In Print

Newsprint – 1918

1918 January 2 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SERVICE OF PRAISE. – On Sunday evening, 29th December, a service of praise was held in Trumland Church for the purpose of raising funds to supply comforts for the Rousay soldiers. A choir, under the leadership of Miss Hourston, gave a large programme, consisting of choir pieces, duets, solos, and quartettes. Miss Jeannie Harrold acted as accompanist. The Rev. Mr Webster, probationer, occupied the chair, and, during an interval in the programme, delivered a very suitable address on “Praise.” The collection, which amounted to over £4, was handed over to the Frotoft and Brinian Ladies Committee…..

PRESENTATIONS. – On the occasion of leaving Frotoft School to take up duties in Hundland School, Birsay, Miss Hourston was waited upon by a deputation representing the parents and children in the district and presented with a beautiful silver teapot and silver-mounted Wedgewood jug. Mr Mainland, Westness, member of the School Board, in making the presentation, spoke highly of the excellent work Miss Hourston had done since coming to Frotoft, and expressed keen regret at her leaving, remarking that it would be bad at the present time to fill her place. Miss Hourston suitably and feelingly replied. On the previous day, Miss Hourston was met by the members of the Trumland Church choir, in Rose Cottage, and presented with a beautiful dressing case as a mark of their appreciation for the part she had taken in the work of the choir since coming to Rousay.

1918 January 9 Orkney Herald

FIREMASTER INKSTER HONOURED BY THE KING. – Firemaster William Inkster, who has been awarded the King’s Police Medal, is a native of Orkney [known as ‘Fiery Bill’, of Cogar, Rousay]. He joined the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, London, in 1889, and passed through the various grades, and latterly had charge of the carpenters’ department, and mechanic shop. In 1896 he was appointed to his present position as firemaster of the City of Aberdeen out of a list of 43 applicants, and he supervised the construction and equipment of the present Fire Station. He has assisted personally in saving life at various fires in the city, and on one occasion was nearly asphyxiated. Firemaster Inkster, through his skilful management in the distribution of his men and appliances at large outbreaks, has been instrumental in saving valuable property. By request he has organised fire brigades and private brigades in several institutions and establishments in the north. On the recommendation of the late Sir E. M. Shaw, Firemaster Inkster was selected to carry out the reorganisation of the fire brigades at Balmoral Castle and Abergeldie Castle on the King’s estate. He was president of the Association of Fire Brigade Officers from 1912 to 1913.

SNOWSTORM. – The most severe snowstorm of recent years began on Sunday morning, and continued, with little or no interruption, on Monday. During the forenoon of Sunday the fall was of a sleety nature; but as the afternoon wore on, the wind increased, a severe frost set in, and the sleet was changed into a blizzard, which came down in a blinding sheet that soon obliterated every landmark on the countryside, and heaped itself up in wreaths wherever there was a sheltered place. There was very little cessation of the storm on Monday, and every road leading into the country was blocked. The mail car attempted the journey from Stromness to Kirkwall early in the morning, but when a mile out of the former town it got stuck in a wreath, and further progress was impossible. There was no communication with Kirkwall from any of the outlying parishes on Monday by coach or car. On the sea the conditions of things were no less severe. The mail steamer did not cross the Pentland Firth, nor did the s.s Orcadia attempt the passage from the North Isles. On Sunday the wind blew from the east, but gradually veered to the north-east, from which direction it blew with gale force all day on Monday. To-day (Tuesday) the storm shows no signs of abating, and the drifts are piling themselves up to great depths in the outlying districts. If these conditions continue for any length of time, much suffering must necessarily be entailed on people in the country, far removed from means of renewing their household supplies.

ROUSAY – CONCERT. – A concert held in Wasbister School on Christmas night was largely attended. The collection taken was devoted to comforts for the Rousay soldiers on active service. The Rev. J. Deas Logie, F.I.B.P., parish minister, presided, and gave a short address on “Patriotism,” with special application to the interpretation given by the various nations at war. The programme was varied, entertaining, interesting, and well appreciated by the large audience present.

Under the tuition and guidance of Miss Anna May Cooper, of Wasbister School, a well prepared playlet was splendidly given and interpreted by scholars. The fairy play was “The Fairy Gifts.” The characters were as follows: – Mortals – Peter (a cobbler), Willie Flaws; Jean (his wife), Ethelyn Inkster; Marjorie Daw (daughter), Lillah Inkster; Jack, the Hunchback (son), James Craigie; Simple Simon (son), Hughie Sinclair; Immortals – Fairy Queen, Anna B. Sinclair; Fairies – Bluebell, Maggie J. Grieve; Buttercup, Minnie A. Inkster; Cowslip, Rita Craigie; Elves – Dragonfly, George Craigie; Cockchafer, George Laird; Ladybird, John Marwick. The playlet was in six scenes. The following seniors strengthened the evening’s enjoyment, and added spirit and spice to the pleasure of the evening: – Quartettes, “The Gipsy Queen,” Mrs Moar, Miss E. Craigie, Messrs Kirkness and Inkster; “Alice, Where Art Thou ?” Messrs Kirkness, Clouston, Inkster, and Sinclair; “My Mountain Home,” by all artistes in preceding quartettes; solos were rendered: – “Up from Somerset,” by Hugh Sinclair; “Cam’ ye by Athol ” Mrs Moar; “Wee Hoose ‘mang the Heather,” Mr Clouston; “Keep the Home Fires Burning,” Miss Cooper; duet, “Tell us, oh! tell us,” by Miss E. Craigie and Miss Cooper; trio, fantasia on songs of Burns, Mrs Moar, Miss E. Craigie, and Mr R. Inkster; sketches: – “The Troublesome Servant,” William Craigie and John Clouston; “The Broken Mirror,” Hugh Sinclair, James Marwick, and Miss Cooper; “Laying a Trap,” Misses B. Craigie, Helen Mary Craigie, A. Cooper, Pearson, Clouston, and Mr Hugh Sinclair. These sketches were delightfully entertaining. A reading, “Bobby Banks’ Bother,” was given by Mr Clouston; a recitation, “John Tibbie’s Dispute,” by Miss M. J. Clouston, and violin and piano selections by Mr and Mrs Alex. Craigie completed the evening’s entertainment.

Votes of thanks were accorded all the parties for the enjoyment of songs, stories, music, readings, recitations, and the efforts to please and delight. A pleasant evening was concluded with words of appreciation from the chairman, and the singing by artistes and audience of “Auld Lang Syne.”

1918 January 16 Orkney Herald

RENEWAL OF SNOWSTORM. – Weather of the most Arctic kind has been experienced in Orkney for a week and a-half. The first phase of the snowstorm, which began on Sunday, the 6th inst., continued with varying intensity until the afternoon of Tuesday, the 8th inst. Long before the storm subsided, all roads were hopelessly blocked by wreaths of snow, and Kirkwall was completely cut off from communication with the outlying districts. On Wednesday a slight thaw set in, but little impression was made on the mounds of snow which lay piled up to great heights across the roads. This thaw was of very short duration, and from Wednesday to Saturday the whole country was bound in the iron grip of a most intense frost. While these conditions remained the weather was mild, and the mail steamer resumed her passage across the Pentland Firth, and the local mails were taken by drifter from Stromness to Scapa.

On Saturday, however, the barometer began to fall, and in the evening the second phase of the snowstorm commenced. At first there was little or no wind, and consequently no drift; but early on Sunday morning the wind, which had been easterly, suddenly changed to the north-north-west, and almost immediately attained the force of a gale. From then onwards to daylight a most severe blizzard was experienced. The snow accumulated to great heights, and many people could be observed on Sunday forenoon digging a passage of outlet from their houses. In two of the churches in Kirkwall – the King Street U.F. Church and the Congregational Church – there was no service; while those attending the Cathedral and Paterson Church constituted a record in the smallness of their numbers. In the former, in the forenoon, there were only eight worshippers; while in the latter only twenty-six people braved the discomforts of a journey to church. The second diets of worship in these churches were only a little better attended. The usual two services were held in St Olaf’s Church, but the attendances were very small.

When the storm ceased on Sunday, a period of comparative calm prevailed, which lasted until Monday afternoon. Then a change in the weather again took place. The wind shifted to the south-east, the sky became black with the gathering clouds, and the third phase of the storm – equal, if not exceeding in violence, those which preceded it – broke out. The snow came down in blinding sheets, carried along by the gale, and none ventured out of doors except those on urgent business. A gang of labourers had been at work early in the day clearing a pathway in Kirkwall streets, but their labour was in a short time reduced to nought. For hours the storm continued; and the quantity of snow that now lies on the ground has seldom been equalled in living memory. If this state of matters continues, there will be a period of hardship in store for many people. Already there is a scarcity of milk, butter, potatoes, and butcher meat, as dairymen and farmers cannot get to town with their produce. Today (Tuesday) the wind has again backed to the north, from which direction a gale is blowing. The snow has meantime ceased to fall, but the air is bitterly cold.

1918 January 23 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY PARISH CHURCH. – On the last Sabbath of the Old Year, the Rev. J. Deas Logie, parish minister of Rousay and Egilshay, conducted divine service, after the usual service at noon in the Parish Church, and in the evening in Wasbister School. There was a record attendance. On the first Sunday of the New Year, in the Parish Church, the minister conducted the special service, as requested by the King in all the churches throughout His Majesty’s Dominions. The King’s letter and call to the Empire was read, the congregation upstanding. The form and order of divine service for the humble day of prayer, intercession, and thanksgiving issued by the Committee on Aids to Devotion, in accordance with the instructions of the General Assembly, was used throughout the service. The Rev. J. Deas Logie based his message for the New Year on “The Power of Recollection in Religion.” The membership, finances, and attendances of the parish church have never been so strong and flourishing for many years as they were during the year 1917. Nine of the old folks have had the income from the Fowlis Bequest divided amongst them; each person received a sum of money to buy something for themselves. By this yearly gift the memory of the donor is perpetuated. The elders of the Parish Church undertook the distribution in their district, at this seasonable time, a remembrance much appreciated by the old folks.

1918 February 13 Orkney Herald

MEN BORN IN 1900 CALLED UP. – Proclamations have now been posted up calling upon every Reservist who was born in the year 1900 to report himself for the purpose of joining the Colours on the receipt of a notice from the military authorities.

LIGHT IN EVENING SKY. – The zodiacal light is now strongly displayed in the western sky about two hours after sunset. It consists of a slanting beam of cone-shaped light stretching up from the horizon and faintly suffused among the stars in its outer limits. It will be readily found a little north of the sunset point if the atmosphere is sufficiently clear. This light probably represents a great assemblage of meteoric atoms dimly reflecting the sun’s rays.

1918 February 20 Orkney Herald


In loving memory of Sapper Alfred George Gibson, who died of wounds in 17th Hospital, Boulogne, February 16th, 1916, aged 21.

Mourn not the brave, the bright, the true,
Who have promotion found;
In the strife they fell, but all is well,
With honour they are crowned.

For right and truth they firmly stood,
Nor fell back to the rear;
Self-sacrificed for others’ good,
Now, Christ’s “Well done,” they hear.

How small our offering, and how mean,
Placed by the side of theirs
Who made the sacrifice supreme;
Where, where is room for tears?

Then mourn the fallen not as dead,
Let every tear be dried;
In Christ they rest for ever blest;
Yes, blest and glorified.

Avelshay, Rousay.

1918 February 27 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CONTRIBUTION TO THE Y.M.C.A. AND COMFORTS FOR ROUSAY S0LDIERS. – The following is a letter received by Miss Baikie, Schoolhouse, Sourin, from Sheriff Mercer in acknowledgment of the receipt of £3, being the proceeds of a concert held in Sourin School on Aug. 29th: – “County Buildings, Kirkwall, 8th Oct. 1917. – Dear Miss Baikie, – I learned on my return to Kirkwall of your remittance, during my absence, of £3, being, the contribution from a concert organised by you to the work of the Y.M.C.A. Will you accept my hearty thanks, on behalf of the Y.M.C.A., for this kind help which you have so willingly given to the invaluable work it is carrying on on behalf of our soldiers and sailors. Too generous an acknowledgement cannot be made of the patriotic service given to this object by the profession in Orkney. – I am, yours sincerely, John S. Mercer.” During the past week, the sum of £6 2s 6d, 14 pairs of socks, and 1 pair of mitts have been collected in Sourin in aid of the Rousay soldiers. In a week or two, a parcel containing comforts will be despatched to each Rousay soldier.



LOGIE – At the Manse of Rousay, on the 10th February, 1918, Frances Glen Mitchell Deas Logie, beloved wife of the Rev. John Deas Logie, minister of the parish of Rousay and Egilshay. – Much loved and deeply regretted. – Her remains were conveyed to Kirkwall, where they lay in St Magnus Cathedral, February 12th and 13th, and were laid to rest in Orquil New Cemetery, Kirkwall, on 13th February 1918. – “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.”

1918 March 6 Orkney Herald

STORMS AND TELEGRAPHIC DISRUPTION IN ORKNEY. – Following a period of settled and spring-like weather, there was a return again last week to severe wintry conditions. On Wednesday a strong westerly gale blew all day, which was accompanied by heavy rain. Early on Thursday morning the wind changed to a northerly direction, and about 3 a.m. a terrific storm, which lasted for several hours, burst forth with startling suddenness. The rain had changed into sleet – a sleet of a consistency that stuck to wherever it fell like a mass of glue. This is the particular substance which telegraph linesmen dread, because it gathers in large masses on the wires, and thus presents a greater body to the wind, with a resultant strain on poles and wires. The storm had not been of long duration when contact was lost in Kirkwall Post Office with other telegraph offices in the county. The extent of the damage was afterwards ascertained to be of an unprecedented nature, with the consequence that the whole telegraph and telephone systems in the county were dislocated. The Kirkwall to Stromness lines suffered heavily. For miles along the road, the poles and wires lay in a tangled and confused mass. The lines stretching to the East Mainland fared as badly; and from the North and South Isles details have come of similar breaks in the lines of wires. In face of such a serious breakdown, the small staff of linesmen at the disposal of the postal authorities were quite inadequate for the work of repair, with the result that Kirkwall was completely isolated, both insularly and with the south, from communication by means either of the telegraph or the telephone. Consequently we were without our usual supply of telegraphic news from Thursday until Monday forenoon.

The wind continued boisterous all day on Thursday, and March came in like the proverbial lion. However, on Friday the weather became more, settled, and a period of calm weather, with bright sunshine, has prevailed ever since.

1918 March 13 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PRESENTATION. – On Friday evening, 22nd ult., a few friends, nominated by the subscribers, called at Trumland House, and Mr Robert Marwick, Scockness, after making a few kindly remarks, presented Mr [John] Logie with a packet of Treasury notes subscribed by the islanders in grateful appreciation of his kindness in giving the free use of his yacht for carrying purposes during the months of July, August, and September of last year. Mr Logie replied feelingly, voicing the appreciation of the spirit which prompted the very handsome gift. He had given the use of his yacht freely in the circumstances without any thought of reward beyond the little benefit the services might confer. Now he could only thank the subscribers for the very substantial way in which they had seen fit to acknowledge and appreciate what was done; and if no better means of conveyance were available in the incoming summertime they were welcome to the yacht. The deputation was very hospitably entertained by Mr and Mrs Logie, and a very pleasant evening was spent.

[John Logie at this time was estate land steward and caretaker of Trumland House.]

1918 April 10. Orkney Herald

NOT TOO OLD AT FIFTY. – Fit men over military age and up to fifty years of age are urgently wanted for the Army, principally for home service, and special conditions are being offered. Men who are not liable under the Military Service Acts, but enlist voluntarily in the Royal Garrison Artillery or the Army Service Corps (Motor Transport), will be guaranteed service at home, and as near their homes as it is possible to place them. They will not be transferred to any other branch of the service without their written consent. There are vacancies, too, for elder men in the Royal Air Force and the Royal Engineers (Inland Water Transport). These men will be liable for service at home or abroad, but there are very interesting occupations open to them in connection with our latest fighting arm. Any recruiting official will gladly give information to prospective recruits from civil life or to discharged non-commissioned officers and men who, though under no obligation, are prepared to enlist voluntarily in response to the present call.

FALLEN IN ACTION. – Lieut. Robert G. N. Gibson, M.C , Royal Scots (killed), was the eldest son of Mr James Gibson, S.S.C., 21 Tantallon Place, Edinburgh, a descendant of the Gibsons of Langskaill, Rousay. He was 26 years of age. Last year, while serving with an English regiment, Lieut. Gibson was recommended for, and obtained, a captaincy. Shortly afterwards he won the Military Cross under circumstances of great gallantry. He was wounded in the neck about the same time, and was in hospital in England for several weeks. Returning to Edinburgh, he was at home for fully a month. On reporting himself for duty he was attached to his old regiment, and returned to his company rank. He has since been on foreign service. He quite recently completed a special course of infantry training. When the war broke out he was a Territorial, and was studying for the legal profession. His younger brother, Reggie, also a lieutenant in the Royal Scots, was killed at the Dardanelles in June 1915. Both brothers were Watsonians, the elder being one of the original members of the Cadet Corps, and the younger a former captain of the famous school, who was studying at the University of Edinburgh with a view to the Bar when the war broke out. Mr Gibson and his family are well-known in Orkney, and his many friends here have a keen sympathy with them in this their second sacrifice to the world war and civilisation. The two officer sons were students in law cut off in the flush of youth and professional promise.

[The Gibson brothers were the sons of James Gibson and Minnie Brilliant Gray, Dundee. James, born in 1858, was the son of Nicol Gibson, Langskaill, and Janet Marwick Harcus, Lingro. Nicol, born in 1811, was the son of David Gibson, Langskaill, and the second of his four wives, Isabel Mainland, Testaquoy, Wyre].

1918 April 17 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PARISH CHURCH. – The Rev. John Deas Logie, minister of the parish, conducted the communion services last Sunday, and dispensed the Sacrament to a good attendance of communicants present at the Lord’s table. A number of additional members were added to the Parish Church roll.

EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS. – The Rev. J. Deas Logie has completed the examination in Bible knowledge and Shorter Catechism of the scholars attending the public schools within the parish, of Sourin, Frotoft, Wasbister, and Veira. Mr Shepherd, of Egilshay, examined the scholars at Egilshay.

1918 May 1. Orkney Herald

CHARLIE CHAPLIN CALLED UP. – Habitués of Kirkwall Electric Theatre will be interested to learn that the famous cinema star, Charlie Chaplin, has been called up, and expects to be mobilised in June. Although a British citizen, he has waived his right to be incorporated in a British regiment, and expects to fight in France under the Stars and Stripes.

1918 May 15 Orkney Herald


Firemaster William Inkster, an Orkney man, who had his training in the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, and has held, with conspicuous success, the post of Firemaster of Aberdeen Fire Brigade for 22 years, was on Wednesday presented with the King’s Police Medal. The interesting ceremony took place at the meeting of the Town Council, and was carried out by Lord Provost [James] Taggart, as Lord Lieutenant of the County of the City. The proceedings had a picturesque note. The firemaster and six firemen – all the members of the party were in full uniform – proceeded to the Townhouse on one of the Brigade’s engines, and Boy Scouts furnished a guard of honour. The Lord Provost was in his Lord-Lieutenant’s uniform. The audience included the Firemaster’s daughter, Miss Inkster, in the khaki of an officer in the signals department of the Queen Mary’s W.A.A.C. in France; ex-Bailie Todd, and others.

LORD PROVOST’S TRIBUTE. – The Lord Provost said, as Lord-Lieutenant of the County of the City, he had been desired by the Secretary for Scotland to take part in a very interesting ceremony, and, on behalf of His Majesty, to present the King’s Police Medal to Mr William Inkster, Firemaster of the City Fire Brigade. (Applause.) The medal, which was awarded under a Royal Warrant, dated 7th July 1909, was given to members of police forces and fire brigades who had been recommended for special recognition in connection with their services. Mr Inkster joined the Metropolitan Fire Brigade in 1889, and after passing through various grades, was placed in charge of one of the departments. In 1896, he was selected out of a large number of candidates, and appointed to his present position as Firemaster of the City Brigade – at a time when the Council were contemplating the erection of a new fire station. He was largely responsible for the arrangements in connection with the new station, which, when completed, was considered to be one of the most up-to-date establishments of its kind in the kingdom. When the new premises were completed, Mr Inkster organised the permanent staff of firemen, and the department had since been maintained in a high state of efficiency. (Applause.) He had shown great skill in the management, and extinguishing of fires, by which much valuable property had been saved, and in the course of carrying out his duty Mr Inkster had personally assisted in saving life at various fires throughout the city. Mr Inkster was recommended by the late Captain Shaw, of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, in connection with the organisation of the fire brigade at Balmoral Castle and at Abergeldie, and carried out the arrangements for this purpose with marked ability and success. He had also organised a number of private fire brigades in connection with industrial and other establishments within the City and County. The award of the medal, which he was now about to present, had been fully merited by the energy and capacity which Mr Inkster had shown in the discharge of his duties since he was appointed firemaster of the city. (Applause.) Mr Inkster’s professional service in connection with brigade work extended for a period of 29 years, of which 22 years had been given to the City of Aberdeen, and he thought the Council and community would hear him out in saying that they had been fortunate in securing and retaining the services of a firemaster of Mr Inkster’s abilities. (Applause.)

The Lord Provost then pinned the medal on Mr Inkster’s tunic, and concluded – Mr Inkster, I have very great pleasure in presenting you with the medal which His Majesty has awarded to you, and in offering you my most cordial wishes for your continued happiness and success. (Applause.)

There was hearty applause as the firemaster left the Council Chamber with the detachment of the Brigade.

[The Lieutenancy Area of Aberdeen City was formerly known as the County of the City of Aberdeen – not to be confused with the County of Aberdeen, which is now known as Aberdeenshire.]

1918 May 22 Orkney Herald

GOOSEBERRY PICKING STOPPED. – The Food Controller has issued an Order prohibiting the picking of gooseberries for sale and the sale of any gooseberries. The restriction remains in force in Scotland until June 10th.

CURRANTS AND RAISINS EXPECTED. – Housewives who have lately had to be content with currantless cakes and puddings will be glad to hear that there will probably soon be a distribution of raisins, currants, and sultanas when the Ministry of Food has collected sufficient stocks. A fair quantity of Greek currants will also be released shortly for public consumption. A considerable stock of currants bought last January in Greece has not come over yet, simply through the lack of shipping, and difficulties and risks are too great to make it worth bringing them overland.

SCARCITY OF GRASS FOR FODDER – APPEAL TO HOUSEHOLDERS. – In view of the scarcity of fodder for horses and cattle at the present time, it is essential that no available source of supply, however small, should be overlooked, and all householders who have grass lawns on their premises can help in the matter. The Board of Agriculture for Scotland suggest that those who have lawns of considerable extent should refrain from mowing them regularly, and should let the grass grow till it can be utilised as hay. In establishments where the lawns are too small to make the foregoing suggestion practicable the householders might make arrangements, where possible, for the grass as mown to be utilised by local horse owners and dairy-keepers.

1918 May 29 Orkney Herald

EMPIRE DAY. –  Friday was observed as a general holiday in Kirkwall, to commemorate the anniversary of the birth of Her late Majesty Queen Victoria. The weather was all that could be desired for holiday-making, and there was a great exodus of people to the country. Special sea trips were run by the s.s. Orcadia to Rousay and the s.s. Iona to Shapinsay, which were well patronised; while every available vehicle was engaged by private parties for excursions into various parts of the Mainland. During the day the town presented a very deserted appearance.

1918 June 19 Orkney Herald

ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE – FURTHER LOCAL AWARDS. – Included in the list of the King’s Birthday appointments to the Order of the British Empire are a number of Orcadians and others resident in the county who have distinguished themselves in work for the Empire. The following have been made Officers of the Order…..

Mr Duncan J. Robertson, County Clerk of Orkney. In his official capacity, Mr Robertson has had much of the spade work to do in bringing into operation the various war schemes of the Government. He is Clerk of the War Pensions Committee, Secretary of the District Agricultural Executive Committee, Clerk and Executive Officer of the Local Food Control Committee, and Clerk of the Local Tribunal of Orkney…..

Miss Veira Spark, Q.A.R.N.N.S., daughter of the Rev. Alex. Spark, formerly minister of the parish of Rousay and Egilshay, has been awarded the Royal Red Cross, 2nd class. Miss Spark qualified at London, and has held appointments in the R.N. hospitals at Plymouth, Malta, and Deal. She has been promoted to the new R.N. hospital at Larbert.

[Q.A.R.N.N.S.: – Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service]

1918 June 26 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – HOMECOMING OF A VETERAN SOLDIER. – Amongst the soldiers who came on leave last Wednesday was Sergt. Charles Corsie, S.A.N.L.C. [South African Native Labour Corps], a native of Rousay. He has been nearly 20 years in South Africa, during which time he has seen much service both in the Boer War and with the Mounted Police. Since then he has been on several hunting expeditions through Basutoland. Later, he was employed as inspector of roads by the municipality of Johannesburg, where he had settled down. On the outbreak of hostilities he again volunteered and served with the Forces in East Africa until 1917, when he went to France with his regiment. After about a year’s service in various parts of France, he got a few days’ leave and came home to spend them with his friends in Orkney. Sergt. Corsie, who is a son of the late Mr William Corsie and of Mrs Corsie, Albert Street, Kirkwall, appears to enjoy the soldier’s life, and his views of the war are very optimistic. He left on Friday morning to return to France.

[Charles, born on October 11th 1868, was the fifth youngest of the 13 children born to William Corsie, Nears, later Brendale, and Ann Smeaton Leonard, Digro]

1918 July 17 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – DEATH OF PRIVATE JOHN INKSTER. – Much sympathy has been expressed with Mr and Mrs John [and Jane] Inkster, Essaquoy, Rousay, in the death of their eldest son [18-year-old John Angus Munro Inkster], which took place at Loanhead Hospital on July 1st. He only left the island on June 13th, for the purpose of joining the 4th Seaforths at Inverness. From the latter place he was sent to Glencorse, where he became suddenly unwell. On Saturday, June 29th, he was admitted into Loanhead Hospital; but he never rallied, and on the following Monday his parents received the sad news that he had died that afternoon. Deceased was a very quiet, inoffensive young man, and was loved by all who knew him. The body was sent home for interment in Rousay. The funeral took place on Friday, 5th July, from Trumland Pier to Scockness churchyard, and was attended by a large number of islanders.

1918 July 24 Orkney Herald

IN MEMORIAM. – In loving memory of our dear son, George Inkster, P.P.C.L.I., killed in action on July 18th 1916.

Two long years have come and gone
Since our dear loved one was called home;
But he is always in our mind,
For in our hearts he was enshrined.

He was the last of three dear sons
Whom God was pleased to take;
And ofttimes, when we think of them,
Our hearts feel like to break.

They all three lie in foreign lands,
Whose graves we will never see;
But they were very dear to us,
And will remembered be.

And when we feel cast down,
We seem to hear them say,
“Keep up your hearts, our parents dear,
We will meet again some day.”

Knapper, Sourin, Rousay.

1918 September 25 Orkney Herald

Letters to the Editor


SIR, – We, North Isles merchants, have recently had a visit of two representatives from the Food Committee. They have scrutinised our books to see if therein could be found an extra penny of charge on any of the controlled goods. Now as these goods have to be brought from Kirkwall per s.s. Orcadia, and as our freight bills are mounting up weekly – in fact, about four times the amount charged in pre-war times, some of us having a monthly bill of from £8 to £9 to pay, which means about £100 per annum – we therefore wonder if we have to sell such goods on a par with our town’s merchants, who have no such bill to meet. If so, it simply means that in less than six months’ time we shall have to appear before our sheriff as bankrupts. It seems a choice between two evils, and we wish to know which is the greater. – I am, &c., NORTH ISLES MERCHANT.



SIR, – Last week we were favoured by the visit of an inspector. At first this officer was regarded as a preposterous, prying impostor, who should be sent about his business double-quick time. But, alas! we live in a world of changes. Now he is received with open arms by the average housewife, welcomed as a friend. He is shown into the “ben end,” and quite a homely chat springs up, in which local prices, profiteers, &c., figure conspicuously. Result – Mr Inspector leaves with some very valuable information. Gossip has it that some essential foods are 6d per lb. above controlled prices in this island. It does seem a pity that in these times we should need officials to protect the dependents of our fighting men against this cancer ever in our midst. It is high time our magisterial bench took a more serious view of such cases. What is a paltry fine? as a correspondent in your contemporary said. It is poor consolation to the robbed to see his hard-earned cash paid over to clear the robber. What is needed is imprisonment without the option of a fine. In the case of second offenders, Food Committees should take action, and stroke all such off their list of registered retailers. – Yours, &c., HILL 60.

1918 October 16 Orkney Herald

CALL FROM ROUSAY U.F. CHURCH TO REV. D. S. BROWN, BURRAY. – At a meeting of the United Free Church Presbytery of Orkney, held at Rousay last Wednesday, a call from the congregation of Rousay U. F. Church to Rev. D. S. Brown, Burray, was considered. The Presbytery unanimously resolved to sustain the call.

MILITARY MEDAL AWARDED TO A ROUSAY SOLDIER. – We observe, from a list of awards of the Military Medal published in the London Gazette, that this decoration has been conferred upon Gunner Alexander James Munro, R.F.A., Rousay.

1918 October 30 Orkney Herald


Events have gone forward with great rapidity during the past week. Mr [U.S. President Thomas Woodrow] Wilson on Thursday issued his “last word” to Germany, which was equivalent to unconditional surrender; on Sunday the German Government replied, asking for the terms on which an armistice will be granted. There the matter rests and the whole world is waiting in tense anxiety for the next development, which will settle the question of peace now or war to the end. The time for slippery German diplomacy has passed. We are the victors, and only the spoils of the victor will satisfy us…..

1918 November 6 Orkney Herald

DEATHS: – GRIEVE – Previously reported wounded prisoner of war, 20th-23rd November 1917, now officially reported killed on that date, No. 12611, Pte. John David Grieve, 4th Seaforth Highlanders, aged 28 years, second beloved son of Mr [William] and Mrs [Christina] Grieve, Falldown, Rousay. – Sadly missed and deeply mourned.

“He died that we might live.”

1918 November 13 Orkney Herald



The Prime Minister [David Lloyd George] made the following announcement on Monday: – The armistice was signed at five o’clock this morning, and hostilities are to cease on all fronts at eleven a.m. to-day.

The following wireless news was transmitted through the wireless stations of the French Government on Monday:- Marshal Foch to Commander-in-Chief. – Hostilities will cease on the whole front as from November 11th at eleven o’clock, French time. Allied troops will not, until further orders, go beyond the line reached on that date and at that hour. – (Signed) Marshal Foch.



GREAT REJOICINGS. – The first intimation that an armistice was signed was made known in Kirkwall about 9.30 on Monday morning by the blowing of sirens on naval vessels in the harbour. The news had apparently come through at that early hour by a wireless message to the naval authorities, for it was some hours later before any Press message was received. Once the glad news was known, Kirkwall streets became a scene of great animation. Mingled with the ships’ siren notes were the joyous peals from the bells of St Magnus, and on all hands could be witnessed the people’s gladness that at last the end had come to the long period of bloodshed. Numbers of people must have had their flags ready at hand for such an occasion, for in a very short time flags and streamers were flying all over the town, from public as well as private buildings. At mid-day the town-crier proclaimed, by authority of the Town Council, a half-holiday in the burgh; and in the afternoon all places of business were closed.

1918 November 20 Orkney Herald

The Great War is now over and Prussianism is dead. The harvest of death is reaped, and the fields of life are shorn and bare. As we write, the wonder of the miracle overwhelms us. We are almost too happy to rejoice; and to-day we face the reaction of these latter years of pain and bloodshed with full hearts. We have now stepped into that new world of which hitherto we have but dreamt. But the barns of heaven are full to overflowing with the golden youth of the world, and War, the reaper, stands with ruddy sickle, his dark work finished. His crop is gathered in, and the shorn fields shiver beneath the rays of the wintry sun. Yet the picture is not all shadows. If War has not yet departed, we turn to welcome Peace, who has come into her own again. Even now she, with Love and Hope, is sowing the precious seeds which shall ultimately blossom out into a far richer harvest in the days that are yet to be. We have set a real Peace upon a real throne. We have – stupendous thought – knocked the irons off the enslaved millions of Germany, and we may now look forward to a world reconstruction beyond our wildest dreams.

But it is as yet too soon to think of the great task which lies before us. We cannot forget the fallen brave. As the flags fly and the drums beat, we think of the vacant chairs, miss the well-known and loved faces, and listen in vain for the voices of our great dead. For it is they who, under the providence of God, have made this wonderful day possible. By land, sea, and air they have held our land inviolate against a cruel and bloody enemy, and in doing so have made the supreme sacrifice. Their courage, endurance, patience in suffering, and sacrifices were beyond words. The magnitude of their success has over-whelmed us. It is fitting, therefore, that we remember them to-day as we thank that great host of heroes still with us, who with them stood between us and oppression diabolical in its purpose and conception. We cannot think of these brave young lives laid down on the altar as lives wasted, and we love to cherish the hope that they have greater work to accomplish in the realm into which they have now passed.

It is fitting to-day that we write for ever upon our hearts the deeds of our unchallenged Navy and our Mercantile Marine, as well as our “Contemptible Army,” and that young arm of both services, our magnificent Royal Air Force. They have proved to the world what we already knew – that the day of heroes is not yet past, and have shown that the spirit which animated our forefathers in the great struggle for freedom still burns brightly in the bosom of their children. All through these fateful years the Navy, silent and heedless of praise or blame, has eaten like a consuming cancer into the body of Germany, and has made it possible for our glorious Army to bring a just retribution upon our foes. Between them they have cut down the God of War, so that now, in the day of our triumph, we can, through our smiles, tears, and prayers, cry to him as he lies prostrate, with his discomfited and disillusioned servitors around him –

“Dark Reaper, get thee gone!
Close thou the door:
See o’er its portals now
A Heavenly Hand doth write
The fateful letters: – Nevermore!”

The world is free. The long night of oppression is past, and Liberty has ascended her throne. Under her rule we shall, please God, move forward to that high destiny which awaits us. We have still titanic tasks before us – tasks great enough to cause our hearts to quail – but this day is the day of our rejoicing, and we can look forward in confidence, for °God is in his heaven, and all is well.” Certainly in these latter days He hath set His sign and seal upon Liberty. Let us ring the joy-bells with full and gladsome hearts, for the Prince of Peace hath come into his own, and the God of Love is supreme. Henceforth Right and not Might shall rule a sane and re-born world.


THE INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC. – The schools still remain closed in Kirkwall, and the influenza epidemic shows little signs of abating. In many homes three or four of the family are suffering from attacks, and a number of deaths are reported. The town and parish was last week in the unfortunate position of being without an available doctor, the whole medical staff being incapacitated by illness from visiting their patients. Steps are, we believe, being taken by the authorities to get additional medical aid in view of the abnormal amount of sickness now prevalent in Kirkwall and its vicinity.

1918 November 27 Orkney Herald



Part of the 70 German warships which have surrendered left the Firth of Forth on Friday afternoon for Scapa Flow, and have arrived there. The vessels are, the Press Association understands, to be sent north in four batches. Perhaps never before has there been so mighty a concentration of ships of war as will be occasioned by this operation. Scapa Flow is quite capable of accommodating even this enormous combination of fleets. It was here that the British Grand Fleet was first concentrated at the outbreak of war in August 1914, and it is fitting that the last act in the world-drama should be enacted here. As soon as the ships reach Scapa, the German crews, who now man them, will be sent back to their own country, and the ships placed under the surveillance of the Allies.

THE INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC. – The influenza epidemic in Kirkwall and vicinity, though still serious, shows some signs of abatement. Since the outbreak there have been a large number of deaths caused directly or indirectly through this malady. In a number of homes there have been double bereavements; and in one case even three of a family – a father and two sons – have died from the effects of pneumonia following upon an attack of influenza. Kirkwall and Scapa schools are still closed, and will remain so until Monday, 2nd Dec.

1918 December 4 Orkney Herald

SCAPA FLOW. – Probably no place in the British Isles has been before the public eye more in the last few days than Scapa or Scalpa Flow, in the Orkneys, where our Grand Fleet has found a safe and splendid anchorage for the past four years. Yet the geographical knowledge of some of our southern, and especially English, contemporaries concerning this now famous harbour is still rather hazy. But the Flow must have been known to ship-masters for ages (says the Manchester Guardian). Harald Haarfager, the Scandinavian Jarl who subdued the Orkneys in A.D. 875, must have used it, being a mighty seaman. In 1468 the islands were pledged to Scotland. The great harbour is frequently mentioned by Scott in “The Pirate,” where it is called Scalpa Flow, and from what is written there we infer that seamen used it for some hundreds of years before that. Orcadians have become so accustomed to the sound of the running waters that a story is told of a certain party on a visit to Edinburgh who left the bathroom tap running all night to have in their ears the best substitute for their beloved Scapa!




The last of the surrendered German vessels left the Forth last Tuesday for Scapa Flow. At noon the battleships Kaiser, Grosser Kurfurst, Kron-prinz, and Kaiserin, weighed their anchors. They were escorted by the British battleships Revenge, Resolution, Royal Sovereign, and Royal Oak. Following the heavier vessels were the four remaining German light cruisers, including the Koln and the Brummer, also escorted by the corresponding vessels of the British Fleet. A number of the German destroyers, as has already been intimated, left on Friday and Saturday. The battle-cruisers followed on Sunday, accompanied by the British First Battle Cruiser Squadron. The same afternoon a further detachment of destroyers proceeded north. On Monday about midday a number of the German battleships weighed anchor, and were accompanied north by the Second Division of the First Battle Cruiser Squadron. On Monday afternoon at 4 o’clock several German light cruisers left the Forth, accompanied by the Second Light Cruiser Squadron. The weather on Tuesday, although dull and wet, was fairly clear on the sea, and the departing vessels, whose departure was witnessed only by a few persons apart from the Fleet, diminished to a small size in the distance before they became invisible.

All the German ships of the line, destroyers, and light cruisers, surrendered to us for interment, are reported at the Admiralty to have taken their places in Scapa Flow. About 25 Germans remain on each vessel as a maintenance party. The rest of the crews await the German transport to take them back to Germany. No transport has arrived as yet. The presumption is that the Germans do not have a merchantman fit to cross the North Sea. Experts who have examined the ships of the line comment upon the multitudinous bulkheads below the water-line, which make them, as we found at Jutland, practically unsinkable. No surprises in guns or instruments are yet known to have been detected. The Germans have left their admittedly wonderful and mysterious fire-direction apparatus behind when they sailed.

1918 December 25 Orkney Herald

THE WEATHER. – The mild, open weather which has been the rule ever since Armistice Day, has now come to an end, and severe, wintry conditions have set in. To-day (Tuesday) a heavy gale of wind is blowing from the west, accompanied with frequent showers of sleet, and the roads and streets are in a very sloppy state. Christmas Eve will not be an ideal one from the point of view of those who have their shopping to do, more particularly for those who have to come from long distances to town.

In Print

Newsprint – 1917

1917 January 3 Orkney Herald



The following messages have been sent by the King to his soldiers and sailors, and to the sick and wounded: – I send you, my sailors and soldiers, hearty good wishes for Christmas and the New Year. My grateful thoughts are ever with you for victories gained, for hardships endured, and for your unfailing cheeriness. Another Christmas has come round, and we are still at war, but the Empire, confident in you, remains determined to win. May God bless and protect you. – GEORGE R.I.



At this Christmastide the Queen and I are thinking more than ever of the sick and wounded among my sailors and soldiers. From our hearts we wish them strength to bear their sufferings, speedy restoration to health, peaceful Christmas, and many happier years to come. – GEORGE R.I.

[As the war continues and due to the shortage of paper, the Orkney Herald has gone from eight, to six, and now just four pages per issue.]

1917 January 10 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CONCERT. – On the evening of Friday the 5th inst., a most enjoyable concert was held in the Frotoft Public School. The children, under the leadership of their teacher, Miss Hourston, left nothing to be desired in the rendering of the several items on the programme, showing that much time had been spent both by teacher and scholar in training. The adult part of the programme was also thoroughly enjoyed by all present. The night being an ideal one the school-room was crowded, and all present agreed the concert was one of the most successful entertainments ever held in this schooI. The duties of the chairman were ably performed by the Rev. J. A. Matheson. During an interval in the programme, tea was served by the committee, to whom much credit is due. The object of the concert was to raise funds to purchase wool for knitting socks for the soldiers, and it is very gratifying to state that the sum of £4 5s 3d was collected. At the close of the programme, hearty votes of thanks were accorded to the chairman, committee, and all those who had helped to make the concert a success. The evening’s entertainment was brought to a close by the singing of “God Save the King.” Mrs Inkster acted as accompanist during the evening. Annexed is the programme: –

Recitation, “Ring out the Old,” Alice Logie; song, “Gallant Little Belgium,” scholars; recitation, “Choosing a Trade,” six boys; song, “Heave the Anchor,” Billy Gibson and Hugh Inkster; song, “Jolly Little Clacker,” scholars; recitation, “Courtship and Marriage,” Miss Peggy Sutherland; solo, “White Wings,” Miss L. Low; violin selections, Gunner Sabiston and Mrs Craigie; dialogue, “Mothers at Home,” school girls; duet, “My Nut Brown Maiden,” Marjorie Gibson and M. and L. Craigie; recitation, “Seein’ Things at Night,” J. Gibson; solo, “Where my Caravan has Rested,” Miss Hourston; recitation, “Johnnie’s Birthday,” Tom and Annie Sinclair; solo and chorus, “Hearts of Oak,” J. Sinclair and scholars; interval and tea; solo, “Comin’ thro’ the Rye,” Jessie Mainland; recitation, “Public School Idyll,” John Logie; song, “If you are a Dunce,” scholars; recitation, “Camperdown,” Mr Jas. Low; solo, “The Poacher,” Mr John Gibson; violin selections, Mr Geo. Sabiston; dialogue, “The Registry Office,” the committee; song, “The Merry Sailors,” scholars; solo, “Ten Thousand Miles Away,” Mr Chas. Flett; recitation, “When I am big like Pa,” David Gibson; solo, “Ca’ the Ewes,” Miss M. Mainland; song, “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod,” scholars; recitation, “Advice to Mother,” Kathleen Gibson; duet, “What are the Wild Waves Saying?” Mrs Inkster and Miss Hourston; solo and chorus, “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp,” Harry Logie and scholars; solo, “Keep the Home Fires Burning,” Miss Cooper; song, “We are Little Soldiers,” little boys; dialogue, “The New Year,” senior boys; solo, “The Auld Scotch Sangs,” Miss J. Harrold; song, “Goodnight, Ladies,” scholars; “God Save the King.”

1917 January 24 Orkney Herald


40 Grosvenor Road, S.W.,
January 1917.


Great firms and corporations have come to the assistance of their country by subscribing liberally to the great War Loan, but if the hearts of the people are not touched, and they fail to realise that not only our liberty but our very existence is at stake, the War may be protracted until universal exhaustion.

Every Parish might make a house-to-house visit to explain the Loan and to collect every penny possible to be invested for the common good of the Parish.

Every teaching of our beloved Master has been spat on and treated with contemptuous indifference, and Ministers of religion might rouse their congregations to a sense of their individual responsibility, and, in helping the War Loan, help the Parish. Schoolmasters and mistresses might tell their pupils of Armageddon and of the hundreds of thousands of defenceless women and little children, once enjoying homes as happy as theirs, foully butchered to make a German holiday, and enlist their sympathies for a great local effort.

REMEMBER we are dealing with a remorseless and unscrupulous tyranny that respects no law, human or divine.

REMEMBER the horrors and nameless outrages perpetrated by fiends in human appearance, from which we have been mercifully spared by the gallantry of our Heroes, who esteem no sacrifice too great to maintain the Honour, the Liberty, and the Freedom of our Great Country.

With every good wish for this fateful year,

Faithfully, – J. CATHCART WASON.

[Liberal M.P. for Orkney and Shetland]

1917 January 31 Orkney Herald

MILITARY SERVICE. – It is officially announced that the Government, after a careful survey of the situation, have come to the definite conclusion that, as regards cases which come before Tribunals on ground of business or employment, with exceptions specified, every man under 31 years of age who is fit for general service (category A) or for garrison service abroad (category B) will be, after the 31st inst., of more value to the country with the forces than he would be in civil employment.

1917 February 7 Orkney Herald

CALLING UP THE YOUTHS. – The proclamation calling to the colours men in groups and classes A and B, that is those born in the years 1898 and 1899, have now been posted up. The men to whom the proclamations apply are warned to report as follows: – men of group or class A born in 1898, fifteen days from the date of proclamation; and men in group or class B, born in 1899, thirty days from the date on which they attain eighteen years of age.

1917 February 14 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY-SCHOOL CONCERT. – On the evening of Friday the 9th inst., a most successful and enjoyable concert was given in the Wasbister Public School by the scholars under the leadership of their teacher, Miss [Anna May] Cooper, and a number of grown-up friends. The entertainment was much appreciated by a large and attentive audience, who thoroughly enjoyed the various items rendered. The duties of chairman were discharged in a very efficient manner by the Rev. J. Deas Logie, the newly-appointed parish minister. The programme was a very varied one, consisting of solos, duets, quartettes, dialogues, recitations, etc., and each item was splendidly done. Special mention may be made of the n—– sketch by Messrs H. Sinclair and J. Marwick. Their costumes and make-up were perfect, and they provoked roars of laughter by their funny conundrums. The patriotic quartette, “The Lads in Navy Blue,” was also greatly appreciated. The scholars in their several parts did exceedingly well, showing that much time and care had been spent in training them. The adults who contributed to the programme were mostly old favourites, now well known to Rousay audiences, whose talent is always appreciated. Tea was served during an interval, and much credit is due to the ladies who presided, and the committee for the able and efficient manner in which the wants of the inner man were attended to. The object of the concert was to raise a fund for the purpose of purchasing wool for knitting comforts for the soldiers, and it is gratifying to state that the sum of £5 14s was collected at the door. This has been augmented by further donations, bringing the total up to £6. At the close, votes of thanks were accorded to Miss Cooper, the committee, the performers, the chairman, and everyone who had helped to make the concert a success. The members of the committee take this opportunity of thanking all those who helped to decorate the school so beautifully. The evening’s entertainment was brought to a close by the singing of “God Save the King.” Annexed is the programme: –

Song, “Rule Britannia,” scholars; chairman’s remarks; solo, “Here we are again,” Mr Hugh Sinclair; recitation, “Draw the Blinds,” George Laird; quartette, “Pro Phundo Basso,” Mrs Sutherland, Mrs Moar, and Messrs Clouston and Inkster; solo, “Blue Bells of Scotland,” Ethelyn Inkster; violin selections, Mr Magnus Craigie; recitation, “The Mice and the Cheese,” John Marwick; song and chorus, “Tipperary,” George Craigie; sketch, “Private Tom’s Tit-bits,” Misses Clouston and Inkster; solo, “Robin Adair,” Anna B. Sinclair; duet, “I Know a Bank,” Mrs Moar and Miss Cooper; song and chorus, “Sweet Lass of Richmond Hill,” Willie Flaws and Hugh Sinclair; recitation, “The Pussies’ Tea-Party,” Annie Laird; solo, “Kelvin Grove,” John Clouston; n—– sketch, Messrs H. Sinclair and J. Marwick; solo, “Excelsior,” Miss Hourston; quartette, “Sir Knight,” Mrs Sutherland, Miss Cooper and Messrs Kirkness and Inkster; recitation, “Are boys or girls the best?”, seven scholars; solo, “The Dear Little Shamrock,” Maggie J. Flaws; song, “Caller Herrin'” Misses M. Inkster and E. Craigie, and L. Moar and V. Inkster; sketch, “The Red, White, and Blue,” Anna B. Sinclair, Ethelyn Inkster, and Maggie J. Flaws; chorus, “Cuckoo Song,” scholars; recitation, “There’s a good time coming,” Mr Jas. Craigie; quartette, “The Lads in Navy Blue,” Mrs Sutherland, Miss Cooper, and Messrs Clouston and Inkster; recitation, “Kitty Knew,” Minnie Inkster; solo, “Willie’s gane tae Melville Castle,” Miss Cooper; sketch, “Men and Women’s Rights;” duet, “Larboard Watch,” Messrs Clouston and Inkster; recitation, “People will Talk,” Miss E. Craigie; song, “A Man’s a Man for a’ That,” scholars; violin selections, Mr Magnus Craigie; solo (with chorus), “Private Michael Cassidy,” Gr. M. Wood; song, “Hush! Here Comes the Dream Man,” Anna B. Sinclair, E. Inkster and M. J. Flaws; “God Save the King.”

1917 February 21 Orkney Herald


The tide of War has turned, but only by
can we press on with that tide to
and so make good the sacrifices of the
thousands who have bled and died for us.
is still the urgent cry.
Full particulars as to the formation of War
Savings Associations will be sent on application to

THOS. B. WORK, Secretary, Local Central Committee, Kirkwall.


AURORA BOREALIS. – One of the most brilliant displays of Aurora Borealis seen here within recent years was observed from Kirkwall on Thursday evening. After a day of bright sunshine, a haze gathered on the horizon about sunset. Overhead the stars shone brightly, but the moon, which was in its last quarter, was still unrisen. From out the bank of haze a glow of light was first seen, which gathered in intensity as twilight gave place to dusk. Soon this phase changed, and streams of light shot out, ascending towards the zenith; then there appeared an arc of light stretching from the north towards the east and west, with its ends on the horizon. From out this arc glowing waves of many shapes and colours issued forth, and lighted up both sea and land, as if an aerial squadron, hidden from view, were focussing their search-lights on some objects invisible from the earth beneath. As seen from the outskirts of the town, the panoramic display was magnificent in the extreme, and was the object of curiosity to many people, strangers to the north, who for the first time have witnessed this phenomenon.

THE WAG AT THE HARBOUR. – Two old cronies were gazing skywards the other evening while there was a display of northern lights. Said the one to the other, “What dae you t’ink, John, is the cause o’ a this ‘merry dancers’ being oot the night?” John, who has a pretty wit which has stood him in good stead on many occasions, replied, with a twinkle in his eyes: – “They tell me wha kens, that it is naethin’ more an’ naething less than the sun shinin’ on iceburgs.” With a look at John more in pity than in anger, his friend shook his head and said, “Johnnie, boy, it’ll be a lang journey that this lee will hae tae tak’ before it catches up wi’ thee first ane!”

1917 February 28 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PARISH CHURCH – INVESTMENT IN WAR LOAN. – The kirk-session of Rousay parish has invested the sum of £20 in the new War Loan. The sum represents the Fowlis legacy, left on behalf of the aged poor of the parish. The interest accruing from the investment is distributed yearly. Recently the Rev. John Deas Logie, minister of the parish, and his elders, Messrs John Corsie and Frederick Trail Inkster, visited eight aged persons and divided the interest from last year’s investment among them. Needless to relate, the aged folks were grateful for the gift at this time of the year.

CHURCH SERVICES. – The Rev. John Deas Logie, minister of the Church and Parish of Rousay, has, by arrangement with the Rev. James Matheson, minister of the United Free Church, had the supply and work of the United Free Church congregations added to the supply and work of the Parish Church, in the absence of the Rev. M. Matheson, since about the beginning of the year. The Sunday services have been held in the Parish and Ritchie Churches, thus giving one service to the Established Church and another service to the United Free Church every Sunday. One Sunday the services were held in Trumland and Ritchie Churches, there being no service in the Parish Church. The arrangement has brought about a church harmony and unity over the island, worthy the best traditions of Christian congregations, which cannot but produce the happiest results.

