Monday, 4 August 2014

One hundred years on from the First World War's outbreak

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the day that Britain entered the First World War. There are of course many events across the country commemorating those who fought and died in the conflict, including here in Glasgow and further north in Inverness and Dundee - the BBC has the story at including news of the Lights Out campaign asking everyone in the UK to switch off their household lights from 22.00-23.00.

Many soldiers, including my wife's great uncle Martin Colleton of the 2nd Battalion of the Connaught Rangers, and my great uncle, Robert Currie of the CEF, were caught up as casualties and victims in the calamity of the war, and will be rightly commemorated. What you may hear very little about, however, are the stories of the civilians caught up in the turmoil of the war. By way of an example, August 4th 1914 not only saw Britain enter the war, it also saw the world of my family, resident in Brussels at the time, turn upside down in an instant - instigating a tragic series of events that ultimately led to the death in April 1916 of my great grandfather, a Belgian based, but Scottish born, civilian shopkeeper called David Hepburn Paton. This is my tribute, the story of David Paton, simply caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time -

The pictures below depict my great grandfather David Paton and my nan's brother, my great uncle, Corporal Robert Currie. May they, and Private Martin Colleton, rest in peace.



Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks

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