Donaldson, a bank manager residing at 52 St John
Street in Perth, and Isabella Williamina Strathdee Clark or Donaldson, residing at the same
address. At the time of the wedding, both Elizabeth and Martin were staying at the Atholl Arms Hotel. Curiously, Elizabeth
lied about her age, stating she was 30, when she was in fact 39.
8 View Place, home to Elizabeth MacFarlane and Martin Cooney
In the following year, and back at the family home of 8 View Place in Inverness, Elizabeth was
to give birth to her only son George Martin Cooney in November. But the pregnancy must have been difficult
for her, as on Saturday, December 3rd, exactly three weeks after the birth, Elizabeth tragically passed away after
having suffered from acute nephritis (kidney inflammation), as certified by Dr. J. M. Grant. A devastated Martin informed Inverness
registrar George Macbean on the 5th (GROS:1910098/472). Again, Elizabeth's true age was not revealed - she was again listed
as being 30.
The Inverness Courier and General Advertiser carried the following death notice on Tuesday, December
6th 1910 (p.1):
Died at 8 View Place, Inverness, on the 3rd inst., LIZZIE, the beloved
Wife of MARTIN COONEY, and fourth daughter of JOHN BROWNLEE MACFARLANE. Funeral To-Day (TUESDAY), at 2 o' clock, to New Cemetery.
All Friends are respectfully invited to attend.
After the funeral, on Friday 9th, the family also placed a thank you in the Courier (p.1):
Mr. COONEY, Mr and Mrs MacFarlane, and FAMILY, return heartfelt thanks
for the many expressions of sympathy received in their great bereavement.
8 View Place, Inverness.
After Elizabeth's death, Martin obviously remained close to the MacFarlane family, as some nine years
later, he was to remarry, to Elizabeth's sister, Georgina (see below).
CHILDREN of ELIZABETH MACFARLANE and MARTIN COONEY:
George Martin Cooney
George was born at 6.00am on Saturday, November 12th 1910, at the MacFarlane home of 8 View Place,
Inverness. His father, listed as a motorman, informed the registrar on the 21st (GROS:1910/098/00/518).
In the 1911 census, recorded on April 2nd, George was noted as four months old and living at his grandfather
John MacFarlane's house at 8 View Place, Inverness(SP 1911 098/0A 010/00 004).
George took up a career as a schoolmaster, as well as being a second lieutenant in the intelligence
corps. On Saturday, January 31st 1942, he married book-keeper Ann Henderson Mackenzie, daughter of slater
and chimney cleaner John Henderson MacKenzie and Catherine Black, the wedding taking place
at the Old High Church in Inverness, and performed by the Reverend Mucrhison. At that time, Ann was living at 44 Union
Road in Inverness, whilst Geroge was engaged in war service. The witnesses were Dan MacKay, of Pardovan House,
Philpetonn and Eliza S. Henderson of 31A Innes Street, Inverness, and the marriage was registered on February
George and Ann went on to have four children and settled in Inverness. When their first child,
Peter, came along, George had by this time been promoted to captain in the intelligence corps.
George eventually passed away on Saturday, August 23rd 1997, at 12.05. By now, he had been residing
at Abbeyside, on Institution Road in Elgin. The cause of death was natural causes, gastrointestinal
haemhorrage, and a complete atrioventricular heart block pericious anaemia. On his death certificate, his father was noted
as being a traffic manager. The informant to the Elgin registrar was Elizabeth Ann Gaffney, nee Cooney,
his eldest daughter (GROS:1997/280/279).
CHILDREN of GEORGE COONEY and ANNIE MACKENZIE:
Peter Martin Cooney
Peter was born at 31 Island Bank Road, Inverness. The family's usual resdence was listed as 76 Innes
Street, Inverness. His mother was the informant.
Elizabeth Ann Cooney
Elizabeth, more colloquially known as Ann, was born at 31 Island Bank Road, Inverness.
The family's usual address was listedas 7 Maple Vale, Beauly. Ann's father informed the registrar.
Ann is married and last known to have settled in Elgin.
Susan Cooney - TWIN
b: 19/4/1949 d: 19/4/1949
Susan was born at 6.10am on Tuesday, April 19th 1949, at 31 Island Bank Road, Inverness. The family's
usual address was listed as 17 Pritchard Crescent, Beauly. Tragically, Susan died at 10.05pm, after only fifteen hours, being
four months premature and suffering from congenital debility, as certified by Dr. T. H. Chalmers. Susan's father informed
the registrar of both the birth and death on the 20th (GROS:1949/098A/275 and GROS:1949/098/A0/246).
Sally Cooney - TWIN
b: 19/4/1949 d: 19/4/1949
Sally was born at 6.20am on Tuesday, April 19th 1949, at 31 Island Bank Road, Inverness. The family's
usual address was listed as 17 Pritchard Crescent, Beauly. Tragically, like her sister, Sally died at 6.00pm, after only eleven
hours, being four months premature and suffering from congenital debility, as certified by Dr. T. H. Chalmers. Sally's father
informed the registrar of both the birth and death on the 20th (GROS:1949/098A/275 and GROS:1949/098/A0/247).
Charles Mackintosh MacFarlane
b: 29/4/1873 d: 13/2/1952
Charles was born on April 29th 1873, and although
registered as Charles Brownlie MacFarlane, this appears to be the only time his name appears listed as
such, as in all subsequent recordings, he is listed as Charles Mackintosh MacFarlane.
In the 1881 census, Charles was listed at the family home
of 6 Church Street in Nairn, in a time of some destitution for the family, his father having gone bankrupt some three years
earlier whilst working as a tailor in the town. By 1888 Charles had certainly made his way back to Inverness, for towards
the end of the year he had commenced an apprenticeship as a photographer, working for an Inverness based photographer called
McMahon. By 1891, the census tells us that Charles was still an apprentice photographer in Inverness, and that his family
had relocated back to the Highland capital from Nairn.
Believed to be Charles Mackintosh MacFarlane - from Anne MacGillivray Paton's family album
On May 15th 1891, Charles joined the Cameron Highlanders
in Inverness, and his attestation papers give us a great deal of information on his appearance. Charles was 5 feet
7 inches in height, weighed 117 pounds, and had a chest size of 34 inches. His complexion was fresh, his eyes grey and his
hair brown. The papers also tell us that he was Presbyterian, and that he had several distinguishing features, being
a blue clot on the left hand, a mole on the left side of his forehead, and a scar on the inner side of the lower part of his
Charles was initially based in Inverness and then Edinburgh.
On either February 20th 1892 or February 26th 1892, he was sent on his first overseas billing, to Malta. Setting sail for
the island on the steamship SS Avoca, Charles was unfortunately taken ill and found himself bedridden for 11 days on the vessel,
and then for a further month upon reaching land, he not being released until April 4th 1892.
Charles was to be based in Malta for the next three years.
On May 15th 1893 he was awarded a good conduct pay bonus of 1 penny, but this was forfeited for some reason on July 12th 1894,
and not restored until January 17th 1895. During his three year stint on Malta, Charles was hospitalised on two further occasions,
the first for six days from February 18th 1893 for bronchial catarrh, and then for a further ten days from December 9th 1893
to December 18th 1893, his service record stating that he had a wound on his face, though no further details about this injury are
On February 19th 1895 Charles was redeployed to Gibraltar, setting sail on board the SS Pavonia. The
Camerons were to remain in Gibraltar until April 26th 1897. On November 10th 1895 Charles was appointed the piper to the regiment,
and was clearly happy enough with the military life, as on December 18th 1895 he extended his commitment to the army to twelve
years "with the Colours". On February 25th 1897 he was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal.
