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The Greasy Pole contest at the Ferry Fair (now no longer part of the celebrations).
The Greasy Pole contest at the Ferry Fair (now no longer part of the celebrations).

Queensferry’s War Heroes Remembered

Soldiers who made the “ultimate sacrifice” are being remembered by local historians. Queensferry History Group has produced a new book and website highlighting the men from the town – and neighbouring Dalmeny – who went to fight in World War I but never returned. The beautifully-illustrated “Queensferry At War” book, which covers 70 pages, is…

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A Brief History of South Queensferry

The small town of Queensferry lies on the south shore of the Firth of Forth just eight miles west of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city. As a convenient crossing place, the area may have been known before the Romans arrived, but the town is traditionally associated with Saint Margaret, the Anglo-Saxon princess who married King Malcolm…

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The 1918/19 Flu Epidemic

Between 1918 and 1919 an estimated 40-50 million people worldwide died from influenza.  Some reports put the number as high as 100 million, more than died in total due to World War 1.  Alarmingly this flu strain was most deadly to those aged between 20 and 40. Glasgow was the first British city to be…

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Queensferry’s Bridges

Any visitor to Queensferry cannot help but notice our three very large and very different bridges. Indeed, people come from all over the world to see them. The Forth Bridge The Forth bridge (a railway bridge) was the first of the three to be built. Thomas Bouch, who had built the Tay bridge, originally planned…

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The Navy in Queensferry

There are many who will remember Port Edgar prior to 1975 when the Royal Navy was in residence. This collection of dates and events is intended to inform and remind people of the history that was made at Port Edgar, and its contribution to the nation in war and peace. 1850’s – Royal Naval guardships…

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Royal Queensferry

Throughout the centuries a variety of kings and queens have passed through Queensferry’s boundaries. The picturesque town was granted Royal Burgh status in 1636 by Charles the First. Queensferry owes its name to that most revered of queens, the saintly Queen Margaret, who established a ferry here in the 11th century for pilgrims journeying to…

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The Post Office in Queensferry

We all use our local post office and most of us take it for granted. Our current post office is located in the Scotmid store on the Loan, but it has had more than one home since its beginnings in the 18th century. In 1747, the Town Council needed someone to act as Post Master, carrying…

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The Covenanters and Queensferry

Queensferry has an interesting Historical connection to the Covenanters – 1638 – 1680. King Charles I attempted to overthrow the Presbyterian form of religion, which had been established in Scotland in 1560 during the reign of Mary Queen of Scots. “Covenanters” was the name given to Presbyterians in Scotland, of all ranks, who signed the…

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The Ferry Fair

The earliest mention of “the fair” almost takes us back to the start of the last millennium. During the reign of King David I in the 12th Century, Queensferry had the status of a burgh town and as such was allowed the privilege of holding a weekly market and an annual fair. King David II,…

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The Heraldry of Queensferry

Heraldry in Scotland The development of armour in the 11th century created a need for identification to distinguish knights in battle. However, the resulting coats of arms, or “armorial bearings”, rapidly came to symbolise nobility, rank, authority and ownership. In a society where most people could not read or write, armorial bearings provided a useful…

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Queensferry in Postcards

The Hawes Inn is well known to all visitors to Queensferry. The visitors seen in this image, taken about 1905, seem about to return to Edinburgh in their horse drawn carriages. These carriages would be replaced in a few years by motor buses. The Galloway Saloon Steam Packet Company of Leith built a wooden pier…

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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.…

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Our Poppy Cards

These cards were designed by Erin Boyes, a pupil at Queensferry High School and are available from the History Group. We can be contacted at the email address below. Each card bears the name of one of the men named on the War Memorials in Queensferry and Dalmeny. The cards with the anchor on the…

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Women, the War and the Vote

The Suffrage Movement, Women and the War Effort, Peoples Reform Act 1918 World War I was to bring about many social changes for both men and women. The Suffrage Movement The first of 16,000 petitions was presented to Parliament in 1866 containing over 3 million signatures petitioning for women to have the same voting rights…

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Armistace Day in Queensferry

News of the armistice was greeted with joy by people all over Britain on the morning of November 11th 1918. The Fleet based in the Forth were given the news early in the morning and it is likely that people in Queensferry heard the news before people in London! There are three eyewitness accounts of…

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Ceasefire

“At the beginning of 1918 it may have seemed that the War would continue indefinitely but as the year wore on significant events occurred which would bring the conflict to an end. During the German spring offensive the allied troops lost ground and sustained heavy losses, but German losses were also substantial and the attack…

