Welcome Home to Returning Soldiers

In the West Lothian Courier newspaper edition 5th December, 1919 it was reported that Queensferry had organised a social evening as a thank you to the returning Sailors and Soldiers in the Rosebery Hall. It was arranged by the Local War Service Committee and some 200 discharged and demobilised men and their guests were invited. As well as servicemen, members of the Voluntary Aid Detachment, W.A.A.C and W.R.E.N, and other ladies who had interested themselves in various departments of war work were invited.

The servicemen were given a substantial evening meal and then their guests joined them for an evening’s entertainment in the Rosebery Hall. There were songs and musical entertainment laid on during the evening.

Provost Morison on welcoming the men said“I have the very great honour of offering you a sincere and heartfelt welcome on behalf of the community of our Royal Burgh on your return from service in the greatest and most portentous struggle which has ever been waged in the world’s history. In the great struggle we desire to acknowledge that you have taken a noble and honourable part. Though others near and dear to you have already been gladdened by your return. We meet here tonight to express our sense of the immeasurable debt we owe to you.”

When the tables had been cleared there were further speeches and then the entertainment began. During the interval Provost Morison tendered gifts of a wallet with £5 inside to those who had won decorations in recognition of the deeds they had done. There were others, alas, who could not be with them, the touch of whose hands they could not feel, the voices they could not hear. On the Scroll of the Mighty Dead were graven in imperishable letters the names of these heroes. They gave their lives that the nation might live.

Provost Morison then handed over the wallets containing £5 to the 13 men who had earned special distinctions. The dancing carried on till the early hours of the morning. It ended with the hope that a permanent memorial be erected in the burgh.

THE BRITISH ARMY ON THE ITALIAN FRONT, 1917-1918. © IWM (Q 262040) British troops heading for England to be demobilized. December 1918
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