Postcards dating back to First World War discovered at train station

The postcards, dating back to 1912, were found during an inspection of a crawl space.

Postcards sent to troops during the First World War have been discovered at a train station.

The cards, along with a bundle of old papers, were found during an inspection of a crawl space in the roof of Stirling Railway Station, which is being refurbished.

Site team members who stumbled across the bundle found that it consisted of official Caledonian Railway postcards, sent to members of the public in the Stirling area requesting that they collect items sent on the train.

Several of the cards, which went back to 1912, were dated April 1916 and had been sent to troops and regiments stationed in the Barracks at Cambusbarron requesting that they collect kit bags and parcels from the station.

During World War One, a number of regiments were stationed in barracks around the Cambusbarron area, which is said to have consisted of training camps including areas for live shooting practice.

Following the discovery, Network Rail contacted the regimental museums for the Gordon Highlanders, the Cameron Highlanders and the Black Watch in a bid to trace the named soldiers, and determine where they were stationed during the war, and if and when they returned home.

Network Rail is appealing for information on the soldiers and their regiments. (Network Rail) Email

Having clear detail on some of the postcards has allowed the Regimental Museum to identify and trace, Captain and Quartermaster Arthur James MacDonald of the 8th Battalion of the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders.

Captain MacDonald was wounded on October 28, 1918, possibly at the Battle of Cambrai.

Given that this was only several weeks from Armistice, the Regimental Museum believes that it was likely he survived the war and possibly returned home.

Network Rail has said it is keen to hear from anyone who has any information on Captain and Quartermaster MacDonald.

Little is known about the other soldiers named on the postcards and Network Rail indicated it is seeking to uncover more of the men’s stories and is appealing for any information on the soldiers and their regiments:

  • 2nd Lt. J M or H Campbell 11th Gordon Highlanders
  • Private W Reddiford   B Company 11th Gordon Highlanders
  • Private George Rankine 6th Black Watch  
  • Officer Commanding A Company, 11th Gordon Highlanders

Helen Agnew, Network Rail project manager for the Stirling Station roof works said: “It’s been incredible to see these postcards, many of which are more than one hundred years old and to find out about some of the items that were sent on the railway.”

“Finding these items in the roof of the station has already offered a fantastic insight into the past but to be able to trace any family members of those who served would be incredible.”

Ernie Pope, coordinator for The Highlander’s Museum who was instrumental in the research into Captain MacDonald said: “I believe the importance of remembrance is that everyone of us, in this country, will have a distant relative who either, took part in the Great War, or was impacted by it.

“We should never forget the suffering, loss and sacrifice made by so many during one of the darkest periods of world history.

“Let us all hope and pray we never see it’s like again.

“The post cards and papers are in a fragile condition and will be properly preserved before being put on display in the future.”

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