On April 26th 1897, Charles was again promoted, to Sergeant Piper, and transferred to the newly formed
2nd battalion of the regiment, which saw him return back home to Scotland. He spent the next year at Fort George
barracks in Inverness, before being posted to Aldershot in England on December 7th 1898.
On October 28th 1899 Charles was once again in Gibraltar, where he would remain posted for the next
two and a half years. On August 28th he was once more hospitalised, his medical report claiming he had a fever, though the
comment "Doubtful. No reaction" was noted by the attending doctor beside this diagnosis, whatever that meant. In total he
was in hospital for 27 days with his ailment.
On April 30th 1902, Charles set sail for the Mediterranean island of Crete on board the S.S. Carthage.
He reached the island on May 7th and was barracked at a place reported as Kandia in his service record, which is in fact Heraklion,
the island's capital and located just twenty minute drive away from where Calum's and Jamie's grandfather Colin Paton lives today on the island's north coast. Four years earlier, on September 6th 1898, the Moslem population of Heraklion
had attacked British Troops based in the town, and a Lieutenant Haldane of the Highland Light Infantry had been killed amongst
others. In response, the ruling Turkish Army and civilians had been evicted from Crete, and trials had subsequently
been held in both Heraklion and Chania, with the ringleaders duly executed. For the next eleven years the British Army
had been involved in peacekeeping in the city, and the Camerons as well as the Seaforth Highlanders and the Highland Light
Infantry had been involved.
On October 10th 1902, Charles was obviously clearly enjoying
the military life, as he extended his prospective military service again to 21 years. Just under three weeks later, on November
5th 1902, he resigned his post as Sergeant Piper, though retained the rank of Sergeant.
Based at Fort George, Charles either started or continued his relationship with Catherine
Ann Stewart, daughter of sheriff officer James Stewart and his wife Jessie MacLennan.
Things obviously went well with the couple, as on September
27th 1907 they married at the Alexander Hotel in Inverness. At the time of the wedding, Charles was still a Colour Sergeant
on the permanent staff of the Cameron Highlanders, and lived at Violet Cottage on Telford Road in Inverness, whilst 20 year
old Catherine lived at 48 Telford Road. The witnesses to the marriage were Charles' sister Lizzie MacFarlane,
and F. L. Dunnet, whilst the minister was Gavin Lang of the Church of Scotland (GROS:1907/098/137).
The couple stayed in Inverness, where they set up their family.
His first son John was born in April 1908, followed by James in February 1911. Just less
than two months later, on April 2nd 1911, the family was recorded in the census in Inverness. Charles was a 37 year old Colour
Sergeant married to 26 year old Catherine for three years, with two children, although only young James
was with them, aged 1 month. The record comes from an institutional return, it is believed they were at barracks (SP
1911 098/0A 034/00 005).
Perhaps with the pressures of a family to raise, Charles
left army service to pension on May 14th 1912, after a tour at Bangalore, and took up work as the janitor at the local Merkinch
Primary School, at which his children attended.
Merkinch Primary School, Inverness, where Charles worked for a time as a janitor.
In August 1914, the First World War erupted. Charles, feeling his sense of duty now more than ever,
once again signed up with the Cameron Highlanders, soon serving as the Regimental Quarter Master with the regiment's new Lochiel's
Battalion (the 5th).
Catherine MacFarlane (nee Stewart) and granddaughter Joanna in Inverness, 1939
Charles was duly sent to France on May 10th 1915 with the regiment, and on June 30th the battalion
went into battle for the first time, and therefater fought in all of the major First World War Battles - Loos, the Sommes,
Ypres etc. Charles was subsequently awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, and on July
10th 1916 had received a commissioned rank of honorary lieutenant, after a transfer to the Seaforth Highlanders. By the end
of the war, Charles had attained the rank of Captain.
When the war ended, Charles left the army, and the family was again extended in Inverness, with
the arrival in May 1919 of his third son Charles. At this stage, the family were resident at 41 Telford Road. But in his father's death certificate in 1922, we learn that Charles had moved
the family to 36 Waterloo Place in Inverness (GROS:1922/098/A0/52).
Having left the army, Charles decided to continue working for them in a civilian capacity. In 1920
he joined the new commander of the 152nd Seaforth and Cameron Highlanders, Major-General J. W. Sandilands, as his clerk,
and worked to him for the next four years at Brigade HQ in Inverness. When Sandilands left in 1924, Charles continued as clerk
to his replacement.
In October 1925, the MacFarlane family was extended again with the arrival of Charles'
and Catherine's daughter Jessie, most likely named after his sister, and Calum's great great grandmother, Jessie MacFarlane.
At this stage the family were living at 27 Ross Avenue.
After his stint at Brigade HQ, Charlie became the secretary of the Inverness branch of the British
Legion, a job which he cherished and continued with until his last days.
On March 25th 1948, Charles was a guest of honour at a very emotional event for him and every member
of the Cameron Highlanders' Second battalion - its disbandment. The Scotsman newspaper of March 26th 1948 described the
King's Message to 2nd Batt., Cameron Highlanders
A message from the King, Colonel-in-Chief of the Queens' Own Cameron Highlanders, was read at the Cameron's depot,
Inverness, yesterday, when the 2nd Battalion held its farewell parade before disbandment.
"I congratulate the battalion on its magnificent record, which has been
in the finest traditions of the regiment," wrote the King. "I send to officers and men my warm thanks for their past services
and my best wishes for their future prosperity."
The King's message was read to the battalion, paraded in the barracks square,
by Major-General Sir James S. Drew, Colonel of the regiment, who inspected the battalion for the last time. Among those present
were three famous Camerons, General Sir A. F. Philip Christison, G.O.C-in-Chief, Scottish Command, who as a young officer
was adjutant of the battalion; Major General C. M. Barber, Highland Area Commander; and Major-General Douglas N. Wimberley,
former commander of the 51st (Highland) Division. Two members of the original battalion when it was formed 50 years ago were
also present - Mr. David Taylor, Inverness, and Mr Charles Macfarlane, the battalion's first pipe-major.
Old soldiers who had campaigned with the battalion in many parts of the
world had tears in their eyes when the King's colour and the regimental colour were marched off parade for the last time
to the strains of the "March of the Cameron Men" and "Auld Lang Syne."
Addressing the battalion, which was commanded by Lt.-Col. A. J. J. Somerville-McAlester,
General Drew recalled that had played a prominent part in Lord Wavell's campaign in the Western Desert. In Eritrea the names
Keren and Cameron Ridge had become historic, and the commander of that campaign, in wrting to him (General Drew), said of
the battalion: "Their name has become a legend." The battalion had fought at Tobruk, and in the Italian campaign had won imperishable
fame at Cassino.
The 2nd Battalion Cameron Highlanders disbandment in 1948
In 1950, Charles also attended a major reunion of the Camerons
in Inverness. In his latter days he also took up golf at the Inverness Golf Club.
Charles eventually died at 9.00am on February 13th 1952,
in the infirmary in Inverness. His address at this point was 29 Ross Avenue in Inverness, and from his death entry, we learn
that he had by now become an accountant. It also appears that his wife, Catherine, was still alive at the time of his death.
The cause was cardio vascular degeneration, as ecrtified by Dr. H. Mathieson, The informant was a son, R??? MacFarlane - the
name is difficult to read from the death entry, but he was also living at 29 Ross Avenue (GROS:1952/098/A0/75).