DEATH OF A NONAGENARIAN. – Mr John Logie, the venerable gentleman who occupied Pier Cottage, Rousay, passed away on Saturday, 17th inst., at the ripe age of 91 years. He was a prominent personality in the life and interests of Rousay during his lifetime. He was keenly interested in everything concerning the welfare of the parish, and welcomed every movement tending towards the prosperity of the island. He leaves a widow [his second wife Jane Harcus, Blowhigh]. His family have been around him, engaged in the various industries of Rousay. The most prominent member of the family is Mr John Logie, estate land steward, who also represents the parish on the County Council. The remains of the departed were laid to rest in Westness Cemetery on Monday, 19th inst., in presence of a large number of parishioners. The Rev. John Deas Logie, minister of the parish, officiated at the house and also at the grave. The late Mr Logie was connected with the United Free Church, and was associated with the Rev. Mr Pirie during his long ministry.

1917 March 7 Orkney Herald

THE WEATHER. – The genial, spring-like weather which marked the incoming of March continued for only a day. On Friday a cold south-easterly wind sprang up, which by Saturday had increased to a gale. Since then the weather has got steadily worse, the high wind being accompanied by frequent snow-showers, which has covered the country-side with a mantle of white, and made the aspect out-of-doors wintry-like in the extreme.

1917 March 14 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – The proceeds of a concert held in Frotoft Public School on January 5th have been utilized in buying wool for knitting comforts for the Rousay boys serving with the colours. Forty-five pairs of socks and eleven pairs of mitts have been knitted by the ladies of the Frotoft and Brinian districts, and parcels have been forwarded from the school to all the boys belonging to the island who are serving in France and training in Britain.

1917 March 21 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – HONOUR TO THE PARISH MINISTER. – The Rev. John Deas Logie, minister of the Parish of Rousay, and a member of the Author’s Society, London, has consented to the election as a Foundation-Fellow of the Institute of British Poetry, which has been founded to commemorate the tercentenary of the death of Shakespeare. The Institute, which is of an international character, has, for Foundation-Fellows, writers of European celebrity and international reputation. The list of Fellows is being drawn from the list of the learned societies, literary year-book, &c. The 250 Fellows are almost secured; they will be entitled, after the Royal Charter has been obtained, to wear the badge of the institute, and to the founders’ medal and diploma. The institute, after the charter is obtained, is to be changed to the Royal Institute of British Poetry. Beyond the foundation-fellows, persons deeply interested in poetry will be made associates without the rights of fellows. Election to the fellowship will afterwards be by examination only. The Rev. J. Deas Logie contemplates the publication of a volume of verse after the conclusion of the war.

1917 March 28 Orkney Herald

WINTRY WEATHER. – A spell of very severe weather began last Saturday night, preceded by a rapidly-falling barometer. Throughout the whole of Sunday a bitterly cold gale of wind blew from the north-west, accompanied by heavy sleet showers. On Monday morning there were frequent showers of hail and dry, powdery snow. However, during the day, the barometer began to rise as rapidly as it fell, and there were periods of bright sunshine. Yesterday (Tuesday) the wind had shifted to the west, and only a moderate breeze was blowing, but the air was intensely cold. Taken as a whole, the weather during the month has been typical of March at its worst.

1917 April 11 Orkney Herald

THE WEATHER. – The month of April is nearly half-spent, and still winter is sitting on the lap of spring. The air is colder than it was in mid-winter, and snow is lying several inches deep on the plain. Agricultural work of all kinds is at a standstill, and vegetation has still the winter blight upon it. There has been such a succession of snow and sleet, blizzard and frost, ever since March came in as surely must constitute a weather record. Farmers are grumbling, and allotment-holders, who are longing to try their hand at food production, are looking dejected. There is to-day (Tuesday) no change in the weather, and, while we write, the snowstorm is still raging without any appearance of cessation. A strong gale of northerly wind is causing a considerable amount of drifting.

ROUSAY – PUBLIC SCHOOLS – EXAMINATIONS IN RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE. – At the request of the School Board of Rousay and Egilshay, the Rev. J. Deas Logie, M.A., S.L., parish minister, has examined in Bible knowledge and the Shorter Catechism the four public schools in Rousay and Veira. The method of examination was oral and by class, and graded questions put to the various classes, from standard I. to the supplementary. The schools were, Sourin, Wasbister, Frotoft, Veira; Mr Shepherd examined Egilshay school. While all the schools stood well throughout a close examination, including test questions, and numbers of pairs ran close in all the schools, Frotoft revealed in most classes a closer contest between pairs. The work was well got up in all the schools of the parish. The examiner expressed his appreciation to the teachers and the scholars for the work and care of the teachers and the knowledge and keenness of the scholars in evidence throughout the examination. It is not an easy task for teachers to get the younger children into a mental, fit state for test examination, yet the results exceeded expectation.

1917 April 18 Orkney Herald

THE WEATHER. – There is no change for the better to record in the weather, and winter is still continuing its encroachments on spring. Not a day has passed since last we wrote on this subject but which has brought with it snow, sleet, or rain. True, there have been hours of genial sunshine, but these have been regularly followed by prolonged snow-showers, the most severe of which occurred on Sunday and Monday nights, consequently the ground is sodden, and slush predominates everywhere. The proverbial “oldest inhabitant” is fain to admit that the weather we have experienced this spring beats the record for unseasonableness. Agricultural work of all kinds is, of course, at a standstill.

TO PREVENT HOME BREWING – FURTHER RESTRICTION ON MALT. – A further Malt Restriction Order issued on Thursday by the Food Controller makes it illegal except under licence to manufacture any further malt, to sell or deliver any malt, or for anyone other than a brewer for sale to use malt for any purpose. The effect of this Order is to prevent home brewing, and it will apply also to the manufacture of any non-alcoholic liquors containing malt.

1917 April 25 Orkney Herald




Captain Alexander Graham Spark, K.O.Y.L I., who was killed in action on April 9, was the third son of Rev. Alexander Spark, late of Rousay and Egilshay, Orkney, at present ‘locum tenens’ Kerse Parish, Grangemouth. Before enlisting he was engaged in business, first with the Straits Trading Co., and then in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and in London. His brother was formerly minister of Forglen, and now of St Matthew’s, Glasgow. He is a nephew of the ministers of Clyne, Durris, and Glenbuchat, and Major Douglas Spark, Durris, of the Gordon Highlanders, who was recently awarded the Military Cross, is his cousin.

1917 May 2 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SERVICE OF SACRED PRAISE. – Last Sunday evening, in Frotoft School, Rousay, a service of sacred praise was rendered by a large choir before an audience which crowded the school-room. Mr D. MacKay was leader, while Miss Harrold assisted in the instrumental part of the service. The choir rendered the following hymns: – “All hail the Power,” “That grand word, Whosoever,” “Will there be any stars? “We’ll never say goodbye,” “Sowing the seed of the Kingdom,” “The knock of the nail-pierced Hand,” “Drifting Down,” “In the shadow of His wings,” “Am I a soldier of the Cross?” “With heart and voice.”

Quartettes were rendered by the following members of the choir: – Mrs Reid, Mrs Gibson, Messrs MacKay and Gibson sang, “When I get Home”; “God is calling yet,” was sung by Miss Hourston, Mrs Inkster, Messrs Gibson and Munro; “Light beyond the shadows” was sung by Mrs Gibson and Mrs Inkster, Messrs Craigie and Harrold; while a double quartette was rendered by Misses Low and Mainland, Mrs Gibson and Miss Craigie, Messrs Gibson and J. Gibson, MacKay and Harrold, who sang, ” Over Jordan.” Duets were sung – “Nailed to the Cross,” by Mr and Mrs Gibson; “There’ll be no shadows,” by Mrs Reid and Mr MacKay; “It is well,” by Miss Hourston and Mr Munro. Solos were sung – “Christ is all,” by Miss Hourston; “Will your anchor hold?” by Mr H. Munro; “The old fountain,” by Mr MacKay; “He knows,” by Miss Harrold; “In that city,” by Miss Low. Master Harry Logie sang “The King’s Highway,” the choir joining in the chorus.

The service of praise was opened by the audience singing the 23rd Psalm; the closing song being, “God be with you till we meet again:” The Rev. J. Deas Logie, F.I.B.P., minister of the parish, who presided, gave at the commencement of the service a short historical sketch of the relation of religious song to the worship of the Tabernacle, Temple, Synagogue, and the Christian Church, and its permission in the Latin and Greek portions of the Church. At the close the rev. gentleman complimented all the choir, the leader, and the accompanist, on the evening’s service, which lasted two hours, and mentioned particularly the interest taken by the young members of the choir. The gospel had been given in song. We could not hear it too often either in story or song. The collection, which amounted to £2 11s 6d, has been given to the fund in process of collection in Orkney on behalf of the widows and orphans left by the loss of precious lives in the disaster that befell recently the s.s. Ruby. The service was opened and closed with prayer.

[On March 28th, 1917, the Ruby, on a voyage from Leith to Kirkwall with a cargo of general goods, was sunk by a mine from the German submarine UC-44, 2.5 miles from Auskerry, Orkney. 6 members of the crew were lost, including fireman James Marwick, Kirkwall, and Westray men – mate George Rendall, fireman John Rendall, and able seaman Stewart Rendall]

1917 May 9 Orkney Herald



We desire to call the attention of those interested in this work to the great need for a fresh supply of moss. The Aberdeen Depot writes asking uncleaned moss to be sent on as early as possible to enable them to meet the demand for moss dressings. The Kirkwall workers will also be glad to get some more moss. Sacks will be supplied at Messrs Baikie & Son’s woodyard, or on application by letter to Capt. A. L Work, Heathfield House, St Ola.

[Millions of wound dressings made from Sphagnum, or ‘bog moss’, were used during World War I. Dried Sphagnum can absorb up to twenty times its own volume of liquids, such as blood, pus, or antiseptic solution, and promotes antisepsis. Sphagnum was thus superior to inert cotton wool dressings (pure cellulose), the raw material for which was expensive and increasingly being commandeered for the manufacture of explosives.]

1917 May 16 Orkney Herald

We make no apology for returning this week again to the question of the food supplies of the people – the most vital problem that is now engaging the attention of this country, and, indeed, of all the Allied countries. Germany has now virtually pinned all her hopes of victory on the successful issue of the U-boat campaign as a means of starving her enemies into submission. Thus far there have been no effective methods found for reducing enemy submarines, and their destructive work has greatly increased recently. Many valuable cargoes, which would have gone to feed the people, have been sent to the bottom of the sea. Consequently this, combined with the growing shortage of shipping, has brought the country face to face with a serious food crisis, which only the most strenuous frugality on the part of every responsible individual will avert. It is not enough to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Such a prayer will meet with no response if we continue to waste the substance in riotous and extravagant living. We have to act as well at pray. Self-denial is one of the ordinances which should at present be the watchword in every household…..

DANDELION – A VEGETABLE. Writing to the Scotsman on the food value of this plant, a correspondent says: – In view of the very grave shortage and consequent high price of all manner of vegetables for the table, it is lamentable to see the waste of the abundant supply of dandelion leaves by almost every roadside, garden, and field. A large basketful of these carefully washed, boiled for one hour and a half, cut up, sprinkled with pepper and salt, and moistened with a little soup or margarine, furnishes an excellent vegetable for several persons. I am told that young nettles thus prepared are equal to the finest spinach. The deep roots of the dandelion are valuable to chemists to make taraxacine, but if spared, will produce a further crop of leaves.

DEATHS. – SEATTER – Killed in action in France, on April 21st, Private Edward King Seatter, Gordon Highlanders, aged 19, youngest son of Mr and Mrs Robert Seatter, Banks, Sourin, Rousay. – Sadly missed.

ROUSAY – PARISH CHURCH. – The Sacrament was solemnised in the Parish Church of Rousay on Sunday, 6th inst., at 12 noon. The Rev. J. Deas Logie, F.I.B.P., minister of the parish, conducted the service. The day was ideal, and a large number of parishioners were present from all parts of the parish. A good number of young people were present to witness the solemnisation of the sacred Sacrament. Fifteen new members were admitted to fellowship and communion at this time. The Rev. J. Deas Logie proceeded in the afternoon to Wasbister, and conducted a service in the public school for worshippers in that part of the parish.

1917 May 23 Orkney Herald

DEATHS – CRAIGIE – Killed in action on 23rd April, Private John Craigie, 4th Seaforth Highlanders, third son of Samuel Craigie [and his late wife Ann Craigie, Laro], Bu, Veira, aged 30.

His king and his country called him;
The call was not in vain;
On Britain’s Roll of Honour
You will find our brother’s name.
He fell at his post like a soldier brave;
He answered his Master’s call;
He sleeps far away in a hero’s grave;
For his country’s cause he fell.
He sleeps in a grave in a distant land,
That we may never see;
But as long as life and memory last
We will remember thee.


ROUSAY – MILITARY FUNERAL. – On Thursday last the remains of Pte. Harry Reid, of the Seaforth Highlanders, son of Mr Alex. Reid, gardener, Melsetter, Longhope, was brought to the island by patrol boat and interred in Westside Churchyard. The bearing and firing parties were of the O.R.G A. [Orkney Royal Garrison Artillery] Territorials, and they accompanied the remains from Kirkwall. There were present also a number of relations and friends from Longhope. They were met at Westness by a large number of the inhabitants, who followed the cortege to the graveyard. The service, which was most impressive, was conducted by the Rev. Duncan McLaren, of Evie, who kindly officiated in the absence of the Rev. J. Deas Logie, who is now attending the Assembly. The greatest sympathy is felt for Mr Reid, father of the deceased, which was evidenced by the number of mourners who accompanied the remains to the churchyard. Mr Reid’s other son [Alexander] joined the colours in Canada, and is now serving with the Canadians.

[Harry Reid, the son of Alexander Learmonth Reid and Harriet Henrietta Logie, was born at Brough, Frotoft, on November 26th 1894]

1917 May 30 Orkney Herald

Mr and Mrs Seatter and family return sincere thanks for all kind expressions of sympathy received in their recent sad and sudden bereavement. – Banks, Sourin, Rousay.

1917 June 27 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PARISH CHURCH. – In the Parish Church, on Sunday, Messrs William Moar [Saviskaill] and Robert Lyon [Ervadale], who had both been elders previously in kirk sessions of Parish Churches in Orkney, were admitted to the session of the Parish Church, and took their seats. The Rev. J. Deas Logie, parish minister, conducted divine service and the proceedings in connection with the admission of these brethren. Arrangements were made for the celebration of the Sacrament next Sunday at Wasbister.

1917 July 4 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PARISH CHURCH. – The Rev. J. Deas Logie conducted divine worship in Wasbister School last Sunday, and, with the kirk session, celebrated the Lord’s Supper to a good congregation of communicants. The rev. gentleman proceeded in the evening to Veira, where he conducted service in the schoolroom, also to a good congregation. He also gave a children’s address in Veira. The Rev. J. Deas Logie, as minister of the parish, has almost completed a yearly visit of all his parishioners in the Wasbister and Veira districts of the parish. Since his induction in December last, two elders have been added to the kirk session and twenty-three new members have been added to the congregational roll of the Parish Church.

1917 July 18 Orkney Herald



Admiralty, Friday. – The Secretary of the Admiralty regrets to report that H.M.S. Vanguard (Captain James D. Dick, R.N.) blew up while at anchor on the night of the 9th inst., as the result of an internal explosion. The ship sank immediately, and there were only three survivors among those who were on board the ship at the time of the disaster – viz., one officer and two men. The officer has since died. There were, however, twenty-four officers and seventy-one men not on board the ship at the time, thus bringing the total number of survivors up to ninety-seven. All the next-of-kin have been informed. A full inquiry has been ordered.

[The national press of the day were under strict instruction not to reveal information of this sort in great detail, even describing the location where such events took place. This disaster took place here in Scapa Flow, and was not the result on an enemy attack. Shortly before midnight on 9 July 1917, faulty cordite caused a series of magazine explosions which rocked the ship, and she sank almost instantly, killing 843 of the 845 men aboard.]


IN MEMORIAM. – In loving memory of Private George Inkster. P.P.C.L I., who was killed in France on July 18th, 1916, fifth son of Mr and Mrs [Hugh and Georgina] Inkster, Knapper. Rousay.

When Britain first did call for men,
He said: “They shall not call in vain.”
He only had himself to give,
But he offered that freely that others might live.
He did his duty, nobly and well,
But in a bombing raid he fell;
His comrades laid his body to rest,
And cut the colours from off his breast.
They have laid your body to rest, dear George,
And your troubles they are all o’er;
And we hope to meet in that Better Land
Where parting is no more.

1917 August 8 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PARISH CHURCH. – In accordance with the instructions of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in common with the ministers of other Parish Churches, the Rev. J. Deas Logie held a special service in the Parish Church on Sunday last of humble prayer, intercession, and thanksgiving, with special supplications for victory and peace, in commemoration of the [third] anniversary of the outbreak of war.

SERVICE OF PRAISE. – A service of praise was held in Wasbister School on Sunday, the 22nd ult. The Rev. David S. Brown, of Burray, acted as chairman. In the course of his remarks he expressed his pleasure at being present, and also at the movement which is becoming general to improve the musical part of church worship. It was exceedingly gratifying to see the number who took part in the programme. The choir was under the leadership of Miss [Anna May] Cooper, teacher, who certainly possesses musical abilities of a very high order. In addition to the local members of the choir, there was present Miss Annie Inkster, of Aberdeen, whose singing was very much appreciated. The solo and quartette, “Art Thou Weary?” was finely rendered; and the solo, “The Home of the Soul,” by Mr Hugh Sinclair, was splendidly sung. The collection, which amounted to £4 2s, has been handed over to the Red Cross Fund…..

EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS. – In the four schools examined by the Rev. J. Deas Logie, parish minister, two months ago, in Bible and religious knowledge, seven prizes have been awarded to Sourin School; eleven prizes have been awarded Frotoft School; seven prizes have been awarded Wasbister School; and four prizes have been awarded Viera School, all in accordance with the regulations of the School Board. Besides these prizes the minister has given prizes for special merit as follows: – Three prizes for Sourin school, three for Frotoft School, two for Wasbister School, and one prize for Veira School. The Rev. J. Deas Logie in the Bible and religious examination awarded James R. Sinclair, [Viera Lodge], Frotoft, in the supplementary class, a first prize; Annabella Sinclair [Sketquoy] and Maggie Flaws [Hammerfield] received first prizes, and Ethalyn Inkster [Furse] special prize – all of Wasbister supplementary class; W. J. Dickson and Annie M. Craigie, [Treblo] Sourin supplementary class, received first prizes; in standard VI., Jessie A. Craigie, Glebe, Sourin, received a first prize, and Annie A. Craigie, Glebe, Sourin, received special prize.

1917 August 15 Orkney Herald

INCREASED OLD-AGE PENSIONS. – All old-age pensioners are now to receive the additional allowance of 2s 6d per week which has been granted by the Government. Most of them are already drawing 7s 6d, but a considerable number will benefit under the new scale. This additional allowance will be a great boon to the old folk, many of whom were finding it a matter of considerable difficulty to exist at present.

1917 September 5 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SCHOOL CONCERT. – In the school-room of Sourin School, Rousay, on Thursday last, the annual school concert was held. A large attendance of scholars, parents and friends assembled. A silver collection was taken in aid of the Y.M.C.A. huts. Miss [Lydia] Baikie, teacher, Sourin School, had a good programme to present in recitation, dialogue, song, play, in which she was assisted by local talent. The Rev. J. Deas Logie, parish minister, presided, and called upon the Rev. W. Marwick, who is at present officiating in the United Free Church, to open the meeting with prayer. The Chairman in his remarks referred to three elements in a child’s brain: – (1) Curiosity, (2) Imagination, (3) Ambition, which existed in most grown-ups. The three were at the back of most problems. The concert would take the people away from the cobwebs that generally gathered round country life, and probably blow them away – a very desirable result.

The main feature of the concert was a children’s play – “Bluebeard,” which was rendered as children render a play, and well received by the audience The principals were Jessie Alexina Craigie (Glebe), Mary Ann Craigie, Cecilia Corsie, David Linklater, James Grieve, and Stanley Gibson. Five of the wives in the play were Hannah Grieve, Annie Craigie, Cecilia Corsie, Annie Scott, and Mary Corsie. Sarah Craigie (Glebe) made a pretty fairy, and everything came right when she appeared and caught “Bluebeard” in the act of disposing of another wife. Misses Janet and Jane Corsie, Kirkwall, rendered excellent selections during the play. Recitations were given by the following children, “Dolly’s Lesson,” by Mary Ann Leonard; “Kitty Knew,” by John Costie; “The Careful Messenger,” by Campbell Scott; recitation by Sarah Craigie and David Linklater. Dialogues were given – “Shop Girl and Domestic Servant,” by Annie Craigie and Hannah Grieve; “Andy’s Letter,” by Robert Marwick and James Grieve. Solos were sung – “The Wise Man,” by James Grieve; “Love Me and the World is Mine,” by Miss M. A. Grieve; “Roaming in the Gloaming,” by Mr William Corsie; “The Land of the West,” by Miss Bella Grieve; “If only,” by Hannah Grieve; “Who will o’er the Downs?” by Mr H. Gibson; “Just a wee Deoch an’ Dorris,” by Mr J. W. Grieve; “The Mermaid,” and “Mush, Mush,” by Mr Hugh Gibson; “The Polly Song,” “Lassie from Lancashire,” and “John Highland’s Dance,” were given by Messrs William Corsie, J. W. Grieve, and Hugh Gibson. Miss Shearer, Kirkwall, ably assisted with two recitations, “Family Financeering,” and “The Laddie’s First Soiree.” The Fairy re-appeared and bade the audience good-night. The whole entertainment was appreciated; and the proceedings closed with the usual votes of thanks to the various performers, and especially to Miss Baikie, teacher.

1917 September 12 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SCHOOL CONCERT. – In Frotoft School on Friday last, a large gathering of parents and friends assembled to hear and witness the children attending the school in their characterisation in the play “Red Riding Hood.” Miss M. Hourston, teacher, had all the children carefully trained, with the result that the players in their several parts never once made a mistake in speech or attitude. All the songs were pleasingly sung. Great credit was due the teacher, and Messrs Mainland, Cutt, and Craigie who had charge of the scenic arrangements. Mrs Inkster and Miss Harrold played the accompaniments with delicacy and fine expression.

The characters in the play, “Red Riding Hood,” were as follows: – Harry Logie acted the part of “The Prince,” while Jessie Mainland was “Red Riding Hood.” Marjorie Gibson was “Dame Margot”; Annie Sinclair was “Bo-peep,” and William Gibson “Boy Blue.” Hugh Sutherland was the “Goblin and Wolf,” and Davidson Harrold was “Simple Simon.” Kathleen Gibson, as “Queen of the Fairies,” with her fairy sprites, Annie Gibson, Maggie Craigie, Babba Leonard, Marie Leonard, and Alice Logie, lent a charm and sense of other-worldliness over all the scenes. Other scholars who took part in speech, song, and dialogue were James Gibson with a speech; recitations, “Jemima,” from James Smith; “What became of them?” from Rose Leonard; songs, “The Highland Lad,” and “We are little soldiers,” with a dialogue, “The Ghost of Silence,” were given by a number of scholars, who also in song and imitation performance gave “The Burlesque Band.” Minna Reid, a girl of five, in “A Collection Speech,” spoke well for her years, and gave a practical demonstration on how to give. The collection was taken on behalf of the Y.M.C.A. huts.

The Rev. J. Deas Logie, parish minister, presided, and in his remarks referred to the three main points in speech and drama – (1) to instruct, (2) to delight, (3) to convince. The Rev. W. Marwick, who is officiating in the U.F. Church, at the close called for the usual votes of thanks to all the perfumers and the chairman. Special thanks were accorded Miss Hourston. After a presentation of prizes, the meeting closed with the singing of the National Anthem.

1917 September 26 Orkney Herald

EGILSHAY – ISLANDER DIES AS PRISONER OF WAR IN GERMANY. – Private James Bews, No. 14,735, 2nd Seaforths, aged 20 years, eldest son of Mr and Mrs James [and Robina] Bews, Menis, Egilshay, was posted as missing from his battalion on the 3rd May last. His parents have now received official information that the lad died a prisoner of war in Germany on the 6th May. The sad news has cast a gloom over the small island, and much sympathy is felt for the sorrowing parents and relatives in their sore bereavement. Private Bews is the first Egilshay soldier to make the supreme sacrifice for king and country.

1917 October 3 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – Mr Hugh Munro, Westness, having been unanimously appointed by the kirk session of Rousay and Egilshay Parish Church, to the leadership of praise in the church, commenced duty some weeks ago. The new precentor is giving entire satisfaction in the duties of his office.

1917 November 14 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PARISH CHURCH. – The Sacrament of our Lord’s Supper has been dispensed both in the Parish Church and in Wasbister School. At both services and the dispensation of the sacrament the attendances were large, and the communions edifying and memorable. A number of new members joined the fellowship of the Parish Church during this season. The Rev. J. Deas Logie, minister of the parish, conducted all the services. On his invitation, a good number of parishioners, members of the United Free Church congregations, who were present, entering into the true spirit of Christian communion, partook with their brethren of the Established Church of the Holy Sacrament, thus showing that Rousay parish is not behind all other communities throughout the country in realising the responsibilities of our common Christianity and Presbyterianism at a time, with the war added, when General Assemblies and Church Committees recommend reunion, and meanwhile unity of energies, and the avoidance of unnecessary waste and expenditure without any apparent gain or strength. The services of the Rev. J. Deas Logie are at the disposal of all his parishioners. The rev. gentleman has always been willing to conduct services in the churches, schools, or farm towns within the bounds of the parish, if suitable arrangements could be made, providing such arrangements do not interfere with public worship at noon every Lord’s Day in the Parish Church.

In Print

Newsprint – 1916

1916 January 5 Orkney Herald

WRECK AND LOSS OF LIFE. – During the past few days bodies of drowned seamen have been washed ashore at Deerness, Shapinsay, Rousay, and other parts of the east coast of Orkney. The men all wore life-belts. They have been identified as belonging to the Active, of Dundee, formerly well known as a whaler, which, is now believed to have been lost off the Orkneys. Other wreckage gives reason to fear that one or two other vessels have gone down near the Orkneys during the recent storm.

1916 January 12 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CHILDREN’S CONCERT. – A children’s concert in aid of the Red Cross funds was held in Frotoft School on Wednesday evening (29th December). The children were excellently trained by Miss Hourston, school mistress, and the audience enjoyed a most delightful evening. The entertainment was varied by contributions from several adults. Miss Hourston and Miss Taylor sang solos and a duet, and songs from Mr John Gibson and Mr Hugh Munro were also greatly appreciated. The accompaniments were played by Miss Jeannie Harrold and Miss Taylor. The scenic and other arrangements were in the capable hands of Mr Cutt and Mr Robert Sinclair. The votes of thanks were proposed by Rev. James A. Matheson and Mr Mainland of Westness. During an interval a handsome cake basket was presented to Miss Hourston by the children as a token of admiration. The collection taken at the door amounted to £2 10s.

MRS ALEXANDER SPARK, The Manse, has despatched to the Scottish Branch of the British Red Cross, a box containing 73 pairs of socks, 2 helmets, and 2 pairs of mittens, for which she has received the following acknowledgement from Miss E. W. Cree, hon. secretary: – “Dear Madam, – I write to acknowledge with many thanks your contribution of socks, mittens, and mufflers which you have so kindly sent, made by the women of your island. Will you thank them most cordially for their work, and tell them that the Committee very much appreciate their help in providing comforts for the wounded. It is very kind of you indeed to provide the wool, and we are very grateful to you for your generosity in contributing in this way. We shall be glad to send you some wool to be knitted up into mufflers, mittens, and bed socks, as these are all articles of which we are in need at present.”



Last week we briefly recorded that from the bodies of seamen and wreckage that had come ashore at various points on the east coast of the Orkneys there was reason to believe that the old steam whaler Active, of Dundee, now belonging to the Hudson Bay Company, had gone down off the Orkneys in the recent storms. The bodies came ashore at Deerness, Shapinsay, Rousay, and Stronsay. One of the bodies was identified from a letter in the pocket as that of the chief officer, James Scott Jamieson. A few days earlier a message signed by Jamieson had been picked up in which he said the ship was in a sinking condition, and took farewell of his friends. The message ended abruptly with a reference to one of the crew named Henderson. The Active left Dundee on the 21st December, and it is supposed she foundered on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day…..

1916 February 2 Orkney Herald

WOUNDED IN ACTION. – 2nd Lieut. John W. Pirie, 4th Hants Regiment, son of the Rev A. I. Pirie, late of Rousay, was wounded on the Tigris River on January 21. No report up to date of the nature of his wounds.

ROUSAY – We are pleased to learn that Miss Georgina Moar, daughter of Mr William Moar, farmer, Saviskaill, has just passed her final examination at the Fir Vale Hospital, Sheffield. The subjects of examination were anatomy, physiology, and the theory of nursing, and she came out third upon the list.

1916 February 16 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CONCERT. – A most successful concert was held in the Public School of Wasbister on Thursday last, 10th February, on behalf of the Serbian Relief Fund. The Rev. Alexander Spark, parish minister, presided, and was supported by the Rev. Mr Matheson, U.F. Church. The schoolroom was beautifully decorated with evergreens and flags, and was packed to its utmost capacity. The entertainment was of a very varied and patriotic nature throughout, and the different items of the programme were rendered with efficiency. A most brilliant pageant, “Britannia’s Reception,” was the principal item, which was well given by the pupils dressed in costumes representing Britain and her Dominions. At the commencement of Part II. of the programme, Mr Spark, in name of the scholars, presented Miss [Magdalene] Taylor with a silver teapot and time-piece as farewell gifts, showing their affection and good wishes for their teacher. He said these gifts expressed how much her work at Wasbister had been appreciated by the scholars and the whole community, and were a pledge of more ambitious efforts and increasing success in her new sphere at the South School of Eday, where she will take up work immediately. Miss Taylor made suitable reply, stating that she had been two and a half years at Wasbister; that she thanked the scholars for their kind gifts, and had been so happy in Rousay that she would never forget them. At the close the Chairman announced that, as a result of the concert, the sum of £3 7s 9d had been contributed towards the Serbian Relief Fund, and thanked the audience for their attendance. Mr Matheson then proposed votes of thanks to Mr Spark, to the children, singers and players, and to all who had assisted in every way to make the concert a success. The audience united in singing “God Save the King,” after which the meeting was brought to a close. The programme was as follows: –

Opening Rhyme, Annie Laird; patriotic pageant, “Britannia’s Reception,” by pupils; gramophone selections, Gunner A. Burnett; duet, “Larboard Watch,” Misses Hourston and Taylor; recitation, “Somebody’s Darling,” Willie Flaws; duet, “Poor Old Joe,” M. J Flaws and A. Sinclair; infant’s song, “Little Bo-Peep”; song, “Farewell Isabelle,” Mr H. Sinclair; dialogue, “Made in Germany,” A. Sinclair, M. J. Flaws, R. Inkster, J. C. Clouston; solo, “Kathleen Mavourneen,” Miss Hourston; duet, “Isle of Beauty,” Miss Harrold and Mr Gibson; solo, “I’ll take you home again, Kathleen,” Mr H. Munro; violin and pianoforte selections, Messrs M. and A. Craigie, and Mrs A. Craigie; dialogue, “The Doctor’s Patients,” characters – Dr. Truelove, H. Sinclair; Dolly Truelove, Miss E. M. Craigie; Dooley. Gr. A. Burnett; Aunt Tibble, Miss Taylor; Uncle Pipkin, Gr. W. C. Corrigan; recitation, “The Spider on the Wall,” Gr. Marcus Wood; solo, “Down the Vale,” Miss Taylor; quartette, “Hard times, come again no more,” Lilla, Ethel, and R. Inkster, J. Clouston; solo, “My Bonnie,” Gr. M. Wood; Chairman’s Remarks; “God Save the King.” Pianists – Misses Taylor and Harrold, and Mr R. Inkster.

1916 February 23 Orkney Herald


The Group System of Enlistment will be definitely closed on 1st March, and all men between the ages of 18 and 40, who have not yet come forward, should present themselves without delay at the nearest Recruiting Station.

Men are urgently required for direct Enlistment into His Majesty’s Forces. All unattested men willing to take up service immediately should take advantage of the opportunity before the Military Service Bill comes into force.

Recruiting Office, Kirkwall, 21/2/16.

1916 March 1 Orkney Herald

DIED OF WOUNDS. – Another Orcadian has laid down his life for his country. News has been received that Sapper Alfred George Gibson, Royal Engineers, a son of Mr George Gibson, farmer, Avelshay, Rousay, died of wounds in a hospital at Boulogne.

In Rousay United Free Church sympathetic reference was made on Sunday to the death, at the early age of 21, of Alfred G. Gibson, Royal Engineers, who was severely wounded in action on the 12th February and died on the 16th in the 13th General Hospital, Boulogne. Along with his brother he was amongst the first in Rousay who offered their services shortly after the outbreak of war, and his conduct in formally following the path of duty was very highly appreciated by all his friends. The esteem in which he and his parents are held was manifested by the many expressions of deep sympathy received during the past week. His father, Mr George Gibson, Avelshay, is well known and honoured by a very wide circle in Orkney as one who takes a keen interest in public affairs, and who has done much for the welfare of his native parish.

LANCE-CORPORAL INKSTER, D.C.M. – Last week, Lance Corporal George Inkster, D.C.M., paid a flying visit to his native island of Rousay. He had ten days’ furlough, but owing to the Iength of the journey, could spend only part of a day and a night with his parents in Rousay. Lance Corporal Inkster was in Canada for several years, and on the outbreak of war joined Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, and came to this country with the first Canadian contingent. He has been in the fighting line since December 1914 and has on several occasions distinguished himself by his heroism. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in May 1915 for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty at Hooge [4 miles east of Ypres, Belgium]. The official report runs as follows: – “Lance Corporal Inkster stationed himself at the end of a communication trench and shot several of the enemy attempting to come down it. He was alone at the time. He also carried several important messages under a very heavy fire, and was always willing to undertake any dangerous work.” Lance Corporal Inkster has thus the distinction of being the first Orcadian to win the D.C.M. He is now back in the trenches, where the good wishes of his many friends follow him.

GLASGOW STEAMER LOST – ORCADIAN ENGINEER DROWNED. – Lloyds agent at Great Yarmouth telegraphed on Sunday that the steamer Southford, of Glasgow, from the Tyne for Boulogne with coal, had been lost. Isaac Marwick, chief engineer; John Murray, second engineer; Tormesen, steward; and Jefferson, A.B., have been drowned; but the rest of the crew have been landed at Great Yarmouth. The engineer, Isaac Marwick, an Orcadian, is a brother of Mr [Robert] Marwick, Scockness, Rousay.

[SS Southford was a British Cargo Steamer of 963 tons built in 1883. She was formerly called Sinbad. On the 25th February 1916 when on route from the Tyne to Boulogne carrying a cargo of coke she hit a mine laid by German submarine UC-10 and sunk in the North Sea when 4 miles ESE from Southwold. The four crew members lost were: – Able Seaman Hjalmar Jeppesen (25), born in Denmark; First Engineer Isaac Marwick (58), born in Orkney, husband of Sarah Marwick (nee Harold), of 5, Inverleith Terrace, Edinburgh; Second Engineer John Murray (38), son of Patrick and Rose Murray, of Glenariff, Waterford, Co. Antrim; Steward Thomas Tonnison (53), born in Norway, husband of Margaret Tonnison, of 10, Dock Rd., North Shields.]

1916 April 5 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY PRIVATE KILLED IN ACTION. – Last week the sad news reached Rousay that another of her soldiers, Private David W. Munro, Machine Gun Section, 15th H. L. I., had been killed on active service. While on sentry duty at his gun, he was shot through the head by a German sniper. Private Munro went to Glasgow about nine years ago and, when war broke out, he was employed as conductor on the Glasgow Electric Cars. Along with a number of companions, he immediately volunteered for foreign service. So many joined that a separate Tramway Battalion was formed in the Highland Light Infantry. Being of a fine and manly character, Private Munro was very popular amongst his many friends, and much sympathy is felt for his sorrowing parents [Alexander and Christina Munro] and relatives in the Sourin Post Office.

1916 May 24 Orkney Herald


The Group System has opened for: –
1. Married Men between the ages of 18 and 40;
2. Men born after 15th August 1897, as they attain the age of 18;
will be finally closed on 7th June.
Married Men within the above age limits are also urgently called upon
to enlist for immediate service.
All Men coming under these headings should apply without further delay
at the Recruiting Stations, where attestation was previously carried out
under Lord Derby’s Scheme.

Recruiting Office, Kirkwall, 20th May 1916.

1916 May 31 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – Y.M.C.A. FLAG DAY. – Four of the older scholars attending the Frotoft School visited the Frotoft and Brinian districts on Saturday, selling flags and postcards on behalf of the above association. The names of the sellers were: – Marjorie Gibson and Lydia Mainland for Brinian, 10s; Jessie Mainland and Maggie Craigie, for Frotoft, 15s 6d.

1916 June 14 Orkney Herald



Nothing that has happened during the anxious period that we are passing through has moved the nation to such a depth of feeling as the tragedy that occurred off the coast of Orkney on Monday evening last week, when the cruiser Hampshire, in which Lord Kitchener and his Staff were being conveyed to Russia, struck a mine and went down. The vessel was observed from the shore to be in difficulties, and four boats were seen to leave the sinking vessel. There was a gale of wind from the north-north-west, high seas were running, and the shore off which the vessel sunk was most rugged and precipitous. Patrol boats and destroyers were quickly on the scene, but no rescue was made. Out of nearly 700 souls on board the ill-fated vessel, there are only twelve survivors. All hope of the safety of Lord Kitchener and his Staff has been abandoned.

The emotions roused by this tragic ending of a brilliant career are so saddening, and the effects it leaves on one’s mind so bewildering, that imagination is paralysed and figures of speech fail to convey the feelings. That this grand and heroic soldier should have been lost to the nation before he could see his great organisation work bear ultimate fruit, is to be deplored. His self-sacrificing devotion to duty led him to undertake a task the responsibility of which never daunted him; but death, sudden and expected, has cut short his career ere this colossal task was accomplished. Lord Kitchener died at his post of duty like the true soldier that he was. He now lies where the waves sing his requiem; and, unless the sea gives up its dead, there will be nothing to mark the spot where the great warrior has taken his rest. We bow our heads in silent awe before an inscrutable Providence that has willed thus to plunge a nation into tears, and overwhelm it with a dark shadow. But, calamitous though the disaster is, the soul of Britain will rise superior to it, and with stoical courage carry through to consummation the great work of organisation and consolidation of the forces of the Empire so brilliantly conceived and steadfastly aimed at by the late great head of the Army.

The King’s tribute sums up the indebtedness of the State in these words: – ” Field-Marshal Lord Kitchener gave 45 years of distinguished service to the State, and it is largely due to his administrative genius and unwearying energy that the country has been able to create and place in the field the armies which are to-day upholding the traditional glories of our Empire. Lord Kitchener will be mourned by the Army as a great soldier, who, under conditions of unexampled difficulty, rendered supreme and devoted service both to the Army and the Staff.”

Lord Kitchener has died at the post of duty as truly as if he had fallen on the field of battle. The greatest tribute that can be paid to his memory will be that the plans he helped so much to mature will be carried forward vigorously until they reach the goal he so much desired – the triumphant success of the Allies and an end put to the military domination of Germany.

1916 June 21 Orkney Herald



The Times supplements the official report of the sinking of the Hampshire by a statement from Leading Seaman Charles Walter Rogerson, who says: –

“I was the last of the survivors to see Lord Kitchener before leaving the ship. In the papers I notice that his Lordship is said to have been drowned by the overturning of a boat, but this is not correct. Lord Kitchener went down with the ship. He did not leave her. I saw Captain Savill helping his boat’s crew to clear a way to the galley. The captain at this time was calling to Lord Kitchener to go to the boat, but owing to the noise of the wind and the sea, Lord Kitchener apparently could not hear him.

When the explosion occurred, Lord Kitchener walked calmly from the captain’s cabin, went up the ladder, and on to the quarterdeck. There I saw him walking quite coolly and collectedly up and down, talking to two of his officers. All three were wearing khaki without overcoats. In fact they were dressed just as they were when they boarded the ship. Lord Kitchener did not seem in the least perturbed, but calmly waited the preparations for abandoning the ship, which were going on in a quiet, steady, and orderly way.

The crew went to their stations, obeying orders steadily, and did their best to get out the boats, but that proved impossible owing to the rough weather. No boats could be lowered. Those that were got out were smashed up at once. No boats left the ship. What the people on shore thought to be boats leaving were three rafts. Men did get into the boats as they lay in their cradles, thinking that as the ship went from under them the boats would float. But the ship sank by the head, and when she did she turned a complete somersault forward, carrying down with her all the boats and those in them.

I do not think Lord Kitchener got into a boat at all. When I sprang on to a raft he was still on the starboard side of the quarter-deck talking to his officers. I won’t say he did not feel the strain of the perilous situation like the rest of us, but he gave no outward sign of nervousness, and from the little time that elapsed between my leaving the ship and her sinking, I feel certain that Lord Kitchener went down with her standing on the deck at the time. Of the civilian members of his suite I saw nothing.”

1916 July 12 Orkney Herald

A SINGULAR SUNSET. – On Friday evening a magnificent sunset was observed from Kirkwall. The day had been a sunless one – as nearly all the days have been this summer – the sky being covered by a mantle of hazy clouds. In the evening, however, as if drawn up by unseen cords, the veil was raised a short distance in the western horizon. Immediately above this opening a thin film of clouds stretched like a band. About 10 o’clock the sun emerged into view, red as blood, and cast a glare on sea and land, as if some mighty conflagration was raging behind the hills. People saw the blood-red light reflected from the windows of houses and shops, and paused to wonder, not knowing what was causing the phenomenon. There was no variation of colours, as is sometimes seen at this season of the year as the sun descends, but the orb appeared to hang like a luminous ball from which radiated a glow, dark-red in colour, that cast on sky and sea and land a wondrous light. Awe-struck, people gazed until the sun disappeared below the western hills, leaving a reflection of its glory that lasted for some time. Sages predicted wild weather for the following day, but happily their surmises were not correct, as Saturday was heralded in by bright sunshine and a clear atmosphere.

STROMNESS – THE LATE MR JAMES GIBSON, BURNSIDE. – We have to record with deep regret the death of Mr James Gibson, farmer, Burnside, Stromness, which took place very suddenly on the afternoon of Sunday last while sitting in his chair by the fire, apparently in his usual health, which for some time past has not been robust, though he had only reached the age of 70 years. Mr Gibson was born at the farm of Fealquoy in the island of Rousay in the year 1846, where he was brought up and educated, finishing his education in Kirkwall. After leaving school he went to Kirkwall and served an apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker. About that time his father, the late Mr David Gibson, leased the farm of Garson, Stromness, and required all the help his family could give him on that farm, and his son James gave up his trade to assist his father there, and where he remained for a number of years, until the deceased became tenant of the farm of Beaquoy, Birsay, where he resided for four years, after which he removed to the Mill of Isbister, Rendall, which he occupied for three years, and then leased the farm of Burnside, where he has proved himself a very successful farmer. He has been laid aside from active work for the last ten years on account of a serious accident, but still continued to superintend the general work of the farm. He was married to Annie Towers (sister of Mr Wm. T. and the late D. C. Towers) who predeceased him nineteen months ago, and by whom he had eleven children, of whom five are dead and six still alive to mourn his loss. The late Mr Gibson was a most intelligent man and very highly respected by all with whom he came in contact. Much sympathy is felt for his family in their sudden bereavement.

1916 August 9 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – Friday, 4th August – being the anniversary of the declaration of war in 1914 by Great Britain and Ireland against Germany – was observed through this parish as a day of “humble prayer, intercession, and thanksgiving.” A united service was held in the Parish Church at 12 noon, and the church was crowded with worshippers of all denominations, being the largest meeting held in any church here within human memory. The Rev. Alexander Spark, who gave an appropriate address based on Gen. iii. 15, was assisted by Mr Shepherd, of Egilshay. Reading, praise, and prayer were prevailing features of the service, which was closed with the “National Anthem.” A voluntary collection was made for the Red Cross Society, which amounted to 12s 8d.

1916 August 16 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PICNIC. – The annual picnic for Sourin was held on Thursday, August 3rd. The forenoon was dull and threatening, and shortly after the picnic commenced rain came on. The usual programme of races was gone through, and thereafter the children and grown-ups betook themselves to the school, where tea was served. After tea the school prizes and prizes for the races were given out. The Rev. A. Spark, who was present, intimated that a concert was to follow in aid of the Belgian children, for whom a collection was then taken, which amounted to £2 10s. The concert was very much enjoyed and appreciated by all, and the audience was a most attentive one. The programme was varied with solo, recitation, and dialogue, the humorous items being specially attractive. The performers consisted of school children, trained for their pieces by Miss [Lydia] Baikie, and of grown-ups. The Rev. A. Spark proved an able chairman, and at the close made a few fitting remarks regarding the very enjoyable evening which all present had spent, and also proposed a vote of thanks to Miss Baikie for all the trouble she had had, and the others who had assisted in providing the picnic and concert. Mr J. W. Grieve thereafter proposed a vote of thanks to the chairman. Annexed is the programme: –

Chairman’s remarks; solo, Mr Hugh I. Gibson; action recitation, “The Chinaman,” school children; solo, “Gallant Little Belgium,” Miss Bella Grieve; dialogue, “Lodgings,” Misses M. A. and B. Grieve; recitation, “When Father Carves the Duck,” Mr James Grieve; duet, “De Camptown Races,” Messrs J. W. Grieve and W. Corsie; recitation, “The Bachelor’s Sale,” Miss Sybella Seatter; solo, Miss M. S. Grieve; dialogue, “The Sick Doll,” school children; interval; gramophone selections; recitation, “The Broken Bowl,” Miss Shearer; solo, Miss Bella Grieve; dialogue, “The Tea Party,” school children; trio, Misses M. A. and B. Grieve and Mr J. W. Grieve; recitation, “The Pepper Box,” Miss Sally Craigie; solo, Miss M. A. Grieve; dialogue, “The Pottingerdraucht,” Miss Baikie, Messrs R Seatter, W. Corsie, and George Corsie; solo, Mr Hugh I Gibson; recitation, “Seeing Things at Night,” Mr Gordon Dickson; solo and chorus, Miss Cissy Craigie and school children; chairman’s remarks.




SIR, – I see in your last issue that the greatest multitude ever gathered together in the island of Rousay within living memory attended to celebrate the second anniversary of the war. A voluntary collection in aid of the Red Cross was taken up, and this great assemblage subscribed the magnificent sum of 12s 8d. If this was a special effort on the part of those present, I wonder what is the amount of an ordinary collection in Rousay? – I am, &c., CURIOUS.



We have received the following amusing lines, which we are asked to publish: –

A service was held in an island
For those who cared to come –
And cliques and creeds were gathered;
They numbered a goodly throng –

To keep in reverence and mem’ry,
With reading and prayer and song,
That day some two years ago,
When Britain in war had begun.

Never was seen such a gathering
Nor heard of in human ken;
The church was quite over-crowded
With children and women and men.

A voluntary collection was taken;
But this – it is hard to relate –
From out of that vast congregation
The offering was just twelve and eight!

1916 August 23 Orkney Herald


The news has come to Rousay that Private George Inkster, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, has been killed on active service, while with a bombing party. He was 35 years of age. At the outbreak of war he was engaged in a grain elevator in Western Canada, but immediately volunteered for service. In the South African War he also served as a volunteer. The sergeant of his company, in sending his parents the sad news, pays a very high tribute to his bravery and fearlessness. In any dangerous work he was always leading, and was a constant inspiration to courage. For a long time he served as a sniper, and distinguished himself in many ways. He was the first Orcadian to be awarded the D.C.M. The official report was as follows: – “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on the 8th May 1915, at Hooge. Private Inkster stationed himself at the end of a communication trench and shot several of the enemy attempting to come down it. He was alone at the time. He also carried several important messages under a very heavy fire, and was always willing to undertake any dangerous work.” His brother Hugh is at present serving with the A.S.C. in France. Deep sympathy with the sorrowing parents at Knapper is felt by all in Rousay and the many friends throughout Orkney.

1916 September 6 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PRESENTATION TO REV. ALEXANDER AND MRS SPARK. – A very pleasant function took place at the Manse of Rousay on Saturday night last week, when the Rev. Alexander Spark A.T.S.C., and Mrs [Jane Hannah] Spark were presented with a purse and sovereigns to show the esteem and respect in which they are held on the occasion of Mr Spark’s retirement from the church and parish of Rousay and Egilshay. The Congregational Committee called upon the congregation to subscribe to this presentation, and in a body called at the manse to discharge the function. Mr John Craigie, tenant of the Glebe, said: –

“Mr Spark, you have been parish minister here for over thirty years. You have had your ups and downs, your joys and sorrows, the same as we have had ourselves, but you have never seen a time like this, when war is raging, and our countrymen falling and others preparing for a like fate. We hope the war will end soon, and peace be over all as it has been in your time here. You have led an active life in ministerial work, in musical and industrial labour. If any person called upon you in need, you were always ready to assist. Your kind obliging ways are well known over the parish, and as a neighbour you have the goodwill of all. We are sorry that we have not something that you could value more, but, owing to time and locality, we could not get our desire. We earnestly hope that you will accept this pure and sovereigns as a gift of sincere goodwill and respect from the congregation. We all wish Mrs Spark and yourself contentment, peace and happiness, and long life in your new home. May you be long spared to appreciate this gift from your congregation.”

Mr John Corsie, Knarston, handed Mrs Spark the purse, stating that the congregation valued very highly her services as organist in the church, and her strenuous efforts to instruct the children of the church in her Sunday-school held in the manse. Mr Spark very feelingly acknowledged the gift. He said: –

“Gentlemen, I certainly would have wished to retire from this parish like the ebbing tide without one rippling wave, but you have caused a ripple to sound my way-going. You have heartened me much by this expression of esteem and respect in which Mrs Spark and myself share so gladly. You will thank from me all those who have so kindly added to our joy, and we assure you we shall carry with us to life’s end the pleasant memories of a happy ministry among you. Although the Church of Scotland is weak in numbers in Orkney, yet she is the strong mother of Scottish Christianity – stronger in constitution, in working power, in principle, in her financial position, than the daughter churches of Scotland. While the strain and stress of this tragic warfare may reduce this parish to penury, yet the parishioners may claim for her all their spiritual privileges. With a new bonnet from the Wee Frees, and a new dress from the U.F. Church, the old mother of us all would, at this hour, stand unrivalled among the Churches of the world –

Hail, Kirk o’ Scotland, hail reform,
In Knox’ great name brave Cyclops’ storm.
A’ kirks are human; keep thy quorum,
Thy ranks recruit;
Thy name’s worth fifty score o’ them,
Auld Kirk, haud oot.

Mrs Spark, who was called upon to say a word, expressed her sincere thanks for so unexpected a token of the esteem and regard of the congregation, and said she and her husband would long remember their happy sojourn in Orkney. Rev. Mr Forbes, who happened to be present, said he spoke for the Presbytery as well as for himself, and said that Mr Spark was a valued member of the Presbytery and a faithful and conscientious minister. He himself was pleased to witness the attachment that had, in the course of thirty years, been formed, and he saw in their gift the token of a bond between minister and congregation, which would never be broken. The party spent a happy evening after the auspicious event.

