Probably in the late 1980s I visited, with my Dad, the Southern Reporter newspaper head office in Selkirk, and pulled out a number of obituaries for relatives from their bound volumes of old newspapers. Here’s the first one, for my great-great grandfather.
Southern Reporter, September 26 1895
DEATH OF A VETERAN VOLUNTEER.- We regret to notice the death of Mr Alexander Burnett Dodds, which took place after a short illness at his residence at Abbey Gate. The deceased was the oldest member of the Melrose Volunteer detachment, having joined it at the inauguration of the Volunteer movement about thirty-five years ago. During the whole period of his service he was most enthusiastic in any matter relating to the progress and success of the detachment, and no member was more proud of his long-service medal. For the greater part of his Volunteer career he was a non-commissioned officer, and for about eighteen years he was colour-sergeant of the Melrose company, having succeeded the late Mr Amos, Earlside. Deceased was seldom absent from a drill, and was a good average marksman, having even this year won the marksman’s badge in class-firing. For nearly twenty years he acted as officer of Melrose Parish Church, having succeeded his father, and he was most attentive in the discharge of his duties connected with this office.