The Inverness Courier and General Advertiser carried the following death notice on Friday, February
15th 1952 (p.1):
MACFARLANE - Passed peacefully away at the Royal Northern Infirmary,
Inverness, on Wednesday 13th February 1952, Charles Mackintosh MacFarlane, 29 Ross Avenue, Inverness, dearly loved husband
of Catherine Stuart. Funeral private. No flowers or letters please.
In the same paper, there was also an extensive obituary on Charles (p.4):
Cameron Highlanders postcard 1916
Cameron Highlanders, not only at home but abroad, will learn with regret
that Captain Charles Mackintosh MacFarlane, one of the veterans of the regiment, passed away at the Royal Northern Infirmary,
Inverness, on Wednesday. He had been ailing for some time, but was keenly interested in the activities of the various battalions.
As a young man, Captain MacFarlane joined the Camerons, and being interested in pipe music became pipe-major of the 2nd battalion,
when it was raised at Fort George over fifty years ago. Later he transferred to the ranks, and was promoted to be Colour Sergeant,
doing duty for a time at the Cameron Depot. On leaving the Service he became janitor of the Merkinch School. When the First
World War broke out, Captain MacFarlane joined the newly formed Lochiel's Battalion of the Camerons, and he served with it,
holding the rank of Regimental Quarter Master Sergeant. Afterwards he was given commissioned rank. Of a very active disposition
Captain MacFarlane after leaving the service, acted as secretary of the Inverness Branch of the British Legion, and he did
duty under General Sandilands as chief clerk at the Territorial Army Association. A man of fine character thorough in all
his doings and proud of his Regiment, he was regarded by his comrades as "a real Cameron Highlander". Captain MacFarlane was
keenly interested in sport, and before failing in health he was a regular paying member of the Inverness Golf Club. He was
over 70 years of age, and is survived by Mrs MacFarlane, three sons and a daughter, one of his sons, Colonel J. B. MacFarlane,
Royal Army Medical Corps, being at present on duty at Hong Kong.
The Canerons' own magazine, the 79th News, also carried a brief obituary on Charles,
as well as a letter of regret and tribute from the commander that Charles served with at Brigade HQ in 1920, Major-General
J. W. Sandilands:
Captain Charles M. Macfarlane
Captain C. M. Macfarlane died at the Royal Northern Infirmary, Inverness,
on the 13th February.
He became Pipe-Major of the 2nd Battalion when it was raised in 1897, and
later served on the permanent staff of the 3rd Militia as a Colour-Segeant.
After his discharge, he took up employment in Inverness, but on the outbreak
of World War 1 he joined the 5th Battalion as Regimental Quartermaster-Sergeant, and served with the Battalion as such until
July 1916. He was then granted a commission as Quartermaster, and at the end of the war he held the rank of Captain.
After leaving the Service he maintained his interest in the welfare of
his Regiment, and did a considerable amount of work on behalf of the Inverness Branch of the British Legion. He also was chief
clerk in 152 Highland Brigade Office when the Brigade was under the command of Major-General J. W. Sandilands.
Over seventy years of age, he was a man of loveable personality and was
keenly interested in sport, one of his favourite recreations being golf.
To Mrs Macfarlane his widow, whose brother Sgt. Gavin Stuart, is well known
in Regimental circles in Glasgow, to his daughters and three sons, the Regiment sends deepest sympathy.
It was with very great regret that I heard, through Major N. Morrison,
of the death of Charlie Macfarlane, who had been a good friend of mine for many years.
We had served together both in the 1st and 2nd Battalions, but, as so often
happens in the Army, I had lost sight of him after Bangalore in 1912.
I well remember the day I arrived in Inverness, early in 1920, to take
over command of the 152nd Seaforth and Cameron Brigade. I wasmet by the Secretary of the Territorial Association and shown
into the Brigade Office, consisting of two rooms with a few chairs and tables, on the same floor as the office of the Lovat
Scouts. I was also informed that I would have to find a clerk from somewhere and that the Brigade at present consisted of
nothing more than the barest skeleton.
The question was, where to get a Clerk? at any rate to make a start. The
very next day in walked Charlie Macfarlane and applied for the job, to my great relief and he remained with me for my full
term of four years, serving on in the same capacity for several more years.
During this period he was not only a faithful and efficient Clerk, but
a close personal friend, with whom I kept in touch for the next 30 years, and I am glad I saw him at the Re-union at the Cameron
Barracks in 1950.
We were almost contemporaries, both being in our 78th year, and the death
of Charlie Macfarlane breaks one of the few remaining links with the days of long ago when I first joined the Cameron Highlanders
J. W. S.
At 6.00am on March 3rd 1970, Charles' widow Catherine finally passed
away herself at the Hilton Hospital in Inverness, with her usual residence being the White House at Alturlie, Inverness. The
cause was bronchopneumonia, acute coryza, atherosclerosis and diverticulitis, as certified by Dr. J. Cramond. The informant
to the registrar on the 3rd was her daughter, Jessie Hasson.
CHILDREN of CHARLES MACFARLANE
and CATHERINE STEWART:
John (Jock) Brownlie MacFarlane (Brigadier)
b: 18/4/1908 d: 6/12/1972
John was born at 6.50pm on Saturday, April 18th 1908, at
Violet Cottage, Telford Road, Inverness. His father, at this stage a colour sergeant with the Cameron Highlanders, informed
the Inverness registrar on April 27th (GROS:1908/098/00/156).
John went to school at Merkinch Primary School in Inverness,
and after secondary education at Inverness Royal Academy, he went to Aberdeen University to study a degree in medicine, and
duly graduated on April 1st 1931 at the university's Marischal College.
On 26th Jan 1932 John was appointed Lieutenant in the Royal
Army Medical Corps, and was seconded under the provisions of Article 213, Royal Warrant for Pay and Promotion, 1931 (London
Gazette 19 FEB 1932 p.1129). On August 1st 1932 he was "restored to the establishment" (London Gazette 19 AUG 1932 p.5367).
In early 1933, his position as a lieutenant formerly on probation was confirmed (London Gazette 24 FEB 1933 p.1256). At some
stage around this time, John was posted to India's north western frontier.
On May 1st 1934, John was promoted to the rank of Captain. Three years later, on Saturday, December
18th 1937, he married 25 year old Margaret Macrae Gillies, daughter of medical practitioner Dr. Kenneth
Gillies (deceased) and Johanna Ross Fraser. The ceremony took place at King's College Chapel, Aberdeen,
conducted by the Reverend John Ross, with William J. McColl of Inchlea, Inverness, and Constance
MacDonald, of East Scores St. Andrews, as witnesses. At the time of the wedding, John was living at 29 Ross Avenue,
Inverness, with Margaret residing at 60 Old Edinburgh Road, Inverness. The marriage was registered in Aberdeen on the 20th
There was a bit more to the wedding, however! The Glasgow Herald from 20 DEC 1937 picks up the story
WEDDINGS IN THE NORTH
INVERNESS SISTERS HAVE JOINT CEREMONY
A double wedding was solemnised in King's College, Aberdeen, on Saturday.
The sister brides are the daughters of the late Dr. kenneth Gillies and of Mrs Gillies, Balaldie, Old Edinburgh Road, Inverness.
Miss Ara Gillies was married to Dr. Maurice Barrett Griffith, Darlington,
son of the late Dr. Griffith, Milford Haven, and Miss Margaret to Captain John Brownlee Macfarlane, R.A.M.C., son of Captain
and Mrs Charles Macfarlane, Inverness.
The brides were given away by Mr D. Gillies (cousin) and Dr. L.M.V.Mitchell,
They were attired alike in gowns of parchment ripple velvet over peach
coloured foundation, fashioned with long tight sleeves, draped bodice and panel-fronted skirt that finished in a short train.