1916 October 4 Orkney Herald

AURORA BOREALIS. – A display of Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, was observed from Kirkwall on Monday night. The weather was beautiful, with a touch of frost in the air, and the sky was cloudless, with the exception of a dark band which stretched across the northern horizon. From underneath this band there radiated a glowing light, and ever and anon there shot up from its depths long bands of streamers which trembled and flickered ere they disappeared. This continued for some time, but gradually the light grew fainter, and finally disappeared altogether.

1916 October 11 Orkney Herald

INCREASED ALLOWANCES TO OLD AGE PENSIONERS. – The Press Bureau announces that during the continuance of the war an old-age pensioner who is suffering special hardships due to the high prices of food, or other conditions arising out of the war, may make application for an additional allowance to supplement his or her old age pension, provided that the entire means of support do not exceed the following limits in money value, viz: – (a) In the case of an applicant who is one of a married couple living together, the combined means of husband and wife 19s 6d per week, including the pension. (b) In other cases, 12s 6d per week, including the pension. The amount of the allowance will in no case exceed such sum, within a maximum of 2s 6d per week, as will raise the money value of the means in the case of married couples to £1 a week, or in other cases to 13s a week. The application must be made on a form which will be obtained at any Post Office or from the local pension officer, on or after the 9th inst., and when completed and signed must be sent to the local pension officer.

1916 November 1 Orkney Herald



Mr David Gibson, Langskaill, Rousay, has received intimation that his brother, Lance-Corporal Alfred Gibson, 7th Seaforth Highlanders, was killed in action on 12th October. Deceased served his apprenticeship with the firm of Messrs Gibson & Halcrow, drapers, Kirkwall, and afterwards went to Manchester, where he was employed as a commercial traveller up to the time of his enlisting in May last. He was home on a visit to his relatives in July last, afterwards proceeding to the front. Lance-Corporal Gibson was the youngest son of the late Mr John Gibson [and his wife Jane], Langskaill, Rousay, and was 40 years of age.

1916 December 6 Orkney Herald



A meeting of Edinburgh Presbytery of the Free Church was held on Tuesday last week – Rev. James McNeill Kinglassie, presiding.

The resignation of Rev. J. Deas Logie, Kirkcaldy, was intimated, as he had accepted a call to the parish of Rousay, Orkney, where he believed he would have greater scope for usefulness.

Professor Kennedy Cameron moved that the resignation should be allowed to lie on the table. He said there were radical differences between their Church and the Church of Scotland, and he was bound to defend his own Church. The ministers of their Church stood in a very different relation to the Confession of Faith than they would have to stand to that Confession in the Church of Scotland under her relaxed formula. If it was right for their brethren to go to the Church of Scotland as they were doing, then it was right for them as a Church to go, but he did not think they would say that as a Church they should go over to the Church of Scotland. If they accepted the resignation it would be proclaiming to the world their approval of Mr Deas Logie’s action, whereas he disapproved very strongly.

Mr Sinclair (elder), who seconded, made the comment that Mr Deas Logie had come into the Free Church for the sake of convenience, a statement which Mr Deas Logie demanded should be withdrawn. Mr Sinclair regretted that their young ministers did not show greater appreciation of the position of the Free Church.

Professor Moore moved that the resignation should be accepted, pointing out that acceptance did not imply approval of Mr Deas Logie’s action. Rev. R. Knox seconded.

By four votes to three Professor Kennedy Cameron’s motion was carried, not to accept the resignation. Professor Moore and Mr Deas Logie dissented, and the latter claimed his full rights under the Presbyterian law, as his resignation was final.

1916 December 13 Orkney Herald

DEATHS – LOGIE. – Killed in action, on 22nd November, Private John Logie, Gordon Highlanders, late house agent G. & J. Collie, advocates, Aberdeen, and only son of the late Mr [John] and Mrs [Mary] Logie, Roadside (Grindlesbreck), Rousay, aged 36 years.

1916 December 20 Orkney Herald

INDUCTION OF REV. J. DEAS LOGIE TO ROUSAY PARISH. – The Presbytery of North Isles met in Rousay Parish Church on Friday, 15th December, to induct to the charge of the church and parish the new minister, Rev. J. Deas Logie. The Rev. J. MacDougall, B.D., presided, preached the sermon, and admitted the new minister in the name of Jesus Christ and the Presbytery. Rev. Alex. Paterson, M.A., Westray Parish, addressed the new minister, and Rev. William Robertson, M.A., Shapinsay, addressed the congregation. Among those present was Rev. Mr Mathieson, U.F. Church minister in Rousay. Mr MacDougall preached from the incident of Hobab, in Numbers x. 29.32, in which Hobab refused the offer of Moses to come with Israel and receive good, but when asked to be to them instead of eyes, he at once accepted the invitation. The opportunity of service and sacrifice came home to Hobab’s heart. His eyes would be precious to Israel as they wandered in the wilderness searching for suitable encampments and protected routes. Each day opens up a vast unknown with many a bitter struggle, with snares, dangers, false trusts, and probably not a few sorrows and cruel pains to bear. How shall we face the untrodden way? We need a Hobab. We require that friendly sojourner who knows the wilderness of our life, and came not to be ministered unto but to minister. Don’t say to Him, “We will do thee good,” but let Him rule in our life as our guide upon its highway. As a guide he needs our confidence and trust. Jesus wishes to serve and help us to serve others. The Church also requires Christ to lead her. We can only hope for brighter days after the war if the Church tries to see her duty through the eye of Christ…..

In Print

Newsprint – 1915

1915 January 6 The Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CONCERT IN AID OF THE BELGIANS. – On Christmas evening a concert and entertainment was held at Wasbister School, Rousay, in aid of the Belgians. The programme was sustained in the main by the pupils attending Wasbister School and the young people of the district. They were admirably trained for the various parts by Miss Magdalene Taylor, schoolmistress, and contributed a varied selection of rhymes, songs, recitations, and dances, all of which keenly delighted the audience. Throughout the evening several items by adults added greatly to the pleasure of all present. Notable among the items were solos, finely rendered by Miss Taylor, Mr Russell, and Mr Dexter (a soldier invalided home from the front). All of them were encored. The instrumental music also was thoroughly enjoyed, selections being contributed by Miss Marwick (gramophone), Mr Magnus Craigie (violin), Mr Craigie, jr. (violin), and Mr Robert Inkster, Cogar (pianoforte). Amusing dialogues interspersed throughout provoked hearty laughter. The votes of thanks were proposed by Mr Craigie and Rev. Mr Matheson, chairman. A collection taken at the door by Mr Sinclair realised the sum of £3 10s.

1915 March 3 Orkney Herald

There will be Sold, by Public Roup, at STANDPRETTY, ROUSAY,
on Saturday, 6th March, 1 Mare (13 years old), 1 Cow in calf,
1 One-year-old, a Dog, Box Cart, Plough, Wooden Harrows,
Spring-tooth Harrows, Scuffler, Turnip Sower, Barn Fanners,
Wheelbarrow, Plough-trees, Cart and Plough Harness,
Churn, Quarrying and Shoemaker’s Tools.
A few thrives White Oats, Hay, and Rye Grass Seed.
Some Household Furniture, and a variety of other articles.
Sale to commence at 11 a.m.
Terms – Cash
G. C. Webster, Auctioneer.


ROUSAY – PLOUGHING MATCH. – The annual ploughing match of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held on Wednesday, the 24th inst., in a field kindly granted for the occasion by Mrs [Jane] Moar, Saviskaill. Fourteen ploughs entered for competition, one champion and thirteen ordinary. During the day the ploughmen were liberally supplied with refreshments on the field, and after their work was done, by Mrs and Misses Moar. Owing to difficulty in getting judges from a distance, and other reasons, the Committee appointed local men to act for this year. The judges were, for grooming harness, Messrs John Cutt and John Harrold; and for ploughing, Messrs Thomas Sinclair and James Yorston, who had a hard task to perform, especially in placing the first three prize-men, but after a careful and painstaking consideration, awarded the prizes as follows: –

PLOUGHING. – 1 and Highland Society’s medal, Thomas Inkster, Nearhouse; 2, John Marwick, Westness; 3, David Moar, Saviskaill; 4, Albert Munro, Westness; 5, Hugh Munro, Westness; 6, Thomas Marwick, Hullion; 7, Alex. Craigie, Langskaill; 8, Andrew Laird, Cogar; 9, John Marwick. Quoys; 10, James Craigie, Trumland. Youngest ploughman, John Marwick, Quoys. Feering, Thomas Inkster. Finish, John Marwick. Straightest ploughing, Albert Munro. Best feering on field, James Craigie, Falquoy. Best finish on field, John Marwick. Cup for best ploughed rig, James Craigie, Falquoy.

GROOMING. – 1, James Craigie, Trumland; 2, Thomas Inkster; 3, Hugh Munro; 4, Albert Munro; 5, John Marwick, Westness.

HARNESS. – 1, James Craigie, Trumland; 2, Thomas Inkster; 3, James Marwick, Saviskaill; 4, David Moar; 5, John Marwick.

In the evening the Committee, judges, and a number of friends were entertained to an excellent dinner by Mr and Mrs Moar. Mr John Logie occupied the chair. The usual loyal and patriotic toasts were given and responded to. The Committee take this opportunity of thanking all those who so handsomely contributed to the funds; and also to the donors of the special prizes, of which there were a good many useful and valuable articles. To Mr John Logie, Trumland House, for visiting the field and enabling the Society to get the Highland Society’s medal, the Committee and ploughmen alike, are much indebted.

1915 March 17 Orkney Herald

HEATHER BURNING PROHIBITED. – The Admiral Commanding the Orkneys and Shetlands has issued an order under the Defence of the Realm Regulations prohibiting the burning of heather and bent in Orkney. Under Section 26 of these Regulations it is unlawful to ignite any fire which could serve as a signal, guide, or landmark, without the permission of the competent naval or military authority. The practice of heather and bent burning is, accordingly, an offence punishable in terms of the regulations. The inhabitants of Orkney are therefore requested to take immediate and effective measures to extinguish any fire which may accidentally occur.

1915 May 26 Orkney Herald

RECRUITING IN ORKNEY. – Lord Kitchener has asked for 300,000 more men, and when we read of the losses our regiments at the front are suffering, especially when any forward movement is attempted, we can understand how necessary it is to have all the men available trained and ready to fill up the gaps. We may not want conscription, but nothing can prevent it coming if the men now required do not come forward voluntarily. No regiment has seen more service and suffered more than the Seaforths, the regiment of this county. The necessities of their case are bringing over to Orkney a party of officers and men of the 5th Seaforths, and it is hoped that the response to their efforts will be hearty. The fact that this may be the last opportunity for voluntary enlistment, and that the country is in more urgent need of men now than at any time during the war, should be remembered by all those who can possibly go. The dates and places of meeting will be seen in our advertisement columns. We would ask everybody in these districts, both men and women, to attend.

1915 June 2 Orkney Herald

News has just reached Orkney that Lieut. C. E. W. Charrington, who has been in Westness, Rousay, for the last few years, has died from wounds in France. Lieut. Charrington was an excellent sportsman, and possessed a most lovable and kindly nature. He was greatly respected in Rousay. Much sympathy is felt for the family in their sad bereavement.

1915 June 16 Orkney Herald


WASBISTER DISTRICT. – Collected by Miss Inkster, Cogar.

Mr Kirkness, Quoyostray, 5s; Mrs Inkster, ditto 1s; Mrs Leonard, Tou, 6d; Mrs Flaws, Hammerfield, 1s; Mrs Borwick, Moan, 4s; Mr Craigie, Deithe, 1s; Miss Craigie, do., 1s; Mrs Donaldson, Manse, 2s; Mrs Craigie, Ploverhall, 6d; Mrs Mowat, Garret, 1s; Mrs Clouston, Shalter, 1s; Mr Alexander, Burness, 1s; Miss Marwick, Whitemeadows, 1s; Mrs Craigie, Turbitail, 1s; Mr A. Pearson, Vacquoy, 3s; Mr Sinclair, do., 1s; Mr Inkster, Barebraes, 1s; Mr H. Pearson, Kirkgate, 6d; Mr Marwick, Grain, 1s; Mr Clouston, Tou, 2s; Mr Peter Louttit, 1s; Mr Inkster, Furse, 3s; Mr Sinclair, Sketquoy, 5s; Mr D. Moar, Saviskaill, 1s; Mr J. Tait, do., 1s; Mr Isbister, do., 2s; Mr G. Sabiston, do., 2s; Mr W. Moar, do., 5s; Mr D. Gibson, Langskaill, 5s; Miss Mary Inkster, do., 2s; Mr A. Craigie, do., 2s; Mr J. G. Marwick, do., 1s; A Friend, do., 2s; Mrs Taylor, Schoolhouse, 1s 6d; Mr Marwick, Quoys, 2s; Mr Craigie, Falquoy, 2s; Mr J. G. Craigie, Old Schoolhouse, 5s; Mrs Louttit, Maybank, 1s; Mr Marcus Wood, 2s 6d; Mr Marwick, Innister, 2s; Mr Lavid [sic], Castlehill, 1s; Mr Inkster, Cogar, 1s.

Total, £4 4s 6d.

SOURIN DISTRICT. – (1) Collected by Miss Isabella Grieve, Whitehall.

Mr and Mrs J. W. Grieve, Whitehall, 5s; Mrs Grieve, sen., 1s; Mr and Mrs Gibson, Avelshay, 5s; Miss Gibson, do., 1s 6d; Miss Edith Gibson, do., 1s 6d; Mr John Gibson. do., 2s 6d; Mr James Marwick, do., 2s 6d; Mr and Mrs Harrold, Springfield, 1s; Mr David Craigie, Cruar, 3s 6d; Rev. Alex. Spark, The Manse, 10s; Mrs Spark, do., 10s; Mr and Mrs Craigie, Glebe, 3s; Mr Corsie, Knarston, 2s 6d; Mr and Mrs Grieve, Upper Knarston, 3s; Mr and Mrs Mainland, Gorehouse, 3s; Mr and Mrs Costie, Kingerly, 2s; Mrs Costie, sen., do., 2s; Mr and Mrs Munro, Old School, 4s;  Mr Thomas Work, Old School, 3s 6d; Mr Seatter, Banks, 2s; Mrs Seatter, do., 1s; Miss Seatter, do., 1s; Mr Robert Seatter, do., 2s 6d; Mr Alex. Grieve, Lowermill, 2s; Mr and Mrs Marwick, Braes, 2s; Miss Cooper, Hanover, 1s; Miss Mary Ann Cooper, do., 6d; Mr and Mrs Corsie, Faro, 1s; Mr and Mrs Grieve, Outerdykes, 1s; Mr Work, Eastaquoy, 6d; Mrs Dishan, do., 6d; Mr and Mrs Munro, Pretty, 1s; Mr and Mrs Craigie, Triblo, 4s; Miss Craigie, do., 1s; Mr and Mrs Gibson, Old Man, 2s.

Total, £4 9s 6d.

(2) Collected by Miss Baikie, The School House.

Miss L. G. Baikie, 5s; Mr and Mrs Inkster, Woo, 5s; Mrs Dickson, 2s; Mrs and Mrs Lyon, Ervadale, 3s; Mr and Mrs Linklater, Curquoy, 2s; Mrs Inkster, Gripps, 1s; Mrs Sabiston, do., 2s; Mrs Shearer, Eastcray, 3s; Mrs Reid, Wasdale, 3s; Mr and Mrs Inkster, Essaquoy, 3s; Mr and Mrs Gibson, Broland, 3s 6d; Mr and Mrs Wylie, Roadside, 1s; Mr and Mrs Inkster, Knapper, 1s; Mr and Mrs James Russell, Brendale, 4s; Mr John Russell, do., 1s; Miss A. J. Harrold, Bigland, 1s; Mr A. C. Gibson, do., 3s 6d; Mr and Mrs Craigie, Swandale, 5s; Mr James A. Matheson, 15s; Mr and Mrs Wm. Grieve, Falldown, 3s; Mrs Harrold, Blossom, 1s; Miss J. A. Harrold, do., 1s; Mr and Mrs Wm. Grieve, Digro, 2s; Mr and Mrs Scott, Lopness, 3s; Mr Hugh Marwick, Guidal, 4s; Mr John Scott, Hurtiso, 5s; Corporal James Russell, do., 2s; Gr. J. Harcus, do., 2s; Mr and Mrs John Craigie, Breck, 4s; Johnnie Craigie, do., 1s; Mrs Craigie, do., 6d; Mrs Louttit, do , 1s; Mr and Mrs Logie, Myres, 4s; Mr John Gibson, Faraclett, 5s; Mr Robert Marwick, Scockness, 4s; Miss J. Marwick, do., 2s 6d; Miss M. Marwick, do., 4s; Gr. Alexander Robertson, 2s.

Total, £5 15s. Total for Sourin, £10 4s 6d.

FROTOFT DISTRICT. – Collected by Miss Lydia Mainland and Miss Marjorie Gibson.

Mr J. Mainland, Westness, 2s 6d; Mrs Bella Mainland, do., 2s; Mr Robert Mainland, do., 1s; Mr Hugh Munro, do., 1s; Mr Albert Munro, do., 1s; Mrs Low, do., 6d; Mr and Mrs Stevenson, do., 1s; Mrs Marwick, do., 6d; Mr John Craigie, Corse, 2s; Miss Isabella Craigie, do., 1s; Miss A. Craigie, Veira Lodge, 1s; Mr J. S. Craigie, Hullion, 2s; Mr Hugh Sinclair, Newhouse, 2s 6d; Mr Tom Marwick, Hullion, 1s; Mr D. Gibson, do., 2s; Mr J. Gibson, do., 2s; Mrs A. Leonard, do., 2s; Miss Marjorie Gibson, do., 6d; Jim Gibson, do., 6d; Mrs Johnstone, No. 1 Frotoft, 1s; Miss A. Johnstone, do., 6d; Miss B. Johnstone, do., 1s; Mrs J. Smith, No. 2 Frotoft, 1s; Mrs J Gibson, No. 3 Frotoft, 2s; Mrs Betsy Mainland, No. 4 Frotoft, 2s; Miss Lydia Mainland, do., 6d; Miss Robertson, Banks, 2s; Mr William Logie, Mount Pleasant, 1s; Mr and Mrs Gibson. No. 5 Frotoft, 2s; Mr and Mrs George Reid, Gripps, 2s; Miss Minna Reid, do., 6d; Mrs Reid, Tratland, 2s; Miss Reid, do., 2s; Mr and Mrs Low, Hunclet, 2s; Miss Low, do., 6d; Mr Inkster, Nearhouse, 2s 6d; Miss Bella H. Cooper, do., 2s; Mrs McKinlay, do., 1s; Mr James Yorston, do., 2s; Mrs J. Hourston, Schoolhouse, 2s; Miss Minna Hourston, do., 2s; Mrs Elphinstone, Mid Crusday, 1s; Mr and Mrs D. B. Mackay, Crusday, 4s; Mr and Mrs Sinclair, Cotafea, 2s 6d; Mr J. Craigie, Hullion, 1s; Mrs D. Johnston, Croady, 2s.

Total £3 10s.

TRUMLAND DISTRICT. – Collected by Miss M. Craigie and Miss Alice Logie.

Mrs Harrold, Kirkhall, 1s; Mr and Mrs Inkster, do., 1s; Mr and Mrs Sutherland, Smithy Cottage, 2s; Mr and Mrs C. B. Logie, Ivy Cottage, 2s; the Logie bairns, do., 2s; Mr and Mrs Harrold, Rose Cottage, 2s; Miss Harrold, do., 1s; Mr John Logie, sen., Pier Cottage, 2s; Miss Logie, do., 1s; Mr and Mrs John Logie, Trumland, 5s; Mr and Mrs W. Logie, do., 1s; Mr James Craigie, do., 1s; Mr John Craigie, do., 1s; Miss Lizzie Craigie, do., 1s; Mr and Mrs Cutt, do., 3s; Mr and Mrs F. Inkster, do., 4s; Miss M. Craigie, do., 6d.

Total, £1 10s 6d.

Total for Rousay, £19 9s 6d.

[The front page of the Orkney Herald carried weekly lists of names of folk throughout Orkney and their donations to the French Relief Fund and Y.M.C.A. Huts for Men at the Front.]

1915 July 7 Orkney Herald

The first half of April was very wet, and oats were only sown in the last week of April and first half of May. Some snow and frost with cold winds in May and very dry weather in June checked vegetation. During the latter month, oats in parts scarcely covered the clods, grass was very short and bare, and the hay crop thin and not much of it. Owing to the late season and influenza among horses and men, and a shortage of hands owing to the war, farmers had great difficulty in getting their crops laid down in proper time. Some fine showers followed by fine mild weather during the past week have improved all the crops, but more rain is still required. The first-sown turnips are being singled, and the remainder, which were laid down in a very dry state, are now brairding after the rain. Potatoes are looking well. Pastures are still bare, but cattle are thriving well, although there were some deaths owing to the frosty grass. The weather has been very suitable for drying the peats, and farmers who have peat grounds are well off in these days of high-priced coals.

EGILSHAY. – During last week Miss Alexina Cooper and Miss Margaret Grieve, the two oldest girls in the Sunday-school and day-school respectively, collected for “The Children’s War Effort” in connection with the Scottish Branch of the British Red Cross Society the sum of £4 5s 3d, and £4 6s 3d for the “Y.M.C.A. Huts for the Men at the Front.” Fifty-two dozen fresh eggs have also been given for the wounded soldiers and sailors.




SIR, – I wish to express to you personally, and to those who have helped you in your recruiting work, my best thanks for the energy that has been displayed by you all in the matter of recruiting. I would ask you to take an early opportunity of urging all able-bodied men in your neighbourhood to come forward and enlist, so that they may be trained as soldiers to take part in the war, and help to keep our forces in the field at the maximum strength.

I shall be glad to hear of any reasons that may be given you by young and suitable men for not availing themselves of this opportunity to see service in the field, where they are so much wanted. – I am, &c., – KITCHENER.
War Office, June 26, 1915.

1915 July 21 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY. – A committee meeting of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held in the Sourin Public School on Tuesday last. There was a good attendance. A letter from the chairman, who was unavoidably absent, was read, suggesting that the cattle show should be postponed for this year in view of the serious state of the country owing to the war, and that the society devote some of the money that would be given towards prizes to some of the patriotic and necessitous schemes that are so urgently needed. This was unanimously agreed to, and the secretary was authorised to hand over £1 to the Belgian Fund, £1 to the French, £1 to the Y.M.C.A. for Huts, and £1 to the Medical Aid Fund for the Servians.

1915 July 28 Orkney Herald

THE LATE MR HUGH GIBSON. – Our obituary to-day records the death of Mr Hugh Gibson, a well-known and highly-respected agriculturist. Born in Rousay, he came with his parents to Cannigall, St Ola, when quite young, and later moved with them to the parish of Stromness on his father becoming tenant of the farm of Garson. On the death of his father, about forty years ago, he succeeded to the tenancy of that farm, which he held till Martinmas last. He was a successful farmer and breeder of stock, and was often appointed an arbiter at farm valuations of crop and in valuations for fair rents of farms. When the revaluation of the county was carried through some years ago, he was appointed one of the valuers to assist the Assessor in this work His death took place at Kirkwall after a short illness, at the age of 73. He is survived by his widow.

[Hugh was the son of David Gibson, Sketquoy and Katherine Marwick, Falquoy. His wife was Margaret Heddle Reid, Shapinsay.]

1915 August 11 Orkney Herald

DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL FOR ORKNEY-CANADIAN. – We observe that Private George Inkster, son of Mr Hugh Inkster, Knapper, Rousay, who came across with the first contingent Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, and was drafted to France last December, has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. The official statement is as follows: – “For conspicuous gallantly and devotion to duty on the 8th May 1915, at Hooge. Private Inkster stationed himself at the end of a communication trench and shot several of the enemy attempting to come down it. He was alone at the time. He also carried several important messages under a very heavy fire, and was always willing to undertake any dangerous work.”

ROUSAY – EGGS FOR THE WOUNDED. – The merchants have made another collection of eggs for the wounded soldiers and sailors, which has again been heartily responded to. The Co-operative Society forwarded a box to Mr Dobbie last Monday. Another box has been forwarded by Mr D. Gibson, Hullion, this week. In acknowledging the contributions from the Co-operative Society, Mr Dobbie writes: – “Dear Sirs, Eggs for our wounded soldiers and sailors – The box of eggs has come to hand to-day, for which I tender you, in the name of the Committee, and on behalf of our wounded soldiers and sailors, my very cordial thanks for the good gift. The eggs are appreciated very much by the wounded men, and the Nursing Staffs value them very highly as a great aid in restoring their patients back to better health and strength. The new-laid egg is many a time the only nutriment a wounded man can take, and the work of supplying adequately all the hospitals south of the Tay right down to the Border is being made pretty difficult owing to the scarcity of eggs, which are now consequently more valuable. As stated already in the Orkney papers our sympathising friends in Orkney have made a noble response to my appeals, and no part of the Kingdom has done better than they, and they have the satisfaction of having done their little bit for their country in the present war, fighting as we are in the interests of all the European nations. Again thanking you and all who co-operated with you for your kindness and noble generosity.”

1915 September 1 Orkney Herald


Writing from the front to a lady in Kirkwall a soldier in the 1/4 Gordon Highlanders says: – “I received parcel of tobacco today, for which I thank you. It was very kind of Mr ———-  to send, and I appreciate your kindness. He must have surely thought we were in for a siege when he sent such a lot, but I have already shared some of it with my less fortunate comrades. We get plenty of light tobacco from the Government as a ration, but it is mostly wasted, in the Scotch regiments at any rate, so ‘bogie’ is thought much of. I received your kind letter in the trenches. A letter from home is always welcome, but when it is received in the trench it has an added value. It was a day of shrapnel and ‘coal boxes’ when I got it, a time when the spirits got depressed in spite of yourself, and to get a kind letter such as yours is like a tonic. You people at home are very kind to us at the front, and it enables us to stand the strain of war better when we get encouragement from the ‘Old Country.’ It helps us to stand the long, weary watches in the trenches, the cold, hard earth beds and the constant song of death. We are out of the trenches just now for a few days, as we spend so much time in and so much out. Of course we cannot tell anything about where we are, &c., in those letters, but I can tell you we had a taste of ———- some time ago. I can tell you too about a strange thing that happened a week or two ago. It was one of our battalions that it happened to. This battalion were burying an officer close behind the firing line, and the pipers and drummers played that sad lament, “The Flo’ers o’ the Forest.’ As the sad haunting melody rang out, as if by magic both sides stopped firing and not a sound was heard save the wail of the pipes. This is absolutely true, and of course the pipes seldom, if ever before in this war, played over the dead. It is a pretty place where our line of trenches are now, and the trenches are very good and comfortable as far as trenches go. Between our lines and the Germans there is a wild, rugged field in which the flaming red poppies, symbols of Belgium’s great sacrifice, grow. Broom, larch and thistle, willows and convolvulus twine in the thicket nearby, while behind, the yellow fields of grain, rye, and wheat wave – fields that will know no harvest this year save the harvest of death. Some of our boys had stewed apples in the trenches as some fruit trees were nearby. They are cooked in our mess tins above a biscuit box with holes in it to serve for a fire. The firewood consists of bits of boxes or the woodwork of ruined and empty houses, which sometime entail a tramp over muddy fields with the elements of danger not very far off. I know of one regiment who, instead of knocking holes in the biscuit tins, put them above the parapet, and after the obliging Germans have shoved a score or two of bullets through them they take them down sort of ready made.”

1915 October 20 Orkney Herald


The present great European war between nations that cherish different ideals of national life is demanding great sacrifices in life, money and property from the people. The German ambition to dominate other peoples, on the principle that might is right, and the thorough preparation they have made to enable them to accomplish their task, has compelled other nations to call forth their whole strength in defence. A good response has been made by our young men to the call of King and Country. For, wherever they have seen and understood the spirit and determination of German frightfulness as displayed in Belgium, Northern France, and Poland, they have felt impelled to offer themselves for righteousness against the mighty. They have perceived that if we as a people are to retain our lives and our Christian civilisation with all their rights and liberties, the enemy must be met and resisted, even unto death. In the course of this warfare some of our Imperial-service men have been in close combat with the enemy and have been wounded…..

1915 November 3 The Orkney Herald




At this grave moment in the struggle between my people and a highly organised enemy who has transgressed the Laws of Nations and changed the ordinance that binds civilized Europe together, I appeal to you.

I rejoice in my Empire’s effort, and I feel pride in the voluntary response from my Subjects all over the world who have sacrificed home, fortune, and life itself, in order that another may not inherit the free Empire which their ancestors and mine have built.

I ask you to make good these sacrifices.

The end is not in sight. More men and yet more are wanted to keep my Armies in the Field, and through them to secure Victory and enduring Peace.

In ancient days the darkest moment has ever produced in men of our race the sternest resolve.

I ask you, men of all classes, to come forward voluntarily and take your share in the fight.

In freely responding to my appeal, you will be giving your support to our brothers, who, for long months, have nobly upheld Britain’s past traditions, and the glory of her Arms.

1915 November 10 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – The Harvest thanksgiving was held in the Parish Church on Sunday, 31st Oct., and in Wasbister School on Sunday, 7th Nov., when the Rev. A. Spark preached appropriate sermons from Isaiah xxviii. 24 [‘When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually? Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil?’], and Exodus xxiii. 16. [‘Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the first fruits of the crops you sow in your field. Celebrate the Festival of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the field.’]

1915 December 29 Orkney Herald

STORM. – On Thursday and Friday the worst storm for many years was experienced. The wind blew with great violence from the east and south-east, and the sea was the worst in the recollection of old inhabitants. On Thursday the steamer St Ola was unable to cross the Pentland Firth. The steamer St Magnus, which left Aberdeen on Wednesday forenoon for Kirkwall, only arrived on Saturday afternoon, having experienced the full force of the gale. She lost a boat and shipped a good deal of water, the cabins being flooded to a depth of two feet. A boat has been washed ashore at Odness, Stronsay.

In Print

Newsprint – 1914

1914 January 14 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – ENTERTAINMENT. – On Christmas Day a very enjoyable entertainment was given by Miss [Sarah] Craigie, schoolmistress, Frotoft, to her pupils and friends. The school was tastefully decorated with greenery and paper flowers. After a sumptuous tea, a most interesting and enjoyable programme was gone through by the pupils, including a production of the ever-popular fairy tale, “Cinderella.” The programme was as follows: Cinderella, Marjorie Gibson; her two sisters – Proudie, Peggie Sutherland; Crosspatch, Mary Mainland; Cinderella’s Godmother, Lydia Mainland; prince, John Mainland; his two courtiers – Sir Hector, Charles Logie; Sir Holiday, Robert Mainland; the herald, John Logie; the six fairies, or chorus girls – Annie Gibson, Babba Leonard, Margie Craigie, Jeannie Louttit, Jessie Mainland, Alice Craigie; dialogue, “Why she was Mamma’s Favourite,” Marjorie Gibson, Isabella Craigie, and Agnes Robertson; quartette, “The Muffin Man,” girls – Alice Craigie, Jessie Mainland; boys – Jim Gibson, Harry Logie; recitation, “What a Little Girl can do,” Jeannie Louttit; song, “Rothesay Bay,” Mary Mainland; duet, “The Crookit Bawbee,’ Jessie Mainland and Harry Logie; “The Dinner Party,” by seven boys, viz. – Jim Gibson, host ; John S. Mainland, butler; guests, Harry Logie, Jim Sinclair, Davidson Harrold, Hugh Sutherland, John Logie; “Welcome,” was given at the beginning by seven children, viz., Jessie Mainland, Alice Logie, Annie Gibson, Babba Leonard, James Mainland, Tom Sinclair and David Gibson; then “Good-bye” was given at the finish by the same seven children. The Rev. Alex. Spark, Parish Church, occupied the chair. At the end of the programme a brightly decorated Christmas tree was brought on to the platform amidst the applause and delight of the children. Mr John Logie, Trumland House, dressed in conventional style, made a most efficient Father Christmas, and, with Alice Logie as his fairy, distributed gifts from the tree to the various children. After that he (Mr Logie), in name of the young men of the district, presented Miss Craigie with a lovely silver teapot and stand. The company afterwards engaged in dancing, which they kept up till the early hours of the morning. The whole reflects great credit on Miss Craigie as a popular and successful teacher.

[The following week a slight correction was made in the paper. – Miss Craigie received two presentations – the first being a mahogany timepiece from the young men; and the second was the silver teapot and stand from her scholars.]

1914 February 4 Orkney Herald

FATAL RAILWAY ACCIDENT TO ORCADIAN IN CANADA. – A sad fatality took place on 9th January at a level crossing over the Great Northern tracks near the Prince Rupert, Vancouver, Abattoirs, when Miss Lily Inkster, night nurse at the Royal Columbian Hospital, was struck by a Great Northern passenger train. She was picked up 20 yards away from the point where she was struck, and the police ambulance with P.C. Anderson removed her to the hospital without delay. Miss Inkster had left the hospital at 4 o’clock in the afternoon to visit cousins, and was returning to her duties at the institution when the accident happened. According to the towerman at the crossing, she failed to notice the impending danger, and when the train was close to her the engineer gave three sharp whistles which, with the glaring head-light, appeared to glue her to the track. Miss Inkster had been a nurse at the hospital for two and a half years. She was a native of Rousay, and her widowed mother now resides at 15 Bridge St., Kirkwall. The Rev. John Gibson Inkster, B.A., Presbyterian Church, Victoria, B.C., also a native of Rousay, arrived the following morning and took full charge of the funeral arrangements. The funeral took place from the hospital on Monday, 12th Jan., at 10 a.m., and how highly she was esteemed and how sorely she was missed, was evidenced by the large attendance of people, Orcadians and others, and by the silent expressions of sympathy in the shape of wreaths and flowers. All work was stopped at the hospital, and the nurses followed the remains to the cemetery. The train was due to arrive at New Westminster at 2.58 p.m. on the date when the fatal accident occurred, but was several hours late, leaving the G.N.R. depot at 6.40 o’clock. Much sympathy is extended to Mrs Inkster and her family in their sore bereavement.

[Lily Inkster was the daughter of Hugh Inkster and his second wife Mary Kirkness. Hugh was initially from Ervadale, and married his first wife Isabella Kirkness in January 1865, and moved to Unst, Shetland. Isabella died there in 1882, and Hugh and the surviving members of his family returned to Rousay, where he took over Westness farm. He then married Isabella’s cousin Mary Kirkness, Grain. They had six children, born between 1885 and 1894, Lily being their first-born. Hugh died in October 1908, and Mary went to live in Kirkwall. – John Gibson Inkster was the son of William Inkster, Cogar, and Mary Gibson, Langskaill. His eldest brother was William Inkster – ‘Fiery Bill’, the Aberdeen Firemaster.]

1914 February 11 Orkney Herald

ST MAGNUS IN THE STORM. – When the Aberdeen steamer St Magnus arrived at Aberdeen on Saturday week, Captain Leask reported having experienced an exciting passage from Stromness. Weather and sea were rough, and the vessel was tossed about in an alarming fashion. The climax seemed to be reached when the St Magnus was crossing the Pentland Firth. Captain Leask was of opinion that he passed through a tidal wave. The sea swept down upon the ship and lifted the St Magnus into an almost upright position, in which she remained for several seconds. The crew rushed on deck, and for some time a feeling of anxiety prevailed. The vessel righted herself, however, and the passage was completed in safety, little damage having been done.

1914 February 18 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – EARLY PRIMROSES. – Primroses in bloom were found by Mrs Craigie, Iverybust, Rousay, among heather on the hillside on the 6th inst. Mrs Craigie says they are the earliest she has ever seen there.

[Mrs Jane Craigie lived at the variously-spelled Everybist in Wasbister with husband Alexander and daughters Edith and Ivy.]

1914 February 25 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PLOUGHING MATCH. – This match was held on the farm of Trumland on Wednesday last on a field kindly granted for the occasion by Mr Fred Inkster. The morning was fine, but threatening rain, and by 11 o’clock it broke out and turned out to be one of the worst days of the season. However, the ploughmen stuck pluckily to their work, and finished in the given time. The number of ploughs was not so large as in former years, but as many turned up as will enable the committee to obtain the Highland Society’s medal. The ploughmen were liberally supplied with refreshments on the field and after their work was done. The judges were Messrs Thomas Foubister, Hannatoft, and John Work, Caskald, Shapinsay, who awarded the prizes as follows: –

PLOUGHING. – 1 and Highland Society’s medal, John Craigie, Glebe; 2 Hugh Craigie, Swandale; 3 John Marwick, Westness; 4 John Gibson, Avelshay; 5 Albert Munro, Nearhouse; 6 Robert Seatter, Banks; 7 David Moar, Saviskaill; 8 William Logie, Scockness; 9 William Grieve, Knarston; 10 James Munro, Ervadale; 11 John Corsie, Trumland; 12 David Sinclair, Trumland; youngest ploughman, Wm. Logie; best feering and finish, John Craigie; straightest ploughing, John Craigie.

HARNESS. – 1 David Moar; 2 John Corsie; 3 William Logie; 4 Albert Munro; 5 Robert Seatter.

GROOMING. – 1 John Corsie; 2 David Sinclair; 3 Robert Seatter; 4 Wm. Logie; 5 Albert Munro; most valuable pair on field, John Corsie; best matched pair, John Corsie; best mare on field, Albert Munro.

In the evening the judges and a number of friends were entertained to an excellent dinner by Mrs Inkster and Miss Craigie, Trumland. Mr John Logie occupied the chair, and the duties of croupier were performed by Mr James S. Gibson. The usual loyal and patriotic toasts were given and responded to, and a pleasant evening spent. The committee take this opportunity of thanking the donors of the special prizes, and all those who subscribed to the funds of the association.

1914 March 18 Orkney Herald

WRECK OF THE STEAMER FAWN. – The steamer Fawn, belonging to the Orkney Steam Navigation Co., Ltd (Omond, master), was wrecked on the Holm of Boray, near Gairsay, on Saturday afternoon. She left Kirkwall about 2.30 p.m. for Rousay with passengers and a general cargo. One passenger was to be landed at Gairsay on the passage, and it was while this was being done that the mishap took place. The steamer had been brought near the Holm of Boray, and the tide set her on the rocks. As she was found to be damaged and to be making water, the passengers were landed on Gairsay. On the news of the accident reaching Kirkwall, the motor trading boat Good Shepherd, belonging to Mr D. Mackay, was dispatched to render assistance. She took the passengers from Gairsay to Rousay, and then returned to Kirkwall, reaching there about 1 a.m. on Sunday morning. On Sunday forenoon the Good Shepherd again proceeded to the scene of the wreck. The Fawn was then found to be so badly holed that she was abandoned by the crew, and the Good Shepherd brought them to Kirkwall. The Fawn had on board a considerable quantity of goods for merchants and others in the islands of Rousay, Egilshay, and Veira, a very small quantity of which had been saved. The salvage steamer Ocean Bride, with owner on board, arrived from Shetland yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon, where she had been salvaging the trawler Loch Broom. The owner of the Ocean Bride is to proceed to the Fawn tomorrow in the motor boat Morning Wreathe and inspect the vessel.

1914 April 8 Orkney Herald

NORTH ISLES DISTRICT COMMITTEE. – [At a meeting of the above committee in Kirkwall]….. The Clerk read a letter from Mr John Craigie, Triblo, Sourin, Rousay, with reference to the road from the public school to the hillside, and asking that a public road be made. The Clerk also read a letter from the Road Inspector for the island, referring to the condition of the road, and stating that he had formerly recommended that the road be remade under certain conditions. Mr Logie said the understanding when the road was originally made was that it would be kept up by the tenants. They had done so up to the passing of the Crofters Act, but the road had since been allowed to get into an impassable condition. At some places it was lower than the side drains. The water had been turned on the road, and it now resembled a water course. It would cost about £200 to put right, and the rental of the four or five places using it was only about £20. As the estate was on the verge of being sold, the management was not likely to spend anything on new roads. He suggested, however, that application be made to the Congested Districts Board for a grant, and that the estate be approached to see if they would do anything.

Mr Seatter said besides the places referred to by Mr Logie, other tenants used the road to go to the hill. Some of them had put some loads of shingle in the holes.

Mr Logie was asked to get particulars and to report…..

1914 April 29 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SCHOOL BOARD. – The new School Board has been elected without a poll, and met for the first time on Friday, 24th inst. All the members were present, viz.: – Messrs Hugh Marwick, Guidal; William Grieve, Falldown; David Inkster, Furse; John Mainland, Westness; and Robert Seatter, Banks. Mr Marwick was unanimously appointed chairman, and the usual attendance and other committees were formed. Mr Seatter is the only new member, taking the place of Mr Pirie, who retires after a long service on the Board of over twenty years, during the greater part of which time he has been its chairman. He always took a deep interest and active part in all matters relating to the educational interests of the parish, and at the last meeting of the old Board the members recorded their high appreciation of his services to the Board and to the cause of education.

1914 May 6 Orkney Herald

NORTH ISLES DISTRICT COMMITTEE. – [During the next meeting of the above committee]….. The Clerk read a report from Mr Logie regarding the road between Sourin School and Hillside which had been petitioned for by a number of ratepayers in Rousay. There were also submitted resolutions from Rousay Parish Council and School Board in favour of the construction of the road. A plan was laid on the table showing the roads in the district. It was stated that the proprietors were against the proposal, but were willing to do as much as the people themselves would do to put the road in fair repair.

After some discussion it was agreed, on the motion of Mr Slater, seconded by Mr Swanson, to allow the petition to lie on the table till next meeting…..


DEATHS – INKSTER. – At the King Edward Memorial Hospital, Winnipeg, Canada, on April 28th, David Inkster, aged 26, youngest son of Hugh and Georgina Inkster, Rousay, and dearly loved husband of Helen Mainland. – Sadly missed and deeply mourned.

Praise God! the Shepherd is so sweet;
Praise God! the country is so fair;
We could not hold him from His feet;
We can but haste to meet him there.

[The Inkster family lived at Gorn and Hammer in Wasbister, later Knapper. David, the youngest of nine children, married Helen Mainland, Midskaill, Egilsay, in 1911. Two of David’s brothers, Robert and William, also went to Canada.]

1914 May 13 Orkney Herald

ARRIVAL OF THE CORNCRAKE. – The first or second week of May usually marks the advent of the corncrake to Orkney. Last Wednesday evening, about 11 o’clock, in the stillness of the night, the harsh but nevertheless welcome “crake-crake-crake” was borne across the water from the direction of Crowness, and distinctly heard at Kirkwall Pier. This solitary soloist has been heard on many occasions since. Whether in its migratory flight northwards it has been separated from its companions, or whether it is the first of its kind to waken from its winter’s sleep (many people still believe that this bird does not migrate but hibernates), we know not, but as yet no voice responsive has answered to the call notes.

1914 May 27 Orkney Herald

A male woodchat was seen in Westness Garden, Rousay, from 12th to 16th May – probably the same as was lately noticed by Mr John Gunn in his garden at Kirkwall. Also during the same few days a pair of common swifts were seen at Trumland, and remained for three days.

1914 July 1 Orkney Herald


The Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, and his morganatic wife, the Duchess of Hohenberg, were assassinated on Sunday.

The assassination took place at Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, which state, together with Herzegovina, was annexed by Austria-Hungary from Turkey in 1908. Bosnia, which is bounded on the south by Montenegro and Servia, has a large Slav population that is discontented with Austrian rule. The Archduke had paid no heed to warnings to him not to go to Bosnia on account of the disturbed state of the province. Anti-Austrian demonstrations were made before his arrival at Sarajevo on Saturday.

Two attempts were made to kill the Archduke and his wife at Sarajevo on Sunday. The first failed. The second was only too successful. A man of Servian nationality, living in Herzegovina, threw a bomb at the Archduke’s motor car in the street. The Archduke deflected the bomb with his arm. It fell to the ground and exploded. The heir to the throne and his wife escaped, but several other people were injured. A little while later the Archduke and his wife were driving to see the victims of the bomb explosion when a student, aged nineteen, fired at them with a Browning automatic pistol. Both were wounded and both died shortly afterwards.

The Archduke, who was aged fifty, was nephew of and heir to the Emperor Francis Joseph, who is aged eighty-three. His wife was formerly a Czech countess, Sophie Chotek. Both of them came to England recently on a visit to the King. They leave three young children, two boys and a girl. As the marriage was morganatic the new Heir-Presumptive is the Archduke Charles Francis Joseph, a grand-nephew of the Emperor and nephew of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand. He is aged twenty-six and is married.

[A morganatic marriage is a marriage between people of unequal social rank, which in the context of royalty prevents the passage of the husband’s titles and privileges to the wife and any children born of the marriage.

The archduke travelled to Sarajevo to inspect the imperial armed forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, annexed by Austria-Hungary in 1908. The annexation had angered Serbian nationalists, who believed the territories should be part of Serbia. A group of young nationalists hatched a plot to kill the archduke during his visit to Sarajevo, and after some missteps, 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip was able to shoot the royal couple at point-blank range, while they traveled in their official procession, killing both almost instantly.

The assassination set off a rapid chain of events, as Austria-Hungary immediately blamed the Serbian government for the attack. As large and powerful Russia supported Serbia, Austria asked for assurances that Germany would step in on its side against Russia and its allies, including France and possibly Great Britain. On July 28, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and the fragile peace between Europe’s great powers collapsed, beginning the devastating conflict now known as the First World War.]

1914 July 8 Orkney Herald

AGRICULTURE. – Owing to wet weather, oats were not sown until the latter half of April. Cold weather and frosty mornings in May checked the growth of both grass and oats. The weather in June was dry but fine, and turnips were laid down in good order and are now being singled. Some fine showers and mild weather latterly have improved all the crops. There was little or no grub, and oats are now a fair good crop. Potatoes are a fair crop, and turnips are doing well. Hay is rather a light crop, but pastures are good and stock are thriving on them.

ROUSAY. – The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was celebrated in Rousay Parish Church on Sunday, 21st June last, when the Rev. Alexander Spark preached from Acts xvi. 30 – “What must I do to be saved?” The world, he said, had two answers to that important question, viz.: – (1) Believe that you are saved, and you are saved; (2) Do nothing, and you are saved. These answers are manifestly erroneous. St Paul and St Silas gave a different reply to the Philippian jailor when they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” The spiritual life is a strenuous life – you must do or die. Faith has to run, to fight, to subdue the world, the flesh, and the devil, to final victory. On Sunday, 28th June, the Holy Communion was also celebrated in the Public School of Wasbister at 12 o’clock noon, when the Rev. A. Spark preached an appropriate sermon.

ORKNEY NOTES. – (From “The Scottish Smallholder”) – Last year the Land Court visited Orkney and disposed of a few applications for fair rents, but quite a number of cases remain still undisposed of. These are mostly new cases, due to the extension of crofters’ right from £30 to £50 of rental, consequently some interest is felt as to the result. In Orkney one effect of the Land Acts is that, so far as occupying proprietors are concerned, their taxes are considerably raised. There are quite a number of small occupying proprietors in many parishes, and while a crofter has his rent and taxes lowered on his improvements, an occupying proprietor, when he makes his place better, finds his valuation raised on that account. Taxes being based on the valuation, he has thus not only to pay for making his place better, but, on account of the general reduction in crofters’ rents, he must bear a larger proportion of the increased rates necessary to meet local requirements. This is manifestly unjust and is the cause of much grumbling. The remedy would appear to be in an adjustment of the basis of taxation. The present season has been a very good one for the Orcadian farmer. The last harvest was excellent and no one ever remembers better straw or grain. Foot and mouth disease in Ireland has heightened the price of store cattle, for which there is always a good demand in the Aberdeen market. A few small farmers go in for feeding and dispose of their cattle as stores. From the nature of the soil in Orkney, the change to other conditions makes them thrive exceedingly well in the south. Farmers and dealers from Aberdeen knowing this, frequently come north for a supply. Shipments are also made almost every week front Kirkwall and Stromness by farmers themselves or local dealers.

1914 July 15 Orkney Herald

From our advertising columns it will be seen that the s.s. Fawn will run a special excursion trip to Shapinsay on Saturday afternoon in connection with Paterson Church Sunday-school picnic.

[Earlier this year, in the March 18th edition of the Orkney Herald, it was stated that the s.s. Fawn had been ‘wrecked’ on the Holm of Boray, near Gairsay. Subsequent issues of the paper made no allusion as to the fate of the vessel. It was obviously not as badly damaged as first thought!]

1914 July 22 Orkney Herald

MYSTERIOUS AIRSHIP AT SANDAY. – Last Sunday evening, about 9.15 o’clock, Mr Thomas Drever, Colligarth, Sanday, observed a light well down on the skyline on the east side of the island, which he at first took for a particularly bright star. After looking at it for a few moments he came to the conclusion that it was moving towards him. It rapidly approached the island from the south-east until it was near his farm, about 500 feet or thereby overhead. It then stopped and began to circle in the direction of the doctor’s house and the East U.F. Church, the light at times being obscured. Gradually it came down until it was about 300 feet up. By this time a faint humming noise could be heard, and the beams of the light were visible to the naked eye. Mr Drever went into his house and brought out a night glass. Upon looking through the glass he could discern a dark mass above the light, which resembled a small cloud pointed at each end. After remaining a considerable time in the vicinity it mounted up to a great height and went out of sight to the southward shortly before midnight. Several people were with Mr Drever at the time, and all are firmly of opinion that it was a flying machine of some kind that they saw. The night was fine and clear, and the light was seen by people in other parts of the island. What the object of the visit was one can only surmise, but to the observers it appeared as if observations were being taken to verify the position of the airship. It will be remembered that some time ago mysterious lights were seen flickering over this island, as well as over other parts of the coasts of England and Scotland, which have never been clearly accounted for. On these occasions the lights were visible for only a brief period, but this time the visitant was seen for an hour and a half, which disposes of the idea that was first formed, that it was an aeroplane that was seen, as an aeroplane can only remain a short time in the air. An airship, and one that was well under control, might have been manoeuvred as the late visitor was, and is the most feasible conclusion that can be arrived at after hearing the evidence of those who were privileged to see it.



493 MEN O’ WAR.

The great mobilisation of the Home Fleet which is intended as a test of the navy’s preparedness, began last week at Spithead [in the Solent between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight]. No fewer than 493 warships of all classes will be fully manned until July 25, when the reservists will return to their shore occupations. This is the largest fleet that has ever gone to sea. Added interest is given by the fact that the King – who, of course, is himself a sailor – and the Prince of Wales, are present, and on Monday the King in person led his fleet out to sea…..

The composition of the mobilised fleet is as follows: – Eight battle squadrons of 35 ships. – One battle cruiser squadron of four ships. – Eight cruiser squadrons of 20 armoured and ten protected cruisers. – One light cruiser squadron of six ships. – One training squadron of seven large but old protected cruisers. – One mine-layer squadron of seven ships. – Thirteen torpedo flotillas of 187 destroyers and 83 torpedo boats. – Nine flotillas of 59 submarines.

In addition to the above there are various cruisers attached to the battle squadrons and to the destroyer flotillas, gunboats, repair ships, depot ships, etc., the whole bringing the total up to the unprecedented total of 493 fully-manned warships. Nearly 14,000 men of the Royal Fleet Reserve reported themselves at the naval depots at Portsmouth, Chatham, and Devonport. Every available officer and man is withdrawn from the educational establishments – the gunnery, torpedo, navigation, and signalling schools, and the War College – and almost the whole of our naval forces in home waters is fully manned and placed – nominally at all events – on a war footing…..

