3 December 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Same sort of weather but quite calm. Roads wonderfully dry. No sunshine. Cycled in town + out to Wester Essenside1 (8.25)2. Got back in time for unveiling of War Memorial3 by Munro, Secretary for Scotland4. It was a most favourable day as regards weather. Not a breath of wind. There was a big crowd + the Ceremony passed off successfully. I was disappointed that Munro had no local allusion in his speech. In afternoon I walked to Hospital, Ruby Bell5, Castle Street with temp. of 103.2 this morning + 102 at night. At the unveiling Pat Smith6 presided, Lawson7 prayed + Ross8 pronounced the benediction. The Duke9 + other nobs were there + Dunlop10.

1 Presumably to see the Heard family of Wester Essenside, Ashkirk, George Heard senior, Elizabeth Davidson ‘Lizzie’ Heard née Bulman (1884-1937) and their sons George junior (1917-2006) and Robert (1920-), both born Wester Essenside, Ashkirk

2 This will be a record of distance because Dr Muir used the Veeder Cyclometer (made at Hartford, Connecticut), a device that measured wheel revolutions and thus distance – though a cyclometer had to be purchased for each different size of bicycle wheel [see diary entry for 21 July 1919 for more information]

3 Selkirk War Memorial, WMO ID: 148479, design by Sir Robert Lorimer, at junction of Ettrick Terrace and The Valley, Selkirk, grid reference NGR NT46917,28538; it has steps leading up to an elevated platform with a sculptured wall containing name panels and, raised behind, stands a stepped decorated plinth with a shaft and gabled cross, and the original inscription with 399 names recorded on two plaques reads:
“To | The Glory Of God & | In Honoured Memory | Of The Men Of The | Burgh & Parish Of | Selkirk Who Fell | In The Great War 1914-1919”
[source: IWM War Memorials Register: Memorial Selkirk]

4 Robert Munro (1868-1955), 1st Baron Alness, GBE, PC, QC, DL, Scottish lawyer, judge and Liberal politician, served as Secretary for Scotland 1916-1922

5 Ruby Bell is not identified but may be Christina Miller Bell (1912-), born 22 March 1912, at Victoria Crescent, Selkirk, or her mother Christina Govenlock Bell née Watson, wife of Robert Davidson Bell, tweed designer, married June 1911, Selkirk and living at 14 Castle Street, Selkirk, 1921 Valuation Roll

6 Patrick ‘Pat’ Smith (1858-1930), advocate and sheriff-substitute, sometime of The Firs, Selkirk

7 The Reverend Lawson George (1859-1937), M.A., Church of Scotland minister, at Selkirk from about 1902 to about 1930

8 The Reverend Andrew Ross (1871-1942), Church of Scotland minister

9 John Charles Montagu Douglas Scott (1864-1935), 7th Duke of Buccleuch

10 Assume Charles Walter Dunlop (1846-1922), merchant, of Whitmuirhall, Selkirk

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

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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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