Miss Ara's tulle veil was held in place by a coronet of orange blossom and a pearl headdress surmounted Miss Margaret's embroidered
net veil. Each carried shower bouquets of peach-tinted carnations.
The attendants were Miss Lily Ann Gillies, Miss Mairi MacRae, Miss Lenna
Macfarlane and Mrs J. A. MacDonald St Andrews (matron of honour). All wore redingotes of crimson chiffon velvet over accordion
pleated dresses of soft pink crepe susette, and their Juliet caps were of velvet. The first couple carried bouquets of bronze
chrysanthemums, and the second Victorian posies of mixed flowers.
Mr Duncan Chisholm was groomsman to Dr Griffith, and Mr William McColl
attended Captain Macfarlane.
The ceremony was conducted by the Rev J. Ross Aberdeen, and the Rev E.
F. J. Elliott, Inverness. A luncheon reception followed in the Palace Hotel, Inverness.
On leaving for the honeymoon Miss Griffith chose for trabelling a blue
angora outfit trimmed with sable squirrel, while Mrs Macfarlane's ensemble was of green angora faced with brown lamb and brown
At some stage after this, John was promoted to the rank of
major. When the Second World War broke out in 1939, he was posted to various stagings on the Western Front in France,
Belgium and ultimately Germany, and was eventually decorated with the French Croix de Guerre.
The following information was found regarding the recommendation
for John's Croix de Guerre:
Brigade 15(S) Division 8 Corps
Schedule No. - Unit 194 Field Ambulance
Rank and Army or Personal No. 51983 Subs. Major, T/Lieutenant Colonel
Name MACFARLANE, John Brownlie
Lieut. Col. J. B. MacFarlane has given outstanding service
since landing in Normandy in command of 194 Field Ambulance. At the battle of the River ?on , the advance through France
and the crossing of the River Seine, his coolness and determination under battle conditions were an example to all
ranks under his command and largely contributed to the successful evacuation of casualties in the many battles in which his
ambulance took part. His own ADS was under fire on more than one occasion and his courage and personal example in visiting
his CCP's at all times and often under fire were inspiring to his men
Honour or reward - Croix de Guerre with palm
After the war, John was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on June 9th 1947, though may have
been in this role at an acting capacity during the war (London Gazette 13 JUN 1947 p.2712). On February 21st 1956 he was further
promoted to the rank of Colonel (London Gazette 21 FEB 1956 p.1057), and on May 3rd 1961 was again promoted to Brigadier (London
Gazette 2 MAY 1961 p.3333). During this post-war period he had taken charge of several military hospitals in Germany and then
Singapore, and had also done a stint at Scottish Command in Edinburgh, before retiring from the army on August 29th
1966 as a Brigadier (London Gazette 30 AUG 1966 p. 9579).
John eventually passed away on Wednesday, December 6th 1972 at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, his
usual residence being at Dalanloch, Glenurquhart. The cause was acute myocardial infarction, a ruptured oesophagus, mediastinitis
and plurisy. On the certificate, John was noted as a brigadier in the Royal Army Medical Corps. The informant to the registrar
was his daughter Joanna Morrison (nee MacFarlane), who was resident at 25 Moss Road in Tain (GROS:1972/231/654).
When John died, the following notice and obituary appeared in the Inverness Courier and General Advertiser,
on Friday, December 8th 1972 (p.1) and Friday December 15th 1972 (p.7):
MACFARLANE - Suddenly at the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh, on the 6th December
1972, Brigadier John Brownlee MacFarlane, late RAMC, aged 64 years, of Dalanloch, Glen Urquhart, dearly loved husband of Margaret
Gillies and dear father of Joanna and Kenneth. Service on Monday 11th December at 1pm in Messrs John Fraser and Son's Funeral
Home, 17 Chapel Street, Inverness; thereafter Funeral Private to Kilmore Cemetery, Drumnadrochit. Family flowers only, please.
BRIGADIER J. B. MACFARLANE, GLEN URQUHART
Brigadier John (Ian) B. MacFarlane, late Royal Army Medical Corps, whose
death took place unexpectedly at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, on Wednesday December 6th at the age of 64, was an Invermess
man who had a notable Army career in peace and war. He was the son of a soldier, the late Captain Charles MacFarlane, late
Seaforth Highlanders, who was a member of the staff of the Territorial Army Association in Inverness, and the late Mrs MacFarlane,
Ross Avenue. He was educated at the Merkinch School, Inverness, where he was dux medallist, Inverness Royal Academy, and Aberdeen
University, where he graduated in medicine. After joining the RAMC he served at home and also on the North West frontier of
India, before the outbreak of war, and his service during the war embraced many combat areas on the Western Front in France,
Belgium and Germany. His decorations incuded the Croix de Guerre. He had command of military hospitals in Germany and in Singapore,
and he served at Scottish Command in Edinburgh before retiring from the Army two years ago. After retiral, Brigadier macFarlane
served in a professional capacity on the Pensions Board for the Army in Edinburgh, and left the home that he and Mrs MacFarlane
(nee Miss Margaret Gillies, a daughter of the late Dr. Gillies, a wel known medical practitioner in Inverness) had at Dulananloch,
Glen Urquhart, at the start of each week, returning at the week-end. He became suddenly ill in Edinburgh on Monday of last
week, and died two days later. His death was a shock to many old friends in Inverness and Glen Urquhart, and to those who
had served with him in the Army in Edinburgh and elsewhere. He is survived by his wife and a family of one son, Mr. Kenneth
MacFarlane, Spean Bridge, and one daughter, Mrs Joanna Morrison, Tain, his sister Mrs Lena Hassan, Inverness, and his brothers,
Hamish in Bedford, and Bingham in the Cocos Islands. A funeral service was held on Monday at Messrs. John Fraser and Son's
Funeral Home, Inverness, and internment took place at Kilmore Cemetery, Drumnadrochit, both services being taken by the
Rev. J. Campbell, M.A.
Tigh an Fhaing (The Fank House), Plockton
John's wife Margaret eventually passed away herself on Friday, November 30th 1984, at her house in
Plockton, known in Gaelic as Tigh an Fhaing (The Fank House), which a few years later would become a regular location in the
BBC television series "Hamish MacBeth". The cause of Margaret's death was a cerebral haemhorrage, diabetes and hypertension,
as certified by Dr. Peter Morgan. The informant to the Lochalsh registrar on the 30th was Margaret's daughter Joanna
Brown, who lived at Richmond House in Fort Augustus (GROS:1984/207/22).
CHILDREN of JOHN MACFARLANE and MARGARET GILLIES:
1) Joanna Catherine MacFarlane
Joanna was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England.
Joanna and her younger brother Kenneth
Joanna became a filling station proprietress and was married on at least two occasions. The first
marriage was to Archie with whom she had three children, one of whom, John, sadly died in a motorcycle
accident in 1978.
Joanna later divorced Archie and remarried in a civil wedding in Inverness to David.
After the wedding, Joanna had a further daughter, Davine.
On July 11th 2002, Joanna's first husband died in Beauly.
Joanna lives today with David in Saltburn, Invergordon.
CHILDREN of JOANNA MACFARLANE and ARCHIE:
Deirdre lives in Fort Augustus with her partner Angus, with whom, she has four children.
Thanks to Deirdre for information on the descendants of her grandfather, John Brownlee MacFarlane, supplied in February 2007.
CHILDREN of DEIRDRE and ANGUS:
b: 4/5/1961 d: 20/10/1978
John was tragically killed in a motorcycle crash in October 1978.