1914 August 5 Orkney Herald

In our last issue we published a telegram from Vienna, received shortly before we went to press, to the effect that Austria had declared war against Servia. Confirmation soon followed, and it was assumed that if the war went on Russia would intervene in support of Servia, in which event there was great danger of all the Great Powers being involved. Diplomacy has endeavoured to preserve peace and to limit the area of war. Sir Edward Grey invited the support of the independent Powers – Germany, France, and Italy – in this endeavour. France and Italy readily accepted, but Germany refused, recommending instead direct negotiations between Russia and Austria-Hungary. This recommendation, the sincerity of which was rather doubted, and the negotiations that followed it, failed; so did Sir Edward Grey’s direct appeal to the Powers; and to-day we stand on the brink of what, unless something stops the drama, will be the most awful tragedy in the history of the world…..



France, Russia, and Germany are now at war, as well as Austria and Servia. France has been invaded at three points by German forces. Russia has crossed the German borders at two places and some firing has taken place.

A report was circulating in London on Sunday evening that there had been an engagement between two fleets in the North Sea about 70 miles off. The supposition was that the British Navy had encountered the German Fleet, which was reported on Saturday to be off the coast of Norway, but the report was without foundation.

In the event of a war there is in Britain a supply of wheat which will last four months. The supply of meat is sufficient for a month.

A curious feature of Germany’s war with France is that the latter Government received an ultimatum. On Saturday the period of its expiry was reported to have extended to noon on Monday. Nevertheless, French territory was violated.

The King, in view of the financial crisis, has proclaimed a partial moratorium.

The Bank of England raised its official rate of discount to 10 per cent., the highest since 1866. This advance appears to have checked the gold efflux to the Continent.

It is stated in some quarters that the Bank Act will be suspended in the immediate future.

The National Penny Bank suspended payment on Saturday owing to inability to realise securities.

Two British vessels – one a liner and the other a cargo steamer – have been seized by the Germans.




It is officially announced this (Wednesday) morning that Germany has declared war against Britain, and that the British Ambassador at Berlin has been handed his passports.


CALLING UP THE NAVAL RESERVE. – On Sunday a proclamation was issued calling up the Naval Reserve men. At Kirkwall the Custom House was busy sending out notices to the men, and in the afternoon a considerable number of the men reported themselves, a good many being hands on board fishing boats and drifters which were in the harbour at the time. On one drifter only two hands were left. From another, it is said, all the hands were taken except one young lad, and he, refusing to be left behind, joined the Reserve. Some others also enlisted. These men were sent off on Monday morning for Portsmouth, receiving hearty cheers when they drove away from the Custom House for Scapa. During Monday a number of Reserve men arrived from Burray, where nearly all the young fishermen are members of the Reserve. Others came in from different parts of the county during the day; and in the afternoon the Orcadia brought a large number from Stronsay, where a number of drifters and fishing boats were lying. They had a magnificent send-off from Stronsay. The pier was crowded with onlookers, who climbed on the roofs of the sheds and occupied every point from which the departing steamer could be seen. The Orcadia moved off amid loud cheers and the blowing of the whistles of nearly two hundred drifters. At Kirkwall the Customs officials were kept busy during the day, and on Tuesday morning the men who had reported themselves on Monday left amid cheers for Scapa. Orkney is in the Portsmouth division, and most of the men were sent to Portsmouth.


ROUSAY – PRESENTATION TO TEACHER. – On Wednesday the 15th July a deputation of young men waited on Miss [Lydia] Baikie, teacher, Sourin, and presented her with an Orkney chair and a carving set as a token of their esteem. Mr Grieve, in a few appropriate words, made the presentation, and Miss Baikie suitably replied. The company was afterwards entertained to tea in the Schoolhouse, and spent a very pleasant evening.

1914 August 12 Orkney Herald


An addition of 100,000 men to His Majesty’s Regular Army is immediately necessary in the present grave National Emergency. Lord Kitchener is confident that this appeal will be at once responded to by all those who have the safety of our Empire at heart.

General Service for a period of 3 years or until the war is concluded.
Age of Enlistment between 19 and 30.

Full information can be obtained at any Post Office in the Kingdom
or at any Military Depot.



MOBILISATION OF ORKNEY TERRITORIALS. – It is now permissible to put on record one or two matters in connection with precautionary measures taken locally. War was declared by Austria against Servia on Tuesday the 28th July. On the evening of the following day orders were received at Kirkwall for the special service sections of the Orkney Territorial Artillery to proceed to certain stations. They were at once called out, and the men assembled with the greatest alacrity and enthusiasm at their halls. A volunteer readily came forward to take the place of one man who was on the sick list. By eight o’clock next morning all the sections were at their appointed stations. On Sunday morning, the 2nd inst., orders were received to embody the remainder of the corps. In some cases the intimation to assemble was made from church pulpits. The Kirkwall companies and some sections from other companies assembled at Kirkwall that day, and two detachments left for their stations, but were recalled until the following day. On Monday and Tuesday the remainder of the officers and men reached Kirkwall; and when the order for mobilisation came the Orkney Territorials were practically ready, and were probably the first unit in the Kingdom to complete their mobilisation.

1914 August 19 Orkney Herald

ORKNEY AND THE WAR. – Heavy firing was heard off the Orkneys on several days last week, and there were reports of damaged ships being seen. No vessel of the kind was brought into any Orkney harbour, nor is any reported to have been brought into any port further south. A number of German trawlers were again seized and sunk, and their crews landed at East Coast ports, about 120 being landed at Fort George alone on Thursday.

The Emergency Hospital is now fully equipped and organised. Liberal donations in money and material have been received. One small island sent £10. The Red Cross flag is now flying over the Burgh School.

To the National Relief Fund the people of Orkney appear to be subscribing very handsomely. From one of the North Isles £50 has already been forwarded.

1914 September 9 Orkney Herald

RETIREMENT OF THE REV. A. IRVINE PIRIE FROM ROUSAY, AND PRESENTATION. – The United Free Church Congregation of Rousay gathered in full strength on Sunday night to say farewell to their revered minister who is now retiring from the active duties of the ministry. Trumland Church was filled to overflowing from all the districts of Rousay, Egilshay, and Veira. Mr Pirie conducted the service, and selected for his text the words, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the Communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all.” At the close of an impressive service, Mr John Inkster, one of the elders, was appointed chairman. Mr Inkster explained the purpose of the meeting, and then called upon Mr John Logie, Congregational Treasurer.

Mr Logie thereupon addressed Mr Pirie as follows: –

“Mr Pirie, on behalf of the United Free Church congregation of Rousay, a duty falls to me to fulfil – a very pleasant duty in so far as it is a recognition of faithful service, but a duty which is touched with sorrow owing to the fact that that service is drawing to a close. We meet here to-day on the eve of your retirement from the active ministry of this church, and the congregation desires to express to you in some tangible form their high esteem of the long service you have rendered and at the same time to record their deep regret that advancing years have rendered it necessary to seek retirement from such active work. Your ministry in the island extends over the long period of 31 years, and looking back over these happy years, many events and experiences rise before the mind in which you have taken a prominent part. If we think first of the public life of the community, we recognise how you have identified yourself with every movement for the good of the people. As Chairman of the School Board for over 20 years, as one of the promoters and supporters of our Medical Association, and as an active helper in kindred movements, you have borne a worthy share of the public responsibilities of your time. Your counsel and support in these matters will be greatly missed. But we are concerned to-day more particularly with your work as our minister and much as your labours in material things are valued, we naturally value more highly still the services you have rendered for the spiritual good of our island. Your chief concern has been to maintain and strengthen the cause of religion, and your ministrations both in the pulpit and in the homes of your congregation have been marked by spiritual emotions and zeal. During your ministry there have been many changes in the island and in the congregation. In the U. P. Church, before the union with the Free Church, you will call to mind many familiar faces which have disappeared. Your first session has nearly wholly been replaced by new men. The same may be said of the congregation to-day. Since you came to us the Hymnal has been introduced, and an organ which has greatly improved the attractiveness of our service. A new epoch has also been created by the union of the United Presbyterian and Free Church Congregations in Rousay. You have filled the pulpit as the minister of the united congregation. During the delicate and intricate work of the union your wise counsel was a great help in carrying out the union to a successful issue, and the united church has thriven under your ministry. Notwithstanding the fact that the population of our parish has, since you came to us, fallen 5.12ths yet the membership of the congregation has been well maintained. The church property has been much improved, and it is largely due to your efforts that the present efficient organisation of the congregation obtains. We also recognise and emphasize as an outstanding characteristic of your labours an evident spirit making for peace and harmony. During these many years no jarring note has entered into the relations of pastor and people, which is largely due to the wisdom, tact, and gracious forbearance which you always displayed. In all your labours for the good of the people you have been faithfully helped by your devoted and esteemed partner in life, who has graciously presided over your home, and sympathetically entered into every effort of your ministry. We have seen your family growing up amongst us, and have watched with pride their school and college career. They will always be remembered amongst us by their Christian names: it is a joy to us, as it must be to yourself to-day, to see them now settled in their various callings. It is a regret to us all that these many rich associations are about to be interrupted by your removal from our midst. We follow you and Mrs Pirie into your retirement with every good wish, and our prayers are that rest may bring you a measure of renewed strength, and that you may be spared to enjoy many happy years together yet. If you or any of your family are able to return to visit our island home you may be sure that a hearty welcome will always be extended to you. I have now, on behalf of the congregation, to present you with this purse of sovereigns as a mark of our great esteem for you and yours. We wish you to purchase from this purse two easy chairs for yourself and Mrs Pirie, and hope that they will minister to your comfort in the coming years. I also ask you to accept this address along with this purse.”

Mr Logie then presented Mr Pirie with a handsome address from the office-bearers and congregation, and a purse of money.

Mr Pirie feelingly replied. He did not know how to find words to express his feelings. Mr Logie’s all too-flattering words, and these kind and valuable gifts made speech difficult. He thanked them for their great kindness to himself and his family. He referred to the many changes that had taken place in their congregational life during his ministry. His life in Rousay had been rendered very happy because of the great continued kindness of all the people. He felt he had failed in many ways, and he had not reached his ideals; but if he had his ministry to begin again he would be delighted to spend another thirty one years amongst them. He said he wished specially to thank the section of the congregation which was formerly Free Church for their loyalty to the Church and kindness to himself and family. He hoped the congregation would soon be in a position to call a junior colleague, and that days of spiritual blessing and prosperity awaited them in the future. If his health continued fairly good he hoped to return to see them in Rousay, and so he was not to bid them a final farewell. He thanked them on behalf of his family as well as for himself for that beautiful address and valuable present.

1914 September 30 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY – SMALL HOLDINGS COMPETITION. – The awards of the judges in the competition held under the scheme of the Board of Agriculture for Scotland for the best managed crofts in the Rousay Show area, have now come to hand, and the following are the prize-winners: – Class II. – Crofts under 15 acres – 1st prize (£3), Charles B. Logie, No. 1, Brinian [Breek]; 2nd prizes (£2 each), Samuel Inkster, No. 4, Brinian [Cott], and Craigie Marwick, Braes, Sourin; 3rd prizes (£1 each), John Harrold, Springfield, Sourin, and William Grieve, Upper Knarston, Sourin. Class III. – Over 15 acres – 1st prize (£4), David Gibson, Hullion. Frotoft; 3rd prize (£2), Robert Inkster, Cogar, Wasbister. Under the rule that the competitor must reside on the holding, one had to be disqualified. The judge was Mr A. Kemp. B.Sc. (Agri.), North of Scotland College of Agriculture.

1914 October 28 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – The Harvest Thanksgiving was celebrated in Rousay Parish Church on Sunday, 25th inst , when the Rev. Alex. Spark preached an appropriate sermon from St Matt. xiii. 39 – “The harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.” A special collection was made for the Belgian Relief Fund, which amounted to ten shillings. It was forwarded to the secretary.

1914 November 4 Orkney Herald

Your King and Country
need another
100,000 Men.

In the present grave national emergency another 100,000 men are needed
at once to rally round the Flag and add to the ranks of our New Armies.

Terms of Service
(Extension of Age Limit.)

Age on enlistment 19 to 38. Ex-Soldiers up to 45. Minimum height 5 ft. 4 ins. except
for ex-soldiers and those units for which special standards are authorised.
Must be medically fit. General Service for the War.

Men enlisting for the duration of the War will be able to claim their discharge,
with all convenient speed, at the conclusion of the War.

Pay at Army Rates

Married men or Widowers with Children will be accepted, and if at the time of
enlistment they sign the necessary form, Separation Allowance under Army
conditions will be issued at once to the wife or other dependents.

How to Join.

Men wishing to join should apply in person at any Military Barrack
or at any Recruiting Office. The address of the latter can be
obtained from Post Offices or Labour Exchanges.

God Save the King.



Sons of the Isles, awake!
Throw off your sloth and take
Your place beside your brothers in the battle.
This is no time to bide –
Your country’s call denied –
Skulking at home amid your soul-less cattle.
This earth on which you tread,
This soil that gives you bread
Lies bare to Heaven to-day; but deep thereunder
The ashes of your sires,
With unforgotten fires,
Stir to the trumpet’s call, the battle’s thunder.
Your souls to Heaven lie bare;
Is there no quickening there?
Has the old Viking valour sunk and dwindled!
Have loyalty and pride
And love of freedom died
Leaving no spark that yet may be rekindled?
Sons of the men who spread
Through all the seas the dread,
The wonder of their fierce, wide-flighted ravens,
Will you besmirch with shame
The glory of their name,
Standing before the world, shirkers and cravens?
What! – will you idly stand
When this, our native land
Sees her fierce foemen pressing hard upon her?
Will you for ease or gold
The aid she asks with-hold
And live the long years darkened by dishonour?
Her sons go forth to fight
For God and for the right:
To die if need be in their high endeavour.
Ah! happiest they of all
Who thus in fighting fall,
And – dying, win a deathless name for ever.
Sons of the Isles, to arms!
Leave now your fields and farms,
Answer the call: “Your King and Country need you.”
Now in your strength and youth
For Freedom and for Truth
Fare forth, – and may the God of Battles speed you!

2nd November 1914.


1914 November 25 Orkney Herald

The young men of Orkney are to be congratulated on the manner in which they are now responding to their country’s call. During the past week or ten days they have come forward in satisfactory numbers, not only for the local Territorial Artillery (which still requires some men to reach its establishment), but for the new Army (mostly the Seaforth Highlanders), and the Navy. The meetings which are presently being held throughout the county, and the other steps that are being taken to secure recruits, are thus proving successful in bringing home to the young men the responsibility that rests on them in this crisis. More men are wanted, and still more men will be needed before the war is brought to a satisfactory end. None of us supposes for a moment that Germany can win. If she did, our free and liberal institutions and system of government would be worthless. We must therefore each do our part and ask others to do theirs to bring this war to such an end that the nightmare of militarism will be lifted from Europe, treaties respected, the independence of the smaller nations secured, and the rights and liberties of the peoples safeguarded.



CALL TO ROUSAY CONGREGATION. – The first business [of the meeting held last Wednesday] was the call by the congregation of Rousay to Mr James Alexander Matheson, M.A. Mr MacLaren, who is moderator in the vacancy, said the call was perfectly harmonious and unanimous. There was a very good meeting of congregation considering the weather, and all present signed. The call was now signed by nine elders, five deacons, and between 150 and 160 members. Commissioners were appended to support the call before the Presbytery. Mr Logie would also have been present but for a previous engagement. Mr George Gibson, for the session, said the call was very unanimous. There were a number of old people in scattered districts who were unable to attend the meeting, but many of them had signed mandates in favour of Mr Matheson. He hoped the settlement would be proceeded with as soon as possible. There was not the slightest doubt Mr Matheson would receive a hearty welcome from the congregation. Mr Sinclair, the representative of the Deacon’s Court, was unable to be present. Mr David Gibson, for the congregation, said there was not a dissenting voice at the meeting. Mr Anderson, in moving that the call be sustained, said it was very gratifying to hear so satisfactory a report from Rousay. The congregation was to be congratulated on the perfect harmony that prevailed. Mr Cheyne, in seconding, said it was a matter of great satisfaction to the Presbytery that during the last few weeks three vacancies had been filled up, and in each case with complete unanimity. The motion was agreed to, and it was intimated that Mr Matheson had written that he would accept the call if it was placed in his hands.

1914 December 2 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – COMFORTS FOR THE FLEET. – Mrs Hadley, who for several seasons has resided at Westness House, made an appeal to the ladies of Rousay to do some knitting for the navy, offering to supply all the wool required. The appeal was heartily responded to and the following young ladies were appointed for the several districts, to distribute the wool and to collect the knitted articles – Frotoft district, Miss [Isabella] Craigie, Post Office; Brinian, Miss Cecilia Logie; Sourin, Miss [Jessie] Marwick, Scockness; Wasbister, Miss [Maggie Jessie] Inkster, Cogar. According to instructions from Mrs Hadley, Miss Craigie has now forwarded to the Fleet the first consignment of knitted articles, which consisted of 52 pairs of socks, 13 mufflers, and 11 pairs of mittens. We may mention that several of the knitters supplied their own wool. One Rousay gentleman who had never done any knitting before, learned to knit, and sent a beautiful muffler done by himself. Here is a tip for others to follow in their spare time during the long winter evenings.

1914 December 9 Orkney Herald

RESTRICTIONS ON LIGHTING IN ORKNEY. – By authority of the Admiral Commanding the Orkneys and Shetland, the following restrictions on the use of lights throughout the County of Orkney, exclusive of the Burghs of Kirkwall and Stromness, have been made under the Defence of the Realm Regulations 1914: – No lights are to be visible from the outside of any building after dark. If curtains and blinds do not fulfil these conditions, shutters are to be placed. Any working of a window-blind or shutter, or any means whereby a light is shewn intermittently, is strictly prohibited. No unscreened lantern, torch, or any form of light is to be carried by any person after dark. Should it be necessary to use any light to visit any barns, outbuildings, or farm stock, such light is to be carefully screened. Youths and children are especially warned against displaying electric torches. No persons are to loiter about near the sea coast, or near the telegraph wires after dark. No boats are to move about in the harbours, bays, or creeks after dark. They are liable to be fired upon if they do so.

THE AMERICAN SANTA CLAUS SHIP. – As our readers are aware the children of the United States have sent a cargo of Christmas presents to children of the belligerent nations in Europe. These gifts are intended primarily for children made orphans by the war, but it would seem probable that the response to the American newspapers who initiated the scheme has been so generous that there will also be gifts for all Belgian children in this country, and for the children of many non-commissioned officers and men at the front, and of sailors on active service. The age limit has been taken at 16 for girls and 14 for boys. As will be seen from an advertisement in another column, Mr D. J. Robertson, solicitor, Kirkwall, is asking information as to those in Orkney who are eligible to receive these gifts.

ROUSAY – COMFORTS FOR THE NAVY – A CORRECTION. – Last week, in reporting the knitting being done for the Navy on Mrs Hadley’s behalf, we reported Miss Craigie as having handed in her first instalment of 52 pairs of socks, 13 mufflers, and 11 pairs of mittens. The actual amount handed in by Miss Craigie was as follows: – 52 pairs of socks, 17 mufflers, and 13 pairs of mitts.

CHRISTMAS DINNER FOR THE SOLDIERS AT THE FRONT. – Mr James Christie, game and poultry merchant, Glasgow, is endeavouring to send a supply of poultry for a Christmas dinner for the soldiers in the fighting line. Mr Christie, who is one of the largest poultry farmers in Scotland, is heading himself the list with a donation of 50 turkeys. He aims at handing over to the War Office on 18th December 50,000 head of poultry, which will provide a Christmas dinner for 200,000 soldiers. The merchants in Rousay have taken up the matter on his behalf, and are making a collection of poultry from their customers. We are pleased to state that a hearty response is being given to the appeals. Next week we hope to publish the exact numbers of poultry forwarded from Rousay and Veira.

WAR COMMITTEE. – A meeting of the War Committee was held at Trumbland House on Monday, 30th ult., at 12 noon, Mr Logie, Convener of the Committee, presiding. In reviewing the whole matter of recruiting, it was found that quite a number of young men from Rousay and Veira were already serving either with the regulars or Territorials, and at present there were very few available men as recruits without seriously affecting the farming community. The Committee then drew up a list of all the men between the ages of 18 and 38, single and married. The list has been forwarded to Sheriff Mercer, and in the case of the married men the number in their families and their circumstances are given in an explanatory note accompanying the list. In the unavoidable absence of Mr Hendrie, the Committee was unable to send a list from Egilshay. However, a similar list will be forwarded at some early date.

1914 December 16 Orkney Herald

ORDINATION OF THE REV. JAMES A. MATHESON, M.A. – The ordination and induction of the Rev. James A. Matheson, M.A., as colleague and successor to the Rev. Alex. Irvine Pirie took place last Wednesday. The Orkney U. F. Presbytery and Rousay congregation met at noon in the Ritchie Church, where there was a remarkably large attendance considering the very stormy weather. The following members of Presbytery were present: – The Rev. Messrs Cheyne, MacLaren, Muirhead, Steen, MacLeod (ministers), and Mr John Logie (elder). After an inspiring sermon by Mr Cheyne, St Andrews, the Rev. Mr MacLaren, moderator of vacancy, explained the steps leading to the election of Mr Matheson. Thereafter the ordination and induction was proceeded with by the Rev. Mr Muirhead, of Stromness. The Rev. Mr MacLeod, of Orphir, suitably addressed minister and congregation. At the close the congregation very heartily welcomed their new pastor, and a brief meeting of session was convened for the same purpose.

The Presbytery were afterwards entertained to dinner at the manse. In addition to the members of Presbytery, there were also present Mr George Gibson, Avelshay, session clerk; Mr John Inkster, Housebay; and Mr Alexander Grieve, Nethermill (elders).

In the evening a very enjoyable social meeting was held, a feature of the entertainment being the excellent music rendered by a special choir which Mr William Grieve, precentor, conducted. Solos, &c., were contributed by Miss Craigie and Miss Grieve, Mrs Grieve and Miss Reid, Miss Grieve and Miss Craigie, Miss Taylor, Miss Gibson. The Rev. D. MacLaren and Mr Wm. Grieve added greatly to the pleasure of all present, and the several songs, by quartettes and double quartettes, were much appreciated. The first part of the meeting was presided over by the Rev. D. A. MacLaren, who delivered a thoroughly appreciated address to the assemblage. Speeches by Mr Alex. Grieve and Mr John Inkster, members of session, contributed greatly to the entertainment.

Towards the close of this part of the meeting, Mr John Logie, Trumland, with choice and kind remarks, welcomed Mr Matheson as their minister, and on behalf of the congregation presented him with a handsome timepiece as a token of respect and best wishes, and expressed the hope that he would be long spared to carry on the pastoral work of the congregation which he had begun that day. Mr Matheson expressed his sincere gratitude to the congregation for their gift, and indicated his sense of responsibility in undertaking the work of the congregation.

During an interval, cake, fruit, &c., were liberally served to the company.

Mr Matheson afterwards took the chair, and before announcing the second part of the programme, read a kind letter from the senior colleague, the Rev. A. Irvine Pirie, who regretted his inability to be present, and wished them all success. An excellent speech by the Rev. A. Spark of the Established Church was listened to with keen delight, if we may judge from the frequent laughter and applause.

After a rendering by the choir, Mr Logie, Trumland, again rose on behalf of the congregation to thank the Rev. Mr MacLaren for the valuable services he had rendered the congregation as moderator of session during the last three months, and presented him with a fine telescope. Mr Logie said: –

“A few months ago I was asked by the congregation to make a presentation to our senior minister. Then, that pleasant duty was marred by a sense of sorrow, seeing that his long and faithful work amongst us was drawing to a close. To-night there is no feeling of that kind; on the contrary, we are here to welcome our new minister. To-day we have created a new epoch in the history of the congregation – this is our first call since the union of Trumland and Ritchie congregations, and I am glad to say it has been hearty and unanimous. When, you, Mr MacLaren, were appointed moderator of session we had every confidence that you would carry through the work appointed to you. We recognise that owing to the war matters were rendered more difficult in keeping up regular pulpit supply. Yet, notwithstanding, you were able to bring men forward in time. You responded heartily to every wish of the congregation, and guided us by your knowledge of church matters to the present successful consummation of the work entrusted to you. I now ask you, in the name of the congregation, to accept this telescope as a token of our respect and appreciation of the valuable services you have rendered the congregation as Moderator of Session. We esteem these services very highly, and feel indebted to you for all the trouble you have taken in connection with this important work.”

Mr MacLaren thanked the congregation for their very kind gift, and said he would remember the important occasion and the pleasant work he had had in connection with the gift, and would keep it in memory of this evening. He already had in his house a telescope, a very valuable one, not on account of its usefulness, but of its antiquity. It belonged to the pirate Gow, who was captured by James Fea at Carrick, Eday, 17th Feb. 1725, and through Mr Fea had come into his wife’s family. With this telescope he would now be able to keep an eye on Rousay.

After votes of thanks to all those who had contributed in any way to the evening’s entertainment, the meeting was brought to a close by the singing of the National Anthem.


ROUSAY – The following is a list of the poultry collected in Rousay, to be sent for Christmas dinners to our soldiers at the front: – Miss Cooper, Hanover, 1 hen; Mr P. Lyon. Ervadale, 1 goose; Mr Munro, Classiquoy, 1 hen; Mr Munro, Old School, 1 ditto; Mr Craigie, Swandale, 1 do.; Mr Grieve, Falldown, 1 do.; Mr Linklater, Curquoy, 1 do.; Mr Costie, Kingerley, 2 do.; Mr Inkster, Woo, 2 do.; Mr Grieve, Upper Knarston, 1 do.; Mr Marwick, Braes, 2 do.; Mr Corsie, Faro, 1 do.; Mr Logie, Myres, 2 ducks; Mr Gibson, Broland, 2 ducks and 1 hen; Miss Marwick, Scockness, 2 hens; Mrs Scott Lopness, 1 do.; Mrs Seatter, Banks, 2 do.; Mrs Craigie, Breck, 1 do; Mrs Gibson, Faraclett, 1 goose; Mr Jas. Gibson, Pow, 2 hens; Mr P. Mainland, Gorehouse, 1 duck; Miss Leonard, Quoys, 1 hen; Mrs Gibson, Bigland, 2 hens; Mrs Sabiston, Gripps, 1 duck; Mrs Craigie, Triblo, 2 hens; Mrs Gibson, Oldman, 2 do.; Mrs McKay, Cruseday, 1 do.; Mrs Moar, Saviskaill, 1 do.; Mrs Harrold, Springfield, 1 do. – Collected by Mr Thos. Work, Manager, Co-operative Society, Rousay. Mrs Craigie, Deithe, 1 fowl; Mrs Marwick, Grain, 1 do.; Mrs Louttit, Westside, 1 do.; Mrs Mainland, Westness, 2 do.; Mr Craigie, Corse, 2 do.; Mrs Robertson, Banks, 2 do.; Mrs Craigie, Veira Lodge, 2 do.; Mrs Sinclair, Newhouse, 2 do.; Mrs Gibson, Hullion, 2 do.; Miss Craigie, Post Office, 1 do.; Mrs Craigie, No. 3, Frotoft, 1 do.; Mrs Gibson, Avelshay, 2 do.; Mrs Reid, Wasdale, 1 do.; Mrs Shearer, Eastcray, 1 do.; Mrs Inkster, Furse, 2 do. – Collected by D. Gibson, merchant, Rousay.

1914 December 23 Orkney Herald



William Glen

Robert Costie.

James Irvine

Dr George Pirie

William Cooper – George Inkster

Archibald Glen – David W. Munro

Robert Inkster

George Sinclair – James Craigie – Magnus Craigie – Frederick Craigie
James Clouston – Peter Louttit – James Flaws – George Mainland

David Marwick

2.67 per cent. of population.


ROUSAY – COMFORTS FOR H.M. NAVY. – A second consignment of knitted garments has been sent by Miss Craigie to the Navy. The Frotoft list up to date consists of 44 pairs of socks, 13 mufflers, 8 pairs of cuffs and mittens. Brinian list (collected by Miss C. Logie) – 27 pairs of socks, 13 mufflers, 9 pairs of mittens. Miss Inkster has sent in the first consignment from Wasbister, consisting of 24 pairs of socks, 7 mufflers, 10 pairs of mittens. Miss Craigie received a letter of thanks for the first consignment of goods, which is appended: – “H.M.S. Cyclops, Nov. 27, 1914. – Dear Madam, – The parcel of knitted garments reached me to-day, and, on behalf of the men in the Fleet, I beg to tender my sincere thanks to you all who have contributed. – Yours truly, P. T. SUTCLIFFE.”

EGILSHAY. – In response to a request by Mrs Wason, a quantity of knitted goods, &c., was sent last week. Material and work were the people’s own – the little girl at school, and an aged widow, nearly 86, and now blind for some time, contributing; also, the young men appointed several of their number to collect subscriptions for a Christmas gift, which amounted to £4 17s 6d.



No merry Christmas time,
Nor joyous, glad New Year,
But holocaust of War,
‘Mongst nations far and near.
The angels’ song of Peace
Seems like a distant cry;
Goodwill is hid by hate,
And war clouds hide the sky.
But hope still holds its sway,
Peace yet shall lift her voice;
Justice shall yet prevail,
Peace be the people’s choice.
Right – not Might – our banner,
Truth blazoned on its shield,
Be bravely held aloft
On sea and battlefield.


1914 December 30 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – COMFORTS FOR THE FLEET. – Miss Marwick, Scockness, has sent in from Sourin a first consignment of knitted garments for the Fleet, consisting of: – 35 pairs of socks (also 3 pairs not yet received), 10 mufflers, 16 pairs of mittens, and 3 jerseys.

GIFTS FOR THE TROOPS. – With the assistance of a handsome donation from the island of Egilshay, Mrs Cathcart Wason has been enabled to send to our soldiers at the front 10,000 cigarettes and a quantity of chocolate.

In Print

Newsprint – 1913

1913 January 15 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – ENTERTAINMENT TO SCHOOL CHILDREN. – This Christmas Miss [Sarah] Craigie, Frotoft School, again entertained her scholars, along with their parents and friends, to their usual Christmas treat. The school was beautifully decorated for the occasion. After tea, which was served by a willing band of helpers, Mr [John] Mainland, Westness, was called to the chair. The scholars then went through a varied programme of songs, recitations, dialogues, &c. which was greatly enjoyed by everyone present. The whole thing was beautifully done – even the tiniest tot doing its little part without a hitch – reflecting the greatest credit both on teacher and scholars for the trouble they had taken in getting up the several items. At the end of the programme Messrs R. Sinclair and Alex. Craigie did a very amusing dialogue, which kept the audience in fits of laughter. The scholars now had a surprise in store for their teacher, when they presented her with a beautiful oak biscuit barrel as a Christmas present. Miss Craigie, in a few well chosen words, thanked the children for their kindness. A vote of thanks was then awarded Miss Craigie, also Mr Mainland for the happy way in which he had discharged the duties of chairman. The school was then cleared, and the scholars and older ones joined in a short dance, the scholars joining in with great glee. This brought to a close one of the most enjoyable nights which has been spent in Frotoft School for a long time.

MISS MACKERROW is again with us, and is to conduct classes in the various schools in cookery, laundry work, &c. Her first meeting was in Frotoft School on Monday night, which was well attended.

1913 January 22 Orkney Herald

ORKNEY CENTENARIANS. – During the sixties of last century Sir George Cornewall Lewis and William John Thoms (the founder of ‘Notes and Queries’) carried on an active campaign against Centenarianism. They contended that nobody lived for a hundred years, and in support of this contention they sifted the evidence in a great number of cases. For instance, they took up the case of Henry Jenkins, who was said to have lived to the age of 169: they found that the claim rested on Jenkins’ own unsupported word; the case of Thomas Parr (“Old Parr,”) who was said to have lived to the age of 152: the only evidence was some unreliable dates in his life by the poet Taylor and the hearsay story in the post-mortem report by Harvey; the case of a Countess of Desmond, who was said to have lived to the age of 140: this was really the aggregate of the ages of two, if not three, successive countesses. They also pointed out that nearly all reputed centenarians belonged to classes that were careless about family records and registration; that there were no centenarians among the nobility, to whom the accurate recording of births, marriages, and deaths was of great importance because of their bearing on succession to estates and titles; and that no case of centenarianism was found in the books of the life assurance companies. Their inquiries into modern cases, however forced them to admit that some people do live for a century, but that these are very few, and that many so-called centenarians are not centenarians. Of late years the number of centenarians, in this country at any rate, has probably increased, for the average longevity of people is greater. The evidence, too, is more satisfactory, for during the last century church records have been more carefully and accurately kept and compulsory registration has been introduced. Taking the average of a few years, out of every fifty thousand deaths in the United Kingdom. about one is of a centenarian. As the total number of deaths in Orkney in a century is only about fifty thousand, the number of Orkney centenarians must necessarily be few. There were, however, during last century three well-authenticated cases – (1) John Kirkness, who died at Rousay in October 1862, aged 102; (2) Elizabeth Broch, widow of Alexander Fairweather, Sanday, who died at Kirkwall on January 8, 1865, aged 100 years and 6 months; and (3) Robert Yorston, who died at Kirkwall, July 8, 1888, aged 101 years. The case may also be mentioned of a tinker, who was in Kirkwall in the summer of 1860, and was said to be then 106 years of age. But this was a case in which no evidence of age was obtainable. The tinkers are wanderers – more so then than now – and where they are born and where they die, do not bother them much. All that can be said is that this tinker had reached a very great age. The accounts of the Orkney parishes in the Old and New Statistical Accounts of Scotland do not mention any centenarians. Several of the writers, the parish ministers of those times, speak of the people attaining a ripe old age, but the oldest any of them mentions is 95. Going farther back, the following passage will be found in the ”Description of the Isles of Orkney,” by the Rev. James Wallace, minister of Kirkwall, published in 1693: –

“By reason of the Temperance of their Dyet, and the Wholesomeness of the Air, the People usually Live to a good Age. A Man in the Parish of Holm died not many years since, who had Lived upwards of fourscore years with his Wife in a Married estate. There is also a Gentleman yet living in Stronsa, who was begotten of his Father when he was a hundred years of age, and did live till he saw this same man’s children.”

This, however, was written by a credulous author in a credulous age.

[Wait a minute! What about Rousay centenarian George Reid, who died in 1859 at the age of 104…..or thereabouts!]

1913 February 12 Orkney Herald

AN ORCADIAN FATALLY INJURED IN EDINBURGH. – A porter named Charles Marwick (46), who resided at 32 Elm Row, Edinburgh, died in the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, on Tuesday last week as a result of injuries received the previous day, when he was knocked over in George Street by a motor taxi-cab. Deceased was wheeling a barrow along the street when the accident occurred. He was taken to the Infirmary in the taxi-cab, having been severely injured about the head. Deceased, who was a native of Rousay, had been resident for about eighteen years in Edinburgh. He was married, and leaves a widow and four of a family to mourn his loss, with whom much sympathy is felt by Orcadians and others in Edinburgh, where he was well known and highly respected.

[Charles was the fifth oldest of eight children born to James Marwick, Midgarth, Sourin, and Elizabeth Allan, Greentoft, Eday. In 1889 he married 19-year-old Williamina Sinclair at Cross & Burness, Sanday. They had three children, Jessie Isa, born in 1890; John Craigie, in 1894; and Davina Sinclair, who was born in 1898.]

1913 February 19 Orkney Herald

ORCADIAN ENTERTAINED IN CANADA. – On the occasion of his leaving for a holiday trip to the “old land,” Col. Sergeant. R. C. Inkster was entertained by his fellow sergeants of the 91st Highlanders, Hamilton [Ontario], in the sergeants’ mess on Saturday evening, January 18th. The Sergeant-Major, on behalf of the sergeants, wished Col. Sergt. Inkster a safe and enjoyable voyage, and a “spiffing time” amongst his kith and kin in the Orkney Islands, and to voice the sentiments of all present, and in token of their esteem for him, had much pleasure in presenting him with a travelling suit case, a cigar case, and a silver cup. Later on in the evening he was presented with a beautiful and appropriately designed and illuminated address. Mr Inkster, in a speech worthy of an M.P., replied, thanking his fellow sergeants for their remembrance, wishes, and kindness. A splendid oyster supper was afterwards served and a most enjoyable evening spent. Mr Tom Isbister, who accompanied Mr Inkster on his trip, was presented by his fellow members of “A” Company with a set of sleeve links with the crest of the 91st Highlanders engraved thereon. Mr Inkster is a native of Rousay, and Mr Isbister of Harray.

[Robert Craigie Inkster was the son of Hugh Inkster, Ervadale, Shetland, later Westness, and his second wife Mary Kirkness, Grain.]

DIAMOND WEDDING. – On Monday evening Mr and Mrs William Corsie, Albert Street, Kirkwall, celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of their marriage. Though they have attained the advanced ages of 82 and 79 years respectively, they are still wonderfully hale. Mr Corsie, son of Malcolm Corsie, London, Frotoft, Rousay, was married to Ann, daughter of Peter Leonard, Digro, Rousay, by the Rev. James Gardner, the parish minister of Rousay and Egilshay, at Digro, on 16th February 1853. They had a family of 8 sons and 5 daughters, of whom 11 are still living, two sons having died. Of grandchildren there have been 66, of whom 57 are still living; and of great-grandchildren of whom 23 are living. They have thus had no fewer than 102 descendants, of whom 86 survive. The aggregate ages of the oldest members of the four generations is 191 years, namely, Mr Corsie, 82; the eldest child, 59; eldest grandchild, 39; and eldest great-grandchild, 11. At the celebration of the diamond wedding on Monday, there were present 26 of the descendants. A large number of telegrams were received from absent members of the family and other friends. On behalf of the family, present and absent, Rev. W. P. Craig presented Mr and Mrs Corsie with a purse of sovereigns. In doing so, Mr Craig spoke of the pleasure it must give Mr and Mrs Corsie to see so many of their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren gathered round them, and to receive from them that token of their affection. Mr Malcolm Corsie and Mr James Corsie, the eldest surviving sons, spoke in cordial and affectionate terms of their parents. Mr Corsie fittingly replied. At the request of Mr and Mrs Corsie, Mr Craig presented a Bible with a suitable inscription to a grand-daughter who lives with them. The company then sat down to tea, Mr Craig presiding, and thereafter a very happy evening was spent in song and sentiment.

1913 February 26 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PLOUGHING MATCH. – Our Agricultural Society held their annual competition on Wednesday last in adjoining fields on the farms of Brendale and Woo, kindly granted for the work by their respective tenants, Messrs [John] Russell and [James] Inkster. The fields during the day were visited by a large number of people. Seventeen ploughs turned out for competition. The silver cup presented to the society by Mr John Logie, Trumland House, for the best ploughed rig on field, having now been won for the third time by Mr Thomas Gibson, Broland, becomes his own property. He has also finally won, for the third time, the silver medal for competition in the champion class, presented by Mr Shearer, coal merchant, Kirkwall. The judges were Messrs Thos. Foubister and John Work, Shapinsay, who awarded the prizes as follows: –

PLOUGHING – Champions – 1 with medal and cup, Thomas Gibson, Broland; 2 James Craigie, Falquoy; 3 Hugh Robertson, Scockness; 4 James W. Grieve, Faraclett; feering, Jas. Craigie; finish, Thos. Gibson. Ordinary – 1 and Highland Society’s medal, Alex. Craigie, Hullion; 2 Hugh Craigie, Swandale; 3 David Moar, Saviskaill; 4 John Gibson, Avelshay; 5 Robt. Seatter, Banks; 6 Robt. Sinclair, Sketquoy; 7 Hugh Marwick, Trumland; 8 James Linklater, Curquoy; 9 John Marwick, Trumland; 10 David Craigie, Langskaill; youngest ploughman, William Corsie, Knarston; feering, Alex. Craigie; finish, Hugh Craigie; best feering on field, James Craigie; best finish on field, Thos. Gibson; best ploughed rig on field, T. Gibson; straightest ploughing, T. Gibson.

HARNESS – 1 David Moar; 2 J. W. Grieve; 3 Hugh Robertson; 4 Hugh Marwick; 5 Hugh Craigie.

GROOMING – 1 Hugh Marwick; 2 Hugh Robertson; 3 John Corsie, Westness; 4 J. Gibson, 5 J. Marwick.

The ploughmen were liberally supplied with refreshments during the day and after their work was done. In the evening the judges and a number of friends were entertained to an excellent dinner by Mrs [Margaret] Inkster, Woo. Mr John Logie occupied the chair, and the duties of croupier were performed by Mr [George] Gibson, Avelshay. The usual loyal and patriotic toasts were given and responded to. The committee take this opportunity of thanking the donors of the special prizes and all those who subscribed to the funds of the association.

1913 April 9 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – THE LATE MR JOHN MARWICK. – We regret to record the death of Mr John Marwick, farmer, Midgarth, which took place on 30th March, after a short illness. Mr Marwick was born at Millhouse, Rousay, in the year 1827, and for a short while occupied the farm of Curquoy along with his father, but for upwards of 60 years the deceased occupied the farm of Midgarth. He leaves a widow, two married daughters, and a married son to mourn their loss. The interment took place to “The Chapel” burying ground on Thursday, the 3rd inst., the officiating clergymen being the Rev. Alex. Spark, Rev. A. I. Pirie, and the Rev. Mr Abel.

[John was born in 1827, the son of James Marwick and Christian Groundwater. In June 1872 he married 31-year-old May Yorston, daughter of Peter Yorston and Lydia Turnbull, Oldman. They had four children: May Mowat, who died at birth in 1873; Ann Robina Yorston, born in 1874; May Jemima, in 1875; and Alexander Allardice, who was born in 1878.]

STEAMER SERVICE. – On Saturday, the 5th inst., owing to the fog, the s.s. Fawn did not make the usual run between Rousay and Kirkwall in the morning, but, nothing deterred, one or two of the energetic ones crossed Eynhallow Sound by small boat, and reached Kirkwall overland in time to return by the Fawn in the afternoon.

ENTIRE HORSE. – A very fine stallion was brought to the island by Mr [Walter] Muir, [Breckan], on Saturday. He is a fine boned, shapely, well set-up horse, and should leave some very good stock behind him.

[A male horse or pony that is 4 years or older that has not been gelded (castrated) was known as “Entire”.]

1913 April 16 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – UNITED FREE CHURCH. – The communion was dispensed in Rousay United Free Church on Sunday. Mr Pirie was ably assisted by the Rev. D. McLaren, of Evie. A service was also conducted by Mr McLaren in Egilshay in the evening. On Friday a deputation from the Presbytery consisting of the Rev. D. MacLaren; the Rev. H. W. Haggie, of Sandwick; and Mr Walker of Pow, Sandwick, made the quinquennial visitation to the Rousay congregation. In the evening of that day the congregational guild held its closing social for the winter. The members of the deputation and the Rev. R. H. Abel were present, and during the evening gave instructive and amusing addresses. The Rev. Mr Pirie presided over a large audience. Mr James W. Grieve, the guild conductor of praise, with a well-trained choir, sang a number of hymns with precision and excellent skill. Solos from the Rev. Mr MacLaren and Mr W. Grieve, congregational conductor of praise, were also much appreciated. At the close votes of thanks were heartily given to all the contributors to the night’s entertainment, and also to Miss Cooper and the committee for providing an excellent tea.

ROUSAY, EGILSHAY, AND VEIRA CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY, LTD. – ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS. – A largely attended meeting of the shareholders in this society was held in the Sourin Public School on the evening of Thursday, 10th inst. Many of the shareholders’ wives and lady friends were also present. After a very substantial service of tea and cake, presided over by Mr Gibson and a willing and efficient stall of young ladies, the real business of the meeting began. The minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed. The secretary was then called upon, and read the annual audited return of the society’s accounts, the cash account, general accounts, trade of the year, profit and loss account, and balance sheet of funds and effects as at 31st Dec. 1912. These accounts were, in the circumstances, very satisfactory, the balance sheet and the profit and loss account showing an unappropriated balance of £76 4s 8d carried to next year. The president, Mr Logie, congratulated the share-holders on the present position of affairs, and the success of the society’s business since the last general meeting, seeing that it had also built during the past year a shop, store, and stable, and that another storeroom is in course of construction; and stated that the happy results were all brought about by the loyalty of members, and free labour on and in connection with the buildings. During the year 26,816½ dozen eggs, worth over £1300, have been sold, and goods to the value of £2283 18s 10d. On the motion of the Rev. Alex. Spark, the committee of management were re-elected. Mr Spark then shortly addressed the meeting on co-operation, pointing out how the movement had spread and taken hold all over the civilized world, its aims and objects, its value as a united force, and the benefits to be derived therefrom. A friendly discussion on matters of business followed; after which, votes of thanks to Mr Gibson and the young ladies for their willing service in connection with the tea, and to the president and secretary for services rendered to the society, brought a very pleasant and interesting meeting to a close.

ROUSAY HORSE BREEDING SOCIETY. – This society has secured as their premium stallion, “Master Dale,” the property of Mr George A. Ferguson, Surradale, Elgin. Foaled in 1910, “Master Dale” is a horse of fine size and substance, with head, eye, and ear that betoken good temper and fine disposition. His pedigree traces right through the best blood of the Clydesdale breed. His sire, “Allandale,” a noted prize-winner, is one of the best breeding stallions of the present day. He was got by “Sir Hugo,” also a noted prize-winner, and the sire of many fine animals, including the 1600-guinea stallion “Sir Rudolph” and the 800-guinea “Sir Dighton.” His sire again was the greatest of all sires, the famous “Sir Everard,” the sire of “Baron’s Pride.” “Jordan Shaw,” the grandsire of “Master Dale,” was a popular premium horse in his day. He was got by the famous “Top Gallant,” out of a mare by “Prince of Wales” (673).

1913 April 30 Orkney Herald

A SOLAR PHENOMENON. – On Thursday evening, about seven o’clock, the sun took on a remarkable appearance. For some time its face had been obscured by a bank of mist which stretched from the northern and western horizon midway to the zenith. From out this bank of mist an object appeared, blood-red in appearance, and angular in shape. People about Kirkwall Harbour at the time stared with astonishment at the phenomenon, and the first thought in everybody’s mind was that it was an airship on fire. Gradually the object took on a more definite shape, and for a few minutes the full face of the sun was seen hanging, between the broken mist-bank, to all appearance like a huge red ball of fire. People stopped in their walk and gazed at the strange sight and an old salt whispered that such an angry-looking sun boded no good, and that we might be on the look-out for a period of unsettled weather.

1913 May 21 Orkney Herald


of registering Members of the Reserve for the following: –
1. Officers and other ranks, under 42 years of age, who are willing
to sign an honourable obligation for *entice with a combatant unit
either at home or abroad. A medical examination has to be
passed before registration.
2. Officers and Sergeants, under the age of 55, and other ranks, under
the age of 50, who are willing to sign an honourable obligation for
service with a combatant unit for home de-fence, or for duty in a
fixed position, or for administrative work.
Present members of the Reserve are eligible to transfer to these classes.
Further particulars may be obtained from the Subscriber, with whom
applications should be lodged as early as possible.
T. F. FYFFE, Secretary, Orkney Territorial Force Association.
4 Broad Street, Kirkwall.

1913 May 28 Orkney Herald

FIRTH – A PROFITABLE HEN. – There is on a farm in the parish of Firth a hen, fifteen years old, which has hatched two broods of chickens every year since it was one year old, and has hatched one good brood this year. The hen laid well all last winter. The hen has been moved from parish to parish and from farm to farm several times, as its owner moved from place to place, but the changes did not in any way seem to injure its laying or breeding qualities.

1913 June 11 Orkney Herald

THE WEEK. – An incident that took place in the course of the race for the [Epsom] Derby last Wednesday, has had a fatal ending. After several of the horses had gone past her, a woman ran out on the course [at Tattenham Corner], and deliberately placed herself in front of the King’s horse [Anmer]. The jockey [Herbert Jones] tried to turn the horse aside, but was unable to do so sufficiently to avoid the woman, who was knocked down and seriously injured. The horse turned a somersault, and fell on the jockey, who was also injured. Both woman and rider were taken to hospital, where the woman died on Sunday; the jockey is recovering from his injuries. The woman was Miss [Emily Wilding] Davison, a well-known Suffragette, who had been several times imprisoned for militant acts. Her object was presumably to stop the race in order to call attention to the suffrage cause. There will be general sympathy with her friends on her death; but her death will be generally regarded as a case of suicide. No sane person would stand in front of a racehorse going at top speed unless he or she were inviting death. A few people speak of Miss Davison as a martyr. Martyrdom is not acquired through suicide, or through any unnecessary exposure to danger. Martyrdom is compassed by the acts of others not of oneself. Miss Davison’s act is not different from that of the person who commits suicide by lying down in front of a railway train. Militants have frequently declared that they regard life as sacred and that their war is against property only. In this case not only did Miss Davison sacrifice her own life, but she might have caused the death of the jockey. The incident, instead of helping the cause of women’s suffrage, is likely to retard it. It will increase the feeling of distrust which the doings of the militants have aroused.

1913 July 2 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PICNIC. – On Friday, the 27th June, through the kindness of Mrs [Jane] Spark, the Manse, the scholars of the different schools of the parish were hospitably entertained to a picnic and sports in the manse grounds. The weather was dull and showery, but it cleared up in the evening. There was a large turnout – about two hundred being present. An interesting item in the programme was the May festival and maypole dance given by the scholars, the principal parts being taken by the pupils of Miss [Sarah] Craigie, of Frotoft School. Miss Jeanie Harrold, resplendent with crown, sceptre, and garland of roses, made an ideal queen, while Miss Peggy Sutherland, Miss Mary Mainland, and Master James Craigie sang with great sweetness. The maypole dance was exceedingly pretty. The whole reflected great credit on Miss Craigie’s ability as a teacher. The sports were engaged in with great zest, and included running races, wheel-barrow race, thread-the-needle race, egg-and-spoon race, Aunt Sally, Euclid competition, and tail the donkey. Prizes given by Mrs Spark were afterwards presented to the successful competitors by the Rev. A. Irvine Pirie, Trumland Manse, and a hearty vote of thanks to the Rev. Alex. Spark and Mrs Spark brought a most enjoyable entertainment to a close. Mr John Logie, Trumland House, made a most efficient master of ceremonies. In the evening the young people adjourned to the barn, where they tripped the light fantastic toe until the early hours of the morning.

1913 July 9 Orkney Herald

THE NEW PRESIDENT OF THE FIRE BRIGADE OFFICERS’ ASSOCIATION. – The eleventh annual conference of the Association of Professional Fire Brigade Officers was held in Aberdeen last Thursday and Friday. Lieut.-Col. C. J. Fox, Chief of the London Salvage Corps, nominated as his successor as President of the Association Firemaster Inkster, Aberdeen [‘Fiery Bill’ of Cogar, Rousay] . He said it barely needed words of his to say how much they respected and revered him. He was a man of education, ability, and of good fellowship. (Applause.) Chief Officer W. Pett, Exeter, in seconding, said that was not the first time he had met Firemaster Inkster. He had fought him some years ago and been knocked out (Laughter.) Firemasters Grovener, Ealing, and Scott, Bradford, supported the motion and Mr Inkster was unanimously elected president. On taking the chair, the new president returned cordial thanks for the manner in which his name had been proposed for the chair. He did not know, he said, if he had much ambition in his life, but in one respect it had been realised that day. He would endeavour in the future as he had done in the past to maintain the progress of the association, because their association was a progressive one. They had in the past elected men who had done their very level best to build up the association, and to these men they were very much indebted at the present time. He again returned thanks for electing him to that high office. (Applause.) Mr Inkster read a paper on “Flax, Its Culture, Growth, and Manufacture for Fire Brigade Purposes.” The members of the association were entertained at luncheon by the Town Council. On Friday discussions took place on various subjects connected with the work of fire brigades and the position of members of the association. In the evening the annual dinner of the association was held, at which Firemaster Inkster presided.

