The unique history of the Corps of Commissionaires

The legacy of the oldest security firm in the world by Evelyn McKechnie The Corps of Commissionaire has a unique place in British history concerning the employment of injured soldiers. It achieved long term goals and invoked wider debate regarding the employment of disabled veterans and the responsibility of the state, paving the way forContinue reading “The unique history of the Corps of Commissionaires”

Arras – The Forgotten Battlefields of the Artois

by Evelyn McKechnie This area of France is sometimes known as the ‘forgotten battlefields’ because Flanders and the Somme get more battlefield visitors, yet it is here on the Arras front that has over 150 British cemeteries, which bear testament to the huge losses. It is also where you can see some of the mostContinue reading “Arras – The Forgotten Battlefields of the Artois”

The Animals’ War, 1914 – 1918

‘They had no choice’ by Evelyn McKechnie The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated –  Mohandas Gandhi Peronne, a lovely town on the Somme in France, with ancient ramparts and lagoon, played host to an excellent exhibition on animals in the Great War aContinue reading “The Animals’ War, 1914 – 1918”

Archaeologists looking for war poet Wilfred Owens’s trench dugout on the Somme found the remains of three fallen soldiers.

By Evelyn McKechnie So what happens to the missing when they are found, and should we go looking for them? The woman gently held the poppy petals clasped in her hand and waited. She was judging the direction of the wind which was blowing across the peaceful, rolling landscape of the Somme. When she releasedContinue reading “Archaeologists looking for war poet Wilfred Owens’s trench dugout on the Somme found the remains of three fallen soldiers.”

The tragedy of the HMY ‘Iolaire’ 1.1.1919

‘Whisper its name‘ by Evelyn McKechnie If you visit any of the small cemeteries scattered along the landscape Harris and Lewis, there is a date on many Commonwealth Grave headstones – 1st January 1919. That is how I found out about the sinking of the Iolaire, I had never known about it before. During myContinue reading “The tragedy of the HMY ‘Iolaire’ 1.1.1919”

History Timeline of the Parkhead Forge, Glasgow

‘Transport is the Thing’ – Sir William Beardmore By Evelyn McKechnie I grew up in Parkhead, and the Forge was the main employer for the East End of Glasgow and beyond. My father worked there, my uncle and so many thousands of others, and when it closed in the early 1980s, the heart and soulContinue reading “History Timeline of the Parkhead Forge, Glasgow”


by Evelyn McKechnie ‘I put my Mammy’s flowers down for her wee brother. That was always her wish’.Theresa McKend, niece of Victoria Cross recipient Hugh McIver In 2008, it was the 90th anniversary of the end of the Great War, ‘the war to end all wars’ and it was a special year of remembrance. TheContinue reading “A GREAT WAR SCOTTISH HERO IS HONOURED IN FRANCE”

Scotland’s WW1 Private Ryan

by Evelyn McKechnie An Ayrshire Mill Town Kilbirnie is a small town in the Garnock Valley, North Ayrshire, with a population of around 7,500. Like so many small towns, it thrived in the past, but not so much now. In the mid 19th century, it bustled with all types of mills – linen-thread mills, flax-spinningContinue reading “Scotland’s WW1 Private Ryan”


by Evelyn McKechnie The Great War began in 1914, and for many who served in the war, putting pen to paper about their experiences seemed a way out of the misery, no matter how brief the respite it gave them from the surrounding horrors. It was an era when writing was one of the mostContinue reading “POETS IN ARMS”