Karen married to James from Dundee. The couple now live in Perth with their
CHILDREN of KAREN and JAMES:
CHILDREN of JOANNA MACFARLANE and DAVID:
Davine married James in the USA, and today lives in Edinburgh.
2) Kenneth MacFarlane
b: 11/1/1943 d: 15/1/2006
Kenneth was born on January 11th 1943. He married Teresa in 1967, and the couple
went on to have two children, one of whom again died tragically at a young age in 1986 whilst climbing.
Kenneth and Teresa later divorced, and Kenneth moved to Kiltarlity, where he eventually died on January
15th 2006. Teresa still lives in Plockton today.
Kenneth and Teresa MacFarlane
CHILDREN of KENNETH MACFARLANE and TERESA FURLONG:
b: 12/11/1968 d: 6/12/1986
Louise tragically died on a mountain in 1986 at the age of 18.
Iain currently lives in Kyle of Lochalsh.
James (Hamish) Stewart MacFarlane
b: 9/2/1911 d: between 1972 and 1976
James was born at 3.00am on February 9th 1911 at 48 Telford
Road, Inverness. At the time of his birth, his father was still listed as a colour sergeant in the Cameron Highlanders,
and he informed the registrar of his son's birth on the 9th (GROS:1911/098A/74).
Hamish joined the RAF and went on to marry an English woman called
Dorothy. When he left the RAF he became a car salesman and sold Aston Martins.
Hamish eventually retired to Evanton, Ross-shire, where he died between 1972
Charles (Bing) Bingham MacFarlane
b: 28/5/1919 d: 15/12/2004
Charles was born at 5.00pm on Wednesday, May 28th 1919, at 41 Telford Road, Inverness. At this point,
his father was listed as a lieutenant in the 1st Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders. He informed the Inverness registrar
of the birth on June 9th (GROS:1919/098A/208).
Charles Bingham MacFarlane
Charles gew up to become an electrician, and in the war took up work as a lance bombardier
in the army. On Wednesday January 7th 1942, he married 22 year old aircraftwoman 2nd class Isobel Grant Mackay,
daughter of aluminium factory foreman George Mackay and Mary Morrison, in a Church of Scotland
ceremony performed by reverend Ernest ??? of St. Columba High, Inverness, the wedding itself taking place at 9 Culduthel
Road, Inverness. At the time of the wedding, Isobel was living at 11 Corrie Road, Kinlochleven, whilst Charles was away on
war service. The witnesses to the ceremony were James A. Matchelli, of Inverness, and Mr. &
Mrs. Yeo of Cornwall, England. The ceremony was registered on the following day in Inverness (GROS:1942/098A/26)
However, Charles marriage to Isobel did not last. On Friday, March 23rd 1951, he remarried, this time
to 20 year old riding instructress Helen. At the time of the ceremony, Charles lived at 29 Ross Avenue, whilst
Helen resided at 21 Southside Road in Inverness. The service, performed at the Inverness Register Office, was witnessed by
George MacBean, registrar, and Charles mother and Helen's father. The
marriage was subsequently registered on the 29th (GROS:1951/098A/91).
Charles and Helen subsequently emigrated to Perth, Australia with their family. Charles has since
passed away, but Helen still resides in Perth to this day.
CHILDREN of CHARLES MacFARLANE and HELEN:
Neil is married to Anne, and the couple have two
CHILDREN of NEIL MacFARLANE and ANNE (UNKNOWN):
Charles is married to Susanne, and has no children.
Aleen married Sean, and had a daughter
and a son.
CHILDREN of ALEEN MacFARLANE and SEAN:
Andrew married Leanne and had a son and a daughter, though the couple are now separated.
CHILDREN of ANDREW MacFARLANE and LEANNE (UNKNOWN):
Jessie (Lenna) MacLennan MacFarlane
b: 15/10/1925 d: 2009
Jessie was born at 27 Ross Avenue, Inverness, on October
15th 1925. Her father informed the Inverness registrar.
Jessie became a clerkess, and on Tuesday, January 18th 1949,
she married 28 year old roadhouse filling station proprietor Michael. The marriage was performed by Father
Mackenzie according to the rites of the Roman Catholic Church, at the McKenna Roman Catholic Chapel in Inverness. At the time
of the ceremony, Michael was resident at 79 Ballifeary Road in Inverness. The witnesses were John Fraser and Joan Hasson,
and the marriage was registered in Inverness on the 20th (GROS:1949/098A/21). The couple went on to have at least three
At some stage after 1953, and before September 1956, the family moved to Australia, though only temporarily.
The passenger manifest for their return to Britain from Sydney on September 23rd 1957 is available on Ancestry.co.uk and describes
their visit as having been for business reasons. It shows that Michael was a shopkeeper born on April 6th 1920, and that his
address in the UK was still 79 Balifeary Road in Inverness. Jessie was also listed, as a housewife, and then her three
children, Michael, Susan and Simon, with the latter clearly having been
born in Australia, and it may therefore have been that his birth was a contributing factor to the family's return to Scotland.
Also present on the manifest is a Joan Hasson, resident at the same address. She was born on January 8th
1918, and is likely to be Michael's sister. She is described as a secretary, and the purpose of her visit was for holiday
reasons. The ship on which they all returned was the 'Strathnaver'.
Michael passed away in 1982, and was buried in Tomnahurich Cemetery in Inverness.
It is believed that Jessie may have been called Jean colloquially,
as noted her entry into her mother's death certificate in 1970. She passed away in Inverness in 2009.
CHILDREN of MICHAEL, and JESSIE MACFARLANE:
Michael was born at 31 Island Bank Road, Inverness. His father informed the Inverness registrar.
As a young lad Michael resided temporarily in Australia with his family at some stage after 1953,
though arrived back in London from Sydney on board the 'Strathnaver' on September 23rd 1957 (Source: Ancestry/TNA
Michael became a company director, and later married Cheryl in Hammersmith, London.
The couple are known to have at least one daughter.
CHILDREN of MICHAEL and CHERYL:
Kate was born at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness. At that time the family were living at 36 Fairfield
Susan was born at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. The family's usual address at that time was 34 Ardconnell Street in
the city. Her father informed the Inverness registrar of the birth.
As a child Susan resided temporarily in Australia with her family at some stage after 1953, though arrived
back in London from Sydney on board the 'Strathnaver' on September 23rd 1957 (Source: Ancestry/TNA BT26).
Simon is listed on a passenger manifest arriving in London on board the 'Strathnaver' from
Sydney, Australia, on September 23rd 1957, with his birth date recorded as July 17th 1957. The manifest shows that
the family had been in Australia for at least a year, and so he must therefore have been born in that country (Source:
Simon was present at his brother Peter's wedding.
Peter was born at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. At the time, the family's address was 17 Southside
Road in the city. His father informed the Inverness registrar.
Peter married Lynne. It is not yet known if the couple
have any children.
b: 23/9/1878 d: 23/9/1878
This daughter of John and Ann was born on 23 SEP 1878 but died at just 3 hours of age, having been
born prematurely. In her death record, her father was noted as a 'tailor and clothier', with her birth and death taking place
at the family home at 7 Bridge Street in Nairn (SP/NRS D 1878 123/00 87 Nairn).
Williamina Anderson MacFarlane
b: 18/9/1875 d: 1/5/1965
Williamina, later to be more commonly referred to
as "Minnie", was born at 6.30am on September 18th 1875, at 81 High Street in Nairn. His sister Annie registered the birth
in Nairn on October 11th.
In the 1881 census, Minnie was living at 6 Church
Street, but by 1891 the family had relocated to 2 Hill Place in Inverness, where Minnie is found as a scholar. By 1901, Minnie
had become a milliner.
