11 August 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Poor Mrs Nisbet1 died this morning at 3. + also Mary Smith2 (Broomfield) in the Royal Infirmary where she has been under Sir Jas. Hudson3 for 3 months. She was operated on for gall stones + a swab was left in + she developed gangrene of pancreas. There was very little doing today + I only saw Dobson4 + [illegible], Forest Road + Robertson5, Curror Street. D. [David Graham] + I put up all the town accounts for distribution. Dav. Ingles6 came round at 3 + completely altered my portrait. Dora + Boyack7 had a run to St. Mary’s Loch + took tea with them. We, Nancy, Barbara8, Mrs Mack9 + David all went to the Picture House + saw “The Woman Thou Gavest Me”10 + came back here + drank Barbara’s health on her 18th birthday.

1 Gordon Mary Nisbet née Wright (1874-1920), wife of John Nisbet, woollen millworker, died, aged 44, 11 Aug 1920 at Viewfield Nursing Home, usual residence 14 Yarrow Terrace, Selkirk, of uterine haemorrhage and fibroid tumour of the uterus, certified by D Charteris Graham M.B., Ch.B. Wright

2 Mary Smith (c.1882-1920), daughter of James Smith, joiner, and Mary Smith née Carmichael died, aged 38, on 11 August 1920 at the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh, usual residence Scott’s Place, Selkirk; her cause of death was obstructive jaundice, stone in bile duct, gangrenous pancreatitis and exhaustion, certified by Henry Thomson M.B.

3 Not identified, in spite of extensive researches: the Editor would be pleased to receive information as to this individual’s identity

4 Helen Dobson née Hope (c.1859-1920), of Kirkwood, Forest Road, Selkirk

5 Walter Brown Robertson, soldier, was Tenant Occupier of a house and garden at 22 Curror Street, Selkirk [VR007900012]

6 David Nicholson Ingles (1888-1943), A.R.H.A., Selkirk born portrait artist

7 Miss Boyack was a friend of Dora’s who stayed with the Muirs from 3rd to 31st August 1920; perhaps they knew one another from wartime nursing (she went on a number of Dr Muir’s calls and assisted on at least one occasion) but she is otherwise unidentified

8 Andrina Henderson ‘Barbara’ Roberts, later Twhigg (1902-1996)

9 Agnes Mackintosh née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946), of Elm Park, Selkirk

10 ‘The Woman Thou Gavest Me’ was a novel by Hall Caine, 1913, filmed in 1919, directed by Hugh Ford (1868-1952) with with Katherine MacDonald (1891-1956), Milton Sills (1882-1930), Jack Holt (1888-1951) and Fritzi Brunette (1890-1943); the film was popular but “nothing remains of this film but some stills in the National Film Archive.”[13] [Sources here: Silent Hollywood ‘The Woman Thou Gavest Me’; Vivien Allen ‘Hall Caine: Portrait of a Victorian Romancer’, 1997, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, p. 371; IMDB.com and The Library of Congress Performing Arts Databases

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]

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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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