The stories of three soldiers identified in a lost trove of WW1 postcards in the roof of Stirling station have emerged, one year on from the startling discovery.
From loving stories of marriage and starting families to tales of theft and bigamy, Network Rail have uncovered fascinating forgotten history with the help of the Regimental museum.
The postcards were discovered while restorative work was done to the roos at Stirling station which is now complete.
As well as the stories of service and bravery during war time including in the Battle of Loos and at the Somme, the search also uncovered human stories of the men and offered insights into their lives beyond the army and back in civilian life.
Current efforts from Network Rail and the Blackwatch regimental museum have drawn a blank with the search for the soldier serving in the 6th Blackwatch. Names could include George, Rankine, Raukine, Ranking or Rankins.
Network Rail is still working to uncover the identities of other men in the postcards and has urged anyone with information to get in touch.
Captain and Quarter Master, Arthur James MacDonald
Captain and Quarter Master, Arthur James MacDonald of the 8th Cameron Highlanders rejoined the army as a commissioned officer in 1914, at the outbreak of the First World War.
Originally in Dingwall, he was dispatched to Stirling with his regiment before going on to fight in the Battle of Loos in September 1915.
The regiment suffered heavy losses during this battle and only 58 of the original 776 men survived the day.
Capt. MacDonald survived the battle and was wounded on October 28, 1918, presumably during the final Allied Offensive.
As this event was only several week from Armistice, The Regimental Museum believes he likely survived the war and returned home.
Private and Corporal, Walter Reddiford
It is believed Private and Corporal Walter Reddiford was born on March 19, 1898 in Lancashire.
He signed up to B Company, 11th Gordon Highlanders in May 1916. He initially joined as a Private and was later promoted to Lance Corporal in June 1916 and then again to Corporal in August the same year.
Corporal Reddiford was sent as part of a draft to the British Expeditionary Force around the time and, after arrival in France, was posted to 2nd Battalion Gordon Highlanders.
This battalion suffered a number of losses during the Battle of the Somme in July to November 1916.
It is believed likely that Corporal Reddiford was posted as part of draft reinforcements in an attempt to make up for the losses sustained.
From 1917 until the end of the war, 2nd Battalion served in Italy.
Corporal Reddiford survived the war and was awarded the Victory Medal and British War Medal.
Upon his return home, he married Mary Ann Heywood in 1918 and demobbed in 1919 to live with Mary Ann in Royton. In 1920, it appears that he and Mary Ann moved to Wrexham but later that year sent Mary Ann “home to her parents”. It is believed there were two children within this marriage.
The next available records of Corporal Reddiford appear in a newspaper article where charges of theft, forgery and bigamy were brought against him.
He was accused of stealing two cheques belonging to Colonel Gregson of Southport and of forging and uttering one of them for £6. 5s. 6d.
At the time of his arrest, letters were found in his possession which led to a further charge of bigamy and Florance N Stanbrooke gave evidence of going through a form of marriage to Reddiford in March 1922.
2nd Lieutenant John Neil Campbell
Born in Glasgow in October 1896 and educated at Hutcheson’s Grammar School in the city, 2nd Lieutenant John Neil Campbell enlisted into the 11th Gordon Highlanders in November 1915.
He was sent as part of a draft to the British Expedition Force in September 1916.
Lt. Campbell arrived in France on September 10, 1916 and was posted to the 2nd Battalion Gordon Highlanders with the rank of Temporary Lieutenant.
When the war ended, he was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.
He later moved to 20 Queen Mary Avenue, Glasgow and, through the help fo Hutcheson’s Grammar School archives, it has been established that Lt. Campbell married Ethel May Rodgers in 1934.
He was listed as a chartered accountant, living in Cuckfield, Sussex in the England and Wales register of 1939.
He died on April 20th 1968. We believe he was survived by his three children.