SUCCESS OF AN ORCADIAN IN MANCHESTER. – Miss Annie Craigie, who was formerly a pupil in the Wasbister Public School, Rousay, and has been for the last twelve months attending the Ducie Avenue Central School, Manchester, has just won a scholarship of the value of £75 from the Manchester Education Committee. She is a daughter of Mr James G. Craigie, Inspector of Poor, Rousay.

1913 July 16 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY MEMORIAL SERMON. – The Rev. Alexander Spark preached in the Parish Church on Sunday last from Rev. xiv. 13 – ” Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from hence forth: yea, saith the Lord, that they may rest from their labours: and their works do follow them.” His discourse was as follows: –

This is a benediction upon the dead. Waste, decay, death are the words of gloom, but the New Testament brings brightness and cheer to all desolate places. Where men put on mourning, and go with long faces to grave-yards, where the black hearse carries the beloved dead, where floods of tears roll down the cheek, and sorrows wring the heart, there come the notes of joyful hope and happy benediction. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.”

After an explicit exposition of the text, he finished thus: –

“Beloved, a righteous man hath just fallen in Israel.” James Robertson, who died at Kirkwall on 9th July last, was a man of outstanding principle – a loving husband and pious father, a good neighbour, a diligent farmer. He hath now entered upon “the rest that remaineth for the people of God.” At Hunclett, in Rousay, he moiled and toiled for many years, and reared his family in righteousness. His hospitality was unbounded, and his long grace at table giving thanks for God’s mercies contained a blessing for us all – collectively and individually. However hard his week’s work had been, he considered it his duty to attend the House of God each Sunday, and he was always a most willing giver to the schemes of the church. He lived a life of faith, holding firmly on to the Rock of Ages, and his end must have been peace. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours: and their works do follow them.” Beloved, our sympathies are with the family in the hour of their sorrow, and we pray God to dry up their tears, and comfort their hearts, and to impress upon them all the happy thoughts that, although their dear and venerable father hath left them, he is now at home with God. “Thou wilt show me the path of life; in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

“Now the labourer’s task is o’er,
Now the battle-day is past;
Now upon the further shore
Lands the voyager at last.
Father in Thy gracious keeping
Leave we now thy servant sleeping.

1913 July 30 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – WEDDING. – A pretty wedding took place on Wednesday the 23rd inst. in Wasbister School. The bride was Miss Martha [Mattie] Williams Wards, schoolmistress there, and only daughter of Mr and Mrs Wards, South Ronaldshay, and the bridegroom Mr Mark Mackay Kirkness, farmer, Quoyostray. The school was tastefully decorated with flowers and evergreens, and festoons of flags, and the ceremony was witnessed by a large crowd. The officiating clergyman was the Rev. Alexander Spark, parish minister, assisted by the Rev. A. I. Pirie, U.F. Church. The bride wore a beautiful dress of soft white cashmere trimmed with lace, and a long bridal veil of white net over orange blossom, and a lovely bouquet of white irises. She was accompanied by two bridesmaids in white, with bouquets of white flowers. The presents were handsome and numerous. After a sumptuous tea, dancing was indulged in till early morning.

PICNIC. – Through the kindness of Miss Craigie, teacher, Frotoft, the scholars and their friends were entertained to a very enjoyable picnic on Friday the 25th inst., in the grounds of the school. The day was ideal, and there was a large turn-out. The Territorial band from Kirkwall, under the able leadership of Mr Smith, discoursed excellent music during the proceedings. A most interesting item of the programme was the crowning of the May Queen and the Maypole Dance. Miss Jeannie Harrold made a very pretty queen, and Miss Mary Mainland sang the “Call Song” with sweetness and correctness. The singing and the braiding of the Maypole was very effective. Sports and races were afterwards engaged in, and prizes were presented by Mrs Spark, the Manse, along with the School Board prizes for Bible knowledge and attendance. The whole reflected great credit on Miss Craigie as a painstaking and successful teacher.

1913 August 13 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY PICNIC. – The annual picnic of the Sourin School was held on Friday last in glorious weather. Parents and children were present in large numbers, and after milk and buns had been partaken of, a start was made with the sports. The various events were successfully carried through, the obstacle race in the adult section creating much amusement as the competitors, with some of their female articles of apparel very much awry, scrambled to the winning post. After tea had been served, the prizes were presented by Mrs Giles, the school attendance, sewing, and Bible knowledge also being given away at this time. A most enjoyable dance was afterwards held, of which not the least enjoyable were two or three Highland dances footed to the stirring strains of the bagpipes. Much credit is due the teacher, Miss Baikie, for her indefatigable efforts to make the picnic a success, an undertaking in which it was said she was surpassingly successful…..

ROUSAY CATTLE SHOW. – Tuesday last seek was a holiday in the island, there taking place on that day two annual events – the cattle and flower shows. The former was held under the auspices of the Agricultural Society, and the latter under the auspices of the Horticultural Society – both of them popular and thriving institutions. The weather was highly favourable, and the s.s. Fawn ran a special trip with visitors from Kirkwall; consequently, the shows were well patronised. In both the horse and cattle sections there was a good exhibition of stock. The medal for the best cow in yard and the medal for best mare over three years, were won by Mr Thomas Inkster, Nearhouse; and the medal for best gelding by Mr William Moar, Saviskaill. The judges were: – Messrs R. Scarth, Binscarth, Firth; Bews, Ruboquoy, St Andrews; and A. T. Fowlie, of the North of Scotland College of Agriculture. Annexed is the prize-list: –

CATTLE. – Calves – 1 John Craigie, Glebe; 2 Mainland & Stevenson, Westness; 3 and c, Thomas Inkster, Nearhouse; hc George Gibson, Avelshay. Shorthorn cows – 1 and 2 Thomas Inkster; 3 John Gibson, Faraclett; hc Robert Marwick, Scockness; c John Scott, Hurtiso. Polled Cows – 1 and 3 Thos. Inkster; 2 Geo. Gibson; 4 and c William Moar, Saviskaill. Medal for best cow in yard – Thos. Inkster. Two-year-old Shorthorn Queys – 1, 2 and 3 Mainland & Stevenson; hc John Gibson, Faraclett. Polled Two-year-old Queys – 1 and 2 J. Scott;, 3 Robert Seatter, Banks; hc and c Thos Inkster. Two-year-old Shorthorn Steers – 1 and hc Wm. Moar; 2 and 3 Mainland & Stevenson. Two-year-old Polled Steers – 1 Fred Inkster, Trumland; 2 John Craigie, Triblo. One-year-old Shorthorn Quey’s – 1 Robert Marwick; 2 and c Mainland & Stevenson; 3 Wm. Moar; hc Geo. Gibson. One-year-old Polled Queys – 1 John Craigie; 2 Robert Seatter; 3 Fred Inkster; hc Robert Marwick; c Wm. Moar. One-year-old Shorthorn Steers – 1 and 2 Thos. Inkster; 3 Wm. Moar; hc Fred Inkster; c J. Scott. One-year-old Polled Steers – 1 R. Marwick; 2 John Craigie; 3 Robt. Seatter; hc Wm. Moar; c Fred Inkster.

HORSES. – Mare with Foal at Foot – 1 Mainland & Stevenson; 2 Wm. Moar; 3 Robt. Seatter; hc John Corsie, Knarston. Foals – 1 Robt. Seatter; 2 Mainland & Stevenson; 3 Walter Muir, Breckan; hc John Corsie; c Wm. Moar. Draught Geldings – 1 Hugh Craigie, Swandale; 2 John Corsie; 3 Co-operative Society; hc John Gibson. Three-year-old Geldings – 1 Wm. Moar; 2 Geo. Gibson; 3 Hugh Craigie. Yeld Mares – 1 Wm. Moar; 2, 3 and c Fred Inkster; hc David Gibson. Medal for best mare over three years old – Thomas Inkster. Three-year-old Fillies – 1 John Craigie, Glebe; 2 Fred Inkster; 3 J. Scott.; hc Robt. Seatter. Two-year-old Fillies – 1 Fred Inkster; 2 J. Corsie. One-Year-old Fillies – 1 Wm. Moar; 2 Mainland & Stevenson; 3 David Gibson; hc Robert Lyon, Ervadale. Two-year-old Geldings – 1 Wm. Moar; 2 Robt. Marwick; 3 J. Scott. One-year-old Geldings – 1 Robt. Seatter; 2 John Gibson; 3 Geo. Gibson. Medal for best Gelding – Wm. Moar.

1913 August 27 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PRESENTATION AND CONCERT. – An interesting evening was spent last Tuesday in Frotoft Schoolroom, when, before a large company of friends, Miss Ida Gibson, of Hullion, was presented with a gold bracelet. The Rev. A. Irvine Pirie, who presided, in making the presentation, said that Miss Gibson had for the last ten years acted with great acceptance as organist in Trumland U.F. Church. Living as she did several miles from the church, her unfailing attention through winter and summer to her self-imposed duty must have entailed many sacrifices, and reflected upon her the utmost credit. It was with great pleasure, therefore, that a proposal on the part of the section of the congregation worshipping in Trumland Church to present her with some small token of their gratitude was taken up and a subscription started. Mr Pirie hoped that the beautiful bracelet with which she was now presented would be regarded by her not merely as an ornament but as an expression of good-will and esteem on the part of those who had subscribed towards it. Mr David Gibson, Hullion, replied suitably on behalf of his daughter. Before and after the presentation the company was kindly entertained with a programme of vocal music by several soloists who contributed largely to the pleasure of the occasion. These were Mrs Barkworth, Miss Ella Thomlinson, Miss Jean C. Syson, and the Rev. A. Irvine Pirie, B.D.; and with a hearty vote of thanks to these, the evening was brought to a close.

1913 September 3 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – THE LATE MR JOHN CORSIE, SCHOOLMASTER. – The death took place at his residence in Constitution Street, Peterhead, on Tuesday last week, of Mr John Corsie, retired teacher. Mr Corsie, who was 85 years of age, was the son of a farmer in the island of Rousay, and was educated at King’s College, Aberdeen. He was appointed schoolmaster of Muir School, Millbrex, and held that position for over 30 years. He also acted as registrar of the parish. Mr Corsie was held in great respect in Millbrex. Twelve years ago he took up residence in Peterhead, where he made many friends. He was a member of the Established Church, and a Unionist in politics. Mr Corsie, who was predeceased by his wife, is survived by five daughters and one son.

[John Corsie was the son of Malcolm Corsie, Nears, and Isabella Louttit, Skaill, Westside. On September 6th 1861 he married Elizabeth Martin, Cluny, Aberdeenshire. Their children, born between 1862 and 1870, were Elizabeth, Margaret, Georgianna, Malcolm, Williamina, and Agnes.]

1913 November 5 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PARISH CHURCH. – The Rev. Alexander Spark preached here on Sunday, 2nd Nov., from Proverbs x. 22, “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it.” He said, in the course of his exposition, that whether one is rich or poor, learned or ignorant, God’s estimation of him is always from the stand-point of the heart. Abraham had riches, but also had the blessing of God. Job, too, had riches, and a like blessing. But material wealth and spiritual blessing do not often go together. The Gospel age knows little of this union of the material and the spiritual. Jesus, and the Apostles, and the martyrs, and the specially saintly, all down through the Christian age on to to-day, are poor in this world’s goods. The terms of discipleship are that Christians exchange the earthly for the heavenly – the cottage of clay for the palace of God. Now, whoever has the blessing of God is rich, indeed, regardless of the amount of his worldly treasures. This riches can alone bring peace and everlasting joy. While the world is going at highest speed for pleasure – seeking eagerly fleshly joys – few find the true fund of riches and pleasures for evermore. To-day we would commemorate Mr Peter Yorston, of Langskaill, Kirbuster, who died there on the 15th October, and was laid by us, with reverent care, into his last resting-place in Wasbister Churchyard in Rousay on 18th October. He was ordained an elder of the Church of Scotland at Rousay Parish Church on 29th June 1890. For many years he was associated in the eldership with the late David Flaws, who was drowned several years ago. Several times he acted as representative elder in the Presbytery of North Isles, and in the Synod of Orkney. He was in business a hard-working plodding farmer – first at Oldman here, next at Glenorkney, near Kirkwall, and lastly at Langskaill, Kirbuster. Assisted by his devoted wife and family, he has acquired success step by step, and now leaves his material gains to his family. But withal, he attended to his spiritual life – ever seeking in the House of God a spiritual uplift, and a nearer approach to the Christ Himself. The blessing of God thus seemed to be upon him, and now, though he has left the material world behind him, we hope that he now inherits “the blessings that are at God’s right hand.” We sympathise with the widow and family, and pray God to comfort their hearts in this bereavement. May they obtain “that blessing of the Lord which maketh rich.” At Wasbister School, 3.30 p.m. same day, Mr Spark made a like reference to the late Mr Yorston, and preached from Psalms cxix. 75, “I know, 0 Lord, that Thy judgments are right, and that Thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.”

[Peter Yorston, born on May 15th 1848, was the son of Peter Yorston, Oldman, and Lydia Turnbull, Evie. In 1870 he married Mary Kirkness, Quoyostray, and they had a family of five children; Peter, Jemima Mary, Lilla, James, and John Alexander, who were born between 1871 and 1883.]

SUDDEN DEATH. – QuIte a gloom was cast over the district of Wasbister last Monday morning when it became known that Mr Robert Pearson had died through the night. Mr Pearson, who lived by himself on a small croft known as Castlehill, was a young man of about 40 years of age, and was in his usual health on Sunday. On Sunday evening he visited his mother, who lives in a cottage nearby, and stayed till about 8 p.m., leaving apparently in the best of health and spirits. His mother, noticing no stir about his house on Monday morning, went to the house and found him lying dead near the door. Much sympathy is felt for the widowed mother and younger brother, who both reside together, in their sad and sudden bereavement.

[Robert Pearson, born on March 20th 1873, was the son of Robert Pearson, Castlehill [just above Turbitail and Burness], and Henrietta Traill Harcus, Garson, Westside. At this time his mother was living down the hill at Vacquoy No 1 with her youngest son Alexander [Sandy] Logie Pearson.]

1913 December 31 Orkney Herald

[Looking back over the events of the past twelve months the Editor of the Orkney Herald wrote of the social and political unrest and general discontent with things are they were. Continuing war in the Balkan states ended catastrophically for the Ottoman Empire, which lost the bulk of its territory in Europe. Austria-Hungary, although not a combatant, became relatively weaker as a much enlarged Serbia pushed for union of the South Slavic peoples. The war set the stage for the Balkan crisis of 1914 and thus served as a “prelude to the First World War”].

[Another paragraph ran as follows]: – The naval rivalry between this country and Germany continues. Mr Churchill’s proposed naval holiday, though warmly supported in the United States, met with a cold reception in Germany. For the time being there is no prospect of a halt in the mad race of armaments, and as the navy of Britain is “her all and all,” there is no alternative for the British people but to make those sacrifices that are necessary for the maintenance of her naval supremacy.

In Print

Newsprint – 1912

1912 January 15 The Scotsman

LORD HUNTER, in the Court of Session, decided that Lady Sinclair, residuary legatee and executrix of the late Lady Burroughs of Rousay, Orkney, was entitled to £1422 in respect of an annuity due to Lady Burroughs from the estate of her deceased husband, Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick W. T. Burroughs, of Rousay and Veira, K.C.B.

1912 February 10 The Orcadian

ROUSAY – LEAP YEAR DANCE. – A very successful dance, given by the young ladies of Sourin was held in Sourin Public School on Friday, February 2. Heavy showers of snow fell all afternoon, and did not give promise of a great turnout in the evening, but fortune favours the brave, and a goodly number of young men and women put in their appearance “to trip the light fantastic toe.” Misses Marwick, A. Munro, Craigie, Baikie, and Corsie, who had been appointed members of the committee, carried out all the required arrangements, to the satisfaction of all present. Twice during the evening, refreshments were served. Dancing started at 7 o’clock, and was kept up till the sma’ ‘oors o’ the morning. Misses Craigie and Aggie Munro carried out the duties of M.C. splendidly. Excellent music was supplied by Messrs J. W. Grieve, Whitehall; Wm. Grieve, Falldown: Jas. and Wm. Grieve, Sanday. The following is a list of those present: – Misses Lydia G. Baikie, Bella Craigie, Lizzie Corsie, Ann Corsie, Maggie Jane Craigie, Lizzie Craigie, Ella Craigie, Emma Craigie, Mary Jane Craigie, Betsy Cooper, Mary Ann Cooper, Rebecca Elphinstone, Annie Jane Harrold, Katie Harrold, Jeanie Inkster, Maggie Jessie Inkster, Minnie Linklater, Maggie Marwick, Jessie Marwick, Aggie Munro, Mary Ann Munro; Messrs John Craigie, James Craigie, Hugh Craigie, Tom Corsie, Wm. Corsie, Tom Gibson, John Gibson, Wm. Grieve, John Inkster, John Linklater, Robert Linklater, Malcolm Leonard, Kenneth McLean, Robert Mainland, James Munro, Albert Munro, John Marwick, James Russell, Robert Sinclair, John Seatter, Robert Seatter.

1912 February 14 Orkney Herald


ANYONE desirous of contributing to the above Fund please forward Subscriptions to MRS JAMES CURSITER, Daisybank, Kirkwall, who has been asked to collect and forward to St Thomas’s Hospital, London, on behalf of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage.

[Florence Nightingale, OM, RRC, DStJ, was an English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing. Nightingale came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War, in which she organised care for wounded soldiers. Born in Florence, Italy, on May 12th 1820, she died in Mayfair, London, on August 20th 1910. Contributions to the Fund went towards a memorial, installed in the south aisle of St Thomas’s Hospital Chapel, and homes for nurses.]

Late on Friday night, the steam liner Crimond, of Aberdeen (A334), Walker, master, struck on the Outer Holm of lre, Sanday. The night was dark and hazy, and the sea rough. The crew launched their boat with the intention of landing, and five men got into her, but the boat broke adrift, and capsized in the land sea. Four of those on board her were drowned, the fifth being rescued from the shore in a very exhausted condition. As soon as it became known that the vessel was ashore, the Sanday rocket apparatus was taken to the shore opposite the vessel and the Stronsay motor lifeboat was telegraphed for, and was launched without delay. Both reached the spot early in the morning. A rocket was fired, but missed the wreck, and before another could be fired, the lifeboat was taking off the remaining four members of the Crimond’s crew who were still on board the vessel. The lifeboat returned to Stronsay with the four rescued men, who left afterwards for Sanday, and left for Aberdeen on Sunday by another liner.

[In addition to steam and diesel-powered side trawlers, line boats [liners] fished down to 400 fathoms, principally targeting halibut, some prime specimens weighing up to 20 stone (140kg)].


Letters to the Editor


SlR, – By your kind favour I would wish, through the medium of the Herald, to convey the grateful thanks of the Stronsay Lifeboat Committee to all those who so spontaneously and ably assisted in getting the lifeboat away on her mission of mercy so promptly on Saturday morning. The Misses Chalmers, Post Office, like all others, were in bed sleeping comfortably when the ominous call came, and knowing what a midnight call meant, immediately jumped out of bed, and insufficiently clad for such a stormy night, one rushed to the office to receive the message and the other ran to the signalman’s house and roused him, then to the coxswain, and then to the writer of this, thereby saving a lot of valuable time. Miss Eunson, daughter of Coxswain Eunson, hastened to members of the crew who did not hear the rocket signals, and speedily had them out, and buckled on their lifebelts and ready for work, and then nearly broke down with the thought that she might be hastening her father, brother, and friends on a trip from which they might never return. Lifeboat men get no more praise than they deserve, but our sympathies should go out to their friends left behind, who, though proud that their husbands, fathers, brothers, or sweethearts are brave enough to risk their lives in saving others, yet suffer agonies until they return in safety. We have heard disparaging remarks regarding the money spent on the Stronsay lifeboat, and also regarding the efficiency of the boat and her crew, but surely the service rendered on Saturday so promptly and without a hitch should forever refute such idle and ignorant cavilling.

We would draw attention to the grand and humane work done by the lifeboats and their brave crews around our coasts, and the number of lives saved by them every year, and would appeal to a generous public to support with financial help the noble Institution which manages and controls this benevolent organisation. – Yours faithfully, – R. MITCHELL, Hon. Secy.

1912 March 9 The Orcadian

ROUSAY – PLOUGHING MATCH. – Our Agricultural Society was somewhat unfortunate in the weather conditions which prevailed last Wednesday, the day on which the ploughing match was held. Rain broke out before 9 o’clock, and continued all day. Consequently only fourteen ploughs turned up for competition. Mr Fred Inkster, Trumland Farm, kindly granted a field for the occasion. Mr John Logie’s silver cup for the best ploughed rig on field (which has to be thrice won) was keenly contested for between the first prize ploughmen in both sections, and was won for the second time by Thomas Gibson, Broland. The ploughmen were liberally supplied with tea and other refreshments on the field and after their work was done. The judges were Messrs Tom Foubister, Hannatoft, and John Work. Caskald, Shapinsay. who awarded the prizes as follows: –

Ploughing. – Champions – 1, medal and cup, Thomas Gibson, Broland; 2, Hugh Robertson, Scockness; 3, J. W. Grieve, Faraclett; Feering, Thos. Gibson; Finish, Thos. Gibson. Ordinary. – 1 and Highland Society’s medal, James Craigie, Falquoy; 2, Alex. Craigie, Banks, Frotoft; 3, Hugh Mainland, Trumland; 4, David Moar, Saviskaill; 5, James Linklater, Curquoy; 6, Hugh Craigie, Swandale; 7, James Russell, Brendale; 8, John Corsie, junr., Westness; 9, Robert Seatter, junr., Banks, Sourin; 10, James Lyon, Ervadale; Youngest ploughman, John Linklater, Trumland: Feering, Jas. Craigie: Finish, Alex. Craigie; Best feering on field, Jas. Craigie: Best finish on field, Thos. Gibson; Straightest ploughing, Jas. Craigie.

Harness. – 1, David Moar; 2, J. W. Grieve; 3, Hugh Robertson; 4, Hugh Mainland; 5, Robert Seatter.

Grooming – 1, Hugh Robertson; 2, Hugh Mainland; 3, David Moar; 4, Jas. Linklater; 5, Thos. Gibson.

In the evening the judges and a number of friends were entertained to a sumptuous dinner by Mr and Mrs Inkster, Trumland Farm. The usual loyal and patriotic toasts were given and duly responded to, and a pleasant evening spent. The committee take this opportunity of thanking the donors of the special prizes and all those who so kindly contributed to the funds of the society.

1912 March 30 The Orcadian

ROUSAY WOMAN’S ACTION. – An action been raised in the Sheriff Court, Lerwick, at the instance of Mrs Jane Grieve or McLean, Sourin, Rousay, Orkney, against the British Oil and Guano Company, Bressay, and having their registered office at Fraserburgh, for compensation for £171 12s, in respect of the death of pursuer’s son, John James McLean, 22, who met his death by accident on 22nd June last, while engaged in removing empty barrels from the defender’s works at Hoegan, to the stage or quay there, by slipping from said stage and being killed or drowned.

The pursuer bases her claim on the fact that she was wholly dependent on her son’s earnings at the date of his death, and that he was her sole support.

Mr J. Small, who represents the defender, lodged as his defence at the Sheriff Court, Lerwick, on 8th inst., that the accident did not arise out of, and in the course of, deceased’s employment, and that pursuer was not dependent on him.

The case came again before the Court on Friday last, when Mr G. W. Hoggan, for pursuer, stated that Mrs McLean, owing to ill-health and infirmity, would be unable to attend the Court here for proof, and that a commission would have to be granted to take her evidence.

Mr Small asked that a medical certificate should be produced to that effect.

The case was therefore adjourned for a fortnight, in order to allow Mr Hoggan to get the medical certificate.

1912 April 6 The Orcadian

ROUSAY – CONCERT AND DANCE. – A concert, followed by a dance, was held in Sourin School, on Friday evening, the 29th ult. There was not such a good turnout as might have been expected, had the weather conditions been more favourable. The platform was very tastefully decorated by Mr McLean, who spared neither pains nor energy in doing so. The choir was under the able leadership of Mr Grieve, Whitehall. At 7.30, Mr Pirie took the chair. The curtain was raised and the choir sang “Draw the Sword, Scotland.” The dramatic sketches were, perhaps, the most successful items on the programme. The audience apparently enjoyed them by the laughter that was heard almost all through. In “The Doctor’s Patients,” Mr McLean acted the part of Dr Frank Truelove, the mental specialist, while Miss A. Munro acted the part of Dolly, his wife. The part of Dooley, Dr Truelove’s servant, was excellently performed by Mr J. W. Grieve, who has a special gift of humorous acting. Miss Baikie and Mr Thomas Gibson performed the parts of Maria Tibble and Jeremiah Pipkin respectively. “An Afternoon Tea-party” was done by three little girls who admirably acted the parts of ladies at afternoon tea and amused the audience with their interesting talk about their husbands and maids. When the programme was finished, Mr Jamieson proposed a hearty cheer to the choir, and to its able conductor, Mr Grieve. Mr Pirie proposed a vote of thanks to the committee who had so tastefully decorated the platform, and to all the other performers. Mr Grieve replied, and proposed a vote of thanks to Mr Pirie who had acted as Chairman. The school was then cleared, and the young folks took part in dancing for an hour or two. Annexed is the programme: –

‘Draw the Sword, Scotland,’ choir; solo, ‘I’m the man they left behind,’ Mr J. W. Grieve; dialogue, ‘The Quarrel,’ Miss Bella Grieve and Mr John Inkster; ‘Fantasia on Nautical songs,’ choir; recitation, ‘The curfew must not ring tonight,’ Miss Lizzie Corsie; quartette, ‘Sir Knight,’ Miss Munro, Mrs Grieve, Messrs Gibson and Grieve; solo, ‘The old rustic bridge near the mill,’ Mr Jas. Grieve; ‘Killarney,’ choir; recitation, ‘Pussy and the looking glass,’ Miss Annie Craigie; duet, ‘When a little farm we keep,’ Miss Munro and Mr Grieve; recitation, ‘Praying for Shoes,’ Miss Mary Ann Grieve; ‘Welcome lovely spring,’ choir; interval; dramatic sketch, ‘The doctor’s patients’; ‘Battle of Stirling Bridge,’ choir; recitation, ‘The pied-piper of Hamelin,’ Mr Robt. Mainland; solo, Mr W. Grieve; ‘O, who will o’er the Downs,’ choir; solo, ‘O wert thou in the cauld blast,’ Miss Bella Grieve; recitation, ‘Cuddle doon,’ Miss Annie Linklater; quartette, ‘Widow Malone,’ Misses Munro, Reid, Messrs Craigie and Grieve; ‘An afternoon Tea-Party,’ Misses M. A. Grieve, L. Corsie, B. Grieve; comic song, ‘Dooley and Uncle Pipkin’; recitation, ‘Apples, Negro Lecture,’ Mr Wm. Marwick; ‘Evening,’ choir; recitation, ‘Little Orphan Annie,’ Mr John Craigie; ‘We’d better bide a-wee,’ choir.

1912 April 13 The Orcadian

LORD PENTLAND IN ORKNEY. VISIT TO ROUSAY. – Lord Pentland, late Secretary for Scotland, arrived in Kirkwall on Thursday night. We understand his lordship is at present in Orkney for the purpose of inspecting Trumland House and the Rousay estate. He was conveyed to Rousay on Friday morning by the steamer Iona. Lord Pentland was accompanied by Lady Pentland and Sir John Sinclair. The party while in Kirkwall stayed at Mackay’s Hotel.

1912 April 14 The Orcadian


RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean after the ship struck an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. Of the estimated 2,224 passengers and crew aboard, more than 1,500 died, making it one of modern history’s deadliest peacetime commercial marine disasters.

Titanic was under the command of Capt. Edward Smith, who also went down with the ship. The ocean liner carried some of the wealthiest people in the world, as well as hundreds of emigrants from Great Britain and Ireland, Scandinavia and elsewhere throughout Europe who were seeking a new life in the United States.

Although Titanic had advanced safety features such as watertight compartments and remotely activated watertight doors, it only carried enough lifeboats for 1,178 people – about half the number on board, and one third of her total capacity – due to outdated maritime safety regulations. The ship carried 16 lifeboat davits which could lower three lifeboats each, for a total of 48 boats. However, Titanic carried only a total of 20 lifeboats, four of which were collapsible and proved hard to launch during the sinking.

After leaving Southampton on 10 April, Titanic called at Cherbourg in France and Queenstown (now Cobh) in Ireland before heading west to New York. On 14 April, four days into the crossing and about 375 miles (600 km) south of Newfoundland, she hit an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. ship’s time. The collision caused the hull plates to buckle inwards along her starboard side and opened five of her sixteen watertight compartments to the sea; she could only survive four flooding. Meanwhile, passengers and some crew members were evacuated in lifeboats, many of which were launched only partially loaded. A disproportionate number of men were left aboard because of a “women and children first” protocol for loading lifeboats. At 2:20 a.m., she broke apart and foundered with well over one thousand people still aboard. Just under two hours after Titanic sank, the Cunard liner RMS Carpathia arrived and brought aboard an estimated 705 survivors.

1912 April 27 The Orcadian

THE TITANIC DISASTER. – Although a week has elapsed since the first full and authentic narratives of the Titanic disaster reached these shores, the public mind has not yet recovered from the shock and horror produced by the most terrible catastrophe in maritime history. Nothing in our time has so poignantly impressed the hearts of the people. We all feel as if we had suffered a personal bereavement, and the heartrending incidents associated with the final scene on the Titanic will never fade from the memory of those who have read of them. Inexpressibly tragic and touching is the picture of the leave-taking between the husbands and wives, of the great weeping of 1635 persons left on the doomed vessel to face certain death, and of the leviathan liner slowly sinking to the bed of the ocean as the band played that beautiful hymn, “Nearer, My God, to Thee.” That is an incident which will live in history…..

Evidence was to have been taken on commission at Kirkwall on Monday in the action by Mrs McLean, Rousay, against the owners of the manure factory at Bressay, Shetland, for compensation for the death of her son. A minute was lodged, however, under which defenders had undertaken to pay Mrs McLean compensation to the amount of £50, with judicial expenses. Agents for pursuer – Messrs Drever and Heddle acting on instructions of Mr G. W. Hoggan, Lerwick; agent for defenders Mr Joseph Johnston, solicitor, Aberdeen.

1912 May 11 The Orcadian

NORTH ISLES DISTRICT COMMITTEE. – A meeting of the North Isles District Committee of Orkney was held in Kirkwall on Friday, 3rd inst. – Mr Sutherland in the chair….. The following report by Mr Stevenson, Sanitary Inspector, on Rousay Slaughter-house, was submitted: –

1st May. – As instructed by your Committee I visited Rousay on 30th ult., and inspected the slaughter house there. The slaughter house is constructed of stone, lime, wood, and slate. The floor is of concrete, and the walls are smoothly cemented. It is well lighted and ventilated, and the drain is outside the door. It is 21 feet long by 12 feet wide, thoroughly clean and up to date in every respect. Mr Gibson informed me that he only killed, on an average, two sheep per week, and two cattle beasts in the year, and he only killed two sheep during the last six weeks. As the house is far too large for the trade, he was using one end of it for a store, and to weigh meal in. He let me see another little house which he is willing to put a concrete floor in, cement the walls, and put in light and ventilation for a slaughter house, as it is large enough for all he has to do. Considering the size of the present slaughter house and the small amount of slaughtering done, I do not think that the storing and weighing of a little meal does any harm, either to the meat or the meal. There are no bye-laws for the slaughter house in the district, consequently the storing of a little meal in one end of the house is no infringement of the Public Health Act. – George Stevenson, Sanitary Inspector.

1912 May 15 Orkney Herald

TWO TINKERS DROWNED. – Last Wednesday a party of eighteen tinkers – men, women, and children – arrived at Kirkwall from Rousay by their own boat. After spending some hours in Kirkwall, they started by boat for Deerness, but did not proceed farther than Carness, anchoring their boat in the Bay of Carness for the night. While some remained in the boat, others landed by means of a dinghy and encamped on the beach. During the evening, John Newland. jr., aged 23, determined to return on board, and began to launch the dinghy. The others tried to prevent him, and took the oars away. He, however, pushed the boat into the water, and, holding on to the stern, waded out till the water reached his neck. He then either lost his footing or attempted to get into the boat, and after floundering about for a short time he lost hold and sank in trying to swim to the larger boat. The accident was at once reported to the police, who proceeded to Carness and the body was recovered. About midnight, John Newland, sr., father of deceased, who had remained in Kirkwall, left for Carness. On reaching there he took the dinghy to board the larger boat, but was carried down the String. The boat was found next afternoon on the Head of Work, but there was no trace of Newland, and there is no doubt but that he has been drowned. He was about 50 years of age. John Newland, jr., was buried in St Magnus Churchyard on Friday afternoon, the funeral being witnessed by a large number of people.

1912 May 22 Orkney Herald

LORD AND LADY PENTLAND have taken up their residence at Trumland House, Rousay, where they intend to remain for a few weeks prior to proceeding to India, Lord Pentland having been appointed Governor of Bombay Presidency. Lord Pentland has let his London house, 7 Cambridge Square, for five years.

[John Sinclair, 1st Baron Pentland, GCSI, GCIE, PC (1860 – 1925) was a Scottish Liberal Party politician, soldier, peer, administrator and Privy Councillor who served as the Secretary of Scotland from 1905 to 1912 and the Governor of Madras from 1912 to 1919. On 12 July 1904 he married Lady Marjorie Adeline Gordon (1880 – 1970). They had two children: Margaret Ishbel, born 1906, and Henry John, who was born in 1907.]

1912 May 29 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY PARISH CHURCH. – Last Sunday Lord and Lady Pentland and children attended the service in the Parish Church. The Rev. Alexander Spark preached a special sermon – subject, “The British Empire” – from St Luke ii. 10 – “Fear not: for, behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.”

1912 June 22 The Orcadian

NORTH ISLES DISTRICT COMMITTEE. – A meeting of the North Isles District Committee was held at Kirkwall on Friday…..A letter from Mr David Gibson, Hullion, Rousay, with reference to the sale by the Rousay Co-operative Society of meat of animals not killed in a certified slaughter-house but by farmers on their farms, was allowed to lie on the table. The Clerk is to ask the opinion of the Local Government Board in regard to the matter.

1912 June 26 Orkney Herald

FOGGY WEATHER – S.S. FAWN ASHORE AT VEIRA. – The warm weather of the last few days has been followed in the evenings and mornings by fog. On Sunday morning it was very thick, but during the day the atmosphere cleared, but fog settled down again towards evening. When the s.s. Fawn left on Monday morning at 6 o’clock on her usual rounds to Rousay, Eglishay, and Veira, there was no appearance of the fog clearing off. She had proceeded safely on her course until about o’clock she ran aground on Veira. She was going at very slow speed, and was got off the following morning undamaged and proceeded on her rounds to the North Isles.

1912 June 29 The Orcadian

(An Orcadian Lullaby.)

Hushy-ba, ma bonnie thing,
My sweet and peerie petty,
Night comes on wi’ shadowy wing,
And Cubbie Roo’ll get thee’ –
Wild and awful Cubbie Roo
Is daft for little bairns like you.

Hushy-ba, and lie ye still
On your mammy’s breast, now;
The sun is low behind yon hill,
Far in the golden west, now –
‘Tis near the midnight’s witching hour
When all the fairy folks have power.

Every headland, holm, and stack,
Far away and near, now,
Throw their shadows, long and black,
On waters calm and clear, now –
And night is leaning, soft and low,
On every noiseless sound and flow.

It is midsummer in the north,
And a midsummer night, here,
When fairies from their brochs come forth
In the lingering light, here.
To dance around their fairy queen
And hold their revels on the green.

So, hushy-ba, my bonnie thing,
Every headland, holm. and stack.
Night comes on wi’ shadowy wing,
And Cubbie Roo’ll get thee,
If thou dinna gang to rest
Like a birdie in its nest.

Note. – Extract from “The Orkney Book“: – “Wyre, too, soon opens out to view, with its ruined chapel, and the mound which marks the traditional site of ‘Cubbie Roo’s’ Castle, the home of the once formidable Kolbein Hruga, whose name is even yet used to terrify into good behaviour some obstreperous youngster with the awful threat, Cubbie Roo’ll get thee.” – H. HENDERSON. “Bard of Reay.” 22nd June, 1912.

1912 July 13 The Orcadian

HARVEST PROSPECTS. – The cold weather in May, and during part of June, had a very detrimental effect on all crops. With the warmer weather now being experienced, however, great progress has been made. Oats on good black soil, where there is moisture, look well. On poor clayey ground, the crop on the other hand, is thin and considerably stunted owing to the adverse weather conditions of the earlier part of the season. Turnips are coming on rapidly. and a commencement has been made with singling, and indeed this crop has come on so quickly that farmers are unable to keep pace with singling requirements, the high temperature, dews, and occasional showers, having had a remarkable effect. Hay for a long time was thin in bottom, but the moisture towards the end of June and beginning of this month has remedied this defect, and ryegrass is of great length, but rather thin. It is estimated that this crop will be about one-third less than last year, which, of course, was an abnormal season.

1912 July 17 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – TRUMLAND SHOOTINGS have been let this year to Sheriff Johnston, and Westness is again let to Dr Hadley, who occupied the same shootings last season. Both parties are expected to arrive towards the end of the month. As this is the Glasgow Fair holidays, a large number of visitors from the south arrived by the Fawn on a visit to their friends.

1912 August 3 The Orcadian

WELCOME RAIN. – For a long time there has been little or no rain, so that the burns have been almost dried up, and the barrels empty of water, while the growth of the crops has been greatly impeded. The cry of the farmer has been for rain, and the rain came on Sunday afternoon in regular pelting showers, which lasted for some hours. As the people were leaving the church the rain fell, while some who remained behind for a time, expecting that the shower would soon be over, saw no sign of abatement, and were compelled to pass through both the welcome and the unwelcome rain.

1912 August 12 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – Mr John A. Shearer, lately manager for Mr David Greig at Balham, late of No. 4 Frotoft, Rousay, and who won the “Hugon” prize of £10 at the National Examination of the Institute of Certificated Grocers this year, sails on August 31, to take up an important appointment in Rhodesia, in the grocery and allied trades. The appointment was secured through the Institute of Grocers, the firm for whom Mr Shearer will go out to the colony having approached that body to recommend a student who had passed through their complete course of study with success. We wish Mr Shearer every fortune in his new post.

[Born on October 11th 1888, John Alexander Mainland Shearer was the son of John Shearer, Lady, Sanday, and Lydia Marwick, Corse. Cott was the name of No 4, Frotoft.]

1912 August 14 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY CATTLE SHOW. – The annual show of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held at Sourin, Rousay, on Tuesday. The day was all that could be expected, and consequently there was a good turnout of spectators. There was a large number of entries, especially in the cattle section. The quality of the stock was good. The medal for the best bullock or heifer, presented by Mr Moir, Aberdeen, was won by Mr David Inkster, Furse. Mr Inkster having won the medal three times, it now becomes his own property. The medal for the best draught gelding, presented by Messrs James Tait & Sons, Kirkwall, was awarded to Mr Thomas Gibson, Broland. The judges were, Messrs P. Maxwell, Orquil, St Ola, and J. Bews, Rubaquoy, St Andrews. Annexed is the prize list: –

CATTLE SECTION. – Calves – 1, David Gibson, Langskaill; 2, 3, and hc, Mainland & Stevenson, Westness; c, David Brown, Curquoy. Shorthorns – 1, William Moar, Saviskaill; 2, Tom Inkster, Nearhouse; 3 and hc, Mainland & Stevenson; hc, John Gibson, Faraclett. Polled Cows – D. Gibson; 2, Tom Inkster; 3, Mainland & Stevenson; hc, David Inkster, Furse; c, George Gibson, Avelshay. Shorthorn Two-year-old Queys – 1, Tom Inkster; 2, Mainland & Stevenson; 3, Wm. Moar; hc, Tom Scott, Hurtiso; c, Fred Inkster, Trumland. Polled Two-year-old Queys – 1 and hc, D. Inkster; 2 and 3, D. Gibson; c, John Scott. Shorthorn Two-year-old Steers – 1, 2 and hc, Mainland & Stevenson; 3, Fred Inkster; c, John Scott. Polled Two-year-old Steers – 1, D. Inkster; 2, Wm. Moar. One-year-old Polled Queys – 1, 3 and c, Robert Seatter, Banks; 2, James Russell, Brendale; hc, John Scott. One-year-old Shorthorn Queys – 1 and hc, Mainland & Stevenson; 2, John Gibson; 3, Wm. Moar; c, Geo. Gibson. One-year-old Polled Steers – 1, D. Inkster; 2, D. Gibson; 3, Fred Inkster; hc, Geo. Gibson; c, Robert Seatter. One-year-old Shorthorn Steers – 1, D. Inkster; 2 and hc, Tom Inkster; 3, Geo. Gibson; c, Wm. Moar. Best group of three in cattle section – D. Gibson. Best animal in cattle section – D. Inkster.

HORSE SECTION. – Mare with foal at foot – 1, Wm. Moar; 2, Robert Seatter; 3, Geo. Gibson; hc, John Gibson; c, D. Inkster. Foals – 1, Robert Seatter; 2 and 3, Geo. Gibson; hc, Mainland & Stevenson; c, D. Inkster. Draught Geldings – 1, Thomas Gibson; 2, Co-operative Society; 3, John Gibson; hc, D. Gibson; c, John Corsie, Knarston. Three-year-old Geldings – 1, Geo. Gibson; 2, Mainland & Stevenson; 3, Robert Seatter. Yeld Mares – 1, Tom Inkster; 2, Fred Inkster; 3 and hc, Wm. Moar. Three-year-old Fillies – 1, Fred Inkster; 2, Wm. Moar. Two-year-old Fillies – 1, Fred Inkster; 2, John Craigie, Glebe. One-year-old Fillies – 1, John Corsie; 2, Hugh Craigie, Swandale; 3, Fred Inkster; hc, Wm. Moar. Two-year-old Gelding – 1, Wm. Moar; 2, Geo. Gibson; 3, Hugh Craigie. One-year-old Geldings – 1, Geo. Gibson; 2, Robert Seatter; 3, Wm. Moar.


ROUSAY FLOWER SHOW. – The annual show of the Rousay Horticultural Society was held in the Sourin School, on Tuesday. There was a large entry, and the show on the whole was very successful, more especially in the baking section and dairy produce, the judge in this department finding it very difficult to award the tickets. A new feature this season was three prizes offered by Messrs Brown and Polson for the best baked Madeira Cake. The first prize was won by Mrs [Janet (Jessie)] Gibson, Langskaill, and second and third by Mrs [Jessie] Scott, Lopness. The judges were – for flowers and vegetables, Mr Andrew Laird, Kirkwall; for industrial work, Mrs Bell, Kirkwall; and Miss Hope, Edinburgh; for dairy produce and baking, Miss McKerrow, N.D.D. The prize list is as follows: –

FLOWER SECTION. – Double stocks – 1, John Cutt, 2, J. S. Gibson; Aster – 1, John Cutt; Pansies – 1, J. S. Gibson, 2 and 3, Miss Ellen Craigie; Violas – 1, J. S. Gibson; Stocks (single) – 1, J. S. Gibson; Roses – 1, 2, and 3, John Cutt; Dahlia – 1, John Cutt, 2, J. S. Gibson; Tiger Lily – 1 and 2, John Cutt; Gladioli – 1 and 2, John Cutt; Marguerites – 1 and 2, John Cutt, 3, Miss Ellen Craigie; Sweet Williams – 1 and 2, John Cutt, 3, Miss A. J. Harrold; Calceolarias – 1 and 2, J. S. Gibson, 2, John Cutt; Candytuft – 1, John Cutt, 2 and 3, J. Mainland, Frotoft; Wild Flowers – 1, Annie Linklater, 2, M. A. Sabiston, 3, Lizzie Craigie; Canterbury Bells – 1, Miss A. J. Harrold, 2, Katie Harrold, 3, J. S. Gibson; Marigolds – 1, Katie Harrold, 2, A. J. Harrold, 3, M. J. Craigie; Chrysanthemums – 1, Miss Ellen Craigie; Poppies – 1, Miss Ellen Craigie, 2, Miss Katie Harrold, 3, Miss A. J. Harrold; Dwarf Rose – Mrs Logie, Trumland Lodge, 2, J. M. Harrold; Canterbury Bells – 1, Miss Baikie, 2, John Cutt; Primula – 1, 2, and 3, Mrs Logie; Double Geraniums – 1 and 2, John Cutt, 3, J. M. Harrold; Single Geraniums – 1, 2, and 3, John Cutt; Pelargonium – 1, 2, and 3, John Cutt; Mesembryanthemum – 1, Miss Wylie, 2, Mrs Sutherland, 3, Miss Grieve, Blossom; Rose – 1, Mrs Logie; Begonias – 1, Edith Gibson, Avelshay, 2, Mrs Logie, 3, Winifred Gibson; Shamrock – 1, Miss Baikie; Fuchsia – 1, Annie J. Harrold, 2, Kate Harrold; Sedum – 1, Bella Grieve, 2, Mrs Harrold, Bigland; Aloe – 1, Sybil Seatter, 2, Kate Harrold; Evergreen Foliage – 1 and 2, Geo. M. Robertson; Maidenhair Fern – 1, Mrs Logie, Trumland, 2, John Cutt; House Leek – 1, John Harrold, Bigland, 2, Miss Grieve, Blossom; Agapanthus – 1, John Cutt; Campanula – 1, Miss Baikie; Lavender Plant – 1, John Cutt.

VEGETABLE SECTION. – Carrots – 1 and 2, John Cutt, 3, Miss Elphinstone, Pow; Cabbage – 1 and 2, Mrs Marwick, Guidal; 3, J. S. Gibson, Hullion; Lettuce – 1 and 2, J. S. Gibson, 3, John Cutt; Leeks – 1 and 2, John Cutt, 3, J. S. Gibson; Rhubarb – 1, John Cutt, 2, Miss Grieve, Blossom, 3, John Cutt; Parsley – 1, Miss Elphinstone, 2, J. S. Gibson; Potatoes – 1, Mainland, Westness, 2, J. Cutt, Westness, 3, J. S. Gibson; Apples – 1 and 2, John Cutt; Shallots – 1, Geo. Mainland, Frotoft, 2, Geo. Mainland, 3, John Cutt; Onions – 1, Winifred Gibson, 2 and 3, John Cutt; Turnips – 1, Miss Elphinstone, 2, J. S. Gibson, 3, John Cutt; Peas – 1, 2 and 3, John Cutt; Spinach – 1, 2 and 3, John Cutt; Red Currants – 1, J. M. Harrold, 2, John Cutt; Black Currants – 1, J. M. Harrold, 2, John Cutt; Strawberries – 1 and 2, John Cutt; Gooseberries – 1, J. M. Harrold, 2, J. S. Gibson, 3, John Cutt.

DAIRY PRODUCE. – Fresh Butter  – 1, Miss Craigie, Lodge, 2, Mrs Inkster, Woo, 3, Mrs Craigie, Breck; Salt Butter – 1, Mrs Sutherland, Pier, 2, Miss Mowat, Springfield, 3, Mrs Linklater, Curquoy, vhc Mrs Craigie, Glebe; Table Butter – 1, Miss Jean Scott, Hurtiso, 2, Miss Seatter, Banks; Sweet Milk Cheese – 1, Mrs Robertson, Scockness, 2, Mrs Reid, Tratland, 3, Mrs Linklater, Curquoy, vhc Miss Craigie, Lodge; Skim Milk Cheese – 1, Mrs Robertson, 2, Mrs Reid, 3, Mrs Harrold; Hen Eggs – 1, Mrs Scott, Lopness; Flour Scones – 1, Mrs Craigie, Glebe, 2, Miss A. Reid, Tratland, 3, Miss M. J. Grieve, Blossom; Bere Bannocks – 1, Miss Mowat, Springfield, 2, Mrs Craigie, Glebe, 3, Mrs Craigie, Breck; Queen Cakes – 1 and 2, Miss Ann Reid, Tratland; Mince Pies – 1, Jessie Reid, Wasdale; Cheese Cakes – 1, Jessie Reid; Rock Cakes – 1, Jessie Reid; Pancakes – 1, Annie Scott, Hurtiso, 2, Sybil Seatter, Banks; Drop Scones – 1, Miss Baikie, Schoolhouse, 2, Miss Grieve, 3, Miss A. J. Harrold; Oven Scones – 1, Anna Reid, 2, Ida Gibson, Hullion, 3, Mrs Gibson, Langskaill; Oat Cakes – 1, Mrs Craigie, Swandale, 2, Mrs Craigie, Glebe, 3, Miss Mowat, Springfield; Short Cake – 1, Mrs Inkster, Woo, 2, Mrs Mowat, Pretty, 3, Ida Gibson; Jam Sandwiches – 1, Miss Ida Gibson, 2, Anna Reid, 3, Miss Baikie; Corn Flower Cake – 1, Mrs Inkster; Scotch Bun – 1, Mrs Scott; Iced Cake – 1, Mrs Scott; Madeira Cake – 1, Mrs Gibson, Langskaill, 2, Mrs Scott, 3, Ida Gibson; Black Currant Jam – 1, Mrs Gibson; Rhubarb Jam – 1, Mrs Scott, 2, Miss Grieve, Blossom, 3, Mrs Harrold; Marmalade – 1 and 3, Mrs Gibson, 2, Miss Reid, Wasdale; Gooseberry Jelly – 1, Miss Baikie.

INDUSTRIAL SECTION. – Special prize for best article in industrial section – Lizzie Logie, Pier Cottage; Table Centre – 1, Miss Baikie, 2, Miss Ellen Craigie; Crochet – 1, Miss M. J. Grieve, 2, Miss A. J. Harrold, 3, Kate Harrold; Large Crochet – 1, Mary Reid, Tratland, 2, Annie Scott, Hurtiso, 3, Miss Baikie; Table Centre – 1, Annie Scott, 2, Miss M. J. Grieve, 3, Miss A. J. Harrold; Cushion Covers – 1, Lizzie Logie, 2 and 3, Miss Baikie; Sideboard Cloth – 1 and 2, Jean Scott, Hurtiso; Knitted Shawls – 1, Lizzie Logie, 2, Miss M. J. Grieve, 3, Mrs J. Inkster, Swartifield; Quilt – 1, Betsy Cooper, Hanover; Homespun Cloth – 1, Betsy Cooper; Drawing – 1, Hugh Craigie, Triblo, 2, Geo. Mainland, Frotoft, 3, Hugh Gibson, Oldman; Writing – 1, Minnie Corsie, Knarston, 2, Hugh Gibson, 3, John Inkster, Swartifield; Man’s Knitted Vest – 1, Miss Baikie; Darned Net Blouse – 1, Miss Baikie; Tea Cosy – 1, Mary Logie; Socks – 1, Mary Ann Cooper; Duchess Set – 1, Miss Ellen Craigie.