In the 1911 census, recorded on April 2nd, Minnie was noted as 30, still unmarried,
and a milliner once more, working for what appears to be Dupey Est (?). She resided at her parents' house at 8 View Place,
Inverness(SP 1911 098/0A 010/00 004).
1919, Minnie was a witness to her sister Georgina's wedding in Inverness (see below).
Williamina worked as a ladies millnier, and lived to the ripe old
age of 90, eventually passing away at 3.08am on 1 MAY 1965, at 82 Old Edinburgh Road, Inverness., her usual residence
being 2 Culduthel Road, Inverness. The certified cause of death was cardiac failure, generalised arteriosclerosis, and
recurrent urinary infection. The informant to the registrar was her nephew G. Cooney, of Ardlair, Saltburn Road, Invergordon
(SP/NRS D 1965 098/A 288 Inverness).
Williamina was subesequently buried in Tomnahurich Cemetery, Inverness,
in the same lair as her father and sister Annie, and adjacent to the grave of her sisters Elizabeth
and Georgina, their husband Martin Cooney (he married twice), and her mother, Annie
MacFarlane. The graves are to be found at Section A, class 4, lairs 41 and 42.
Georgina Kerr Heughan MacFarlane
b: 9/11/1879 d: 17/1/1959
Georgina was born at 5.00am on November 9th 1879,
at 7 Bridge Street in Nairn. Her father registered her birth in Nairn on the 29th (GROS: 1879/123/0/133).
In 1881, Georgina was listed in the census at 6 Church
Street, and by 1891 at 2 Hill Place. By the time of the 1901 census, Georgina had become an apprentice confectioner in Inverness.
In the 1911 census, recorded on April 2nd, Georgina was noted as 26 and a
jeweller's clerkess. She resided at her parents' house at 8 View Place, Inverness(SP 1911 098/0A
Georgina married Martin Cooney on
September 10th 1919 at 91 Church Road, Inverness, after a United Free Church wedding. Martin was a 37 year old chauffeur who
lived at 91 Church Street, along with 34 year old Georgina. This was in fact her brother-in-law, who nine years earlier had
been devastated by the death of his wife, and Georgina's elder sister, Elizabeth MacFarlane, who had died
from the kidney complaint nephritis. At the time of the wedding Georgina was working as a clerkess. The minister for
the service was Alfred A. Cosper, and the witnesses were Georgina's sister Minnie, and Robert
MacKintosh, and the wedding was registered on the 18th in Inverness (GROS:1919/098/A0/311).
Georgina finally passed away on Saturday, January 17th 1959, the
cause being cardiac failure and a coma, as certified by Dr. B. Rose. In her certificate, Georgina's husband Martin
was described as a bus superintendent. The informant to the registrar was her son - the name is difficult to make out from
the entry, but appears to be Glen Cooney, who lived at 9A Gordon Terrace, Invergordon (GROS:1959/098A/32).
CHILDREN of GEORGINA MACFARLANE and MARTIN COONEY:
Glen Cooney - unconfirmed
This is as yet unconfirmed. At Georgina's death, her son was listed as the informant. The
name appears to read Glen Cooney, but there is every possibility that it was her stepson and nephew George Martin Cooney.
Jessie MacFarlane 5/6/1866 - 30/12/1948
Jessie was Calum's, Jamie's and Pippa's
great great grandmother.
Jessie was born at 4.00am on June 5th 1866, at her home of 8 Shore Street, Inverness.
Her grandfather, David McGillivray, resident at 12 Rose Street, informed the Inverness registrar on the 19th (GROS:1866/98/00/262).
In the 1871 census, Jessie was at home at
12 Rose Street, Nairn, with her parents, where she was recorded as being 5 years old (Source: SP/NRS 1871, RD 123/1 ED 5,
p.28, Nairn). In 1881, she was still in Nairn, at 6 Church Street, with her seven siblings and parents, where she was listed
as aged 14 and a scholar (Source: SP/NRS 1881 RD 123 ED 7, p.3, Nairn). By 1887,
following the sequestration of her father's tailoring business in Nairn, the family had relocated to Inverness, with the family taking
up residence at 2 Hill Place.
Two years later, Jessie
married David Hepburn Paton on 15th August 1889, although it is not yet clear how they met - on their
wedding certificate, David's address is Marche Aux Herbes, Brussels, Belgium! The wedding was performed according to the forms
of the Free Church of Scotland, and in Jessie's house at 2 Hill Place, Inverness. The minister was John J.Black, and the witnesses
were Annie McFarlane, Jessie's sister, and Alexander Fraser. At the time of her wedding,
Jessie was living at 2 Hill Place (GROS:1889/098/104).
It is believed that after
the wedding David returned alone to Brussels, where he worked as the manager of a couple of shoe
shops on behalf of Glasgow based firm R. & J. Dicks. But by 1894, we know Jessie had joined
her husband in Brussels, as on April 26th she gave birth
in the city to the couples first child, their daughter Annie McGillivray Paton.
Annie's birth entry records that David and Jessie were living at Marche Aux Herbes. When Annie's
birth was registered on the 28th, we learn of two witnesses who were friends of the couple. The first was 37 year
old Auguste Moreau, negociant, meaning a sales representative or negotiator, whilst
the second was David's 23 year old magasinier (the person who took care
of the shops stocks and supplies) Charles Depoorter, from Schaerbeek.
One of Jessie's husband's shops, R.&J. Dicks, on Rue de Flandres, early 1900s.
On October 11th 1896, at , Jessie gave birth to the couple's first son,William. In William's baptism certificate, the family are
still listed as living at 76 Rue Marche Aux Herbes, one of the R. & J. Dick shops, but they are also listed as domiciled
at 40 Springfield Street in Glasgow, the house in which Jessie's father-in-law William
Hay Paton had resided prior to his death in 1894, and within which presumably her mother-in-law Janet was still dwelling. William's
birth was registered in the presence of Roderick
Fowler or Fawler, a
33 year oldmerchant tailor, and 33 year old magasinier François Van Espen.
29th 1898, the couple had a third child,
John Brownlee Paton, and his birth was registered in
the city on November 7th. And on May 24th 1905, Jessie's final child, Charles, was born
in the city.
8 View Place, Inverness, where Jessie lived from May 1907 to August 1910
Just prior to May 1907, Jessie moved back to Inverness in Scotland,
to live with her parents at 8 View Place in the city, a large house near the castle overlooking the River Ness. The children
returned with her, although Charles seems to have returned a few weeks later than the rest with his father, who stayed
for a short period before returning to run the shoe shops in Brussels.
Now settled at her father's house, Jessie sent both John and Charles to school at Inverness High School (in the building
that is now Crown Primary School), with John joining on May 21st 1907 and Charles attending from April 21st 1909. It
is not yet known what happened to Annie or William, alhtough it has been confirmned in a postcard from 1907 that Annie was
certainly living at 8 View Place as well. Jessie and the children
in Inverness until August 23rd 1910, whereupon they moved to Glasgow, remaining in the city until October of the following
year, at which point they then returned to Brussels to live with David in the St. Gillies commune of the city.
Tragedy was to hit Jessie and her family at the outbreak
of war in 1914. When Germany invaded Belgium, David opted to remain in the country to keep an eye on his two shops in Brussels,
and the family appear to have stayed with him, except for William, their eldest son, who returned to Scotland
to join the army. At some stage after the invasion, David went into hiding, having refused to hand over the company books
to the occupying Germans. Cut off from their mother country, Jessie and her three remaining children lived off the R.
& J. Dick company account, until the Germans closed the shops.
