The Cellardyke Echo – 28/9/23 – Issue 408


Anstruther has at last got another football club started. It is not the resurrection of the old and famous Rangers, but a new club, “Anstruther Mercantile.” After many trials and rebuff, a pitch has been secured from Mr Blyth, Cellardyke, opposite the residence of Rev. Mr Rae. It is the pitch of the now long defunct “K.Y.”, and is an admirable one. The first practice games were indulged in yesterday, and it is expected that a match will be arranged for next week.


Kilrenny School Board have appointed Miss Euphemia Gardner, Cellardyke, as assistant teacher in Kilrenny School at a salary of £55 per annum, in succession to Miss Forsyth, who has accepted a position in Leven school.

Mr James Pratt, Cellardyke, sustained a serious accident on Tuesday forenoon, while working on board the drifter Glencona. He fell from the wheelhouse to the deck, broke his arm in two places, and was badly out about the head. He was taken home in an unconscious condition, but has since improved slightly.

Information was received in Anstrnther on Tuesday by Mr Thomas Cunningham, of the death by drowning of William Duncan, fisherman Ferryden, who is married to a Cellardyke woman. Rev Mr Ray was asked to break the sad news to the mother of Mrs Duncan. Deceased was oh board, a motor boat, and sailed from Hartlepool on Monday, and it is supposed he was washed overboard on Tuesday morning. From additional information received, it appears that Duncan who was sailing the boat Annie Mearns, was standing for’ard in the boat when he was struck by the sail and knocked overboard. The motor was flying before a rather stiff breeze at the time, and before the distance to the spot where Duncan fell had bun retraced all signs of him were gone. The body was not recovered. The Annie Mearns reached Montrose yesterday.


WASHED BY THE SEA. A wine bottle, tightly corked, with a paper inside, has been washed up from the sea and found on the beach at by Mr T. Whylie during the week. The paper is in good state of preservation, and contained the following: list of names ” Peter Murray. Peter Carstairs, William Smith, Tom Tarvitt, George Tarvitt, James Barclay. Angus McRay James Murray, Harry Seely, James Smith. 41,’ James, Street, Cellardyke, Fifeshire, Scotland; the crew of the Venus. August 16th”

LOST, between Kilrenny and Anstruther, a Black Rubber COAT. Finder please return to T. Swinton, Cellardyke.


When the appeal for recruits was first made, the fishermen in this district were criticised in several quarters for not coming forward and offering themselves to the Army recruiting authorities, many critics overlooking the fact that the men were willing and even eager to join the Naval Reserve or the Navy itself if the chance offered. As a result of the meeting held in Cellardyke by Mr H. T. Anstruther, several young men indicated their willingness to join the Naval Reserve, and this week they have been called up to Portsmouth for service. that There is no doubt, if the fishermen are given a suitable opening, they will readily join any branch of the Naval service, and should the call for recruits for the Navy be issued, it will be heartily responded to by the fishermen in this district, who, as has already been stated, are prepared to give themselves to a branch of the national service for which their calling has eminently fitted them.


STRETCHER-BEARERS’ PLUCK. Captain C. H. Maxwell, of the 1/7th Black Watch, arrived home on Friday from France on sick leave. In conversation with a representative of the “East of Fife Record,” the Captain was full of regard and admiration for the bearing and conduct of his men “No words,” he said, “can fully describe the readiness and gallantry of the boys from the East of Fife in tackling the business in hand. What little grumbling there was, took place at the start of the campaign, but with the realities of their duty before them, they quickly reached a state of discipline that enables them to stand any amount of exhaustion and hardship without grumbling. Their soldierly appearance is all that their mothers and fathers could desire; they are as physically fit as it is for men to be. They stand up well to long route marches and lengthy periods of duty in the trenches, and even when they come back to the billets there is plenty of work.

“From the billets, we often march three -or four miles out, and construct trenches under the supervision of the Royal Engineers, who seem to be better pleased to have the men of the 1/7th Black Watch working for them than any ether Battalion”. “And what do the men occupy their leisure hours with?” I asked our representative. “Leisure hours!” and the Captain smiled, “I don’t remember having any leisure hours for a long time. Even while in billets, there is plenty of work to keep us occupied.

“To a great extent the trench warfare is carried on by aerial torpedoes and trench mortars, whose bark is a great deal worse than their bite. These missiles are filled with high explosives, and certainly kick up a great row, but the nerves of our fellows are proof against that. While at work in the trenches, they see those mortars coming, and dodge to the right or left before they explode, afterwards calmly resuming their work and conversation as if nothing had happened. That is the stage they have got to now. “I would like to emphasise that the dangers of the trench work are very much over-estimated by relatives at home. We have done long spells in the trenches with few or no casualties, and in many cases casualties that have occurred have been due to the carelessness of the soldiers themselves in not exercising proper caution.

 ” Our boys are a cheery lot, and great on music. Both in the trenches and on the march, the voices of the Anstruther and Cellardyke boys can be depended on to strike up a tune, which is lustily taken up by the whole Company. It is a cheery sound, and keeps up our spirits wonderfully. – “Apart from their work,” continued the Captain, “the thoughts of the men are all concentrated on leave. There are always three drawn for leave every week, and the hope of everyone is that it will be his turn next. “Those at home can hardly estimate the keen pleasure the receipt of the parcels gives the men. The knowledge that the home folks are thinking about us keeps us cheerier than even good news about the war, and certainly the men deserve the best you can send. Very few complaints are heard about parcels not being delivered. It is a point of honour with everybody to see that the parcels are delivered to the men they are intended for. “On the other hand, about the only thing that makes our fellows sick at heart and discouraged is the news that work people are striking for some paltry advance in wages. When they heard about the Welsh miners, the common wish of the Battalion was that they should be sent home to quell the strike, and the thought that some slackers are told to take 30 hours to do an eight hours’ job at munition works is worse than all the frightfulness the Germans can employ.

“A word of praise must  also be given to our two local stretcher-bearers, Drummer Harry Bowman, Cellardyke, and Drummer Robert Hughes, Pittenweem. The doctors could not compliment them enough on their work, not only for – the prompt attention they gave to the wounded, but in carrying them to safety over open ground under heavy fire, and returning at once to carry more wounded, sometimes through miles of trenches packed with soldiers. They would work until they were fit to drop, and were always ready when called upon.” So far as casualties are concerned, the Company has been pretty fortunate for some time, but the lord lads still miss their two brave comrades (William Watson and Alex. Robb), who fell in May last. Before leaving, Captain Maxwell intimated to our representative his intention of personally visiting the parents and relatives of his men in this district, a kindly thought which will be much appreciated by all.

Local Man Wounded. – – News came to hand yesterday that Colour-Sergeant George Moncrieff, 4th Black Watch, has been severely wounded during the fighting on Saturday by shell fire. Colour-Sergeant Moncrieff, who served his apprenticeship with Messrs Guthrie & Maxwell, solicitors, Anstruther, was in Tal-tal, Chili, in the employment of Messrs Balfour, Williamson A: Co., shipping agents, when the war broke out, and came home to volunteer. His parents reside in West Forth Street. Many friends in the town will anxiously hope that the Colour-Sergeant’s wound may not prove so severe es the brief notification indicates.

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