A Scottish Breakfast in the Dardanelles, July 1915

I recently discovered the blog run by The Heritage Hub, the Scottish Borders archive and local history centre based in Hawick. Their most recent post is an intriguing cryptography puzzle from Traquair House’s archive collections, with a letter from the 18th century written in code that Traquair would like someone to decrypt for them. Fun stuff!

However the blog is full of other interesting archival stories from the Borders. And I’ve just found one with a family connection. My great-grandfather John Dodds served in World War One in the King’s Own Scottish Borderers. He developed chronic dysentery and was invalided out, which meant that he missed – fortunately for him – later action by the KOSB on the Western Front. However he was in Gallipoli during their disastrous Gallipoli campaign, when part of the KOSB was virtually wiped out. He was lucky to survive.

Not long before the disaster occurred there’s a record of the meals the KOSB were eating in Gallipoli, preserved in letters home to the front and published in local newspapers. This is what the Heritage Hub published in their blog, recalling how the Scottish soldiers were doing their best to have porridge breakfasts, working with what they had.

I  have a book somewhere recounting what happened to the KOSB at Gallipoli. I must try to dig it out and reread it. Apparently John Dodds had a memorial plate in his house commemorating what happened to the KOSB in Gallipoli and the many lost men. I wonder what happened to it, and if any member of the family has it.

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About vivdunstan

Academic historian, genealogist, former computer scientist, and Doctor Who fan.
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2 Responses to A Scottish Breakfast in the Dardanelles, July 1915

  1. We wondered if you would allow your story to be published in Scotland’s War, details of which follow.

    Since 2008, the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for the Study of Modern Conflict has been working with Edinburgh, Leith and the Lothians’ libraries, schools and community groups to ensure that the story of Scotland’s contribution to the Great War is not forgotten. Furthermore, the partnership was strengthened when The Scottish Military Research Group became a partner in 2010, History Fest in 2011, and the National Library of Scotland in 2013. Scotland’s War was launched on 28 June 2013. On 7 July 2013, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) joined as a partner. A number of other organisations have made initial contact indicating a wish to work with us and The Scotsman has recently become a partner. From our joint efforts over the past few years, it has become all too obvious that the history of this nation at war remains largely untold, particularly the civilian efforts on the Home Front.

    From the earliest days of the project, public engagement has been central to its success. We now have a very active programme working with libraries, carrying out WW1 archival and document searches, and the public and institutions have submitted family or institutional papers for inclusion in the WW1 public engagement initiative. Many of them can now be found on the new website (www.edinburghs-war.ed.ac.uk). We have strict guidelines and an ethical policy on the submission and use of documents, photographs, artefacts and memorabilia.

    In October 2012, in collaboration with our partners, Edinburgh City Libraries, we launched The WW1 History Hub which is supporting people to tell family stories about their contribution to the Great War. The WW1 History Hub initiative is a first in the UK and is a product of years of work between Edinburgh City Libraries and the University of Edinburgh.

    We have a unique opportunity to allow the present generation of Scots to trace the footsteps of their ancestors in order to tell the whole story of Scotland’s people, their service, and their sacrifice in the Great War and to reflect on the consequences of a conflict that arguably changed our nation forever.

    At the moment Edinburgh’s War can be found at http://www.edinburghs-war.ed.ac.uk. Scotland’s war will evolve using the same template.

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