14 October 1919 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Bitterly cold. Did a small town list walking + cycled to Wellwood + Hospital. Attended meeting of Red Cross Branch at which there were the usual number of “Dummies”1. The meeting was adjourned to allow of members considering the proposals which are to be typed. Annie Little came down to see me + I sent her back in the motor2.

1 A report in the Southern Reporter of 16 October 1919 notes that the meeting was at the Town Hall and considered the “future position and work of the Society”. Those present included Mrs Scott Plummer (presiding), the Sheriff and Mrs Smith, Dr Muir, Mrs Lawson, Mrs Pollok, Miss Ballard, Mrs Mackintosh and Mrs Steedman. In the course of discussions Dr Muir “remarked that it would be a great pity to bring the work of the society to an end”. The meeting also noted the retirement of Mrs Roberts as secretary and Dr Muir noted that the V.A.D. had completed its war work and all members had now been demobilised. Though ‘The Southern’ did not identify the dummies the protagonists are all well known figures in Selkirk (if only by marriage): Muriel Grace Scott Plummer née Johnstone-Douglas, wife of Charles Henry Scott Plummer of Sunderland Hall; Patrick Smith (1858-1930), advocate and sheriff-substitute and his wife Alice Smith née Paterson (1863-1943); Annie Strahan Lawson née Black (1867-1950), wife of the Reverend George Lawson (1859-1937); Christina Jane Pollok née Graham (about 1863-1948), wife of John Pollok (1858-1938), W.S., Town Clerk and Procurator Fiscal; Agnes Mackintosh, formerly Harper, née Watson (1859-1946) and Mary Isabella Jameson Steedman née Hay, widow of James Strathearn Steedman, solicitor, who had died in 1918, at Royal Circus, Edinburgh (usual residence Ravensheugh, Selkirk); and [the Editor assumes – see diary entry for 9 December 1919 for a link with the Red Cross] Jean Charlotte Ballard (about 1866-1936), Madras born daughter of George Alexander Ballard, Madras Civil Servant, and Julia Mary Ballard née Anderson; she died at Philipburn, where her mother, a widow, was tenant in 1919 [Valuation Roll]

2 Ann Helen ‘Annie’ Little (1894-1968), of Hawkshaw, Kirkhope, Selkirkshire, Dr Muir’s servant for 6½ years until early 1918 when she left go to Moffat Hydro Military Hospital on V.A.D. work though she reappeared in the Kirkhope area after the war

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/22, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1919]

Published by

rumblingclint

Archivist, interests include Dr John Stewart Muir 1845-1938) of Selkirk, general practitioner, and Seton Paul Gordon (1886–1977), naturalist, author and photographer

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