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…..