1912 August 28 Orkney Herald

ARTISTS IN ROUSAY. – The picturesque and ancient island of Rousay is being visited this summer by three well-known artists. Mr [William] St Thomas Smith. A.R.C.A. (who hails from Canada), is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy, and a distinguished water-colourist painter. His pictures of the “sea waves” are especially well known and much appreciated by collectors, both in the United States and Canada. Quite recently the Canadian Government purchased one of his most important pictures for the national collection. Most of Mr Smith’s recent work has been painted at Rousay, and this is his fourth annual visit.

Mr H. J. Dobson, R.S.W., Edinburgh, is making his first visit to Rousay this year, and is charmed with its possibilities. Mr [Henry John] Dobson paints Scottish interiors, and his pictures are well known throughout Britain and the Colonies from reproductions both in colour and black and white. Some years ago Messrs A. & C. Black, Ltd., London, published a book with twenty coloured reproductions from his best known pictures. Mr Dobson is an exhibitor at the Royal Academy, London, and also at all the leading provincial exhibitions.

Mr John McGhie, Glasgow, is a painter of both figure and landscape or seascape combined. His pictures of fisher folk on the east coast of Fife may be readily recognised at any of the art exhibitions. Mr McGhie is an artist who has made great progress in his profession during the last few years. As a portrait painter he has done some good work.

The good, kind-hearted folks of Rousay are to be congratulated on the picturesqueness of the island, which has attracted so many painters, not only from the capitals of Scotland and in the south, but from over the seas in distant Canada.

1912 October 5 The Orcadian

[With the threat of war looming…..] THE SEAFORTHS. – Last week, Lieut. Reid, recruiting officer at Dingwall for the Seaforth Highlanders, who was accompanied by a sergeant-major, pipe-major, and a corporal of the regiment, delivered lectures on the history of the regiment in Holm on Friday, Kirkwall on Saturday, and Stromness on Monday evening. At Kirkwall Mr A. Baikie, of Tankerness, presided, and at Stromness, the chair was taken by Major Hepburn. There were good attendances at all the meetings.

In the course of his remarks, Lieut. Reid said Orkney was part of the recruiting ground for the Seaforths, but he was sorry to state that of late they were not obtaining a due proportion of recruits from this quarter. His object was to remedy this fault. He proceeded to give a short résumé of the history of the regiment during its long and honourable career. Thereafter he pointed out the attractions of the Army from a monetary point of view, and affirmed that to good men the chances of promotion in the Service are equal, if not better, to those offered by ordinary employment.

A series of lantern slides were then thrown on the screen showing many phases of a soldier’s life. The usual votes of thanks brought the meeting to a close.

1912 October 26 The Orcadian

Mr Fred Scott, a native of Rousay, who served his apprenticeship with Messrs W. and J. Leslie, Kirkwall, has passed the Board of Trade examination for chief engineer. Mr Scott, who has been on the British-India steamships, trading in India and the Far East, for the past three years, has been in Orkney on leave for a few months, and proceeded to London recently to sit his examination. He is a son of Mr John Scott, of Hurtiso, Rousay.

1912 October 16 Orkney Herald


The Berlin Post, the official organ of the German war party, discusses a statement recently published in London, describing Admiralty dispositions, under which the destroyer flotillas in full commission are massed on Scapa Flow, in the Orkney Islands, so as to form a screen for the battleship fleet, which will be kept to an extent on the Western Coasts, out of reach of a German destroyer attack from the North Sea. The Post says that the destroyers acting with a squadron of eight cruisers, must undoubtedly be considered a sort of blockading fleet, whose duty it will be to defend a line running between northern Scotland and Sweden and Norway, and on the outbreak of war to prevent the piercing of the line by a flying squadron of German cruisers, which would be expected to harass Britain’s sea traffic in the rear, and which in order to reach the Atlantic would be compelled to go round Scotland, instead of through the English Channel. England must not wonder, says the Post, that Germany considers the various transparent movements and reorganisations which have been taking place in the English Fleet as preparatory measures for war, and is keeping her own eyes open accordingly. “The new dispositions (it says) in the Orkneys teach us conclusively how bitterly urgent is our necessity for fast battle cruisers, which, in point of engine-power, armour, and guns, shall be in a position to smash such blockading lines with ease.”

1912 November 20 Orkney Herald

There will be Sold, by Public Roup, at ESSAQUOY, SOURIN, ROUSAY,
on SATURDAY, 23rd November: – 1 Horse (9 years old), 1 Mare (aged),
2 Cows in calf, 1 Farrow Cow, 2 One-year-old Cattle, 3 Calves; 2 Carts,
Water Cart, Roller, Reaper (by Wallace), Single Plough, Drill Plough,
Scuffler, Harrows, Spring-tooth Harrows, Plough-trees, Fanners,
large Tub, Cart and Plough Harness, Bushel Measure, Turnip
Cutter, a small Square-stern Boat, a quantity of Potatoes (by
the barrel), and a number of other articles.
Four months’ credit on approved bills for sums of £5 and upwards.
Sale to commence at 10 a.m.
The s.s. Fawn leaves Kirkwall Pier at 7 a.m., returning at 4 p.m.
G. C. WEBSTER, Auctioneer.

1912 December 4 Orkney Herald

GALE AND SNOWSTORM. – A heavy gale from the north broke out last Tuesday night. The barometer had been exceptionally low all day, marking, indeed, almost the lowest on record. The fact that telegraphic communication south of Aberdeen was interrupted showed that very stormy weather prevailed further south. The storm broke about midnight, and was accompanied by heavy hail showers. At Kirkwall the sea rose rapidly, and, as the storm came on about the time of high water, the waves were soon washing over the pier and breaking over the tops of the houses along the Ayre.

The storm continued until Wednesday afternoon, when it abated. On Wednesday all communication by sea was interrupted. The St Ola, after calling at Scapa, returned to Stromness instead of making the passage across the Pentland Firth. The steamers Orcadia and Fawn did not leave Kirkwall for the North Isles, and the steamer lona did not make her usual runs from Shapinsay to Kirkwall and back. During Wednesday there were occasional snow showers, and on Thursday, Friday and Saturday a good deal of snow fell. On Saturday and Monday several of the roads were blocked, and few of the passenger coaches made their journeys. On Monday there were some hours of thaw, but in the evening keen frost set in. Yesterday (Tuesday) thaw again set in. Considering the strength of the gale, little damage was done.

ROUSAY – GUILD SOCIAL. – The United Free Church Guild opened its winter session on Thursday evening with a social. There was as usual a large gathering of young people. Mr Pirie, who presided, had with him the Rev. Mr Abel, presently acting as assistant to the congregation, and Mr Alex. Grieve, one of the guild vice-presidents. These gave in the course of the evening interesting and humorous addresses. Mr William Grieve, guild secretary, gave a reading, and Mr Robert Mainland a recitation, both of which were well received and enjoyed. Mr James W. Grieve, leader of praise to the guild, conducted with much skill a large and well-trained choir. The singing was splendidly performed and was very much appreciated. A very successful meeting was closed with votes of thanks to all who had contributed to the programme, and to Miss Reid, guild treasurer, and Miss Cooper for an excellent service of tea.

1912 December 18 Orkney Herald


The Second Division of the Court of Session on Wednesday disposed of a reclaiming note for the defenders in the action by Lady Sinclair, 46 Norfolk Square, Hyde Park, London, wife of Sir John R. G. Sinclair of Dunbeath, Bart., Barrock House, Wick, residuary legatee and executrix of the late Lady Burroughs, of Rousay, Orkney, widow of the late Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick W. T. Burroughs, of Rousay and Veira, K.C.B., against L. G. Dunbar, of the Bank of Bengal, Calcutta, and others, trustees of the late Sir Frederick W. T. Burroughs, for payment of £1422, the amount of an annuity due to Lady Burroughs before her death.

In the Outer House Lord Hunter granted decree for the sum sued for, with expenses. His lordship said that the obligation of the defenders to pay the annuity, which rested on a marriage contract, and interest, was not disputed. The only defence offered was that the action was unnecessary, or at all events premature, in respect of a minute dated in January 1906, by which Lady Burroughs postponed her claim to her annuity for a time until certain debt was reduced. The contention of the defenders was that upon a sound construction of the arrangement neither Lady Burroughs nor others coming in her stead had any claim to payment of the annuity until the estate was sold. They maintained that an absolute discretion was given to them to retain the property until they procured a fair price. In order to sustain an action the pursuer must aver that the estate had been sold, or that the defenders were in fault in not selling. His Lordship could not accept that interpretation of the minute. Nothing in the minute amounted to an extinction of Lady Burroughs’ annuity. Had Lady Burroughs lived, she might have had to wait until the defenders realised the estate, but she was not prevented from insisting on a sale. On her death the defenders became liable to pay her executors the arrears of the annuity, and, if necessary, were under an obligation to realise the heritable estate.

The Division adhered to the Lord Ordinary’s interlocutor, with expenses.

Counsel for the Pursuer – The Hon. Wm. Watson. Agents – J. & J. Turnbull, W.S. – Counsel for the Defenders – Mr Fleming, K.C., and Mr Crurie Steuart. Agents – Mackenzie & Kermack, W.S.

In Print

Newsprint – 1911

1911 January 11 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – ENTERTAINMENT BY SCHOOL CHILDREN. – On Friday night, the 30th ult., a very pleasant entertainment was given in Wasbister School. The night was rather unpleasant, and in consequence a good many were detained at home. Nevertheless the school was almost full, and decorated as it was with evergreens, looked very cosy indeed. The performers were all school children, and they gave a varied programme of song, dialogue, and recitation. It is difficult to say which was most appreciated, for it was all uniformly excellent, and reflected the utmost credit on their teacher, Miss [Mattie] Wards, for the trouble taken in preparation. At the interval tea was served and a beautiful Christmas-tree was lit up. Then it was seen to be loaded with gifts of all sorts, and each child received something. Rev. Mr Pirie acted as chairman in his usual happy way and gave a short speech, as also did Rev. Mr Jamieson. During the evening violin and piano selections were given by Miss Kirkness and Mr Inkster, while a gramophone also discoursed at intervals. Hearty votes of thanks to Miss Wards, the various performers, and the chairman brought a very pleasant evening to a close.

1911 January 18 Orkney Herald

CASE UNDER CHILDREN’S ACT. – In the Sheriff Court at Kirkwall, yesterday (Tuesday), before Sheriff Harvey, John Craigie, farmer, Glebe, Rousay, was charged with a contravention of the Children’s Act. His child, James William Craigie, was recently burned by his clothes taking fire, and he died shortly afterwards, and the charge was that the fire in the kitchen was not sufficiently protected. Mr T. Peace Low, who appeared for the accused, who was not present, tendered a plea of guilty. The Procurator-Fiscal (Mr Begg) said the case was instituted not for a penalty, but in order to bring the section of the Act before the public. The Act was comparatively new, and this section was persistently ignored. He had been in the habit of going a good deal through the country, and he did not think he had observed a fireguard in any room. The section had no right to be ignored any more than the regulations as to coal-mines. If people did not know, that was an opportunity of letting them know that the section did exist, and that if parents and guardians did not take proper precautions, they were liable to be prosecuted. As that was the first case – and he was sure accused had been sufficiently punished already in the sad loss sustained – he did not propose to ask any penalty. His lordship had power to dismiss accused with an admonition. Mr Low said the facts were, shortly, that accused, the father of the child, was at work at the steading. His wife, who had also been at the steading with the child, returned to the house and put the child with the other children, while she went to bring a pail of water. It was only a short distance, and would not take her more than one or two minutes. While she was away one of the children ran down and told the father that the child was on fire. He came and found the child’s clothes in flames. It was not certain how they got on fire. The child was wearing a new flannelette frock. Everything was at once done to extinguish the flames, but the child was so burned that it died. The father had no excuse, except that he did not know the law. That was, it was true, no excuse, but his lordship might take into account the fact that the Act was recent and was not known. It was quite true, as the Fiscal had said, that there was scarcely a house in the country with a fireguard. By the loss he had sustained, the father had suffered more than any pecuniary penalty that might be enforced, and he joined with the Fiscal in asking his lordship to dismiss the case. The Sheriff said they were full of sympathy with the parents in this sad case. No doubt the provisions of the Act were not well known, but that prosecution might serve to make them known. He had no hesitation in using his power to dismiss accused with an admonition.

ROUSAY – LECTURE. – Under the auspices of the Rousay U.F. Guild, on Thursday evening last, an interesting and instructive lecture on Northern Nigeria was given in Ritchie Church by Dr G. Jamieson Pirie, of the Colonial Medical Service, West Africa. The lecture, which dealt with several interesting features of this new dependency, such as the geography, the character of the inhabitants, their customs and means of livelihood, was illustrated by magic lantern views made from photographs taken by the lecturer himself. Mr John Logie, Trumland, who assisted in the production of the slides, manipulated the lantern and contributed to a very enjoyable evening.

1911 March 4 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. Ploughing Match. – The ploughing match was held on the farm of Sketquoy on Friday last, in a field kindly granted by Mr Robert Sinclair. For some days previous and on the morning of the match, the weather was stormy and the ground very wet, so that a number of ploughs did not turn up. However, there were still as many as to enable the Committee to obtain the Highland Society’s medal. The competition all over was very keen, but especially so between the first prize winners in both sections, for Mr John Logie’s silver cup for the best ploughed rig on field. The ploughmen were liberally supplied with refreshments on the field, and after their work was done, Mr and Mrs Sinclair’s generosity not even omitting the spectators. The judges were Messrs John Spence, Urrigar, Costa, and William Ritch, junr., Orquil, Rendall, who awarded the prizes as follows: –

PLOUGHING. – Champions. – 1, and medal, Tom Sinclair, Cotafea; 2, David Marwick, sr., Quoys. Ordinary. – 1, cup, and Highland Society’s Medal, James Craigie, Falquoy; 2, Bertie Louttit, Hullion; 3, David Moar, Saviskaill; 4, James Linklater, Curquoy; 5, Alex. Craigie, Innister; 6, Hugh Mainland, Langskaill; 7, Hugh Marwick. Trumland; 8, John Craigie, Furse; 9, Robert Sinclair, jr., Sketquoy; 10, James Marwick, Quoyostray; youngest ploughman, Hugh Mainland; best feering, James Craigie; best finish, David Moar; best feering on field, James Craigie; best finish on field, David Moar; best ploughed rig on field, James Craigie; straightest ploughing, Tom Sinclair.

HARNESS. – 1, David Moar; 2, Hugh Marwick; 3, Alex. Craigie; 4, James Craigie; 5, Bertie Louttit.

GROOMING. – 1, Hugh Marwick; 2, David Moar; 3, Alex. Craigie; 4, Bertie outtit; 5, James Linklater. Best turnout, David Moar.

In the evening the judges and a number of friends were entertained to a sumptuous dinner in Sketquoy. The usual loyal and patriotic toasts were given and responded to, and a pleasant evening spent. The Committee take this opportunity of thanking those who so liberally contributed to the funds of the society, and also to the special prize-list.

1911 March 25 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – The Guild of the United Free Church closed its winter session with a social in Ritchie Church on Thursday evening of last week. The weather being very favourable there was a large gathering of young people. The Rev. Mr Pirie presided. Suitable and amusing addresses were given by the Rev. Mr Jamieson. congregational assistant. and Messrs Grieve and John Inkster, Guild vice-presidents. A reading from Mr William Grieve, Guild Secretary; a solo from Mr William Grieve, congregational precentor, and a recitation from Mr Robert Mainland, were received with applause and appreciation. Mr James W. Grieve, Guild leader of praise, with his usual ability, led a well trained choir in a number of choruses, quartettes, trios, and duets. These were all beautifully rendered, and greatly enjoyed. Miss Reid and Miss Munro provided an excellent tea. Hearty votes of thanks to all who had contributed to the evening’s entertainment dosed the meeting.

1911 March 29 Orkney Herald

EMIGRATION. – During the past few weeks parties of emigrants have left Orkney by every steamer on their way to one or other of the large shipping ports whence they had booked their passages to the United States or to one or other of the British Colonies. In the large majority of cases, the destination is Canada, but a few are booked for Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States. Yesterday (Tuesday) about forty, mostly men between twenty and thirty-five years of age, left Kirkwall by the steamer St. Ninian; and other large parties leave during the next two months. Not since the fifties, when there was a great emigration from Orkney to Australia, have so many left Orkney to seek their fortunes in other lands.

1911 April 1 The Orcadian

DECENNIAL CENSUS. – Every ten years the Government takes a census of the people, and this week the papers have been sent to each home. On Sabbath evening first the papers are to be filled up with the name of all the indwellers along with their age and designation. The numbering of the people has been from of old, and to know what the increase or decrease of a nation or country or island may be, is always interesting to others beside the statisticians.

1911 April 8 The Orcadian

The following paper [written by James Omond, Orphir] read at a recent meeting of the Evie U.F. Guild, whilst having special reference to Evie, is descriptive of the habits and customs of the people of these islands in the period brought under review.

THE NORSE PERIOD. Evie, part of the parish of Evie and Rendall, is not so rich in historical associations as several of the other parishes of Orkney, e.g., Birsay, Orphir, etc. Although we find Gairsay mentioned frequently in the Orkneyinga Saga, and Eyin Helga, or Eynhallow, the only mention of Evie, or Efja, which was the Norse name, is when Swein crossed the Pentland Firth and coasted along the west side of Hrossey (the Mainland) on to Efja-sund (Evie Sound) and along to Hrolfsey or Rousay. This is rather strange, as the noble Sigurd stayed at Westness in Rousay, in Earl Paul’s time, while Olaf, and also the famous Swein, lived in Gareksey or Gairsay. Although there is no mention of Evie in the Norse period, there is plenty of legend and lore about the island of Eynhallow.

EYNHALLOW. The Rev. J. B. Craven in his history of the Church in Orkney, says that Eynhallow, the Holy Island, was the spot of the mission from Iona which appears to have the greatest sanctity. The island was so sacred that rats and mice will not live in it, and if corn is cut after sunset, blood flows from the straw.

All who have visited this romantic isle must have noticed on the west side the ruins of a building, which has been identified by various authorities as an ancient church. Professor Dietrichson of Norway describes the ruins very fully in his book “Monumenta Orcaca,” and as he points out there is little doubt out that it is the vanished monastery of the Orkneys, which existed in the year 1175. This probably accounts for the origin of the name Eyin Helga, Holy Island. Mr Duncan Robertson in the “Scots Magazine” relates the legend of how the vanishing isle of Eynhallow was won from the waters and left standing in the middle of the tide. The legend was that if a man saw it, kept his eyes fixed on it, took steel in his hand and landed on the isle it would remain fixed and visible amid the waters of the Roost. You will find in “The Orkney Book” an interesting article from the same writer on the vanishing island of Heather Bleather, the home of the Finn men, which appears and disappears to the present day, and I hope some Evie or Costa man, seeing the Rousay men failed, may yet by the aid of magic steel immovably fix this long-lost isle.

We all now associate Eynhallow with the foaming roosts on either side, with its rabbits darting hither and thither, or the dunter duck scurrying off its nest at our approach; or we ramble along the cliffs to Twenty Man Hole and Rambligeo, and watch the seals and scarfs, that people its shores. But, in the dim and distant past, who can doubt but that the Vikings came here in their Norse galleys and that monks formed solemn processions, sang Mass, and that from Evie, across the stormy roost, might be heard the call to matin or to evensong…..

1911 April 12 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CONCERT. – A most enjoyable concert was held in Sourin School on the evening of 31st March. Rev. A. I. Pirie occupied the chair. The audience which packed the schoolroom to the door, was regaled with a large and varied programme, besides a slight refreshment handed round at the interval. The musical items were furnished by a choir ably conducted by Mr J. W. Grieve; and some members of the choir, including the leader, also contributed solos. Their performance fully justified the high reputation of Rousay in vocal music. Several amusing dialogues were effectively rendered. Perhaps the tit-bits of the evening were supplied by the school children, whose drill, recitations, and dialogues did great credit to their smartness and to Miss [Jessie] Marwick’s training. Votes of thanks concluded the proceedings.

1911 April 19 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – We are pleased to observe that Veira Lickley Spark, third daughter of the Rev. Alexander Spark, minister of Rousay and Egilshay, has successfully passed the surgical and medical examination as a nurse in the Royal Free Hospital, Gray’s Inn Road, London, W.C.

1911 April 22 The Orcadian

CENSUS RETURNS. BIG DECREASE IN POPULATION. – Below we give the population for the various districts as shown by the recent census. We also give the figures for 1901 and 1891. The population in 1901 was 28,699, compared with 25,745 this year, showing a decrease of 2954 in the decennial period. This year’s figures, of course, will be slightly bettered when the returns from shipping and lighthouses are added, this part of the census not being in the hands of the local registrars: – …..

[The population of Rousay & Egilshay in 1891 was 988. In 1901 it was 829, and this year – 1911, it was down to 706 – 337 males and 369 females. The above figures would have been for Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre. The highest population figure of Rousay alone was in 1851 when the census recorded a total of 939 men, women and children. There were 274 folk in Wasbister; 332 in Sourin; 41 in the Brinian; 142 in Frotoft; and 150 in Westness and Quandale.]

1911 April 29 The Orcadian

Bad Coin and Church Collections. – It is curious how frequently coins which come to be rejected find their way into church collection plates. In this age of education it ought not to be necessary to remind anyone that if such offerings are to benefit giver or receiver, an essential is that they be current coin.

1911 May 13 The Orcadian

OLD TIME ORKNEY WEDDING. – Mr [James] Omand supplementing his articles on 80 years ago, contributes the following description of an Old Time Orkney Wedding –

The crofter and cottar of a hundred years ago had to work so hard to obtain a livelihood, and had so few of the luxuries of life that it is little wonder that a wedding was welcomed in the township as a festive occasion, when privation and toil might be exchanged for feasting and hilarity.

It was not reckoned an easy task for the young man to “spier” (ask) the owld man for his daughter, and often the lass had to break the ice herself by telling her mither that Tam was been seekin’ her and wad be ower wae his bottle on “Tiseday” or may be “Furseday” night. The guid-wife passed the secret on to the guidman, and when Tam appeared and produced his bottle the talisman was not a little help in making known his errand. Having survived this ordeal the rest was pretty easy. The “booking” was usually fixed for a Saturday night, and after Tam and his best man (the bride’s brother) had been to the minister or registrar to “pit in the cries,” there was usually a gathering at the bride’s house to celebrate the occasion.

Having been cried up or proclaimed in the parish church three times the wedding was usually fixed for the following Thursday. Friday was considered an unlucky day, and few would risk marrying in May.

An old custom was the washing of the feet of the happy pair the night before the wedding. A tub with plenty of water was got ready, and if the interested parties gave opposition to the proposed ceremony there were plenty of willing hands to forcibly place them in the tub, and sometimes the scrubbing of the feet was unnecessarily severe. In some parishes the young men went to the house of the bridegroom and the young women to the house of the bride, and the feet-washing took place in the different houses.

On the eventful day it was considered a good augury if the sun-god gave the pair his blessing by shining on the bride, but it was hardly possible for the elements to prevent a wedding taking place at the appointed time. Young and old would defy the worst of weather to be present at “wadding.”

For weeks before brewing had been going on, and often a cow was killed for the occasion. All the invited guests contributed to the entertainment, the men supplying a bottle of whisky or wine, and the women hens, cheese, butter, oatcakes, sowan scones. etc. This was called a penny wedding.

Everyone who had an old musket got it ready for the occasion, for it was a poor wedding where there was not a salvo of artillery to signalise the event.

In a good many cases the company went to the manse for the marriage ceremony. If performed at the bride’s house, there was a walk of a mile or two all the same, headed by one or two pipers, or, if a piper could not be got, a fiddler preceded the company.

The master of ceremonies called the “hoosal” (household), saw that each guest got a dram and a biscuit and cheese on arrival.

The hour depended on the season, and in winter was often three or four in the afternoon. The guests usually assembled in the barn, which had been cleaned up for the event, and the minister having arrived, the bride and best maid joined the bridegroom and best man, and with her father and mother proceeded there, so that the assembled company might witness the ceremony. This being concluded, the newly married pair started for the walk preceded by the pipers, and followed by the best man and best maid and the rest of the company in pairs.

There was usually a wild rush for the place of honour at the head of the company, and the pipers were careful to proceed with the sun and not against it.

          The firing of guns, barking of dogs, hoochs of the lads, and general hurrahing, testified to the greatness of the occasion, all being anxious to do their best for Tam and his blushing partner in life.

The walk ended, the bridescake and handsel were served out on trays or weights, and the handsel cog of hot ale and whisky handed round.

In very early times the bridescake was home-made, being a big oatcake baked with butter and sugar, and for luck it was often broken over the bride’s head, and everyone scrambled for a piece as best they could. Later it was a large cake of shortbread, cut into small pieces and containing a ring and a thimble. The party lucky enough to get the piece with the ring usually proclaimed the fact loudly as it meant they were to be the next married, but the one who got the thimble said nothing about it, being doomed to single blessedness. In recent years the pieces of cake were wrapped in coloured tissue paper, and the bridescakes are elaborate and ornate affairs.

The handsel was a bit of each kind of cake at the wedding and cheese, and was wrapped up in paper as it was usually taken home.

In modern times tea was prepared in the house, and the lads took their partners into tea, the company being divided into lots as the tables could accommodate them. We must, however, return to the barn, as we have been anticipating matters a bit.

After the handsel had been served, the fiddlers struck up, and the first dance was the bride’s reel, when the newly married couple had to set the example along with the best man and the best maid in a foursome.

The fun now became fast and furious, and, if the courtesy and elaborate bows of the modern ballroom were not in evidence, for it was not unusual for a young gallant to address the lady he wished to join him in a dance with “Come on, lass,” there was at least an absence of cold and stiff formality, an abundance of good-humoured banter and a liveliness, heartiness, and good cheer, that make a country wedding in Orkney a festive occasion still desired by even the youth and gentry of our cities.

About midnight supper was ready. In old times it was beef and broth, and substantial oatcakes, for, as we said, a cow had been killed in honour of the feast. The women who took charge of the household arrangements were called “handsel wives,” and they, and the “hoosal,” looked after the welfare of the guests.

It must have been a sight worth seeing – a wedding supper in the old time – and vividly recalls the days of the Vikings, when Sweyn entertained his followers in the banqueting hall at Gairsay.

The supper was usually set ben, the box-beds, etc., having been removed outside, to make room. The furniture was rough and ready. Long planks served for seats, and a door, top of a girnel, or anything handy, helped to make the table. The broth pots were steaming at the but fire, and the hoosal and hansel wives were busy at the binks (dresser or table) cutting up huge chunks of beef.

Two or three fat young pigs were always getting in the road, and receiving a kick from one or another, or maybe a plate of hot soup over the back, as the guid-wife stumbled over them on her road ben. The blazing peat fire on the hearth, and a cruisie here and there supply all the light, but our forefathers had good eyes and also good teeth. We will now look over the shoulder of the guid wife as she stands ben taking a final survey to see that all is ready. The room is tolerably well lighted with candles, and the steaming plates of broth with a hornspoon beside them, piles of oat bannocks, baking plates and trays covered with beef, mugs of foaming ale may well cause a flush of pride on her sonzie face, as she turns and remarks to the hansel wife, “Weel, Betty, I think they’ll hae plenty tae eat ony way, whit thinks thoo?”

And now they come trooping in, man and maid, with happy red flushed faces, strong, broad-shouldered, weather-beaten men, who got their hardy looks when they were hauling the nets over the quarter of a herring boat, pitching bows in, off Copinshay, and the lasses – bless them – creels of dung and kaesies of ware have not yet bowed their backs, nor blanched their cheeks. Grace having been said by the elder, the hoosal remarks, “Noo boys, fa tae and lasses see if ye can fin’ yer mooths, if no the boys’ll maybe help ye.”

In the early morning the bride’s cog is concocted. It is a brew, consisting of 12 eggs, 6 bottles of whisky, and 6 bottles of hot ale, and is said to be a safe cure for a bad headache. The cog itself deserves passing mention. It holds two Scotch pints and was shaped like a little tub, three of the staves at equal intervals having been left longer than the rest to serve as handles. The staves are of brown and white wood alternately, and the “girds” of white each stripped of its bark. You grip the cog by two of the handles, raising it to your head, and after having taken a “deep. deep draught,” you pass it to your neighbour, who grasps it by the third and spare handle, and does ditto. People cared little about microbes or bacteria in those times; it may be that there was too much peat reek about for these small gentry to thrive properly.

The dancing, which consisted mostly of foursome, sixsome, and eightsome reels went on gaily till 7 or 8 next morning, and was concluded by Bobbity Bowster. This reel was danced in various ways, one popular form being to place a chair on the middle of the barn floor, round which the best man danced with a handkerchief in his hand, which he threw to the best maid, who arose and seated herself in the chair, when she was kissed by her partner. She then rose, and taking hands they danced round the chair, while she threw the handkerchief on some lad in the company, who joined in the dance and threw the handkerchief to his partner, whom he saluted in the chair, and this procedure was followed until all the company were in the dance. In some places the best maid began the dance giving the ladies the privilege of choosing their partners, and lady and gentleman seated themselves in the chair alternately.

Often the chair was dispensed with, and when the salutation was also abolished, the dance fell into disuse, being again far behind the “good old times.” The order of procedure at a wedding, in handing around the handsel, handsel cog, and bride’s cog, was also different in different places, but the necessary elements in a successful wedding were tersely put by Jock when, in reply to the question of “What sort o’ a wadding was it?” he replied, “A rippin’ wadding boy; plenty tae eat and drink, plenty o’ bonnie lasses, and Patie o’ Waster was as fu as a piper at 8 o’clock.”


ROUSAY DISPUTE ABOUT AN ESTATE. – In the Orkney Small Debt Court at Kirkwall on Tuesday, James Grieve, residing at Outerdykes, Rousay, sued William Sabiston, Redlums, Rousay, as executor of his deceased wife, Mrs Margaret Grieve or Sabiston, for a sum of £17 6s 3d. being one-fourth of the estate to which he avers he is entitled as a brother of Mrs Sabiston, who died intestate. Mr Drever for defender submitted that action was one of accounting, and could not therefore be competently raised in the Small Debt Court. He therefore asked that the action be dismissed. Mr Robertson for pursuer argued that the action was not one of accounting, but was for a fixed sum, which pursuer held he was entitled to as a brother of Mr Sabiston’s deceased wife. The Sheriff – Does the defender admit the sum? Mr Drever – No. Mr Robertson – He says it is his own property. The only point to be decided is whether this property really belongs to defender or to the estate of his deceased wife. If the action is dismissed it would only mean bringing another action to the ordinary Court for a very small sum. The Sheriff intimated that he would consider the question raised. Pursuer’s agent – D. J. Robertson, solicitor, Kirkwall; defender’s agent – W. P. Drever, solicitor, Kirkwall.

[The Sheriff subsequently dismissed the action on the ground that though the pursuer’s claim was only £17 6s 3d, the amount given as the value of Mrs Sabiston’s estate exceeded £20, which was the limit in a Small Debt cause. Sheriff Harvey allowed defender 5s of expenses.]

1911 May 20 The Orcadian

A MISTY MAY. – “A misty May and a leaking June make the harvest ripen soon,” so says the old saw. After the heat of last week which was phenomenal for this season – 110 degrees in the sun being registered – a heavy mist hung over all for a day or two, and every evening for some time has been thick. Seldom has the country looked better. Oats, grass, and potatoes are showing up well, in fact there has been no such appearance for years.

1911 June 28 Orkney Herald


[This was the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary on June 22. George became the sovereign on the death of his father, King Edward VII on May 6th 1910, though his coronation, at Westminster Abbey, did not take place until over a year later.]

KIRKWALL. – On Wednesday evening the barometer began to fall, and dark masses of clouds, ominous and threatening, gathered in the south eastern horizon. The sun had set as if in a sea of blood, and left behind a trail of gold, beyond which it seemed the clouds dare not pass. “Keep your eye on the lee sky,” said an old salt at the harbour, “and if it keeps clear, you can always be certain to have the weather fair.” A feeling of optimism pervaded all. Surely the elements would not be so unkind as to mar the day of all days of the year, they thought. They recalled how often signs of atmospheric disturbance had made their appearance of late, and, passing away with perhaps a shower, left the weather unchanged; and so the preparations which were to give visible signs of Kirkwall’s loyalty to the throne went gaily on. All over the town workmen were busily transforming the dull, grey walls of the buildings in the city and royal burgh into a blaze of colour, and by 10 p.m. the town presented a brilliant appearance. In the principal streets some of the decorations were of an elaborate nature, showing much taste and skill in their conception. Sentiments of loyalty and good-will met the eye on every side – tangible proofs that the citizens had entered with a hearty goodwill into spirit of the occasion. Such was the condition of things, as we said, at a late hour on Wednesday evening. But alas for human wisdom ! About midnight the ominous patter of rain was heard on the windows, proving to be the forerunner of a torrential downpour which lasted all through the night, and, with little intermission, until the afternoon of Coronation Day.

In the morning, the sight that met the gaze was a most pitiable one. All the glory of the display had been washed out. The drapery that had been hung out with such pride but a few hours before, resplendent in purple, red, and gold, was now lying limp, its colours dyeing the streets or running in rivulets along the causeway. Remains of flags and paper roses, torn from their settings, were lying everywhere. Knots of people were here and there pathetically viewing the scenes of desolation, and keen disappointment was felt. Truly, as one was heard to say, this was gaiety run to tears.

At eight o’clock on Thursday morning the bells of St Magnus gave forth a joyous peal, which was repeated at intervals during the day…..

The inhabitants of Rousay had made up their minds to be nowise behind in celebrating the Coronation. A public picnic had been arranged, with games for the school children, sports, and bonfire to be held at Trumland. Unfortunately, the weather was not what it might have been for the occasion; however, during the afternoon, the weather took a turn for the better, and the school children and older folks began to arrive about two o’clock. As the grass was still somewhat wet, they were all, through the kindness of Mr Craigie, farmer, taken into the barn, where milk, cookies, and the usual good things on such occasions, were dispensed. About four o’clock the weather conditions had greatly improved, and the children’s games and sports were started, and were very much enjoyed by all present and keenly contested, especially by the younger ones, who entered into friendly rivalry with great zest. At 5.30 all present formed into a procession and marched through Trumland gardens, Mr [John] Cutt, gardener, showing them through. At 6 p.m. a sojourn was made to Trumland House, where Mr [John] Logie, estate agent [estate land steward and caretaker], and a competent staff, served tea on the lawn to about 300, which everyone present thoroughly enjoyed. After tea, Rev. A. Pirie addressed the children, explaining to them what a Coronation was, and the crowning of the King. Rev. A. Spark also briefly addressed the children. The committee has presented all the school children with a Coronation medal, and, through the kindness of Lady Pentland, who recently visited Rousay, each child was presented with a bag of sweets, after which all present sang the National Anthem, led by Mr William Grieve, Falldown. All again returned to the Trumland barn, when a dance was kept up with much vigour till ten o’clock, when all repaired to the hill at the Picts House [Taversoe Tuick] to witness the bonfires being set ablaze throughout the different parishes. When the time was up, the Rousay bonfire was lit by Mrs Spark [the minister’s new wife, Jane Hannah Reid], and immediately a great blaze shot up towards the sky. Many bonfires were to be seen – one in Shapinsay, and another in Evie being specially bright, and some people who had gone to the higher hill to watch the fires being lighted, counted as many as twenty throughout Orkney. After the bonfire, the young folks joined in a dance, and at the close all present were loud in their praise of the whole proceedings, declaring it to have been one of the most enjoyable days ever spent in the parish.

1911 July 5 Orkney Herald

LAST Thursday the seamen and firemen on board the steamer Orcadia, belonging to the Orkney Steamship Company, sent in a request for an increase of wages, and on Saturday morning, having declined to proceed to the North Isles with the steamer unless an understanding was arrived at, they were ordered ashore. After a delay of some hours, one or two substitutes were got and the steamer proceeded. On the steamer Fawn, belonging to the same company, arriving at Kirkwall from Rousay on Saturday, a request was also made for an increase of wages, and a settlement was arrived at. Yesterday (Tuesday) a settlement was reached with reference to the Orcadia, and some of the old hands were taken back.

1911 July 8 The Orcadian

THE DROWNING ACCIDENT OF AN ORCADIAN. – Last week we briefly reported the drowning of a young man named John Maclean, a native of Rousay, which occurred on the 20th June at the manure factory, Heogan, Bressay, Shetland. From further particulars to hand it appears that no-one actually saw deceased fall into the water, so that it is not clear how he met his death. Maclean had been working with the trolley on the jetty, however, and it is supposed that he has overbalanced and fallen off the trolley and then into the sea. The jetty is very slippery, and the unfortunate man evidently did not recover himself after overbalancing. There was no-one near him at the time, and it was an hour or two later that he was missed. He could not be found at nine o’clock, and, fearing that something had happened, the manager of the station gave orders for a search to be made. Shortly afterwards the body was found on the bottom near the side of the jetty. The steam launch belonging to the Company immediately crossed to Lerwick for a doctor, who, on reaching the station, endeavoured to restore animation, but without success. Maclean was a young unmarried man, 22 years of age.

[John James McLean was the son of Duncan McLean and Jane Grieve, Breval, Sourin.]

1911 July 15 The Orcadian

ST MAGNUS CATHEDRAL SUNDAY SCHOOL. – Last Saturday the children attending the Cathedral Sunday School were given their annual picnic. Last year the excursion to Rousay had been so enjoyable that by unanimous consent it was agreed to revisit that island, and the success of this year’s picnic amply justified the choice. The weather in the morning looked rather unsettled, but it cleared up to a delightful day, the warm sunshine being tempered by a gentle breeze. When the Fawn left Kirkwall, she was crowded with happy children, under the care of the Rev. Mr Craig, Mr James Tait, the superintendent, and the Sunday School teachers. She also carried a considerable number of the parents and other passengers. On arriving at Rousay, the children were conducted to a field in front of Trumland House, very kindly provided by Mr Craigie, where a most enjoyable day was spent, the children, needless to say, doing ample justice to the bountiful supply of eatables, and joining with their usual keenness in the customary sports. Before returning, prizes for the games were awarded, and handsome book prizes were given to the scholars who had been most regular in their attendance during the session, these being handed to the recipients by Miss Jane Hewison.

1911 July 19 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – THE annual regatta of the Rousay Boat Club is to take place on the Kirkwall July Holiday when the Fawn is to run a special trip to Rousay. This year the Committee (in view of the growing popularity of the motor boat) have decided to give a cup for motors. As usual there will be a tea room at Trumland Pier for the convenience of visitors.

WE understand both Trumland and Westness shootings have again been let for this year, Sir Victor Horsley has again taken Trumland and is expected on the 29th inst. Westness shootings have been let to Mr Carrington, London, who is expected to arrive about the 1st of August, and we understand intends having a large party during the shooting season.

MRS MIDDLEMORE also arrives at the Lodge in Eynhallow to-day for a brief visit. We may add this Lodge has had large additions put on this year, and is now a very comfortable house.

1911 July 26 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY REGATTA. – The annual regatta of the Rousay Boat Club took place in Veira Sound on Friday the 21st inst. The s.s. Fawn ran her usual trip to Rousay, and with her arrived quite a number of visitors for the day. The regatta, so far as sailing was concerned, was rather disappointing – local competitors being conspicuous by their absence; but no doubt the weather conditions had a good deal to do with that.

The first race, which was for boats 16 ft. waterline and under, started at 12.45. There were three entries, viz., Isabel, Annie, and Alice. All three got well off – on the starting gun being fired – and kept their respective places during the race. The finish was as follows: – (Corrected Time).

Alice (C. Logie) – 1h 5m 2s
Annie (D. Finlayson) – 1h 7m 55s
Isabel (C. W. Tait) – 1h 9m 36s

The second race was for boats 22 ft. waterline and under; and as there were no boats of this class forward for competition, the committee decided to open it for boats 25 ft., when three entered for competition – Annie (J. Logie), Hero (M. Grieve), and Lily (D. Miller), the latter being allowed 10 minutes time allowance extra on the course. The finish was as follows: –

Annie (J. Logie) – 1h 30m 10s
Lily (D. Miller) – 1h 45m 8s
Hero (M. Grieve) – 1h 53m 9s

Perhaps the most interesting race of the day was the motor race, for which there were three entries, viz., Messrs Leslie & Leonard, Kirkwall; Mr Wm. Miller, Evie; and Mr Alex. Logie, Rousay. There was a keen contest between Messrs Leslie & Leonard and Mr Miller, Evie, for the cup. Unfortunately, Mr Miller’s motor stuck for seven minutes, and the cup was easily won by Messrs Leslie & Leonard. Mr Logie retired from the race.

The next race to start was the all-comers race, for which three boats entered – Annie, Hero, and Alice. The boats all got off well together, and they came is as follows: –

Annie (J. Logie) – 1h 1m 1s
Hero (M. Grieve) – 1h 17m 0s
Alice (C. Logie) – 1h 17m 14s

During the all-comers race and later, rain fell very heavily, and no competitors could be got for the ladies’ and boys’ rowing races. For the men’s rowing race there were two boats entered, and after a keen contest they finished as follows: – 1, Geo. Seatter and Thos. Alexander, Egilshay; 2, Geo. Reid, Rousay, and J. Rendall, Gairsay.

As in former years, the Committee had a tea-room in the store which was well patronized during the day, and much credit is due to the ladies who had charge of it. A dance was held in the store at night, and was kept up with much spirit till the sma’ ‘oors. The Committee take this opportunity of thanking all who contributed to the funds of the club, and so helped to make the regatta a success.

1911 August 5 The Orcadian

THUNDER STORM – BULLOCK KILLED. – A thunder storm of some severity was experienced in Kirkwall and the East Mainland on Sunday morning. As early as six o’clock peals of thunder were heard approaching from the south-east, and about eight o’clock there were several flashes of lightning with heavy peals of thunder, and some rain. An hour later, the thunderstorm was renewed with greater severity than ever, and for nearly half an hour, rain fell in torrents. In the forenoon, however, the weather brightened, and warm sunshine was enjoyed in Kirkwall and vicinity. The storm was also experienced in Westray, and a report comes to hand, which, however, we have not been able to verify, that a bullock has been killed there by lightning. It is also reported that a lamb was killed at Veira, and that three young horses grazing on the island of Scockness took fright at the noise of the thunder, plunged into the sea, and swam to the island of Egilshay. We also hear that lightning entered a farm house in Stronsay, smashing a mirror, and some crockery.

1911 August 16 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY CATTLE SHOW. – This show was held, under most favourable weather conditions, last Tuesday. The number of entries was, we understand, a record one, there being over a hundred entries in the cattle section alone, and the quality of the stock was also very good. During the day the show was visited by a large number of spectators. The judges were: – Messrs R. Scarth, Binscarth, Firth; and George Learmonth, Pow, Sandwick. Annexed is the prize-list: –

Calves – 1, J. Craigie Trumland; 2, hc and c, Mainland and Stevenson, Westness; 3, D. Gibson, LangskailI.
Shorthorn Cows – 1, J. Craigie; 2 and hc, Mainland & Stevenson; 3, Wm. Moar, Saviskaill; c, D. Gibson.
Polled Cows – 1, D. Inkster, Furse; 2, D. Gibson; 3, Jas. Craigie; hc, John Scott, Hurteso; c, Jas. Russell, Brendale.
Two-year-old Shorthorn Queys – 1, J. Gibson, Faraclett; 2, Jas. Russell; 3 and hc, Mainland & Stevenson; c, John Scott.
Two-year-old Polled Queys – 1 and c, Wm. Moar; 2 and hc, D. Gibson; 3, Mainland & Stevenson.
One-year-old Polled Queys – 1 and c, D. Inkster; 2 and hc, D. Gibson; 3, Fred Inkster, Innister.
One-year-old Shorthorn Queys – 1, A. C. Gibson, Myres; 2, James Craigie; 3, James Russell; hc, Robert Seatter, Banks; c, William Moar.
Two-year-old Shorthorn Steers – 1 and 2, Mainland & Stevenson; 3, R. Seatter; hc, J. Craigie; c, William Moar.
Two-year-old Polled Steers – 1, 2, 3, and c, Mainland & Stevenson; hc, J. Craigie.
One-year-old Polled Steers – 1, 2, and c, D. Gibson; 3 and hc, Fred Inkster.
One-year-old Shorthorn Steers – 1, J. Inkster, Woo; 2, T. Brown, Curquoy; 3, Fred Inkster; hc, George Gibson, Avelshay; c, James Craigie.

Mare with Foal at Foot – 1, P. Sinclair, Bigland; 2, Fred Inkster; 3, Wm. Moar; hc, Mainland & Stevenson; c, J. Gibson, Faraclett.
Foals – 1, George Gibson; 2, John Corsie, Knarston; 3, Peter Sinclair; hc, Fred Inkster; c, WiIIiam Moar.
Draught Geldings – 1, D. Gibson, Hullion; 2, Rousay Co-operative Society; 3, James Craigie; hc, John Gibson, Faraclett; c, John Gibson, No. 3 Frotoft.
Three-year-old Geldings – 1, John Craigie, Knarston; 2, John Gibson, Faraclett.
Yeld Mares – 1 and hc, William Moar; 2, J. Craigie; 3, D Gibson; c, R. Seatter.
Two-year-old Fillies – 1, Fred Inkster; 2, Wm. Moar.
One-year-old Fillies – 1, John Craigie, Glebe; 2, R. Seatter; 3, John Scott; hc, John Marwick, Knarston.
Two-year-old Geldings – 1, George Gibson; 2, Robert Seatter.
One-year-old Geldings – 1, James Craigie; 2, William Moar; 3, George Gibson; hc, J. Inkster.

Silver Cake Basket for the Best Milking Cow – D. Inkster, Furse.
Silver Medal, presented by Mr Moir, Aberdeen, for the best One-year-old Bullock – D. Inkster.
Prize for best group of three in the cattle sections – D. Inkster.
Medal for Best Mare in Yard – James Craigie, Trumland. Mr Craigie having won the medal for three years, it now becomes his property.
Medal for Best Draught Gelding – D. Gibson, Hullion.

1911 August 26 The Orcadian

BOATING ACCIDENT AT ROUSAY. – A serious boating accident occurred off Sourin, Rousay, on Tuesday. From information to hand it appears that a son of Sir Victor Horsley was fishing from a small boat in this vicinity, when he fell into the sea. A lady, who was the only other occupant of the boat at the time, in the excitement of the moment, lost both oars, and was rendered powerless to offer assistance. Fortunately the accident was observed from the shore, and a rescue party set off. By this time, however, the young man had sunk, and it was only after some difficulty that he was picked up from the bottom. He was of course, now in a serious condition, and animation, our informant states, was only restored after great difficulty. It is gratifying to learn that he is now recovering.

1911 September 2 The Orcadian

ROUSAY – PRESENTATION. – On Wednesday afternoon the scholars of Sourin School, Rousay, and a number of their parents met in the schoolroom and presented Miss Marwick, their teacher, with a beautiful Torsion balance time-piece in a glass case, and silver ink bottle and pen holder on the occasion of her leaving the school to be married. Mr William Grieve, of Falldown, a member of the School Board, requested, on behalf of the Committee, that Mr Pirie, Chairman of the School Board, make the presentation. Mr Pirie, in the course of his remarks, stated that Miss Marwick had been for eight years the teacher in that school, and that the pupils and parents, now that she was leaving to enter on a course of “Practical Domestic Economy,” wished to present her with this testimonial of their good wishes for her future married life, and to express to her their gratitude for the excellent tuition she had given to the children, and for her kindness to them whilst under her care. Miss Marwick feelingly and neatly returned thanks for such a beautiful present. At the close of the proceedings, the company was supplied with refreshments by Miss Marwick.

[Born on November 13th 1872, Janet (Jessie) Marwick was the daughter of Hugh Marwick and Lydia Gibson, Guidall. Her husband to be was David Gibson, son of John and Jane Gibson, Langskaill.]

1911 September 6 Orkney Herald


On Friday last the Rousay, Egilshay and Veira Co-operative Society held a very successful meeting in Sourin Schoolhouse. The programme by the Committee of Management was a very thorough one, and arranged to give everyone attending the meeting the opportunity of discussing co-operation and its successful development in the islands. After a preliminary meeting of the committee, the general meeting of shareholders, which was extremely well attended, began at 3 p.m., the honorary president, Sir Victor Horsley, F.R.S., being in the chair. After the meeting had confirmed the minutes of the previous meeting, the first important business was the reception of an interim financial report on the first nine months’ working of the society. This was presented by the chairman of the Committee of Management, Mr John Logie, who, in the course of an interesting and minutely detailed statement, showed that while the turnover of the society had during the nine months amounted to £2230, then stood at the credit of the society the sum of £63. This result of the initial transactions of the society was naturally received by the members with satisfaction. The interim financial report was then adopted unanimously. The Chairman then invited discussion on the need of immediately providing for the rapid development of the society and its work. He reported that the Committee of Management advised the raising of further capital to construct a store in Sourin and a bakehouse. The Committee estimated that for this purpose £150 would be required, and the Chairman showed that this represented 600 shares, of which he desired to take up two-thirds. On putting to the meeting by show of hands the question of subscribing the remaining third, there was cordial response, and the proposals of the committee were then unanimously approved by the meeting on formal resolutions proposed and seconded by Messrs Grieve and Seatter, R. Marwick and F. Inkster respectively. On a further resolution from the chair, the meeting unanimously instructed the Committee of Management to carry out the decision to erect a store and bakehouse at Sourin. A letter was then read from Mr Drysdale, the secretary of the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society, offering some good cockerels. This kind offer was accepted with appreciation, and the hon. secretary was instructed to send a suitable acknowledgement. No further questions being brought forward by any member, the meeting then terminated.

It was immediately followed by a tea, to which Sir Victor and Lady Horsley had invited the house-holders and their families of the three islands. There was a large attendance, and the instability of the weather was guarded against by the meeting being held in a large tent erected in the school playground adjoining the school building. During tea, Sir Victor Horsley proposed the health of the King and Queen, which was received with acclamation. He then made a brief statement respecting the extension of the franchise to women, namely, that Lady Horsley and himself were anxious to start a Rousay, Egilshay and Veira Branch of the Orkney Women’s Suffrage Society, and that circulars inviting membership would be forwarded later.

PUBLIC MEETING. – After tea, an open public meeting was held, Sir Victor Horsley in the chair. The unavoidable absence of the Rev A. I. Pirie was reported.