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The 100 Days Offensive 1918

The year 1918 saw two major offensives: The Spring Offensive (21st March – 18th July 1918) and the 100 Days Offensive (18th July – 11th November 1918), which brought about the end of the War on the Western Front. Queensferry and Dalmeny lost a total of 16 men to these offensives. The 100 Days Offensive,…

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The Spring Offensive 1918

1918 saw two major Offensives, The Spring Offensive 21st March – 18th July 1918 and the 100 Days Offensive 18th July – 11th November 1918, which brought about the end of the War on the Western Front. Queensferry and Dalmeny lost a total of 16 men to these offensives. The Spring Offensive 21st March –…

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Exhibitions Remembering the Great War

Queensferry History Group has presented two major exhibitions relating to World War I. In 2013 Queensferry History Group, like many other community Groups throughout the country, was aware the time was approaching to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. In our area the communities of Dalmeny and Queensferry lost significant numbers of men…

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Our Family’s Unknown Soldier

By John Watkinson On Remembrance Day, I often think about my great uncle, David McIntosh. He died with the Canadian infantry in France in 1916 at the age of 23. I call him our family’s Unknown Soldier. About twenty years ago when I visited my mother in Scotland, she gave me a large bronze medallion.…

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Queensferry War Memorial

Listed below are the names of the men commemorated on Queensferry’s  World War I War Memorial, with information about them. If you are related to the men – or want to share additional information about them – please get in touch. Email: queensferryhg@gmail.com Private Louis Alfred Anderson, 2nd Battalion, Royal Scots, was born in Queensferry in…

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Dalmeny’s War Memorial

Listed below are the names of the men commemorated on Dalmeny’s World War I War Memorial, with information about them. If you are related to the men – or want to share additional information about them – please get in touch. Email: queensferryhg@gmail.com Private Peter Anderson, of 12th Royal Scots, was born in Selkirk in…

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Remembering the Fallen

The War Memorials of Queensferry and Dalmeny . . . . Queensferry’s World War I Memorial was unveiled on Saturday 26th November 1927. The Memorial consists of a bronze plaque bearing in bold lettering the names of the 66 fallen and is surmounted by stone scrolls with the burgh coat of arms and supported on…

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Surrender

The surrender of the German Fleet took place in the Firth of Forth on 21st November 1918, but the first moves took place two days earlier when the German ships set sail from Wilhelmshaven. Admiral Hipper, the Commander in Chief of the High Sea Fleet, refused to lead his ships into internment and chose Rear…

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Negotiations in the Forth

Article XXI of the Armistice required the surrender of the entire German submarine fleet and a total of seventy four  ships, including ten named battleships, six named battlecruisers, eight named light cruisers and fifty modern torpedo-boat destroyers. These were to be interned in neutral ports, or failing them, allied ports. The Germans were warned that…

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The Royal Visit to Queensferry in 1918

Their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary accompanied by the Prince of Wales visited the Grand Fleet in the Forth on the eve of the surrender of the German High Sea Fleet. They arrived at Barnton railway station in the evening of November 19th and slept there aboard the Royal Train. The following morning,…

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Forth Bridge War Deaths

‘… Defending the Forth Bridge could be a dangerous business. In 1914 Pte. Paterson was killed while on sentry duty. In 1915 a company of the Royal Garrison Artillery suffered a terrible accident as they marched from the Inchgarvie Fort.’ Defending the Forth Bridge could be a dangerous business. In 1914 Pte. Paterson was killed…

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The Queensferry Tank

Souvenir Tank Tank banks was the name given to a World War I, British Government, fund raising campaign for War Bonds and War Saving Certificates. William Goss and his son Adolphus are credited with the idea of making souvenir China items bearing the arms and names of seaside resorts which they manufactured from 1858 to…

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War in the Forth

‘… The British Grand Fleet was based at Scapa Flow at the beginning of WW1. The battle-cruisers moved to Rosyth in December 1915, but it took until April 1918 to make the estuary safe enough for the rest of the Fleet to join them.’ The British Grand Fleet was based at Scapa Flow at the…

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Call to Arms

‘… On the third of August 1914 policemen posted notices around the Royal Burgh of Queensferry calling men to the Colours. War was declared the following day.’ On the third of August 1914 policemen posted notices around the Royal Burgh of Queensferry calling men to the Colours. War was declared the following day. Reservists and…

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Women at War

Emily Borrowman was the postmistress and telegraphist in Queensferry. She became the darling of sailors and soldiers who passed through Queensferry. Her office, where the Clydesdale Bank is today, was often swamped with servicemen sending telegrams and Emily’s collection of postcards from her admirers and memorabilia of the time tell the story of wartime life…

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