21 January 1923 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Fresh day + fair with glints of sunshine. Motored to Hospital + when I was there the little girl Paterson from Gala with Diph. died.1 Went to [?] Whitmuir + then at 11.30 motored with Jack + Nancy2 to Greenriver3 to see Mrs Milne4 + W Bowden.5 Jack kindly ran me up to Wollrigg.6 They have renamed Greenriver by its original name – Hobsburn. It is a nice old house + they have done a lot to it : a new kitchen range, electric lights etc. The grounds were very neglected + they are gradually putting them right. We had lunch + tea + left about 6. Mrs M. + W. B. go back to Africa in about a fortnight.7 Jack + Nancy came to supper, + Mrs Mack.8

1 Margaret Paterson (1916-1923) died 21 January 1923, aged six, of “Diphtheria 8 days” at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Selkirk, usual residence 16 Damside, Galashiels. She was the daughter of Joseph Paterson, woollen millworker employed in 1921 by Robert Sanderson tweed manufacturers and sometime Lance Corporal 151167 [other sources give 20018], 2nd Royal Scots, and Jessie Paterson née Douglas. They had married 17 October 1902 at Galashiels.

2 John ‘Jack’ Roberts junior (1876-1966) and Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s second daughter.

3 Greenriver or Hobsburn, Hobkirk, grid reference NGR NT58223,11942, just east of the centre of Bonchester. Shown as Greenriver as far back as at least the Ordnance Survey 25 inch Roxburghshire Sheet XXVI.10 (Hobkirk), published 1860.

4 Mary Lee Davis Milne née Bowden (about 1873-1948), Serbian Cross of Mercy, St George’s Medal, sometime cook with Scottish Women’s Hospitals and at Bridgeheugh, Selkirk between 1913 and 1922 but flitted to Hobkirk around 1922. The daughter of the Reverend John Davis Bowden and Barbara [? Cranston], she had married the Reverend James Alexander Milne (d.1909) on 7 August 1906 at St Oswald’s Church, Montpelier, Edinburgh [Morningside, 685/6 204], at which time her address was recorded as Dresden, Saxony.

5 William Douglas Davis Bowden (1875-1944), brother of Mary Lee Milne. Born 22 June 1875, Edinburgh, died 24 April 1944, Hobsburn, Hobkirk, Roxburghshire. He was a civil servant and worked in Sierra Leone.

6 Woll Rigg, Ashkirk, where Dr Muir may well have been visiting William Dewar who had his hand lacerated when sawing a branch off a tree on 28 November 1922.

7 William Bowden and Mary Milne, port of embarkation Freetown, were recorded on the inbound Lagos to Liverpool route of the British and African Steam Navigation Company’s M.S. Aba, Official Number: 141887, date of arrival 2 October 1922 [source: UK and Ireland, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960. The Editor has been unable to find an equivalent outbound voyage in 1923.

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

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/26, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1923]

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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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