Posts Categorized: Featured Post

Featured Post

Letters Home (5): 16 October 1915

In this letter written home to his family in Thurso in the last days of the Battle of Loos David Barrogill Keith and others of the 10th Scottish Rifles are still being held in reserve. Although the sound of the guns is ever-present, “I have not yet seen a shell burst on the ground”. He… Read more »Read more

Letters Home (4): 11 October 1915

The text of this letter from David Barrogill Keith to his family in Thurso is incomplete. But from his description of the sound of the “big guns booming” and the flight of aeroplanes overhead it is clear that the Battle of Loos was still raging nearby. He writes of rumours that they will be moved… Read more »Read more

Letters Home (3): October 1915

This letter home to his family in Thurso is undated, but as David Barrogill Keith says he’s “reached the end of his wanderings” it seems reasonable to assume that he’s arrived at Noeux les Mines, a small mining town near Loos. This was where his Battalion was stationed during the final days of the Battle… Read more »Read more

Letters Home (2): 5 October 1915

In this letter home to his family in Thurso David Barrogill Keith has arrived in France. He and his fellow officers had crossed the Channel to Boulogne, and on to the base camp at Etaples. After some rudimentary training in surviving a gas attack they were assigned to the 10th Scottish Rifles, which had suffered… Read more »Read more

Letters Home (1): 2 October 1915

One day in September 1915 David Barrogill Keith and his fellow officers were summoned to the Quartermaster’s Stores at Stobs training camp in the Borders and asked their religion, so that they could receive a proper burial if required. They were then told that they were being sent to the Western Front. The Battle of… Read more »Read more

Accident in Wick Bay, 1857

This month’s featured document is the Wick Harbourmaster’s Log Book for 1857, and the entry we’ve chosen recounts the tragic deaths of six men on Sunday 31 January. The men formed the crews of the boats owned by a Mr Crawford that would put out from the harbour to collect the luggage from visiting steamers…. Read more »Read more

Caithness and the Road Tax, 1844

On the morning of 12 February 1844 some 600 people from Latheron marched on Wick, bearing banners and carrying sticks and umbrellas. They paraded through the town before gathering at the Court House on Bridge Street, where the trial of John Swanson and others was taking place for non-payment of Road Money (the tax for… Read more »Read more

Wick Grain Riots, 1847

This month’s featured document is from the Wick Parochial Board Minutes of 2 March 1847 (reference CC/7/10/1). It reads as follows: “Application for William Hogston for himself having got his right hand shattered and completely disabled by a shot from the Military on Wednesday last, and has a wife and five children. The Board allow… Read more »Read more

Archives “Roadshow” at Castlehill, 25 April

A big thank you to everyone who came along to the “Archives Roadshow” at Castlehill Heritage Centre on Saturday 25th April and helped to make it such a success. Most popular items were the Caithness Police Conviction Book, the Castletown School Pupils’ Admission Register, and the selection of Ordnance Survey Maps showing the parishes of… Read more »Read more

Watten Prisoner of War Camp Newsletter, c.1948

Watten Prisoner of War Camp operated from 1943 until 1948. Several thousand ordinary prisoners were placed there, and they were allowed out to work on local farms.  But a separate, top secret part of the camp housed hard line Nazi prisoners, referred to as “Black POWs”, who were subjected to an intense programme of de-Nazification… Read more »Read more