Half way through the war, in March 1916, Jessie's world
fell further apart. David died after an argument caused him to collapse in the home of a Dutchman in the city. His body was
left out in the street for the Germans to find, and it appears that Jessie was soon after captured, along with her children.
She appears to have been let go however, and allowed to remain at her home of 100 Rue d'Espagne. Although she was allowed
to hold on to Charles and Annie, her second eldest son John was taken from her and sent to the civilian prisoner of war concentration
camp at Ruhleben, near Spandau, Germany, his only crime being that he was of service age, and a possible threat to the Germans
if he returned to Britain and joined up.
Trapped in Brussels with no money, Jessie was forced
to ask the Dutch embassy in Brussels for help in obtaining another source of income, and was successfully able to obtain funds
from the Glasgow head office of R. and J. Dicks, thanks to the efforts of her brother in law, James Paton,
living in London.
The following letters held at the National Archives in Kew, London, record the
dialogue between the various parties concerned in trying to obtain funds for Jessie and her family, the first being a letter from
Jessie herself to her brother in law:
Legation, The Hague.July 16th 1917
Legation (British Section) at Brussels present their compliments to His Britannic
Majesty’s Minister at the Hague and on behalf of Mrs J. Paton, a British
subject residing 100 rue d’Espagne, Brussels, have the honor to beg Sir Walter Townley, if possible, to communicate
the following message to her brother Mr. James Paton, Singer Works 42 St. Paul’s Churchyard, London E.C.:-
Jim, As things here would have become impossible for us, I should like to know what you would advise me to do. Matters concerning
the Firm here have been decided & an indemnity of three months given. Viz until the
15th Sept. 1917 when the 75 francs I have been receiving since the
16th March 1915 will cease. Then of course I shall be entirely without means. Myself & the two children
who are still with me. The small sum left after the exceptionally heavy expense of poor David’s illness & death
is gone & had I means I should be allowed only to touch a very small sum monthly. The cost of living here at the present
moment is 10 times (and in some cases 20 times) more than in 1914 so you can well imagine my extreme anxiety in case we will
be as we have been. Over the winter in such case I shall be in a bad way. Kindly write to the firms and explain as I could
not explain myself properly from here. I shall leave it to your good judgement as to what you will say & arrange for me
as I know you will do everything in my interest. Kind regards to every one. We three are pretty well, hoping this will find
you all the same. Your loving sister J. Paton”
July 9th 1917.
The Prisoners of War Department in Downing Street London received the
note and forwarded it on July 26th to James Paton, who was at this stage the manager of the Singer Sewing
machine factory in Hendon, London. Jim replied to the Foreign office department on the 28th:
of the Prisoners of War Dpt.
144733/1204/P of July 26th sending me copy of a letter from Mrs David Paton Brussels my sister in law was duly
merely to acknowledge your communication for which I thank you, and to say I will write you later when I have made some enquiries
re “the Firm”.
I am writing
from my home address:
me to our Management office Singers 42/43 St Paul’s Churchyard
Jim then contacted the head office of R. &
J. Dick. Ltd., at their Greenhead Works in Glasgow. Upon receipt of Jim's letter, the irm contacted the Foreign Office in
J. Dick, Ltd, Greenhead Works, Glasgow.
of State for Foreign Affairs, Prisoner of War Department, Foreign Office.
Paton has forwarded to us copy of a letter which he received through your Department from his late brother’s widow in
Brussels, Mrs. David Paton, 100 Rue d’Espagne, from which letter we note
that she is likely to be in very necessitous circumstances in the near future.
death of her late husband, we have been allowing her 75 francs a week, which sum she obtained from the drawings of our Belgian
business. As this business has now been closed by German officers, however, she will no longer be able to obtain the 75 francs
be much obliged if your Department could help us in this matter, either by helping Mrs. Paton to return to this country via
Holland, and at our expense, or (if this is not possible) by paying her 75 francs a week on our account.
We may add
that the late David Paton was an old and trusted servant of this company, and we trust that your Department will find it possible
to assist us in helping his widow.
J. Dick, Ltd.
An internal memo after this at the Prisoners of War Department, dated August 25th
1917, indicates that the repatriation of British women from Belgium at this stage was not a high priority for th British
Government. In a subsequent letter back to R. & J. Dick., Ltd, the Foreign Office state:
J Dick, Ltd, Greenhead Works, Glasgow
of War Department
Secretary of the Prisoners of War Department presents his compliments to Messrs R & J Dick, Ltd., and is directed by the
Controller to acknowledge receipt of Mr Porter’s letter, no 46/449 of the 23rd inst, regarding Mrs David
Paton, residing at 100 Rue d’Espagne, Brussels-
is to state that if Messrs. Dick will forward to the Department a cheque, payable to the Chief Clerk, Foreign Office, the
Netherland Minister at Brussels will be requested to effect the desired payment.
It is suggested that for the sake of convenience a cheque for the sum of thirty pounds might be forwarded at one time, that
sum being the approximate amount which will be advanced to Mrs Paton in three months at the rate of 75 francs a week. On receipt
thereof the Netherland Minister will be requested to effect payment of that sum in weekly instalments, and to report when
it is nearly exhausted.
is to add that little hope can be held out of Mrs Paton’s repatriation at an early date as in spite of frequent representations,
the German authorities will refuse to allow British women to leave the occupied districts of Belgium,
but the matter is still being pressed.
OF WAR DEPARTMENT,
29th August, 1917.
In the meantime, whilst R. & J. Dick and the Government were deciding on how to
help Jessie, James Paton sent a further letter to Downing Street asking that they may pass on a personal note to Jessie
through the Dutch embassy in Brussels, as well a sto ask a special favour with regard to John Paton, his
nephew, by now a prisoner of war at Ruhleben camp. The lines scored out are the words removed from the transmitted copy by
the British censor:
of War Dpt
144733/1204/P of July 26th was duly received and acknowledged and I now take the liberty of asking that you will
present my compliments to Lord Newton & request the favour of transmitting the following letter to my Sister in law Mrs
David Paton 100 rue d’Espagne Brussels. Now that I have communicated with
the firm and they are kindly arranging with you for something to be done for her she will be expecting a reply from me.
Your message to me by the favour of Lord Newton of our Foreign Office was duly received. I need not say how much we
all regretted to hear of your change in circumstance & the sad plight it forecasted for you and the two children. I wrote
at once to the firm, and they have kindly undertaken to assist you. As however negotiations are being made through the
favour of Lord Newton I will merely say that you will I am sure find them satisfactory. We are all well now, but we have
had Nettie with pleurisy & Motherwith influenza, but both are quite better
again. Altho’ in the former case we had a specialist so serious was the beginning of the illness. Love to you all,
thank you in anticipation of you being good enough to send forward the above letter. While
writing may I trouble you concerning another matter. My nephew, Mr David Paton's son Johnnie is a prisoner at Ruhleben, Germany. When
of age he was taken away and is there now. I send him occasional parcels through the Dept at Thurlo Place, So. Kensington.
Could they, or would you be able to send him a little money as well. I feel from a letter he has sent , that he is straitened
in this way somewhat. I shall take it as a favour if you will be good enough to let me hear from you on this point. With thanks,
By November 2nd, R. & J. Dicks had decided on an allowance for Jessie, and transmitted
the following back to Downing Street:
R. & J. Dick, Ltd
2nd November 1917
Messrs R. & J. Dick, Ltd., present their compliments to the Secretary of the Prisoners
of War Dept., and desire to thank him for his letter (144733/1204/P) of 29th ult..