The Chairman then addressed the meeting. He discussed the object and ideals of the society. As regards the former, it was notoriously most difficult for an agriculturist, without the help of cooperation, to sell except with a slender margin of profit, and further, that for economic distribution, co-operation was absolutely essential. As regards the social question, he referred to the objects of the Scottish Organisation Society, and said that the primal object of the Co-operative Society was to secure that the man who earned a profit should get it. Turning to the special developments of agricultural work made easier by co-operation, he discussed modern means of preventing disease among poultry, of breeding by selection for egg-laying, and hoped that during the winter they would be able to get the services of a County Council lecturer, not only on these points, but also on the butter and cheese problem, which co-operation had done so much to solve abroad. The selection of milkers in breeding cows, the establishment of a co-operative creamery, were all points the members of the society should be seriously considering, although, of course, they must go slowly and cautiously at first. The establishment of a bakehouse which would easily serve the needs of the three islands, he agreed, was a first necessity and direct advantage to the members. While pressing the necessity of extending the work and membership of the Co-operative Society, he thought they should keep in mind another phase of co-operation, namely, the mutual help which the societies in Orkney could afford each other. This had been ably dealt with by Dr Douglas at the conference of delegates of Co-operative Societies held in Kirkwall last month, which he had the privilege of attending. The special use of the telephone to farmers just introduced by the present Government would be of invaluable assistance, and the ever vexed question of transport also should be taken up by the societies. If the societies developed they ought to include every agriculturist in the county, and they would then be able to make favourable terms with the shipping companies or develop their own motor boat traffic, which would secure suitable days of calling and punctuality. Co-operation between the societies was second in importance only to co-operation between the members of each society. In conclusion, he could not understand why anyone who had saved five shillings, the price of a share, was not a member of the society. The work of these societies, and the extraordinary impetus they have given to the social well-being of a community, had resulted in proportion as every individual in the community has taken a share or shares. It was not a question for householders only, but for parents and children alike. All should have their names on the register of the society as shareholders, and feel not simply the benefit to themselves but the greater pleasure of helping each other and sharing in the furtherance of national progress.

1911 September 23 The Orcadian

DISCOVERY OF HUMAN REMAINS AT EYNHALLOW. – Whilst workmen were engaged a few days ago erecting posts on Eynhallow for the preservation of ancient monuments they came upon some human remains, at a depth of about three feet. There appeared to be at least two skeletons. Intimation was made of the discovery to Mr James W. Cursiter, F.S.A. (Scot.), and operations were at once stopped, so as to afford an opportunity of the remains being examined.

1911 October 14 The Orcadian

SMALL DEBT ACTION. – The action at the instance of John Shearer, clothier, Leith, against the Rev. Alex. Spark. Rousay, for payment of £10 16s 9d for clothing, etc., supplied to a son and daughter, again came before Sheriff Harvey on Tuesday. Mr Low for the defenders stated objections to the relevancy of the action – that at the time the debt was incurred the daughter was 28 years of age and supporting herself, the father not being responsible for her maintenance; and that the amount incurred by the son was prescribed. The Sheriff said he was prepared to dismiss the action on these grounds. Mr Buchanan asked that before judgment was pronounced, the part of the account which his lordship held to be prescribed be referred to the writ or oath of the son. The Sheriff held this could only be under an action against the son; therefore dismissed the action with expenses.

1911 October 21 The Orcadian

RECENT ACCIDENT AT ROUSAY. – Sir Victor Horsley has presented fine gold watches and alberts to the boys who recently saved his son from drowning. The names of the boys are, Alfred Alexander, Hermisgarth, Sanday, and Robert Sinclair, Sketquoy, Rousay. The inscription on the watches is “To (name of recipient) from Sir Victor and Lady Horsley, in grateful recollection of his prompt and kind action on the 22nd Aug., 1911.”

[More information regarding this event, and photos of Robert Sinclair’s watch can be seen here: – Sourin Sea Rescue.]

1911 October 25 Orkney Herald

HARVEST. – With the exception of some dry cold weather in June, the summer has been the finest for many years past. Harvest began about the first week of September, and, in some cases, even a week earlier, being the earliest in the memory of most farmers. With the exception of some rainy weather in the later half of September, the weather was fine and the crops were all secured in good condition. Both straw and grain, especially the latter, are over an average crop, the weight of oats sent to mill being 40 to 42 lbs., and even more, per bushel. Harvest hands were somewhat short, and several farmers had to get self-binders. Potatoes and turnips are also good crops. On some fields there is a good deal of finger-and-toe. Where this is the case, farmers should adopt the six shift, and rest their land three years in grass. They will get better turnips and cleaner land to work. This has been a good grass year, and the aftermath was exceptionally abundant. Several cattle, however, were hooved on the clover. Care should be taken to give the stock clover in a dry state, and, where the fields are enclosed, the best plan is to put the cattle on the clover on a dry day and keep them on it thereafter night and day. While Orkney has had an exceptionally fine season, England and the mainland of Scotland have been burnt up with heat and drought. Store cattle and sheep are consequently somewhat down in price.

1911 October 28 The Orcadian

After a spell of exceptionally fine weather – our usual “Peerie Summer” – we experienced a sudden change this week. A snell north wind blew snow-laden clouds about, and the air had that freshness peculiar to winter. Slight sprinklings of snow fell at intervals, while on the hills streaks of white could be traced. Opinions favour an early and severe winter. Farmers are in most cases well advanced with ploughing. Potatoes are safely housed and general work is progressing leisurely. If there were rather better prices in store cattle and stock generally, it would be difficult to find anything to grumble at.

1911 November 8 Orkney Herald

THE STORM IN ORKNEY. – Stormy weather prevailed throughout nearly the whole of last week. On Friday night a severe thunderstorm passed over the Orkneys. On Saturday the wind blew with almost hurricane force all day from the south-west, accompanied with high tides. The steamer St Rognvald arrived at Kirkwall from Aberdeen about 2 p.m., but owing to the high seas running was unable to come to the pier till nearly 8 p.m. The mail steamer St Ola did not cross the Pentland Firth; the steamers Orcadia and Fawn, trading with the North Isles, were likewise unable to make their usual rounds. The steamer Iona, however, came to Kirkwall and returned to Shapinsay as usual. Crews of vessels taking shelter in the various bays among the islands report the storm to have been one of the worst they have ever experienced. Some anxiety was felt regarding the safety of some local vessels. The smacks Narcissus and Thomas Henry left the Firth of Forth in the middle of last week for Kirkwall, but though they have not yet arrived, both have been reported safe. A good deal of damage of a minor character has been done throughout the islands, but the only serious damage was the wreck of a schooner at Flotta. At Kirkwall the sea broke over the Ayre, and some of the low-lying parts of the town were flooded The storm continued on Sunday, though with less violence. Some of the local steamers made the passages they should have made on Saturday. About 1 o’clock on Sunday, the Orcadia, while proceeding to Westray, spoke of the large Norwegian steamer Turid, bound for Liverpool with a cargo of wood. She was unable to proceed on her voyage owing to the violence of the storm. The sea in Scapa Flow and the Pentland Firth was, however, so high as to make it impossible for the mail steamer to cross. There was consequently a very heavy mail on Monday, but at Kirkwall an extra staff was put on and the delivery took place at the usual time. Telegrams were much delayed, owing to breakdowns of telegraph wires, &c., throughout the country.

1911 November 22 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – GUILD SOCIAL. – The guild of the United Free Church opened its winter session with a social on Thursday evening in Ritchie Church, the Rev. A. Irvine Pirie presiding. Humorous and instructive addresses were delivered by the Rev. Mr Macleod, of Orphir, and Mr John Inkster, one of the guild vice-presidents. Racy readings were given by Mr R. Mainland; and Mr W. Grieve, congregational precentor, gave a solo with beautiful expression and effect. A large well-balanced choir, under the able leadership of Mr James W. Grieve, guild leader of praise, gave a number of hymns, duets, and quartettes, with great taste and precision. An excellent tea was prepared and served by Miss Munro, Miss Reid, and a committee.

1911 December 27 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – Sir Victor and Lady Horsley and members of their family arrived at Trumland House on Saturday.

In Print

Newsprint – 1910

1910 January 15 The Orcadian

A four days’ storm, followed by snow, broke out in Orkney on Saturday, the wind appearing to reach its height on Sunday night. There were vivid flashes of lightning on Sunday, but fortunately, so far as we can learn, no damage was done. The Pentland Firth passage was maintained without interruption, but owing to a breakdown of the telegraph some inconvenience was caused to business people owing to the delay on the wire through messages having to be transmitted via Lerwick.

1910 January 19 Orkney Herald


CERTIFICATED FEMALE TEACHER Wanted for Wasbister Public School
at a salary of £70 stg. per annum, with free house, partly furnished; or,
provisionally, CERTIFICATED TEACHER, qualified under Art. 71 of the
Code, at a salary of £50 stg. per annum, with free house. To enter on
duty as soon as possible. Apply immediately, with testimonials, to
Clerk of School Board, Rousay, Orkney. 17th January, 1910.

[This position was filled by Martha (Mattie) Wards, who married Mark Mackay Kirkness, Quoyostray, in 1913.]



Mr Alex. Russell, Stromness, contributes to ‘Notes and Queries’
the following superstitions which he has collected in Orkney: –


Fishermen count it unlucky –

1. To meet a flat-footed person or a woman or to see any animal crossing one’s path when leaving for the fishing.
2. To turn the boat the opposite way to the course of the sun.
3. To find a fin in one’s mittens.
4. To mention “minister” or “kirk” by these terms on board the boat.
5. For anyone to throw water on a person going to the fishing.
6. For anyone to look at the bait when it has just been gathered.
7. For anyone to wish them good luck as they are putting out.
8. To catch a ling as their first take.
9. To be asked the number of their catch.
10. To go fishing on Christmas Day.
11. For anyone to cruise in their boat if they are going fishing the same day.
12. To meet a squint-eyed person.
It is unlucky to fix the knife in the mast.


Sailors count it unlucky –

13. To leave port on a Friday.
14. To see a pig on land when about to set sail.
15. To whistle on board ship; it will bring wind.
16. To fight on board ship; the ship will sink within twenty-four hours.


17. A blue flame in the fire foretells bad weather.
18. A cock crowing after he has gone to roost is a sign of rain: – A cock crowing going to bed – He will rise with a watery head.
19. If Saturday is fine, the following week will be bad.
20. If you kill a toad rain will follow.
21. A rainbow with both ends on one island is a sign of death.


It is unlucky –

22. To marry in May or when the moon is waning.
23. For the bride to try on her wedding dress before she is married.
24. When the sun does not shine on your wedding day.
25. To be proclaimed in one year and married in the next.
26. For the bride and bridegroom to lose their gloves.
27. For the newly married couple to go home from church the same road they came.
28. For the bride to lose her ring or to try on another’s ring.
29. If you lick the porridge-stick, you will have a rainy wedding-day.
It is counted the best of luck –
30. To break anything at a wedding.
31. To get two spoons in your tea cup, or to fall going up the stairs: you will be invited to a wedding.


It is unlucky –

32. To have a black cat cross your path, unless you spit.
33. To put a black cat away harshly from the door.
34. To break a mirror: bad luck for seven years.
35. To look in a mirror after the lamp is lit.
36. To see the new moon through glass.
37. To change house on Saturday.
38. To wash on Saturday.
39. To turn back on a journey for anything forgotten.
40. To spill salt.
41. To kill a spider: – If you wish to thrive – Let the spider go alive.
42. To open an umbrella in a house.
43. To put shoes on the table: there will be thunder and lightning, or you will quarrel with someone.
44. To pay back borrowed salt.
45. To put on the left boot first.
46. To tell Friday’s dream on Saturday.
47. To cut your nails on Friday.
48. To baptise girls before boys: the girls will have whiskers.
49. To pick up your umbrella yourself if you let it fall.
50. To put a garment right if you find that you have put it on outside in.
51. To read one’s own cup.
52. To see a black coal fall out of the fire.
53. To start a new piece of work on Friday: “A crow would not carry a straw to her nest on Friday.”
54. To leave a pin or a horseshoe lying on the ground.
55. To rock an empty cradle.
56. To break your shoe-lace.
57. For a dog to cross the path of a funeral party: the relatives of the deceased will never prosper till the dog has been killed.
58. For crows to come near the house.
59. To have a minister first-foot you.
60. To get a present on the first of the month.
61. To pat a cow on the back: it takes away her milk.
62. To see a black lamb as the first of the season.
61. To kill an animal when the moon is waning.
64. For the fire to send out sparks in front of you: you will receive a scolding from someone.

It is lucky –

65. To have something in your hand when you see the new moon.
66. For a spider to crawl on you: it denotes riches.
67. To make a cross with a spittle on your boot when you see a white horse.


68. To let a knife fall means a gentleman visitor, a fork a lady visitor.
69. Little white marks on the finger nails betoken gifts.
70. If the spout of the kettle be turned inward, you are said to be inviting a visitor.
71. To keep a visitor away for a long time, spill salt on the doorstep as he leaves.
72. If at table you have a piece of bread and take another piece and finish it before you notice the first piece, it means that some friend is hungry.
73. If the sole of your foot itches, you will walk on strange land.
74. If your right hand itches, you will shake hands with a stranger.
75. If your left hand itches, you will receive money.
76. If your left ear is hot, some friend is speaking well of you.

1910 February 2 Orkney Herald

THE COUNTY ELECTION. – Next Tuesday and Wednesday the electors of Orkney and Shetland will have an opportunity of recording their votes in the election of a representative to the House of Commons…..

MEETING AT ROUSAY. – A meeting was held in Sourin School, Rousay in the afternoon. The school was well filled. The Rev. Mr Pirie, U.F. Manse, occupied the chair, and in the name of the electors of Rousay, extended a hearty welcome to Mr Wason. The Chairman’s remarks were received with great applause. Mr Wason spoke for over an hour on the principal issues before the electors, and at the close of his address invited questions. Mr John Logie asked if Mr Wason would support a provision for giving grants from imperial funds to small and sparsely populated parishes towards the expense of parish medical officers. Mr Wason expressed himself as favourable to grants being given on the lines suggested by Mr Logie. Questions were also asked regarding an elected Second Chamber and Women’s Suffrage, and were answered by Mr Wason to the evident satisfaction of the meeting. A vote of continued confidence in Mr Wason as moved by Mr William Grieve, Upper Knarston, seconded by Mr George Gibson, Avelshay, and carried unanimously.

In the evening Mr Wason addressed a meeting in Frotoft School. All the afternoon the snow had been drifting and the roads in many parts were impassable. Consequently this meeting was not so large as it would otherwise have been. The chair was occupied by Mr David Gibson, Hullion, who, in his opening remarks, referred to Mr Wason’s past services to the constituency. Mr Wason having dealt with the questions of the House of Lords, the Budget, Tariff Reform, and other matters offered to answer questions electors might wish to put. There being no questions, Mr John Gibson, No. 3 Cottage [Brough], moved and Mr George Reid, Tratland, seconded a vote of continued confidence in Mr Wason which was carried unanimously.

[Mr Cathcart Wason (Liberal) was returned with an increased majority of 3123 votes].

1910 March 9 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PLOUGHING MATCH. – The annual ploughing match of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held on Friday, 4th inst., on the farm of Banks, Sourin, in a field kindly granted for the occasion by Mr [Robert] Seatter. The weather was dry and cold, and the field in good condition for ploughing. Eighteen ploughs turned up for competition including six champions. The ploughmen were liberally supplied with refreshments during the day. The judges were Messrs John Fraser and William Ritch, jun., Rendall; and John Spence, Urrigar, Costa, whose awards are as follows: –

PLOUGHING. – Champions – 1, silver cup and medal, Thomas Gibson, Broland; 2, James W. Grieve, Faraclett; 3, Hugh Robertson, Scockness; 4, John Corsie, Knarston; 5, Walter Muir, Breckan; 6, Malcolm Leonard, Faraclett. Ordinary – 1 and Highland Society’s Medal, Ben Moodie, Trumland; 2, John Marwick, Knarston; 3, James Craigie, Falquoy; 4, James Smith, Westness; 5, David Moar, Saviskaill; 6, Hugh Craigie, Swandale; 7, Bertie Louttit, Nearhouse; 8, Robert Grieve, Langskaill; 9, Alex. Craigie, Innister; 10, Robert Mainland, Essaquoy; youngest ploughman, Robert Grieve, Langskaill; best feering, James W. Grieve; best ploughed rig, straightest ploughing, and best finish, Thomas Gibson, Broland.

HARNESS. – 1, David Moar; 2, Bertie Louttit; 3 William Robertson, Trumland; 4, James W. Grieve; 5, Hugh Robertson.

GROOMING. – 1, Malcolm Leonard; 2, David Moar; 3, John Seatter, Banks; 4, Ben Moodie, 5, Bertie Louttit.

In the evening the judges, committee, and a number of friends sat down to an excellent dinner prepared by Mrs [Sybella] and Misses [Marion & Sybella] Banks. Mr John Logie acted as chairman, and the duties of croupier were performed by Mr James S. Gibson, Hullion. The usual toasts were given and responded to. The committee take this opportunity of thanking the donors of the special prizes and all those who subscribed to the funds of the Association.

CONCERT. – One of the most successful concerts ever held in Sourin School took place there on the 24th ult. The weather was rather worse even than the usual, and, in consequence, very many were prevented from coming up – especially from the other districts. Notwithstanding all this, there was a very good audience – the sitting accommodation being practically all occupied. The Rev. A. I. Pirie acted as chairman in his usual efficient manner. The children’s items were enthusiastically received, the fan drill being particularly beautiful, but the elders were no less warmly applauded. The choir pieces were all well rendered, and Mr. J. W. Grieve, the conductor, deserves the highest praise for the successful manner in which everything went off. Among the soloists, it is invidious to make distinctions, but two seem to call for special note – Miss Bella Grieve, for her solo, “Camin’ thro’ the Rye, and Mr William Grieve, who was very deservedly encored for his second solo. Rev. Mr Abel proposed a vote of thanks to the performers, and a similar vote of thanks to the chairman, brought a delightful meeting to a close. Annexed is the programme: –

Part song, “Ye Mariners of England,” choir; solo, “I’m the safest o’ the family,” Mr J. W. Grieve; hoop drill, scholars; part song, “Come, gentle May,” choir; recitation, Mr R. Mainland; solo, “Keep on doing it, Sandy,” Mr Wm. Grieve; action song, “Merry song and drill,” children; solo, “Samwel Towson,” Mr J. Harrold; part song, “We rock away,” choir; recitation, “Are boys or girls the best?”, Std. II.; solo, “Comin’ thro` the rye,” Miss Bella Grieve; banner drill, infants; solo, “When I get back again,” Mr John Grieve; interval; part song, “We ride the foaming sea,” choir; recitation, Mr R. Mainland; solo, “The Poacher,” Mr Fred. Grieve; recitation, “A rhyme for little folks,” senior infants; fan drill, girls; solo, “Riding down from Bangor,” Mr J. W. Grieve; part song, “Chime again, beautiful bells,” choir; solo, “Dublin Bay,” Mr H. Munro; dumb-bells, children; quartette, “I had a dream,” Miss Gibson, Mrs Grieve, and Messrs Grieve; violin and piano selections, Miss Marwick and Mr Grieve; solo, Mr William Grieve; part song, “Home-ward bound,” choir.

1910 March 10 The Orcadian

TO CORRESPONDENTS. – Correspondents should note to send in reports as early in the week as possible. We often get reports just as we are going to press, referring to events about a week old. Coming to hand at such a late hour, these reports, as a rule, cannot be used.

1910 March 23 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SOCIAL. – The United Free Church Guild held its closing meeting for this winter on Thursday evening last week in Ritchie Church. The Rev. A. Irvine Pirie presided, and with him on the platform were the Rev. Mr Abel and the two Guild vice-presidents. These gentlemen during the evening gave interesting and instructive speeches. The singing of a well balanced choir, under the leadership of Mr James W. Grieve, was the feature of the entertainment, and was very much appreciated by the audience. Mr Robert Mainland recited “The Last Shot” in splendid style, Mr J. W. Grieve gave a humorous reading, and Miss Reid and Miss Munro provided an excellent tea.

1910 March 30 Orkney Herald

AURORA BOREALIS. – A fine display of Northern Lights was witnessed at Kirkwall on Sunday evening. The moon had just risen, but was well down in the horizon, where there was somewhat of a haze, but overhead the sky was cloudless. Shortly before nine o’clock the wind fell to a calm, and there was an unusual warmth in the air for the season of the year, when a little to the north-east of the zenith, the lights began to play with magnificent variations. At one time they would appear as if fixed in the sky, like some powerful search-light, and then, when the eye had got at rest upon them, they would suddenly spread out in luminous splendour, and the whole heavens would be lighted up by their brilliancy. The display did not last long. After about an hour’s time, the lights began to lose their brilliancy, and soon there-after faded away into space, and were seen no more. Perhaps they betoken a change for the better in the weather. The first two days of this week have been exceptionally fine, bright sunshine, with a warmth in the air seldom experienced in the month of March.

1910 April 2 The Orcadian

AURORAL DISPLAYS IN ORKNEY. – On the nights of Sunday and Monday last, fine displays of the northern lights were witnessed at Kirkwall. About eight o’clock each evening a large bank of filmy white could gathered above the north and north-west horizon, and following this the atmosphere became exceedingly cold, raw, and damp. About half an hour later “merry dancers” began to pierce this cloud, the streamers jutting up in all directions. On Monday evening the display was specially fine, the aurora borealis rising high above the heavy cloud, bands of streamers reaching the zenith, where an immense circle was formed. Here the aurora opened and contracted somewhat in the shape of a lady’s fan. On each occasion the display lasted less than half an hour.

1910 April 6 Orkney Herald

FISHING NOTES. – The exceptionally fine weather of last week was fully taken advantage of by the Kirkwall boats. From Monday to Saturday they were out regularly. With the exception of two or three boats, the fleet were all engaged fishing for halibut, and some good shots were got. The principal fishing grounds were in Wyre Sound and Rendall Sound, from which some very large fish were taken. The “Try Again” had two halibut which weighed 12 stones each, and the “Speedwell” one of 11 stones. The highest daily shots were got by the “Try Again” and the “Mary Sinclair,” each of them having 3½ cwts. The three best fished boats for the week were the “Try Again,” 8 cwts.; the “Speedwell,” 7 cwts.; and the “Margaret,” 6 cwts.; while the other shots ranged from 1½ to 5 cwts. The total for the week amounted to about two tons. Prices ranged from 5s 6d to 5s 9d per stone, which is a record price for Kirkwall at this season of the year, now that Lent is over. Owing to the high prices obtained, the halibut fishing has proved very remunerative to the fishermen, some of whom have done remarkably well. The amount of round fish landed was a little over a ton. Cod are reported to be scarce on the usual grounds, while there is hardly a haddock to be got at all. A shot of about half-a-ton of cod was landed at Scapa by a South Isles boat, and sold at 8s per cwt. On Monday this week the boats were out, and the quantity of halibut landed exceeded that of any day for the season, the total being about 25 cwts. The “Myra” had a catch of 17 fish, which weighed over 8 cwts., while the “Rose” and the “Norse” had shots of 3 cwts. each. The other catches ranged from half a cwt. up to 2¾ cwts. Prices, 5s per stone. About a ton of cod was landed at Scapa. The local curers are getting ready for their usual supplies of cod from Iceland, which are landed by trawlers at this season and during the next month or two.

1910 May 7 Orkney Herald

Halley’s Comet, at present a morning star, may now, when the atmospheric conditions are favourable, be seen a little north of east from shortly after three o’clock until it is lost in the light of the rising sun.

ORCADIANS ABROAD. IN HAMILT0N, ONTARIO. – On March 8, the Hamilton, Orkney and Shetland Society were delighted to have with them the Rev. John Gibson Inkster, B.A., of London, Ont., who delivered an illustrated lecture on “Orkney, Home of the Vikings,” or “The Land of the Midnight Twilight.” The Rev. gentleman was introduced in a neat and able manner by Mr W. G. Scott, who was the chairman of the evening.

Mr Inkster was well received by the largest and most representative gathering of Orcadians that ever meet in Hamilton, there being upwards of 360 present, and the school room of Knox Church, where the lecture was held was well filled. The various views and remarks of the speaker brought well home to the minds and imaginations of the attentive audience those isles of the ocean,

Where the waves dash on in headlong haste,
By a wide world of waters pres’t.
There ruined hall and nodding tower
Hint darkly at departed power;
Their domeless walls, time worn and grey,
Give dimly back the evening ray,
Like gleams from days long passed away.

Mr Inkster gave a very fine descriptive story of the Cathedral, from the time of St Rognvald up to the present, when there is so much talk of restoration.

St Magnus’ pile of ages fled,
Thou temple of the quick and dead,
While they who raised thy form sublime
Have faded from the things of time;
While hands that reared and heads that planned,
Have passed into the silent land,
Still hath thy mighty fabric stood
Mid sweeping blast and speeted flood.

The native island of the speaker was well and worthily mentioned, and it was fine to hear the Rev. gentleman speak out on behalf of the hard worked and heavily taxed crofters of that isle.

To Rousay’s isle I might refer
Wild nature’s ardent worshipper,
A temple meet he there might find
Mid dells of calm and hills of wind –
Hills of the gloomy brow that make
A night-shade sadden o’er each lake –
Where drooping shrubs weep o’er each stream
That glides away like being’s dream;
And all is still, save on the gale,
When wanders by the plover’s wail.
But from the vale so still and stern,
Climb we the mountains’ crowning cairn,
And round Eynhallow’s walls of rock
See billows dashing into smoke,
Which rises from their thunder crash,
As cannon’s cloud succeed its flash;
Tossed from the hell of their turmoil,
It canopies the isle.
Oh, what can match their whelming roll
Save passions racking o’er the soul.

The Vikings who lived on these islands in the days of long ago had the courage to go to fight and capture such places as Dublin, and to rule the whole of the northern part of Scotland from these islands. These were the men who have given to posterity that spirit of independence, also that love for the homeland which is so dear to the heart of every Orcadian. Several of the industries were also made mention of, such as farming, fishing, etc.

The concluding part of the lecture introduced several splendid views of our coast line – those cliffs, stern and defiant in all their majesty and rugged grandeur. Then followed some views, which to us seemed to be at the top of their class. They were sunset and twilight views, and the calm peacefulness of those contrasting with the turmoil of stormy seas and wild rocks, left an impression on the mind that felt like an inspiration. The lecturer did not show any views of modern Orkney with its motor buses, automobiles, motor boats, motor power threshing machines, etc., neither was any mention made of our up-to-date farming in the Orkneys which compares favourably with other places in Scotland.

However, Mr Linklater proposed a vote of thanks to the speaker, and hoped that we would be favoured with his presence again in the near future. The audience heartily responded, and the meeting was closed by the singing of “God Save the King.”

[John Gibson Inkster was the son of William Inkster, Cogar, and Mary Gibson, Langskaill, and he was born on February 8th 1867. Having emigrated to Canada he married Alice Rowsome, and they raised a family of four daughters: Elizabeth, Mary, Miriam, and Ruth.]

1910 May 21 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – The Rev A. Spark preached on Sunday last an appropriate sermon regarding the death of King Edward VII from Job xiv, 10, “But man dieth, and wasteth away; yea man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?”

[Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910.

The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Edward was related to royalty throughout Europe. He was Prince of Wales and heir apparent to the British throne for almost 60 years. During the long reign of his mother, he was largely excluded from political power, and came to personify the fashionable, leisured elite. He travelled throughout Britain performing ceremonial public duties, and represented Britain on visits abroad. His tours of North America in 1860 and the Indian subcontinent in 1875 were popular successes, but despite public approval, his reputation as a playboy prince soured his relationship with his mother.

As king, Edward played a role in the modernisation of the British Home Fleet and the reorganisation of the British Army after the Second Boer War. He reinstituted traditional ceremonies as public displays and broadened the range of people with whom royalty socialised. He fostered good relations between Britain and other European countries, especially France, for which he was popularly called “Peacemaker”, but his relationship with his nephew, the German Emperor Wilhelm II, was poor. The Edwardian era, which covered Edward’s reign and was named after him, coincided with the start of a new century and heralded significant changes in technology and society, including steam turbine propulsion and the rise of socialism. He died in 1910 in the midst of a constitutional crisis that was resolved the following year by the Parliament Act 1911, which restricted the power of the unelected House of Lords.]

1910 May 28 The Orcadian

PRESENTATION TO MISS SINCLAIR, PHOTOGRAPHER. – When it became known in Kirkwall that Miss [Mimie] Sinclair, of the Studio, had resolved to give up business here, and to proceed to New York, a Committee was formed to get up a testimonial for her, so as to show how much the public appreciated her many services to the community. The time at the disposal of the Committee was short, but so heartily was the proposal taken up, that they easily secured the necessary funds for the purpose in view. Accordingly Miss Sinclair was asked to meet with the Committee in the Town Hall, Kirkwall, on Saturday evening. Provost Slater presided, and amongst others present were: Councillors Flett and White, Messrs A. Stewart, M. Heddle, Jas. Sinclair, John Inkster. G. D. Bain. W. K. Mackintosh, P. Brass, James Flett, and W. D. Peace. Provost Slater, in making the presentation, said it had frequently been his lot – and it had always been a great pleasure to him – to preside at meetings like the present. This, however, was entirely different in one respect from any other that he had presided at in that they were on this occasion to present to a lady and not to a gentleman a tangible token of their esteem, goodwill, and good wishes for one who was leaving her home. Miss Sinclair had been for long time – as she was a lady it would be unfair to be precise – (laughter) – in the forefront in furthering all sorts of worthy movements in the community, both of a social and general nature, too many to enumerate, indeed, all kinds of good works, including particularly church work. In some respects Miss Sinclair had been one of the most helpful ladles Kirkwall had had for a long time. She had many accomplishments. In business she could acquit herself well alongside any of the citizens. As an artist in her profession she had been outstanding in producing work of the highest order, which had given the greatest satisfaction to her patrons. Miss Sinclair had helped in so many ways that she would be much missed now that she was leaving. She would not be forgotten by them, however, and in a general way her name would be remembered by Orcadians all over the world when they looked at her pictures of those nearest and dearest to them. He had much pleasure in handing to her that gold watch, one of the most suitable gifts that could be made, for it would remind her daily of her well-wishers in the home of her birth – the City – (applause) – and Royal and ancient Burgh of Kirkwall. (Renewed applause.) In addition to the watch, he had pleasure in presenting a nice bangle. The gifts had been subscribed for by a great many of her friends in Kirkwall. They wished her every success in the new home in the far-off land to which she was going. (Applause.)

The inscription on the watch is: – “Presented to Miss Mimie Sinclair by friends in Kirkwall as a token of esteem on the occasion of her leaving for New York. – 24th May, 1910.”

Miss Sinclair suitably and feelingly replied. Though she had not been in a public position requiring her to make speeches, she wished on that occasion to say that she would never forget Kirkwall. She had tried to do her best for the various objects which she had been asked to assist, and it had been no trouble, but a pleasure to be of some service. She thanked them all very much for their kindness.

Councillor Flett said that after listening to the eloquent periods of the Provost, who performed these things so well, and to the words of thanks of Miss Sinclair, he would just in a word corroborate all the Provost had said of the excellences of their friend and neighbour, Miss Sinclair. He had known her for a long time; he knew what assistance she had given in every movement, artistic and useful, and it was the universal feeling that she should not be allowed to go without some expression of their esteem and regard.

Mr M. Heddle also referred to Miss Sinclair’s services, particularly in regard to church work and the musical part of the services. The meeting closed with a vote of thanks to Provost Slater, proposed by Councillor White.

[Examples of Mimie Sinclair’s studio portraiture photographs are well-known to viewers of Rousay Remembered – courtesy of the Tommy Gibson Collection and Orkney Library and Archive.]

1910 June 15 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – We understand that Mrs [Theodosia] Middlemore, of Melsetter, is having the shooting lodge on Eynhallow furnished, and intends spending a brief holiday there for the purpose of studying bird life. She is expected by special steamer on Wednesday, the 15th inst., and should the weather keep good we have no doubt she will spend a most enjoyable holiday, as Eynhallow is one of the beauty spots of Orkney.

1910 June 18 The Orcadian

THE WEATHER. – Seldom of late years have we enjoyed a long spell of lovely weather. During the past few days the hours of sunshine must have been well above the average. Farmers are complaining of drought. The heat of the sun on Wednesday last was phenomenal – 120 degrees being registered [48.88 celsius]. Weather prophets declare that we are to have a return of the old-fashioned weather – warm summers and snowy winters – since Halley’s comet has passed in safety. What criterion there is to guide them, it is difficult to say. Let us hope there is some truth in it all the same.

1910 June 29 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – In the Sourin Public School on Saturday, Miss [Elizabeth] Lamond, from Edinburgh, under the auspices of the Orcadian Women’s Suffrage Society, delivered an interesting and cleverly reasoned address in favour of the enfranchisement of women. Much interest was manifested in her arguments. A hearty vote of thanks was awarded Miss Lamond, and a similar vote to the Rev. Mr Pirie who acted as chairman.

1910 August 10 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – Mr Bryans and party arrived at Westness for the shooting season last Wednesday. On Saturday Sir Victor and Lady Horsley and party arrived at Trumland House. We understand trout fishing is very good and game plentiful, so that good sport is anticipated for this season.

Mr Frederick A. Scott, son of Mr John Scott, Hurtiso, Rousay, has successfully passed as second engineer before the British Board of Trade at Singapore. Mr Scott served his apprenticeship with Messrs W. & J. Leslie, engineers, Kirkwall. He served with Barclay Curle & Coy., and Fairfields, Glasgow, and also at Trinity House, London, He is presently in the employment of the British India Company, sailing in the Strait Settlements on the Royal Mail steamship Hongwa.

1910 August 13 The Orcadian

FLOWER AND CATTLE SHOWS AT ROUSAY. – The annual flower and cattle shows were held at Rousay on Tuesday, which was favoured with excellent weather. A number from Kirkwall and Shapinsay visited the island.

The flower show was held in the Sourin School, and the flower section was greatly improved, compared with last year; the baking and dairy section was an average in point of exhibits; but there was unfortunately a marked falling off in the industrial work…..

The turnout of stock at the cattle show was a credit to the island. The number of horses forward was up to the average, but there was a falling off in the cattle sections…..Cup for Best Cow in the Yard, presented by Mr James Gibson, Hullion, finally won by David Inkster, Furse – an animal of exceptional quality…..Medal for Best Mare, presented by Mr William Craigie, Broughtyferry, won by James Craigie, Furse – an animal which was easily first in the yard.

AMUSING SCENE IN ROUSAY. – Friday last was the Birsay holiday, and a good number of parishioners spent the day in Rousay, proceeding thither per s.s. Fawn.

Two lads of the company thought to vary the trip a little by having a sail on their own. Seeing a small boat lying a short distance along the beach from the pier, they shoved off, though subsequent events proved they knew as little about the handling of these small craft as might be expected of those who spent their whole lives in some inland city.

The boat was only a small one, and the combined weight of the two would-be-yachtsmen as they jumped aboard made it lurch dangerously. In a panic they seized hold of the mast, which, of course, only had the effect of toppling the boat further over, and filling it with water. One of the young fellows, however, had the sense to jump out and make for the shore. The other “stuck to the ship” with a look of abject despair on his countenance, whilst the spectators simply rocked with laughter.

Meantime the remaining occupant thought he saw a means of escape. The stern and quarter of the boat were out of the water, and the young man, having extricated his legs from the ropes with which he had become entangled, made a frantic leap aft. But again he was deluded, for the water followed him, and the boat went from under him.

There was really no danger, for the whole scene occurred within two boats’ lengths from the shore, but the great amusement created can be better imagined than described.

1910 August 24 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – RETIREMENT OF EDINBURGH POSTMAN. – Mr Samuel Sinclair, 9 Comely Bank Avenue, Edinburgh, on account of having reached the age limit, has retired after forty years’ active service as a postman. Mr Sinclair has seen many changes at the G.P.O. He was the ninety-sixth postal carrier when he started work – now there are between eight and nine hundred. Of the chief officials who were then at the head of the postmen’s department not a single one remains. On a rough average Mr Sinclair has walked fifteen miles per day, so that during the four decades he has traversed something like 184,800. Mr Sinclair is a keen bowler, being an enthusiastic member of the Dean Bowling Club.

[Samuel was born at Swandale on June 1st 1846. He married Mary Louttit, Faraclett, in 1869. Her uncle, John Louttit was postmaster in Coatbridge and later in Edinburgh, and it was through his influence Samuel obtained work in the Post Office in Edinburgh.]

1910 August 27 The Orcadian

VEIRA – SCHOOL PICNIC. – A most enjoyable picnic was held here on Thursday the 18th inst. The weather in the morning was dull, but the rain held off, and the day was delightful. The children gathered at the school at noon, and marched to Cubbierow Castle, with flags flying. When all the people had assembled, refreshments were served – milk and buns – to which full justice was done. Games were then entered into with zest by the children and young people, and kept up till five o’clock, when all marched back to the school for tea, after which the prizes were distributed. Much of the success of the picnic was due to Sir Victor and Lady Horsley, whose kindness helped very much to make the outing all that could be desired.

1910 September 10 The Orcadian


Where the white waves leap, and the tide sweeps past,
And the lashing spray from the sea is cast
‘Mid the roaring roosts of an angry ocean,
Boiling and eddying in swift commotion,
Beaten by every wind that blows,
Thro’ the summer’s sun and the winter’s snows,
Lashed by the ruthless northern seas,
Lies the ”Holy Isle” of the Orcades.

In the distant past when the Celtic race
In these isles of ours found a dwelling-place,
Long ere the Vikings had plied the oar
To conquer on every Orcadian shore,
Ere History’s pages could yet reveal
Our island’s story of woe and weal.
‘Mid the waves’ mad turmoil and ceaseless play,
The enchanted isle of Eynhallow lay.

In those mystic days of forgotten lore,
Ere mortal had trod on its virgin shore,
Spell-bound where the roosts and the white waves leap,
Eynhallow was held by the mighty deep.
The home of the Finmen of ancient story,
But rarely beheld in its pristine glory,
Save when it rose with mysterious motion
To vanish unknown ‘mid the turbulent ocean.

None knew of its coming; none told of the spell –
It came and it vanished was all they could tell.
Full many a craft has been shattered amain.
Full many a perilous venture in vain,
To ruin the charm of the sea-dwellers’ home,
And bring this lone isle from the depths of the foam;
And many a brave heart has battled the storm,
But the vanishing island retained its charm.

There was a wizard who hied him forth
To capture this vanishing isle of the North;
He controlled the tides with a master hand,
And the mysteries he solved of this phantom land;
With steel in his grasp and with power in his eye,
When Eynhallow rose from the waters high,
Onward he sped on his perilous way,
And the angry roosts where the island lay
Were hushed into peace by his stern decree,
And Eynhallow was won from the depths of the sea.

With a roaring roost upon every side
It was left to stand ‘mid the angry tide.
Yet won, so long since, from the Men of the Sea,
Its enchantment it holds in a lesser degree,
For steel in its mystical soil cannot rest
When the sun disappears on the ocean’s crest;
And death-doomed the rodent that enters the strand
Of this once supernatural, vanishing land.

When the sea fog rolls on the waters grey,
And the western sun lends a farewell ray
To the green mounds marking the resting place
Of a pre-historic Orcadian race,
The scene is majestic, yet weird and strange.
So full of phantasm and mystical change
The remains of another age are there.
And a monastery’s ruins laid waste and bare –
The long-sought remains of an ancient pile
To explain the name of the “Holy Isle.”

J. G. S. F.

1910 September 21 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – Mr E. Bryans and party, who have been staying at Westness House for the last six weeks, have now left. Mr Bryans had the Westness shootings last year also. This year his bag has been as follows, viz.: – Grouse 300, rabbits over 500, snipe 88, wild duck 14, hares 4, golden plover 18, rock pigeons 21, trout 303, various 67. Grouse were plentiful, well grown, and strong on the wing by the 12th. Snipe were not so many as last year. Rabbits, golden plover, and rock pigeons were very plentiful. Trout were of a good average weight, and fine baskets were got up to the end of August.

ROUSAY, EGILSHAY, AND VEIRA CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY. – On Tuesday the 13th inst., a very successful public meeting was held in the Schoolhouse at Sourin to commence the co-operative movement in the parish of Rousay. After tea, to which Sir Victor and Lady Horsley had invited the tenants and occupiers throughout the three islands, the meeting, which was very large and representative, began. Sir Victor Horsley, as chairman, in a few opening remarks, urged the national importance of cooperation to all sections of workers throughout the empire and its value not only in increasing material prosperity but also in promoting social fellowship.

He then called upon Mr J. B. Grahame of Eday, who gave a most interesting account of the development of Agriculture Co-operative Societies throughout the world, and in particular the share taken by the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society in developing the thirteen societies which are doing so much good work in Orkney. Mr Grahame showed how in Eday and elsewhere the evolution of the co-operative societies began with the egg industry (collecting and marketing), and that this was followed by combined purchase of farming materials, especially seeds and fertilisers, while finally the general trading of a co-operative society was superadded as soon as the organisation and staff admitted of this being undertaken successfully. He dwelt especially on the need to all agriculturists of supply of seeds, the purity and germination of which was ascertained with certainty, and of fertilisers, the analysis of which was accurate, and further demonstrated that the only possible way of obtaining these essentials was cooperation. Rousay, with Egilshay and Veira, offered an excellent field for co-operative work, inasmuch as the work of collection and distribution could so readily be focussed. In conclusion, he hoped the society would be formed that day, and he wished the islands all the prosperity which could be confidently anticipated from its organisation.

After Mr Grahame’s address, questions were invited and put through the chair to Mr Grahame, who kindly responded fully on each point. The following resolutions were then put separately and carried unanimously: – (1) That it is desirable to form a Rousay, Egilshay and Veira Co-operative Society. (2) That a provisional committee be appointed to register the society according to the model rules of the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society, and to prepare a draft scheme for consideration at a subsequent meeting. The meeting then nominated the Provisional Committee as follows: – For Rousay, Messrs Robert Seatter, Fred Inkster, William Grieve, John Logie; for Egilshay, Mr Hugh Robertson; and for Veira, Mr William Craigie. As secretary, Mr James P. Craigie was appointed. On the motion of the Rev. A. I. Pirie, a hearty vote of thanks was accorded to Mr J. B. Grahame for his address, and with thanks to the chair the meeting terminated.

It is intended that the organisation of the new society shall be on a wide basis, so that the members should obtain the fullest possible advantages of trading on the co-operative system. For this purpose it is desirable that every house-holder should be a member and shareholder to secure a speedy development of the scheme, and to this end it is intended that each single share shall be small, though of course it is hoped that those who are interested in the extension of the society’s operations will take up a number of shares so as to provide at once for the necessary staff and administration.

1910 October 1 The Orcadian

A FIREMAN WORTH £1500. – Peter Marwick, at one time fireman on traders between Kirkwall and Rousay and other North Isles, and latterly on board s.s. Express, died in Leith Hospital on Sunday. Deceased belonged to Rousay, but has now no near relatives resident in the island. His estate is said to be over £1500 in value, and goes to a daughter of a sister of his who stays in Leith. Peter, as he was familiarly called, was a man of very peculiar habits, and was of an exceptionally saving disposition. It is related of him that some years ago he was found in a state of starvation, and yet had no less than £800 in his pockets, and his death is understood to be due to a cause similar to this.

[Peter Marwick, born on December 11th 1850, was the son of William Marwick, Clook, Frotoft, and Mary Craigie, Knapknowes, Quandale.]

1910 October 5 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – Sir Victor Horsley, F.R.S., F.R.C.S., and family left Orkney by steamer on 27th Sept. They had Trumland House, Rousay, along with the shooting, last season and this season. Unfortunately Sir Victor, being a busy man, can only allow himself about six weeks’ holiday. His bag for the season has been: – Grouse, 208; golden plover, 55; green plover, 37; rabbits, 261; snipe, 123; rock pigeons, 58; trout, 242; seals, 4. Sir Victor spent a few days in Westray and Papa Westray, where he had good snipe shooting, and visited the various places of interest in the two islands.

1910 October 8 The Orcadian

ROUSAY MANSE CASE. – At the Orkney Sheriff Court on Tuesday, Mr D. J. Robertson for the Heritors of Rousay stated that the whole works in connection with the new manse had now been completed, and asked that the manse be declared free, and a date fixed for the debate on the question of expenses. Mr Low for the minister stated that his client informed him certain repairs on the steading had not been carried out, and the case was continued for a week to allow the questions raised by the minister to be communicated to the heritors’ agent.

1910 October 12 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – LOCAL EXHIBITORS TO THE HOME INDUSTRIES EXHIBITION AT INVERNESS. – At the recent exhibition of Home Industries at Inverness, we are pleased to note our local manufacturer of Orkney stools, Mr John Sinclair, Vacquoy, exhibited five stools of different patterns, which met with a ready sale. Mr Sinclair makes stools in fumed oak, green stained, and plain varnished, with or without rush bottoms, and of various designs, and, for workmanship and finish, they are equal to any that are sent out of the county. This may account for the large and increasing demand Mr Sinclair has had for his Orkney chairs of late. He not only sends them all over England and Scotland, but at a very recent date sent a good consignment to America. We are also pleased to note our local maker of Orkney homespun cloth, Mr Alexander Grieve, Nethermill, Sourin, took second place at the same exhibition for a piece of fine Orkney homespun. We understand it was at the request of Miss Rose, Niggley, Evie, who is much interested in home art, that these exhibits were forwarded to Inverness.

1910 October 15 The Orcadian

ROUSAY MANSE CASE. – The application by the heritors of Rousay to have the Rousay manse declared a free manse again came before Sheriff Harvey in the Orkney Sheriff Court at Kirkwall on Tuesday. Mr D. J. Robertson for the heritors said he had inquired into the objections raised by the minister, and a defect complained of in regard to the water from the byre was in course of being remedied. The garden wall was bulging in several places, and his information was that it would stand for four or five years, and perhaps a considerable time longer; the garden gate was in a state of disrepair because the minister had not kept it up; no defect could be found in the kitchen range; and the only signs of dampness about the windows were the marks of water which had come from flower pots. He held that in view of the Sheriff’s interlocutor it declaring that the manse had been constructed in terms of the plans and specification, the minister was barred from raising objections at this stage. Mr T. P. Low for the minister held that in view of Mr Robertson’s statement in regard to the garden wall his lordship could not declare the manse a free manse. The garden gate was bought from the previous minister, and being of wood it had to be about done. At any rate it was the duty of the heritors to supply a gate. In regard to the range the minister was prepared to take down a representative from the manufacturers, and if his complaint that the range had not been properly built in was wrong, he would pay the whole expense. Mr Robertson would not agree to this. The sheriff made a remit to Mr T. S. Peace, architect, Kirkwall, to report on the state of the garden walls and gate, the kitchen range, and as to the objection that water came in at the staircase window and kitchen door. He reserved consideration of the heritors’ plea that the Court is precluded by the interlocutor of 19th October, 1909, from dealing with the defects, if any.

1910 October 29 The Orcadian

FATHER’S LOAN TO HIS SON. – In the Orkney Sheriff Court on Tuesday, the record was closed in the action at the instance of John Sinclair, Vacquoy. Rousay, executor nominate of the late Hugh Sinclair, Sketquoy. Rousay, against Mrs Jemima Craigie, or Sinclair, widow of David Sinclair, Onziebust, Weir. The pursuer’s claim is for payment of a sum of £83 14s. being the principal sum of £75, and interest thereon from 28th January, 1898 to 1st August, 1910, less a sum of £14 15s paid to account of said interest. The case for the pursuer is that the deceased Hugh Sinclair lent his son, defender’s late husband. the principal sum of £75 sued for, to enable him to stock his farm of Onziebust, and after his death, defender adopted the debt, and granted a receipt therefore. Defender pleads that the receipt was signed under a misunderstanding, and in error. The defender was induced to sign the receipt on representations being made to her to the effect that Hugh Sinclair claimed to have made advances to his son (defender’s deceased husband), that the said Hugh Sinclair was old and in a weak state of health, and that if the defender did not sign the receipt, it might affect his health prejudicially. The defender was assured by the wife of Hugh Sinclair (now deceased), and in his presence, that if she signed the receipt the money would never be asked from her, but that she was asked to sign the receipt merely to satisfy the old man before he died. The defender believes that no advances, by way of loan had been made to her husband (who died 15 years ago) by his father, and that she was induced to sign the receipt by misrepresentation and without having an opportunity of taking advice. The defender without prejudice to her rights offered to pay pursuer £50 in full of his claim, to avoid litigation, and on record makes a similar offer. Proof was fixed for 29th November, but it was stated the parties hoped to come to a settlement out of court. Pursuer’s agent – Mr W. P. Drever; defender’s agent – Mr D. J. Robertson.

1910 November 5 The Orcadian

In the Orkney Sheriff Court at Kirkwall on Tuesday a minute was lodged by Mr D. J. Robertson, offering on behalf of his client, Mrs Jemima Craigie or Sinclair, Onziebust, Weir, to pay £75 and the expenses of the action, in full of the claim of the pursuer (John Sinclair, Vacquoy, Rousay, executor nominate of the late Hugh Sinclair, Sketquoy, Rousay) of £83 14s. The action, as we explained in our last issue, was for payment of a loan said to have been given to defender’s deceased husband by his father, the late Hugh Sinclair.

1910 November 9 Orkney Herald

There will be Sold, by Public Roup, at HUNCLETT, ROUSAY, on WEDNESDAY,
16th November, the FARM STOCK and IMPLEMENTS thereon, consisting of: -STOCK. – 2 Work Mares, 5 cows in calf (one at drop and two early);
Three-year-old Quey in calf (early); 5 One-year-old Cattle, 5 Calves, 4 Sheep.
IMPLEMENTS. – 2 Carts, Plough, Pair Wood Harrows, Set Iron Harrows,
Grubber, Scuffler, Turnip Slicer, Hand Mill, Barn Fanners, Plough-trees,
Harrow-trees, Riddles, Pitch Forks, Forks, Spades, Hooks, Scythes,
Hand Rakes, Hand Barrow, Ladder, Stone Feeding Trough,
Large Tub, Large Pot, Cart and Plough Harness;
some household furniture, a variety of other articles,
also a quantity of potatoes.
Four months’ credit on bills, signed by purchasers and sufficient cautioners,
for sums of £5 and upwards, or discount at the rate of 4d per £ for cash.
Sale to commence at 11 o’clock forenoon. The s.s. “Fawn” will leave
Kirkwall at 8 a.m. on the morning of Sale, returning in the evening.
T. SMITH PEACE, Auctioneer.

1910 November 23 Orkney Herald


LIST OF NOMINATIONS. – …..ROUSAY AND EGILSHAY – Nine nominations for seven seats [for which there will be a poll]: – John Logie, Trumland, Rousay; John Craigie, Triblo, Sourin, Rousay; Robert Seatter, Banks, Sourin, Rousay (2 papers); William Grieve, Upper Knarston, Rousay; Thomas Garson, Grugar, Egilshay; Hugh Robertson, South Tofts, Egilshay; David Inkster, Furse, Rousay; George Gibson, Avelshay, Rousay; David Gibson, Langskaill, Rousay.

ROUSAY – The Rousay United Free Church Guild opened its winter session on Thursday evening with a social in Ritchie Church. The weather being favourable, there was a large congregation, mostly of young people. The Rev. A. Irvine Pirie presided. The feature of the evening was the singing of a large well-balanced choir under the able leadership of Mr James W. Grieve, the guild precentor. Choruses, quartettes, and duets were sung with splendid taste and skill, and were greatly appreciated by the audience. An address by the Rev. James Halliday, presently congregational assistant; readings by Mr William Grieve, and recitations by Mr Robert Mainland, added much to the entertainment. Miss Munro provided an excellent tea, and Miss Reid, with willing assistants, made the necessary arrangements for serving it. Votes of thanks concluded a most successful and enjoyable evening.

1910 December 7 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – FATAL BURNING ACCIDENT. – On Sunday last a young child, two years old, belonging to John Craigie, The Glebe, Rousay, met with a serious burning accident to which it succumbed the following morning. It appears the mother had gone out, leaving the child playing with the older members of the family, and somehow it went too near the fire and its dress got ignited. The older ones ran out calling for help, and the child following them, the wind in the door fanned the flame, in consequence of which the child was very badly burned. Medical aid was promptly called, and all possible was done for the child, but as before mentioned it died the following morning.

