5 August 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

A day like yesterday calm E. [wind]. Dull almost no sunshine but very pleasant. David1 left for camp at 2 taking Thorburn2 with him. I motored to Ettrick Manse + Ramsaycleuch taking Peter3. The housekeeper4 had pain from constip. + I got Grace Anderson5 to give her an enema with good results. In afternoon cycled to Ettrick Road, Buccleuch Road + Wellwood. All the Wellwooders6 but Nancy were at St James’s Fair7.

1 David Charteris ‘Dav.’ Graham (1889-1963), M.B., Ch.B., medical practitioner and Dr Muir’s business partner

2 Malcolm Murray Thorburn (1889-1977), manufacturer and sometime soldier, son of William Thorburn (1847-1926), tweed manufacturer, and Isabella Thorburn née Murray (1858-1942), he was the tenant occupier at Dandswall, Shawpark Road, Selkirk and worked for Edward Gardiner & Sons, Tweed Mill, Selkirk; during the First World War he served with the 2nd Battalion Black Watch (Bareilly Brigade, Meerut Division, later renumbered as 21st Indian Brigade, 7th Indian Division) joining them at Béthune in May 1915 as a subaltern before being appointed Transport Officer around the time of the Battle of Loos (September 1915) and reverting back to his company as a result of the casualties sustained there, in November the Battalion were detailed for service in Mesopotamia arriving in Basra in January 1916 and going immediately into action at Sheikh Sa’ad on 7 January which he again observed whilst acting as Transport Officer, he went back to his Company for the Action of the Wadi before Kut (13 January), describing the treatment of the wounded after both battles, and finally the First Attempt to Relieve Kut on 21 January in which he himself was wounded and evacuated to hospital first in Basra and subsequently in Bombay [source: Private Papers of Lieutenant M M Thorburn MC].

3 Peter, evidently a charge of Dora’s, is Peter Muir Spurgeon Allen (1914-2005), who was at Thorncroft, Selkirk, aged 7, in the 1921 Census [taken 19 June 1921], born 4 June 1914, Chorlton [Lancashire], the son of the Reverend Willoughby Charles Allen and Catherine Ellen Allen née Green; a head teacher (retired), he died 16 February 2005 at the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh, usual residence Hope Cottage, Stenton, Dunbar, East Lothian.

4 The housekeeper has not been identified though it may be possible to do so when the 1921 Census is published later this year.

5 Grace has not been identified (there were three individuals named Grace Anderson in Selkirkshire in the 1911 Census) though it may be possible to do so when the 1921 Census is published later this year.

6 The Wellwooders, sometimes Wellwoods, were John ‘Jack’ Roberts junior (1876-1966), Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948) and their children Andrina Barbara Henderson ‘Barbara’ Roberts, later Thwigg (1902-1996), John Stewart ‘Jock’ Roberts (1904-1950), Louisa Jane Roberts, later Rutherford (1906-1982), Stewart Muir ‘Little Stewart’ Roberts (1908-2003) and George Edward ‘Tim’ Roberts (1911-2005).

7 St James’s Fair was a market, held at St James’s Green to the north of Vigorous Haugh west of Kelso; associated with the Royal Burgh of Roxburgh (after Roxburgh was no longer inhabited, the provost of Jedburgh would come to ‘cry the fair’) it continued until the 1930s and had become a venue where Romany families from across Scotland came together to buy and sell horses and ponies. [information courtesy of the Accessing Scotland’s Past project].

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

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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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