Messrs. Dick will be much obliged if the Secretary of the Prisoners of War Dept. will
arrange that Mrs J. Paton (Widow of the deceased David Paton) receive through the Netherland Legation at Brussels weekly payment
of £3. (Three Pounds Sterling).
Messrs. Dick will remit the required sum on being informed of the amount by the Secretary
of the Prisoners of War Dept.
The Government later wrote to the Dutch again and asked them to change the arrangement
on the bais that interst rates made the value of 75 francs difficult to live on:
P. L. to the Hague
No. 2876 Prisoners
Memorandum for Communication to the Netherlands Minister (British Section)
With reference to the Note from the Netherland Legation (British Section) at Brussels, No. C.1030 of
the 15th ultimo, His majesty’s Government would be much obliged if arrangements might be made for the equivalent
of the sum of three pounds weekly to be paid out of the British Relief Fund to Mrs J. Paton, instead of the seventy-five francs
a week previously authorised.
It is presumed that Mrs. Paton will therefore receive one hundred and two francs a week in
futureand His Majesty’s Government would be much obliged if they might
be informed at what rate of exchange previous payments to Mrs. Paton have been made.
On December 11th the Dutch wrote to Downing Street to say that the funds would run out
by the end of December and to ask for more. The following note was returned to them, indicating that ther was some confusion
on how much money Jessie should get, and at what exchange rate...
His Majesty’s Representative at The Hague presents his compliments to His
Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and has the honour to transmit, herewith, copy of a communication
received from the Netherland Minister (British Section) at Brussels.
British legation, The Hague.
11 Dec 1917
The Netherland Legation (British Section) at Brussels present their compliments to His
Britannic Majesty’s Minister at the Hague and with reference to the Foreign Office memorandum No. 144733/1204/P dated September 11th.
transmitted with Sir Walter Townley’s note of September 25th. No.444, have the honour to inform him that
the thirty pounds (£30) which were ordered to be paid to Mrs. J. Paton in weekly payments of Frs.75.- each, will be exhausted
at the end of this month.
to the present day Frs. 800.- have been paid to Mrs. Paton and t the then fixed rate of Frs.34.- to the pound, the £30.- were
equivalent to Frs. 1020.-
Paton requests that arrangements be made with Messrs. R and J. Dick for a continuance of those payments.
Legation invite reference to their note of October 15th. No.C.1030, but avail themselves of this opportunity to
remind His Majesty’s Government that the rate of exchange is no longer fixed at Frs.34.- to the pound but at Frs.40.-
since December 1st.1917.
Brussels, December 5th.
The following letter was then sent to R & J. Dicks...
Secretary of the prisoners of war Department presents his compliments to Messrs. R. and J. Dick, and with reference to the
letter from this Department of the 19th November is directed by the Controller to state that a Note, dated the
5th December, has been received from the Netherland Legation at Brussels stating that the sum of thirty pounds
which was forwarded with Messrs. Dick’s letter of the 30th August for payment to Mrs. J. Paton at Brussels
in weekly instalments of seventy five francs each, will be exhausted by the end of this month.
Secretary is, however, to state that when the above note was despatched the Legation had apparently not received the request
that the sum of three pounds a week might be paid to Mrs. Paton instead of seventy five francs and that it is not known whether
the above calculation was made at the former rate of exchange of thirty four francs to the pound sterling or at the present
rate of forty francs to the pound.
is not clear, therefore, when the above mentioned sum of thirty pounds will be exhausted, but the Secretary is to suggest
that Messrs. R. and J. Dick should, if they feel so disposed, forward a further cheque to this Department to provide Mrs.
Paton with weekly sums of three pounds, and is to state that the Netherland Minister will be requested to report when the
former sum of thirty pounds has actually been exhausted.
OF WAR DEPARTMENT,
1st January, 1918
But by May 1918, another letter from Jessie to the Netherlands Legation in Brussels implored them to ask R. and
J. Dick Ltd for an increase in her allowance, as inflation had decreased the value of the weekly three pounds by two thirds.
This letter also indicates the decline in the health of her son Charlie (Calum's and Jamie's great grandfather), due to the
harsh conditons in Brussels at that time:
hope that you will forgive the liberty I take in writing to you, but the expense of living here at the present moment is impossible.
The £3 which the firm of R. and J. Dick allow me is really not enough for food without speaking of other expenses.
am entirely depending on what the firm sends me, having no other means whatever. My boy of thirteen is ill through nothing
but privation and I can see things getting worse every day. I have no idea what arrangements will be made with the firm after
the war, but in the meantime we must live and at the rate things are, £3 is just equal to £1, therefore what I receive is
should certainly not trouble you if there were any other way of doing, and believe me I appreciate and am very much obliged
for the kindnesses you have already done for me.
to hear from you as soon as possible, I remain
the end of 1918, with the war over, Jessie eventually returned to Scotland with Annie and Charles, a widow with no money
and half her family taken from her, and initially seems to have taken refuge with David's brother Joseph Woodroffe
Paton in Glasgow, before getting her own place at 18 Aitken Street, where she is listed in 1919 when claiming David's
will. In 1921, Jessie was found aged 52 years and 6 months at 172 Graeme Street, the home of her son William,
with the entry confirning her birth in Inverness, and stating her occupation to be 'H.D', or 'household duties'. Also present
were William's wife Mary, and their children David and Joan. (SP/NRS 1921
RD 644/3 ED 8 p.8 Calton).
12 Southside Road, Inverness, where Jessie eventually passed away in 1948
From 1930 to 1939/40, Jessie is
recorded in the electoral registers for Glasgow at 6 Sunnybank Street, Shettleston, along with her daughter Annie.
Her son Charles was also resident there, but was last listed in the 1934/35 register, suggesting he moved
out following his marriage in 1934.
Jessie's granddaughter Joan
West (nee Paton) recalls how Jessie was constantly asking her father, William Paton, for money to
help her out. William did keep an eye out for her, and when the Second World War was approaching in 1939, it was William
who packed his mother and sister Annie off to Inverness, to keep them out of harm's way should German bombers or troops find
their way to Glasgow. For some time it was believed that Jessie had moved to Inverness just prior to the war, but in
the impromptu census carried out on Friday, September 29th 1939 for the creation of a National Register, Jessie is actually
found to have still been residing at 6 Sunnybank Street, where she is noted as performing 'unpaid domestic duties', and as
a widow, born on June 5th 1866 (GROS: 1939 National Register).
Not long after Jessie had, however,
moved to Inverness, sharing a house with her daughter Annie at 12 Southside Street with a Mrs Murray,
where they were visited by Joan after the war when she was stationed at a Royal Naval base in Lossiemouth. In the 1945
electoral register for Inverness, both Jessie and Annie are still listed at this address.
At 4.35am on December 30th 1948, Jessie died at her home, 12 Southside Road, where she had been living as David's
widow. She was 82 years of age, and the cause of her death was pulmonary hypertension, myocardial degeneration, and auricular
fibulation, as certified by Dr. J. M. MacLeod. Jessie's brother Charles, living at 29 Ross Avenue in
the city at the time, registered her death in Inverness on December 31st 1948 (GROS: 1948/098/A0/607). She did not
leave a will.
The plaque that used to mark Jessie's grave at Tomnahurich Cemetery, Inverness
Jessie was buried at Tomnahurich Cemetery in Inverness, at lair number 32,
in section H17, class 4. Initially a small marble plaque marked the grave, but since her burial, the small metal spike which
held it into the ground has rusted away, and the plaque has long since been removed. However, the authorities at Kilvean
Cemetery, where the burial records are kept, photographed every grave some twenty years ago, and managed to get a picture
of Jessie's plaque, which they kindly allowed to me to photograph at a visit to their office in February 2006.