[The youngster was James Craigie, born in 1909, the fifth child born to John Craigie and his wife Ann Seatter Russell, Evie. The family later move to Furse.]

1910 December 14 Orkney Herald

PARISH COUNCIL ELECTIONS. – …..At Rousay there were nine candidates for seven seats. The votes were counted at Kirkwall on Thursday forenoon, and the result was: –

Robert Seatter, Banks – 42
George Gibson, Avelshay – 41
Thomas Garson, Grugar, Egilshay – 39
John Logie, Trumland – 38
Hugh Robertson, South Tofts, Egilshay – 37
David Gibson, Langskaill – 35
David Inkster, Furse – 28
William Craigie, Upper Knarston – 23
John Craigie, Triblo – 18

In Print

Newsprint – 1909

1909 January 6 Orkney Herald

GALE AND SNOWSTORM. – The gale and snowstorm of last week was experienced over the whole country from the English Channel to Unst, seriously deranging traffic and interrupting telegraphic and postal communication. Many trains were blocked by the snow, and it was not till Friday afternoon that the trains on the Highland line, which had been snowed up since Tuesday morning, got through.

In Orkney the storm took off on Wednesday, and gangs of men set to work to clear the streets of Kirkwall of the snow which in parts lay to a depth of several feet. During that and the following day, assisted by a heavy thaw, the country roads were also made passable.

On Tuesday there was an almost complete telegraphic breakdown, both throughout the islands and with Shetland. Communication was also interrupted between Shetland and the South. With some of the Orkney offices and with Shetland and Wick there was intermittent communication on Tuesday. On Wednesday communication with the South was restored, and on Wednesday night the delayed telegrams were received. The mail steamer St Ola crossed the Pentland Firth on Wednesday, but only returned with Monday’s mails. Crossing again on Thursday she remained at Scrabster till Friday night, when the mail train got through, and then returned with four days’ mails. An increased staff of sorters and deliverers enabled the mail, which was one of the largest ever received at Kirkwall, at one time, to be distributed at the usual hour on Friday morning.

Reports from the country districts show that the snow was severely felt. Houses were in some cases entirely buried in the snow, and great difficulty was experienced in feeding the stock. In Rousay a number of sheep were lost. At Westness considerable damage was done to the steading. In Orphir some sheep were also lost, and near Houton a number of dead sheep, probably blown from Flotta, were washed ashore.

PENSION DAY. The first payments of old-age pensions were made at the Scottish Post Office on Saturday. At Kirkwall there was a rush of pensioners in the forenoon, and a good many claimed payment at the other offices throughout Orkney. In some cases payment had to be postponed as the pensioner did not appear and the person who did appear had not proper authorisation to receive payment. The total number of pensioners in Orkney is 1384, of whom 139 are in the Burgh of Kirkwall, 76 in the Burgh of Stromness, and 1169 in the rest of the county. Nine-tenths of the pensioners received the maximum of 5s per week.



Wur Willock has got raither big
Tae write aboot the soiree,
An’ so I thowt I’d tak’ his place
An’ tell ma peerie story.
In takin’ up ma pen tae write,
There’s wan thing I must mention –
We’re a’ delichted in oor hoose
Since Granny’s got her pension.

At first she couldna think it was
The Government’s intention
Tae gie a cratur sich as her
A reg’lar weekly pension.
But when she got her book o’ cheques
She saw ’twas nae invention;
Five shillings every week tae her
Wad be a welcome pension.

An’ oh! hoo prood oor granny was –
Her mind noo free frae tension –
When in her han’ she grupped last week
A bright croon for her pension.
O, but ye’d lauch tae hear her talk:
She says it’s her intention
Tae gie us presents every one
Oot o’ her weekly pension.

Oor Wull’s tae get a phonograph –
That winerfu’ invention
An’ Jock’s tae get a bicycle
Frae granny’s new fun’ pension.
Then Maggie she’s tae get a dress;
An’ something a’ll no mention
Is promised me, if a’m been guid,
Oot o’ ma granny’s pension.

An’ then am glad tae tell ye this:
It’s granny’s firm intention
Tae mind the kirk an’ help its wark
An’ no tae waste her pension.
The doctors hae a vast o’ drugs
For cure or for prevention;
But the tonic that make’s old folk young
Is the reg’lar weekly pension.

An’ noo I want tae tell ye this –
I think it’s worth tae mention –
That granny’s valued in oor hoose
Since she has got her pension.
She’s brichter and she’s fresher noo,
An’ says it’s her intention
Tae leeve till she’s a huner year
An’ draw her weekly pension.


1909 January 20 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – A CHILDREN’S ENTERTAINMENT postponed through stress of weather from the previous week was held on Friday the 8th inst., in Sourin School. A Christmas tree had been prepared, and when lit up by Chinese lanterns and other lights, it looked very pretty indeed. The school was well filled, but a good number had been detained at home by the weather, which had been boisterous all day. The Rev. Mr Pirie presided with all his usual skill, and gave a short address to the children. Dr Murchison kindly give a recitation, which was very much appreciated, while the Rev. Mr Abel quite surpassed himself, and altogether delighted the audience after his own inimitable fashion. Miss Marwick and Mr J. W. Grieve also gave some much appreciated piano and violin selections, but the rest of the programme was entirely the work of the children themselves. Throughout, the pieces were exceedingly well performed and heartily applauded, but the action songs, the fan drill, hoop drill, and dumb bell exercises, together with the recitations of the infants might be mentioned as being specially popular. At the close there were the usual votes of thanks, and each child was presented with a gilt off the tree. The following is the programme: –

Children’s chorus, “The Angel’s song”; chairman’s remarks; children’s chorus, Xmas hymn; song, “Do your best,” school children; dumb-bell drill, boys; recitation, “The Little Girl who would not say ‘Please,'” Master Peter Corsie; song and chorus, “A Hunting Song,” Miss M. A. Grieve; recitation, “Little Boy Blue,” Miss Alice Horne; song, “Row weel, my Boatie,” children; trio, “Star of the Twilight,” Misses Lizzie Corsie, Bella Grieve, and Katie Lyon; recitation, “The Torch of Life,” Master David Gibson; hoop drill, children; song and chorus, “The very worst Girl in School,” Miss Annie Harrold; recitation, “Dollies,” by Standard I.; action song, “The Birdies’ Ball,” little children; recitation, “Hanging a Picture,” Dr Murchison; piano and violin selections, Miss Marwick and Mr J. W. Grieve; song and chorus, “Sweet Chiming Belle,” Miss Sybil Seatter; recitation, “A Lecture” (to a doll), Miss Lydia Horne; solo, “Comin’ thro’ the Rye,” Miss Bella Grieve; address, Rev. Mr Abel; recitation, “ Wee Willie Winkie,” Master John Craigie; fan drill, girls; action song, “Jolly song and drill,” children; recitation, “Visitors,” Master George Grieve; solo, “My Bonnie,” Miss Katie Harrold; recitation, “The Fugitive Slave,” Master Willie Corsie; children’s chorus, “Old Folks at Home”; recitation, “The Sea-King’s burial,” Master James Lyon; children’s chorus, “Canadian Boat Song”; recitation, “Grandmamas,” Misses Lizzie Craigie and Mary A. Hourie; recitation, “Are Boys or Girls the best?” Standard I.; piano and violin selections, Miss Marwick and Mr J. W. Grieve.

1909 February 10 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CONCERT AND DANCE. – On Friday evening last a concert and dance was held in the barn at Avelshay, where room was kindly granted by Mr [George] Gibson for the occasion. The weather being favourable, there was a large attendance of the islanders. The Rev. A. I. Pirie occupied the chair, and introduced the programme, which was a varied one, and the efforts of the various performers were greatly appreciated by all present. A song composed by Mr Dunardo, to the tune of ” When Johnnie comes marching home again,” was vociferously applauded. During an interval in the programme, tea and cakes were handed round. At the close of the programme, a vote of thanks was moved by the chairman to the Rev. A. Spark for his kindness in assisting in several items of the programme. Mr Spark proposed a vote of thanks to Mr and Mrs [Annabella] Gibson, the singers, the committee in charge of the arrangements, and to all who contributed to the success of the concert, and to the chairman by Mr Gibson, all of which votes were heartily responded to. Miss Veira L. Spark performed her duties as accompanist in a very efficient manner. The barn was thereafter cleared of the seats, and dancing was enjoyed in until about 5 a.m., when a most successful evenings enjoyment was brought to a close by the singing of “Auld Lang Syne.” The following is the programme: –

“The Village Chorister,” choir; chairman’s remarks, Rev. A. I. Pirie; song, “The Rousay Express,” Mr A. Dunardo; recitation, Dr Murchison; “The Banner of Reform,” choir; song, “A Fellum grew in learning,” Mr A. Dunardo; address, Rev. A. Spark; duet, “When ye gang awa’ Jamie,” Miss Veira L. Spark and Mr A. Dunardo; —— dialogue, Messrs Moodie, Horne, and A. Gibson; part-song, “Battle o’ Stirling,” choir; recitation, Dr Murchison; song, “Will you buy my pretty Flowers,” Miss Gibson; recitation, “Old Mother Hubbard,” Mr A. Dunardo; quartette, “Pro Phundo Basso,” Misses Janet Corsie and Gibson, and Messrs Moodie and Gibson; dialogue, “Men and Women’s Rights.” Misses A. Corsie and Gibson, Messrs Logie and Isbister; part song, “All among the Barley,” choir; duet, “De Camptown Races,” Messrs A. Dunardo and Gibson.

1909 February 20 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PLOUGHING MATCH. – This match was held on Friday the 12th inst., on the farm of Trumland, on a field kindly granted for the occasion by Mr James Craigie. The weather was all that could be desired and the ground in good condition, consequently the work all over was well done. Eighteen ploughs turned up for competition, including three champions. The ploughmen were well supplied with refreshments on the field and after their work was done. The judges were Messrs John Fraser and Norquoy, Rendall; and Spence, Urrigar, Costa, who awarded the prizes as follows: –

PLOUGHING. – Champions – 1, cup and medal, J. W. Grieve, Faraclett; 2, Tom Gibson, Broland; 3, Hugh Robertson, Scockness. Ordinary – 1 and Highland Society’s medal, John Craigie, Curquoy; 2, John Russell, Brendale; 3, John Seatter, Banks; 4, Alex. Craigie, Nears; 5, Chas. Louttit, Westness; 6, Ben. Moodie, Avelshay; 7, James Russell, Langskaill; 8, Hugh Marwick, Saviskaill; 9, John Marwick, Knarston; 10, Robert Marwick, Essaquoy; 11, Bertie Louttit, Westness; youngest ploughman, R. Mainland, Essaquoy; fest feering, best finish, and straightest ploughing on field, J. W. Grieve, Faraclett; best ploughed rig on field – a massive silver cup to be thrice won, presented to the society by Mr John Logie, estate steward, Trumland, won for the first time by J. W. Grieve, Faraclett, who has also won the Shearer medal, likewise for the first time.

GROOMING. – 1, James Craigie, Trumland; 2, Hugh Robertson; 3, Hugh Marwick; 4, John Seatter; 5, Alex. Craigie; 6, J. W. Grieve.

HARNESS. – 1, Hugh Marwick; 2, J. W. Grieve; 3, Alex. Craigie; 4, Hugh Robertson; 5, John Seatter; 6, John Russell.

A large number of special prizes were distributed among the ploughmen. In the evening the judges, committee and a number of friends were entertained to dinner by Mr and Miss Craigie, Trumland. Mr John Logie occupied the chair, while the duties of croupier were performed by Mr James Gibson, Hullion. The usual loyal and patriotic toasts were given and duly responded to, and a pleasant evening spent. The Committee take this opportunity of thanking the donors of the special prizes and all those who submitted to the funds of the Agricultural Society.

1909 March 13 The Orcadian

Just at a time when most people were congratulating themselves that most of the winter weather was over for the season, Orkney has been visited by a violent snow storm. Snow is lying over the country on the plain to a depth of about six inches, and on Tuesday most of the roads on the mainland were blocked. In this way business has been pretty much at a standstill, mail communication has been interrupted, and all outside work has been stopped.

1909 March 24 Orkney Herald

OLD AGE PENSIONS – A HARD CASE. – “W. J. S. D.” writes as follows to the Scotsman: – The following case will illustrate the injustice of this Act: – There is an old soldier, an Indian Mutiny veteran, resident in the parish of Harray, Orkney. His name is John Curran, locally known as “Soldier John.” Born in Limerick, he joined the 93d Regiment in 1854, served with that regiment in the Crimea and in India, where he saved the life of General Burroughs (the late Sir Frederick Traill Burroughs) at the capture of Delhi. He still bears in his hand the mark of the weapon which he caught as it was aimed at the life of his commanding officer. After ten years service he was discharged at Aldershot, having had an attack of rheumatic fever, and thus being unfit for service; he received a pension of Is. per day for two years. Since that time he has lived in Orkney, to be near his General, who was very kind to him while he lived, and has supported himself by selling small articles among the islanders. He is a well-known and inoffensive character, and everybody has a welcome for “Soldier John.” He is now over seventy years of age, and no longer able to go his rounds regularly, so he applied lately for an old age pension. It has been refused him because he lives at present in a small house rent free belonging to the Parish Council, and locally called the poorhouse – a miserable cot on the bare hill-side. A few years ago he was evicted from a house he lived in for a considerable time, belonging to one of the “peerie lairds” (small lairds) of Harray; the Parish Council, pitying him under the circumstances, allowed him to occupy it rent free, and for this reason he has been refused the pension. The parish minister brought the case before the local Pension Committee, and it was unanimously agreed to give him a pension of 5s a week, but the pensions officer appealed, and the Local Government Board sustained the appeal. There are cases in Orkney where persons having £300, £400, and even £800 in the bank have got pensions of 5s per week. Surely if there is anyone who deserves a pension, it is one like “Soldier John,” who has served his country faithfully, and has honestly endeavoured to provide for himself and his wife all these years. There is universal sympathy for him in the parish, and all who know him say that no person is more needful and deserving. Cases like this show how unfairly the Act, passed in such haste and without due consideration, works in practice. The sooner a change is made in favour of those for whom the hard circumstances of life necessitate some temporary assistance from the parish authorities the better.

1909 March 27 The Orcadian

TO BE LET on Lease, with Entry at Martinmas, 1909, WESTNESS FARM,
in the Island of Rousay, extending to 2904 acres or thereby, whereof 200
acres are good Arable Land, all enclosed. The sheep run is capable of
carrying from 600 to 700 Ewes (Cheviot cross). Mr Logie, Trumland,
Rousay, will show the Farm, and Conditions of Lease may be seen
with him or in the hands of the Subscribers, who will let the farm
as soon as a suitable offer is received.
The present tenant will not be an offerer.
9, Hill Street, Edinburgh.

1909 April 10 The Orcadian


STATE OF ROUSAY ROADS. – A meeting of the North Isles District Committee of Orkney was held at Kirkwall on Tuesday. Present – Messrs G. Sutherland (in the chair), Logie, and Capt Reid.

The reports of the several island road surveyors, with estimates of the cost of upkeep during the coming year, were submitted…..Rousay, £146 5s., compared with £88 last year…..The reports were adopted with the exception of that on Rousay, in which case the quantity of metal recommended was reduced to bring the cost to £125.

In regard to Rousay roads, Mr Logie said he thought the west side ought to be left out. The rate had to be kept under 9d.

The Chairman – You can’t keep up your roads and keep down your rates. (Laughter). It is a case of what the roads require.

Mr Logie – We cannot give what the roads require all at once. I think we should reduce the west side by 50 yards at least.

The Surveyor – I would only keep the west side road passable. It is not in the right line at all.

Mr Logie – Then we can allow on 20 yards for patching. I think that would be enough.

The Surveyor – Ample.

Mr Logie – How much does that make the rates? We must keep it below 9d.

The Clerk – It does not matter how much the rate is if we do not get it in. (Laughter.)

Mr Logie – I am going on Mr Heddle’s advice. He says some parts of the road should not be repaired.

The Chairman – You must either go by the inspector or not.

Mr Logie – Those who are paying the rates must have a little say.

The Chairman – The whole cry from Rousay is to put the roads in order.

Mr Logie – But we can’t do the whole thing at once.

The Surveyor – You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

The Clerk – You are stultifying yourself, Mr Logie.

Mr Logie – I do not think so. We will reduce the metal for Wasbister as well from 190 to 100 yards.

The Clerk – That makes the estimate £125, so that you are not doing so much after all. Will that be sufficient to allay the revolution? (Laughter.)

Mr Logie – I think so.

The matter then dropped…..

1909 May 22 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – Mr [George] Meikle, teacher of music, has, during the last two months, been conducting singing classes in connection with the United Free Church in Rousay and Egilshay with remarkable success. The snowstorm in March at first interfered somewhat with the attendance, but the interest and enthusiasm quickly grew. The two classes in Rousay – one meeting in the churches, and the others in Wasbister School – numbered together 86 members, and there were gained 24 elementary, 16 intermediate, and 2 first-grade staff notation certificates. There were also two children’s classes with an attendance of 33, and 15 junior certificates were taken. There were two classes in Egilshay with a roll of 30 pupils and these gained 10 elementary and 5 intermediate certificates. The children’s class in Egilshay had 10 pupils on the roll and two junior certificates were taken. At the close of the classes, public services of song were given in Ritchie and Egilshay Churches. The singing, under the able leadership of Mr Meikle, was very much appreciated by the large congregations in both places of worship.

1909 May 29 The Orcadian

AN ORCADIAN MARKSMAN. – We record, with pleasure, that our countryman, Private John Reid, 5th Scottish Rifles (late 1st L.R.V.), No 8 Company, Glasgow, had top score in a competition held on their range, 8th May. The regulations were the same as Bisley, viz., 6 inch bull at 200 yards and 21 in. bull at 500 and 600 yards. His score which was a most magnificent one – being only 4 points short of the possible – is as follows: – 200 yards, 5, 5, 4, 5, 4, 5, 5 – 33; 500 yards. 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5 – 35; 600 yards, 5, 5, 5, 4, 4, 5, 5 – 33; total 101. Private Reid, who is a native of Rousay, and served his apprenticeship with Messrs S. Baikie and Son, Kirkwall, and worked for Mr S. Baikie, Stromness, has shot at Bisley, but unfortunately in one competition his rifle went off accidentally and spoiled his chances for a prominent prize.

[Marksman John was the son of John Reid and Sarah Sinclair Mainland, Tratland, his father being one of the two boatmen lost in the post-boat tragedy in Eynhallow Sound in 1893.]

1909 May 22 The Scotsman

To be LET for season 1909 or on lease, the FIRST-CLASS SHOOTINGS
and FISHINGS of ROUSAY, in either one or two beats, with Excellent
Well-Furnished Houses. The Trout Fishings can be rented separately,
with one of the Houses, for June and July, which are the best months.
For further particulars apply to
Messrs MACKENZIE & KERMACK, W.S., 9 Hill Street, Edinburgh.

1909 May 29 The Orcadian

The farm of Westness, Rousay, has been let to Messrs Mainland and Stevenson.

[This was John Mainland of the Bu, Wyre and his brother-in-law William Stevenson, Kirbist, Egilsay].

1909 June 23 Orkney Herald


THE CROFTER AND HIS EGGS – A WIFE’S COMPLAINT. “Crofter’s Wife” writes: – “Since co-operation was started in the parish where I reside eggs have become a luxury. Prior to its advent, the gathering and disposal of the eggs on the croft was considered to be my special privilege, and no one questioned my right to them. But now this is changed. A spirit of competition, fostered by the society, has arisen among the farmers – and my guidman is as keen as anybody, let me say – and each is trying to outdo his neighbour in the quantity he exports of this marketable commodity. It is perhaps hardly correct to say that my guidman knows every hen that is going to lay each day, but he does what he never did before, he removes the eggs from the hen-coops, counts them, and puts them by.” – I’m certain “Crofter’s Wife” will have the sympathy of everybody who knows the drudgery of the life her class leads. But, perhaps, the fad of her “guidman” and his neighbours will soon wear itself out, and then, doubtless, she will come to her own again. I would like, however, to hear what the goodmen have to say on this subject. Make your letters short, please.

1909 June 26 The Orcadian

RAIN AT LAST. – After a period of drought at a season when the fields cannot very well stand too much of anything – rain came, and refreshed the drooping blade. Sown grass, which a week ago looked miserable, has a different colour today while turnips have made rapid strides, and in many cases have had enough moisture for a bit. The oats and bere are greatly improved, and the general appearance of things agricultural is decidedly better. Midsummer day, June 21st, was very fine and extra warm, but the 22nd was simply dreadful. The rain did not bother to come down in drops, for on many occasions it came in sheets to be broken up into smaller quantities on arrival. Joking aside it did rain. What a day for the middle of summer. “We’ll have heat after this,” somebody prophesied. Let us hope we will.

1909 July 10 The Orcadian

DEATHS: – SPARK. – At Kirkwall on 3rd July, Jane Livingston Oatt, wife of the Rev. Alexander Spark, minister of Rousay and Egilshay, Orkney, aged 54.

1909 July 24 The Orcadian

ROUSAY PARISH CHURCH – MEMORIAL SERVICE. – On Sunday (18th) a memorial service was held in Rousay Parish Church in memory of the late Mrs Spark. There was a large and sympathetic congregation. The Rev. Robert Rigg, Congregational Church, Kirkwall, conducted a most acceptable and appropriate service, choosing as the subject of his sermon, “The Christian View of Death.” At the close he said: – My dear brethren to-day we stand within the cold shadow of death. That stern, grim messenger has summoned from your midst one whose life was radiant with sunshine, and whose presence seemed to shed forth a genial warmth. The late wife of your esteemed minister was one whose friendship I was proud to claim; one of those for whose friendship one was all the better and richer – so happy, so hopeful, so entirely self-sacrificing. Her interest in everything that made for the advancement of pure and undefiled religion was very real and unaffected. And the quiet unobtrusive ministry of her life exerted an influence that reached far. The letters of condolence, some of which I have had the privilege of reading, which have been received by the bereaved family, have made that abundantly plain. It was only conforming to the eternal fitness of things that, having lived a life of faith, and hope, and charity, Mrs Spark died a peaceful, fearless, triumphant death. We commend to the God of all grace, comfort and strength the stricken husband and family.”

The Iessons read were Psalm 90 and John ii.i-46. The praise list, which included Mrs Spark’s favourite hymns, was: – Psalm 103, 1-5: Tune, St Paul; Par. 3: Tune, Kilmarnock; hymns, 207, 391, 314. At the end of hymn 314 the following two verses, written by the minister In Memoriam, were sung to the tune of hymn 314: –

Daybreak and morning star –
Star of Eternity –
‘Tis God who calls me to my Home afar
With love that beckons me.
The last adieus how sad to think them here!
On quitting port at last,
I sail away with Christ my Pilot near
Home – borne so fast.
Daybreak and home at last –
That Home where God is light-
From out Earth’s surging sea of sorrows vast
My God guides right.
For Angel choirs ‘mid deepening symphonies
Give music charms for me,
And in Christ’s arms I rest and am at peace
In this Eternity


ROUSAY MANSE CASE. – In the Orkney Sheriff Court on Tuesday, Mr D. J. Robertson, for the heritors of Rousay, informed Sheriff Harvey that the new manse had now been completed. The steading was not yet finished as the material from the old manse, when it was being removed, was to be used for that. Mr Low, for the minister, said the water supply was unsatisfactory. It was quite satisfactory so far as quantity went; but the water had been carried into the manse through uncoated pipes, the consequence being that it was unfit for domestic use, on account of rust. The Sheriff – And how can that be remedied? Mr Low – Only by putting in new pipes. Another important point was the drainage running from the manse to the sea. He did not understand what the objection really was, but that was a matter for an expert. Mr Robertson said uncoated pipes were very commonly used. Mr Low replied that Mr Spark had consulted an expert, whose opinion was that the water was unfit for use. He also sent two samples to Mr Robertson. Mr Robertson – Certainly the water was in a very bad condition at first; but after being used the rust goes away. A great many of the pipes in Kirkwall are uncoated. The Sheriff said he would make a remit to Mr T. S. Peace, architect, to make a report.

1909 August 11 Orkney Herald

Sir Victor and Lady Horsley and party arrived at Trumland House on Saturday last for the shooting season. Mr Bryan, shooting tenant for Westness, and party are expected to arrive to-day (Wednesday).

[Sir Victor Alexander Haden Horsley FRS FRCS (1857–1916) was an accomplished scientist, professor, and surgeon. He was a supporter for women’s suffrage, and was an opponent of tobacco and alcohol.

Sir Victor was born in Kensington, London, the son of Rosamund Haden and John Callcott Horsley R.A. His given names, “Victor Alexander”, were given to him by Queen Victoria.

In 1883 he became engaged to Eldred Bramwell, daughter of Sir Frederick Bramwell. Subsequently, on 4 October 1887, Victor and Eldred married at St. Margaret’s, Westminster. They had two sons, Siward and Oswald, and one daughter, Pamela.

He was knighted in the 1902 Coronation Honours, receiving the accolade from King Edward VII at Buckingham Palace on 24 October that year.]

1909 August 18 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY CATTLE SHOW. – THE Rousay Agricultural Society held their annual cattle show on the farm of Banks [Sourin] on Tuesday, 10th inst. The number of stock forward was much above the average for a number of years. The judges were – Messrs Scarth, Binscarth; and Anderson, jun., Hobbister, whose awards were as follows: –

SPECIAL PRIZES. – Silver cup from Mr J. Gibson, Hullion, for best cow in yard (to be twice won), David Inkster, Furse. Silver medal from Mr Moir, Aberdeen, for best yearling in yard (to be thrice won), David Inkster. Silver medal for best gelding in yard, George Gibson, Avelshay. A prize from Mr Robertson, cattledealer, for best group of three, David Inkster, Furse. A prize from Mr J. Harrold, merchant, Rousay, for best mare in yard, James Craigie, Trumland.

CATTLE. – Shorthorn Cows – 1, Robert Marwick, Scockness; 2, David Inkster; 3, John Scott, Hurtiso; hc, David Gibson, Langskaill; c, J. Craigie. Polled Cows – 1 and hc, David Inkster; 2 and c, G. Gibson, Avelshay; 3, James Russell, Brendale. Two-year-old Shorthorn Queys – 1, John Gibson, Faraclett; 2, P. Sinclair, Bigland; 3, D. Gibson; hc and c, W. Moar, Saviskaill. Two-year-old Polled Queys – 1, D. Gibson; 2, D. Inkster; 3 and c, J. Scott; hc, J. Craigie. Two-year-old Shorthorn Stots – 1, J. Craigie; 2, W. Moar. Two-year-old Polled Stots – 1, P. Sinclair; 2 and 3, Jas. Craigie. One-year-old Shorthorn Stots – 1, G. Gibson; 2 and hc, David Gibson; 3 and c, J. Gibson. One-year-old Polled Stots – 1, J. Scott; 2 and 3, W. Moar; hc, Jas. Craigie; c, J. Gibson. One-year-old Shorthorn Queys – 1, J. Scott; 2, D. Gibson; 3, W. Moar; hc, David Inkster; c, R. Seatter, Banks. One-year-old Polled Queys – 1, D. Inkster; 2, J. Gibson; 3, G. Gibson; hc and c, R. Seatter, Banks. Calves – 1 and hc, R. Seatter; 2 and 3, J. Craigie; c, J. Gibson.

HORSES. – Mares with foal at foot – 1, W. Moar; 2, John Marwick, Knarston; 3, R. Seatter. Foals – 1, G. Gibson; 2, J. Marwick; 3, W. Moar. Yeld Mares – 1, R. Marwick; 2, W. Moar; 3 and c, J. Gibson; hc, Thomas Gibson, Broland. Draught Geldings – 1, G. Gibson; 2, J. Craigie; 3, J. Gibson. Two-year old Geldings – 1, Jas. Craigie; 2, T. Gibson. Two-year-old Fillies – 1, D. Gibson; 2, W. Moar; 3, J. Scott; hc, Hugh Gibson, Oldman; c, R. Seatter. One-year-old Fillies – 1, Jas. Craigie; 2, R. Marwick; 3, D. Gibson. One-year-old Gelding – 1, J. Gibson; 2, D. Gibson; 3, J. Robertson, Frotoft; hc, John Corsie. Knarston.

The committee take this opportunity of thanking the donors of the special prizes; also Mrs [Sybella] and Miss [Marion] Seatter for preparing the cattle show dinner.

1909 August 25 Orkney Herald

SIR VICTOR HORSLEY, Surgeon to the King, who is this year the tenant of Trumland House and shootings, Rousay, has been asked and has consented to deliver a lecture in Kirkwall on Wednesday, September 1st. Dr Clouston of Holodyke will preside. Sir Victor, who is a son of the late J. C. Horsley, the famous Royal Academician, is a distinguished surgeon. He has been Professor Superintendent of the Brown Institution; Secretary of the Royal Commission on Hydrophobia; Surgeon to the National Hospital, for Paralysis and Epilepsy; Fullerian Professor at the Royal Institution; President of the Pathological Section of the British Medical Association; Professor of Pathology at University College; and, since 1906, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Surgery and Consulting Surgeon at University College Hospital, London, along with Dr Mary Sturge. Sir Victor is the author of a work on “Alcohol and the Human Body.” He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and received the honour of Knighthood in 1902. The subject of the lecture is the effect of alcohol on the human system, a subject the importance of which can hardly be over-estimated.

1909 September 4 The Orcadian

SIR VICTOR HORSLEY’S LECTURE. – Effect of Alcohol on the Human Body. – In presence of a huge audience drawn from all parts of the county, Sir Victor Horsley, the great brain specialist, at present shooting tenant of Trumland, Rousay, delivered a lecture in the Paterson United Free Church, Kirkwall, on Wednesday evening.

Sir Victor’s subject was “Alcohol and the Human Body,” and the meeting was held under the auspices of the Temperance Committees of the Church of Scotland and United Free Church.

Dr T. S. Clouston, of Smoogro, presided, and the platform party included Sheriff Harvey, Dr Dickey, Mr James Johnston, Ex-Provost Spence, Rev. J. M. Ramsay, Dr Bell, Mr John Flett, Rev. John Rutherford, Dr McNeill, Rev. W. P. Craig, Rev. A. W. Watt, Rev. Chas. Runciman, Ex-Provost Sclater, Mr George Sutherland, Colonel Peace, Dr Craig, Mr A. Stewart, etc., etc.

After the singing of a solo, “Honours and Arms” (Handel) by Mr Richardson of London, whose finished interpretations have been delighting Orkney audiences the past few days, Dr Clouston, who was received with loud applause, intimated apologies for absence from the Rev. George Millar, Mr A. Baikie, Convener of the County; Dr Trail W.S; Dr Flett of the Geological Survey; and lastly, but not least, from the head of the medical profession not only in Orkney, but in the North of Scotland. “Dr Logie of this city.” (Applause.) The doctor continued: –

Ladies and gentlemen, – I have always been proud of the medical profession, but there has never been an occasion upon which I have been more proud than I am this evening. The reason of that is that we are to have delivered an important address by one of the great men of our profession. (Applause.) I do hate to bring a blush to the face of Sir Victor, but he is one of perhaps the six greatest surgeons of the world at present. (Loud applause.) He is not only a surgeon but he is also a great physiologist, and what many of you will consider places him on a still higher level – he is a great humanitarian. He has never taken a narrow or technical view of medicine or surgery. He has looked upon it as being the servant of humanity, and in the course of his wide experience and investigation and thought on the subject it has evidently occurred to him that in addition to what he is doing for humanity there is something else he could do, and that is to give at first hand his knowledge, his investigations, his experience, in regard to the relation of alcohol and its effects on human beings. (Applause.) Now, ladies and gentlemen, Sir Victor does not come here expressing any particular theory. He comes here as a scientific man telling us scientific facts. He is prepared to give you facts, the main facts that in his experience alcohol has on human beings. We can form any conclusions we like; but above all things it is necessary, especially for the young, to know the facts of the case. Now, Sir Victor will place facts before us from the point of view of original investigations (Applause.) I took the liberty of saying in the Town Hall last year, without any disrespect to the clergy, that they preached too much, and we of the medical profession too little. (Applause.) I was not in the least aware then that we should hear one of the great leaders in medicine and surgery preach in the largest Church in Kirkwall. I think we are all indebted to Sir Victor, and when we consider he has come to Orkney for a rest, it seems almost cynical to say he is taking a rest by addressing an audience like this. He came here to spend some weeks in the island of Rousay, but his enthusiasm for humanity has brought him to speak to you this evening. I have great pleasure in introducing Sir Victor Horsley.

Sir Victor Horsley, who was received with loud applause, at the outset remarked that he in the first place had to explain who he was not – he did not have the honour of being Surgeon to the King. The subject he was to speak on concerned them all. Not only was he to discuss the effect of alcohol on the human body, but he would also refer to the temperance question from a national and patriotic point of view. He thought they had all been considering the temperance question, to how it would affect them personally, if they became total abstainers. They had left out of sight the much greater question that if they adopted total abstinence to make their body better, what influence was it going to have on the nation, which is a much larger body – the body politic? He was, from these two standpoints to show why they should become total abstainers…..

[After a long and very detailed address] – Colonel Peace proposed a vote of thanks to the lecturer; Dr Bell to the Kirk Session for the use of the Church; and Sheriff Harvey to the Chairman.

Dr Clouston in acknowledging the compliment said it had been an unalloyed pleasure to him to meet his friend Sir Victor Horsley in the capital of the north and he was glad to tell them that they in the north had so captured the hearts of Sir Victor and Lady Horsley – (loud applause) – that they must not be surprised if Sir Victor and Lady Horsley in a year or two were as good Orcadians as any of them. (Laughter and applause.)

1909 October 30 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY MANSE CASE. – This case came before Sheriff Harvey in the Orkney Sheriff Court yesterday (Tuesday). A report was lodged by Mr T. S. Peace, architect, Kirkwall, to whom the Court had remitted to report as to the completion of the new manse, and a minute of objections were lodged by the Rev. A. Spark, minister of Rousay, in regard to the drainage and the pipes used for the water supply. After hearing Mr D. J. Robertson, for the heritors, and Mr T. Peace Low, for the minister, the Sheriff found, in accordance with the report, that the Manse had been completed in a satisfactory manner. Mr Robertson said he did not ask the Court to declare the manse a free manse at this time, as the old manse was to be taken down and the materials used on the steading.

1909 October 23 The Orcadian

Bad Weather for Harvest Week. – Seldom has there been such a continuance of stormy and wet weather during harvest. On one or two of the larger farms the last of the standing crop has to be cut by the scythe. Self-binders or even reapers are out of the question, the ground being so sodden that the machines sink and become clogged.

1909 November 3 Orkney Herald


On Thursday evening, the 21st ult., a meeting was held in St Mary’s U.F. Church, Edinburgh, to celebrate the jubilee as a minister of the Rev. Neil Patrick Rose, M.A., who is an elder in St Mary’s. Among those present were Principal Whyte, Dr Sandeman, St Andrew’s Church; Revs. Messrs Purves, St James’s, Dunbar; Durran, Queen St.; Mrs Rose, Miss Rose, Mrs Davidson.

In the absence of the Lord Provost, the chair was taken by the minister, Rev. George Davidson. B.Sc., who read a number of telegrams and letters from friends who were unable to be present.

Over 50 years ago Mr Rose was connected with Free St Mary’s as a missionary in the time of the Rev. Dr Main. In July, 1858, he was licensed and was appointed to take charge of the congregation at Tarland, Aberdeenshire. Shortly afterwards he received a call from Rousay, in Orkney, which he accepted, and carried on work there for 21 years. In 1880 Mr Rose came to the McCrie Church, Edinburgh, retiring after five years, when the McCrie and Roxburgh congregations were united. Since then he has been connected with St Mary’s, doing work among the congregation, and supplying the places of ministers of the church laid aside by illness. Mr Rose has preached in 61 churches in the city, and 468 throughout the country. He is still hale and hearty, and his reminiscences were greatly enjoyed by the meeting.

[Among the addresses presented to Mr Rose was one from the U.F. Presbytery of Orkney]. Mr [John] Davie, in making the presentation, said….. Fifty years ago the tide of the Disruption was in full flood. The intellectual and spiritual life of the islands centred round the young Church….. Feeling at that time ran high with us, as it did everywhere, and we welcomed Mr Rose as a good acquisition to our strength – a tall, dark-haired, handsome young man, able and commanding. He had listened to the preaching, of the Highland Fathers – Macdonald, Mackay, Kennedy, Gunn – and a spark of the Celtic fire was in him, splendid material to make a minister, indeed, I think, indispensible material. The Celt is without doubt a greater orator than the Sassenach, so we took him to our hearts in our own undemonstrative way, but none the less real because of its quietness. In our moments of deepest feeling we become very silent. We shake hands and say nothing, but we may be relied upon to the last gasp. If you saw us in a small boat, overtaken by a storm, you would see every man at his post, but you would not hear a word spoken. Such are we Orcadians, as Mr Rose has seen us often, and I am sure that he will agree that he never had a more loyal and trustworthy people round him than he had in the island of Rousay. Everyone was his friend, from the hero of Lucknow to the herd boy on the moor. Now Mr Rose was worthy of our loyalty, and has responded splendidly. He has identified himself with us thoroughly, and joined in every scheme which we have for the good of the islands. In this matter I speak from personal knowledge, and I know the trouble he has taken to help young people to get situations in the south; and it is a great satisfaction for him to know how well the Rousay boys have done – the Marwicks, the Gibsons, the Craigies. Mr Rose left us for the richer pastures of the south, but we are proud of that rather than otherwise. We gave Principal Jack to the University of Aberdeen, and we educated Principal Fairbairn in the island of North Ronaldshay, and sent him south one of the foremost scholars of his day. We like to go back upon reminiscences of that kind. The greatest men Scotland has ever had have served their generation in the Church, and we like to think that we in these far off islands of the sea have had some of them. Fifty years is a long time of service, and we are glad to see Mr Rose so hale and hearty, and still able to do such good work for his Church; and I count it a great honour in being present this evening to present to him and his dear wife the congratulations of my Presbytery on this day of jubilee.

Sheriff Watt, K.C., handed over a purse of sovereigns to Mr Rose, and a silver salver to Mrs Rose from their friends…..

Mr Rose in reply said: – Mr Chairman. Christian friends and brethren, I find it difficult, in offering you my warmest thanks, to find words to express the grateful emotions of my heart. You have done me a very great honour, and bestowed very valuable gifts upon me which I feel very unworthy to receive; but since it has been your pleasure to bestow them, I accept them with the utmost cordiality and joy. In the course of a long life, it has been my lot to receive a good many gifts and tokens of goodwill; but nothing in comparison with what you have so kindly conferred upon me this evening. Being in the midst of friends, in the few observations which I take the liberty to make, I feel that I can calculate upon your indulgence, in any imperfections which may be laid to my charge, not in the appreciation of the honour and kindness shown, but in my attempt to return suitable thanks for them. On the ninth of last month (September) I finished the 50th year of my ministry, and on the 29th of the same month, I entered upon the 79th year of my life, and I have to bear testimony that goodness and mercy have followed me during all these years!…..

[Mr Rose then gave a short retrospective view of his life in the holy ministry, this extract referring to his time in Rousay. He was licensed in the month of July 1858, and appointed to take charge of the congregation at Tarland, Aberdeenshire. Eventually a ‘call’ came from Rousay, which he accepted]….. One of my fellow-students remarked “Oh Rose, you are going into voluntary banishment.” Well, I never had cause to regret the choice then made. No minister ever had a more attached congregation. Not long after my settlement, the wave of revival passed over the Orkneys. The great work began in the congregation of Sanday, when I happened to be assisting Mr Armour at the time of the Communion. Owing to the stormy weather I had considerable difficulty and some risk in reaching it. It was Martinmas. I had agreed to conduct the service on Sunday, but it was Sabbath morning ere I got to the manse. Starting on Saturday afternoon in a good boat, with two skilful boatmen, we crossed the Westray Firth, in daylight, and rounded to the south end of the Island of Eday, and took the bearings to Sanday, expecting to catch the tide to carry us up the Sound at Spurness. A fog came down upon us. We sailed so long as we thought we had reached the point wished, when a tide like a mill-lade met us and Iand on both sides. After a tack, the boat came to the same point. The tide was against us. My boatmen got frightened. One of them pulled down the main-sail, while the other turned the boat. I said “Where are we going?” when the answer was “We must try to get into CaIf Sound for the night, as we cannot reach Sanday.” Sailing along, I descried the land on the right side, and suggested that the sail might be hoisted, and we might go ashore. If the land be the Calf of Eday it is a large calf. We sailed into a small creek. One of the men landed and found that it was inhabited as he felt stubble on the field. We pulled up the boat and set out for a house whose light we saw in the distance. After a weary walk across wet fields and ditches we reached what turned out to be the farmhouse of Stove. Mr McKenzie, the farmer, a fine specimen of the Christian gentleman entertained us and made supper. To our joy we found that we were on the island of Sanday, but 8 miles from Mr Armour’s house. Being anxious to reach it, our kind host made ready a pony for me and one of his lads was sent to bring the pony back. It was now 11 p.m. I reached the manse at 2 a.m. Sabbath morning, but Mr Armour was waiting and expecting me.

Years after I had occasion to visit the same locality returning from the Communion at North Ronaldshay. I went to see the creek where we landed. Had we sailed in the course proposed, the tide would have whirled us along to a great reef of rocks that lay between Stove and the Calf of Eday. I needed no proof that we were guided by a divine gracious Providence! Nothing special happened on the Sabbath. There was a large congregation, great expectations cherished, many earnest prayers for a time of refreshing. Drops of the coming shower had been falling in other places. On Monday, observed as a day of thanksgiving, a very large congregation gathered, and at the close of the service Mr Armour ascended the pulpit and said, “As our young brother is to be with us, we shall meet again this evening at 7 o’clock to ‘wait for the promise of the Father.’ ” When the hour of service arrived, the church was crowded. I was asked to open the meeting, and give the address. My subject (so far as I remember) was Luke xv. – “This man receiveth sinners.” &c., the three parables (1) The Lost Sheep, (2) The Lost Coin, (3) The Lost Son. I had not proceeded far when there was such an outburst of emotion that many had to retire to the session room and the vestry, and such prayers and confessions of sin! The meeting was prolonged to a late hour. In fact, the people would not go away, and after being dismissed, they lingered outside at the walls of the church, and when Mr Armour and myself appeared, they clung to us, and said, “Oh, tell us a little more about Jesus !” It was intimated that there would be a meeting on the next evening. The multitude came together, for it was noised abroad that the revival had began. I was asked again to open the meeting, and a similar experience took place. Mr Paul, the U.P. minister of forty years’ standing – a man of seventy – had come with his family. He was asked to address the people. There was a similar outburst. He stated that when he heard of what had occurred he was doubtful, but lifting up both his hands, he thanked the God of Heaven that he had been spared to witness such a season of wondrous power and grace, while tears of joy flowed freely down his cheeks.

The awakening spread rapidly. Next day, on my return home, I had to travel by the sailing packet via Kirkwall. Many on board the packet were under deep conviction, and I got special work to do during the passage. Amongst others who obtained peace was the skipper of the boat. He was in deep distress, but ere we reached the pier, he was a changed man, and became an outstanding witness for Christ. On reaching the town I was beset by several friends, all anxious to hear the news. I was conveyed into the house of a merchant, and earnest questions were asked, but I was unable to utter a single word. After a little rest, however, I recovered my voice, and was able to answer the questions.

On reaching Rousay, I felt a great longing for a similar visitation as I had witnessed in Sanday but a good many weeks passed before the time of the spiritual awakening arrived, and the blessed work began in the school-house three miles distant from the church. We had prayer meetings every evening for about a month, and expectation of a divine baptism. For two weeks I was constantly engaged. I had no time for the usual pulpit preparation. I felt restless on Saturday evening. Rising early before dawn, I walked down to the church. Entering, I had a remarkable experience – felt that God had been working! How dreadful was the place! I knelt down to pray. When I rose from my knees the sun was shining on me through the windows of the vestry where l was. Walking slowly up to the manse, I had to pass through the garden where I had an experience which I could not describe of nearness to my Saviour, and I felt as if the earth was an unfit place for me to live in! As it was too early to awake the inmates of the manse, I walked for some time on the pavement in front, anxious to get a subject for preaching. I wearied for the service though unprepared. From the window of my study I watched the people coming along the hillsides. At length the hour of service arrived, and as I was moving down to the church, one of the elders, quite excited, came running to meet me, and said, “My dear pastor, you will not be able to get into the church, it is so crowded.” In reply, I said, “This will be a memorable day to Rousay,” and so it was. With some difficulty I reached the pulpit. Before I had time to begin the worship, a man in the centre of the church stood up and shouted, “Let us praise God,” and sat down. I thought it was time for me to begin. As I rose to offer the intercessory prayer, what a sight ! What an earnest looking congregation! Some with eyes beaming full of joy, and some with the lines of pain and sorrow for sin, craving for peace! It was a day to be remembered. The word was accompanied with power. The result is known to God. At the communion, which shortly followed, there was a large increase of new members. The Communion Roll went up from 198 to 250.

During that year and the next there was great demand for special services, and I accompanied Mr Armour in a tour of visitation over the islands and preached to very large congregations in Kirkwall, Stromness, and other parishes. Much deep impression was produced. There was no difficulty in getting people to fill the churches, even on week-days, and it was delightful to preach in those days! And it was my privilege for one and twenty years to be spared to minister to a congregation of quickened souls! No doubt we had our trials – ups and downs in spiritual life – but great was our enjoyment. You can readily understand what a wrench it was to be separated from such a congregation. The people of Rousay were kind, obliging, and extremely affectionate, loyal, industrious, and sober. No public houses, no drunkenness, no squalid poverty, no taxes, no rates; no representative of Civil authority, no magistrate, no lawyer, no doctor, no druggist, a quiet, orderly people, intelligent, well versed in a knowledge of God’s Word.

Several proposals were made to move me to a new sphere of labour, especially in connection with Home Missions, but I had resolved not to look at any unless harmonious. At last a call came from the McCrie Church in this city and it was unanimous. I had little knowledge of the congregation and neglected to make special enquiry. I had very great difficulty in accepting it; and after accepting it I was in agony, and I can never forget the strange fear that came over me on my way south when crossing the Pentland Firth…..    

1909 November 6 The Orcadian

The Rousay packet boat whilst beating out of Kirkwall Bay on Saturday last stranded on the Iceland Skerry. No damage was sustained, and the boat got off at night, at high water, unaided.

1909 November 10 Orkney Herald


It is understood, says The Observer that the Admiralty intend to undertake certain works in the neighbourhood of Scapa Flow, in the Orkney Islands, which will better fit that magnificent harbour to act as the base of part of the Home Fleet. During the present year the Home Fleet has spent most of its time in the Orkney Islands, either at Kirkwall, or in Scapa Flow. The latter is a splendid harbour, fifteen miles long and eight miles broad, formed by the juxtaposition of the island of Pomona, South Ronaldshay, Burray, Walls, and Hoy. The object which the Admiralty have in view is, of course, to crown their policy of North Sea concentration and North Sea enclosure. During the last three years the “Arming of the East Coast” has proceeded rapidly. Dover has been completed, Sheerness has been made the base, first of the Home Fleet and then of a division of that fleet forming a fine reserve for the main body. Harwich has become the base at once of the first destroyer flotilla and a flotilla of nine sea-going submarines; Grimsby and the Tyne are to be made torpedo bases; Rosyth is becoming a first class repairing base; Dundee is the headquarters of another flotilla of submarines, while Cromarty is frequently used as the Home Fleet’s base. Wireless stations have been erected at frequent intervals down the coast, and others are to be constructed at Wick and Kirkwall. With the Home Fleet stationed at Scapa Flow, the North Sea will become, in the event of war with a Power of Northern Europe, a British lake. No force which Germany can muster now, or for some years to come, would make its way past the Fleet of sixteen battleships, ten armoured cruisers, and forty-eight destroyers, which comprises the active fully-commissioned strength of the Home Fleet, and, with war confined to the North Sea, British trade would be perfectly safe, while that of our enemy could easily be stifled. One serious drawback to the selection of Scapa Flow as a fleet base is that it is cut off from the mainland, and a base at its best should be in railway communication with the administrative and constructive centres. It is believed that, in order to overcome this difficulty, Wick will undergo some sort of development as a mainland outpost of the real Fleet headquarters.

The weather of October was unusually severe. There were three well-defined cyclones which passed across this county on the 5th, 7th, and 14th, when the wind velocity reached respectively 64, 58, and 75 miles [per hour]. Hail fell during a few days of the first and last weeks. A severe thunderstorm occurred on the 6th. There were only six dry days during the month. Pressure was low. It has only been once lower during the last twenty-five years, viz., 1903. Temperature was normal. The rainfall of 5¼ inches has only been exceeded four times during the last twenty-five years. The rainfall of one inch on the 13th in 2½ hours is the heaviest fall recorded at this station [in Deerness] in so short a time. Hours of sunshine were the highest since 1902. A bright meteor was seen on the 27th.

1909 November 27 The Orcadian

QUARTERLY RETURN OF BIRTHS, DEATHS AND MARRIAGES. – Annexed is the quarterly return of the births, deaths and marriages registered in Orkney and Shetland, during the quarter ending 30th September, 1909, published by authority of the Registrar-General: – ….. Rousay & Egilshay. – Population in 1891, 988; in 1901, 829. Births, 3; deaths, 2; marriages, 2.

1909 December 4 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – The United Free Church Guild in Rousay opened its winter session with a very successful social on Thursday night. Although the weather was very wet, Ritchie Church was well filled with young people. The Rev Mr Pirie presided and the speakers were the Rev. Mr Abel, assistant, and Messrs Alex. Grieve and John Inkster. The speeches were humorous and well received, and Mr William Grieve gave an amusing reading which was also enjoyed. Mr James W. Grieve, the Guild conductor of praise, led a well-trained choir, and a number of hymns, trios, and quartettes were efficiently and skilfully sung. Miss Reid and her assistants provided as usual an excellent tea.

1909 December 11 The Orcadian

THE WEATHER IN ORKNEY – MONTH OF NOVEMBER. – The month of November has been wet, cold, and generally boisterous. Even the fortnight of fine weather – the Orkney peerie summer – that falls due this month has been withheld, and instead we have been visited with floods. The outstanding feature of the month’s record was the flood of two and a half inches here, and even more in a few other localities, on the 11th and 12th, followed by a snow-storm of nearly a week’s duration. Wind velocity reached gale force only twice. The statistics show that pressure was normal, although unusually changeable. Temperature was 1.6 degrees in defect of the mean. The nights of 14th and 15th, with 29.8 degrees, were the coldest November temperatures for six years. The rainfall of 5.39 inches was the heaviest since 1893, and nearly one and a half inches in excess of the mean. Hours of sunshine were five and a half above the mean.

1909 December 22 Orkney Herald

SNOWSTORM. – A very severe snowstorm began on Saturday, and heavy snow showers continued to fall till yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon, when there was a slight shower of rain. Owing to the stormy wind on Monday morning and Monday night there are many deep drifts a snow, and nearly all the roads throughout the country are blocked. In some cases the rural postmen have been able to make their rounds by leaving the roads and crossing fields, but in several cases this has not been possible. On the plain the snow lies to a depth of nine to twelve inches. The weather has generally been frosty, though there have been slight thaws of short duration.