Auld Kirkyard Remembrance Sunday


Take a walk through the Auld Kirkyard and there you will find names of several soldiers remembered on family tombstones – alongside unforgettable names such as Somme, Gallipoli and Palestine carved into  aging stone.

As part of our project we secured funds to make repairs to five of the stones and to produce a Soldiers Trail leaflet to enhance your visit to the Auld Kirkyard.


INDIAN MUTINY (1857-1859)

Surgeon-General John Findlay Arthur (1st Madras Fusiliers)

  • Born at Crook , a cottage on the Arthur family’ lands of Wellhill.  He served as surgeon to the 1st Madras Fusiliers who entered Lucknow as part of the 1st Relief Force during the Indian Mutiny and later served in the siege and capture of Lucknow. John was awarded ‘The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India’, C.S.I. in June 1869. He died at Lochside House, 1886, aged 79 years.

BOER WAR (1899-1902)

Sergeant John Montgomerie (17th Battalion Imperial Yeomanry)

  • One time resident in the Old Mill and his father later farmed Dalhanna.  John died of his wounds at Boshof, South Africa, on 28th  March 1901, aged 33 years.

Soldiers: Collage_McKenzie_Sloan

GREAT WAR (1914-1919)

Private Douglas McKenzie (2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders)

  • His family lived at Old Coalburn. Douglas was killed in action at the Battle of Passchendaele, 25th September 1915, aged 19 years.

Private William Sloan (1/1st Ayrshire Yeomanry)

  • The Sloan family farmed at Roughside. William died of his wounds in hospital at Helles, Gallipoli on 15th November 1915, aged 21 years.

Soldiers: Collage_Murphy_Sturrock_McKerrow

Private Walter Scott Murphy (Highland Light Infantry)

  • His family lived at Bluebell Cottage (Tank) and he worked at the railway station. Walter was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916, age 24 years old

Lieutenant Andrew Sturrock (3rd Royal Scots Fusiliers)

  • The family originally from Forfar lived at Castlehill and then Mossmark, where his father worked as a tailor’s cutter. Andrew was killed in action at the Battle of the Somme, 14th July 1916, age 21 years.

Private George McKerrow (9th Black Watch)

  • A champion ploughman he lived with his family at Dalrickett Cottage. George was killed in action at the Battle of the Somme, 8th September 1916, age 20 years.

Soldiers: Collage_Sloan_Mathieson

Private Alexander Sloan (49th Canadian Infantry Alberta Regiment)

Private William McKerrow Sloan (8th Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry)

  • The McKerrow brothers were born at Maneight . Alexander emigrated to Canada where he served in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force and was killed in action at the Battle of the Somme, 9th October 1916, age 25 years. William was killed six months later in the Balkans campaign on 25th April 1917, age 22 years.

Private Joshua Mathieson (11th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders)

Private Thomas Mathieson (5th King’s Own Scottish Borderers)

  • The Mathieson brothers’ father worked as a cloth merchant at Pathhead before moving to Kirkconnel where the boys were born.  Joshua was killed in action at the Battle of the Somme on 15th September 1916, age 18 years. Thomas, died of infectious jaundice on 9th November 1917, age 24 years.

Soldiers: Collage_Murray_Mackenzie_Paterson

Private Robert Murray (1st / 4th Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry)

  • The family lived at Connel bridge where Robert worked in his father’s shop. Robert was killed in action at Palestine on 22nd November 1917, age 24 years.

Private Archibald MacKenzie (1st and 5th Sherwood Foresters)

Born at Rottenyard farm, he enlisted while working as a ploughman at South Boig. Archibald contracted pneumonia and was brought home but died in Glenafton Sanitorium.

Sergeant Robert Paterson (29th Canadian Infantry British Columbia Regiment)

  • A farmer at Coalcreoch he emigrated to Canada and served in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force. Robert died of his wounds in a casualty clearing station in France, 6th April 1918, age 39 years.

Soldiers: Collage_Ross_Galston_Dick

Private Archibald Ross (Royal Scots Fusiliers)

  • His father Hugh was a grocer and spirit dealer at Craigbank. Archibald moved to Cathcart where he enlisted. He contracted pneumonia and died at Victoria Infirmary 22nd July 1918, age 19 years.

Private James Galston (1st and 5th Royal Scots Fusiliers)

  • Son of a Glasgow clogmaker he moved to Pathhead to work in the coal mines and later married a local girl. James died of his wounds in France, 17th September 1918, age 27 years.

Private Thomas Samuel Dick (31st Machine Corps, Infantry)

  • He lived with his family at Boig Road and worked in the local mines. Thomas died at Kilmarnock Infirmary of tubercular peritonitis 19th August 1919, age 20 years.


  • Our project team are indebted to the fantastic endeavours of Mr. Richard Bain.  Please visit his remarkable research resource here

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