Derek Robertsons WW1 Book

£25.00

In 1921 “Hawick and the War” was published.  In its introduction it stated “It is not the intention of this publication to give in any sense a history of the Great War, the object of the publishers is to preserve in a handy form the various pictures and portraits that have appeared in the newspapers in illustration of the part that Hawick has played in the great struggle and the incidents that have occurred in the town directly and indirectly connected with the prosecution of the war. The publishers feel that the pictorial record here presented will increase in value as time goes on and that it will help future generations of Hawick folk to realise the experiences of their forefathers and the happenings in their native town in relation to the greatest war in history”

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In 1921 “Hawick and the War” was published.  In its introduction it stated “It is not the intention of this publication to give in any sense a history of the Great War, the object of the publishers is to preserve in a handy form the various pictures and portraits that have appeared in the newspapers in illustration of the part that Hawick has played in the great struggle and the incidents that have occurred in the town directly and indirectly connected with the prosecution of the war. The publishers feel that the pictorial record here presented will increase in value as time goes on and that it will help future generations of Hawick folk to realise the experiences of their forefathers and the happenings in their native town in relation to the greatest war in history”

In November 2018, to coincide with the centenary of the end of the First World War, Hawick Archaeological Society will be publishing a comprehensive new history of Hawick and the Great War, authored and researched by local historian and author Derek Robertson. Having written two previous books, “The Men Who Marched Away” and “All These Fine Fellows” Derek was aware that while the original “Hawick in the War” was a fitting memorial to the men it commemorated there was a wealth of other information that had been omitted.  Over the years since the end of the Great War sources of information not available at that time have become available to the researcher. Using these sources which include the Commonwealth War Graves Commission registers, regimental war diaries, service records, soldiers’ wills, soldiers’ effects records and census returns, Derek has greatly expanded the background and stories of the men who never returned

The new book is intended to bring the original “Hawick and The War” up to date and make it available to a new generation. The book will be A4 size with a hardback cover. It will consist of approximately 800 pages with around 800 photographs, covering a range of topics not touched on by other works (such as conscientious objectors). Illustrated by Judith M. Murray, the book will be authored by Derek Robertson, but with further contributions from an array of local writers and enthusiasts.

The book will be a fitting memorial to more than 692 men who appear on the Hawick Roll of Honour – for some, the only memorial. To Derek’s everlasting credit, he has tracked down hundreds more men who have a good claim for being added to this Roll, and the book will go some way to righting this accidental wrong.

To that end we are inviting donations from local organisations towards the cost of printing and publication, in return for recognition within the book. Individuals may also subscribe at a cost of £25, and will also be fully acknowledged.

Contributions can be forwarded to the Society’s Honorary Treasurer, Norma Graham, at the address listed below. Alternatively, you can also contact of our committee members, and our society email address is: secretary@hawickhistory.scot  Donations/subscriptions must be received no later than January 9, 2018 to allow the Society to make the requisite acknowledgements accurately.

Ian Lowes, Past President, Hawick Archaeological Society.

 

As President of the Hawick Archaeological Society, I have already been fortunate to help to organise one successful book launch – Jimmy McEwan’s Every Wrinkle Tells A Story, which has now sold well through its second printing. I am now looking forward to introducing Hawick folk to another long-awaited and beautifully rendered publication.

Having first encountered Derek Robertson via the remote means of eBay when buying up the remaining copies of All These Fine Fellows for use in my classroom, I since have been struck by Derek’s twin attributes that made him the ideal main author for this commemoration of Hawick and District’s Great War dead. Not only does he show and extraordinary passion for his subject (sparked off on an Ian Landles/High School Battlefields Tour), but he combines this with a meticulous regard for detail. I’ve witnessed the former at first-hand on the Callants’ Club 2015 Gallipoli Tour and the latter is proven by both the length of time this book has been in preparation and its very size. While we are all aware it will be eventually superseded with new information (such is history!), on the actual day Derek calls a halt to his labours, it will be the best possible acknowledgement of the sacrifice of well over 1000 Great War deaths attributed to our area.

In addition to Derek’s expertise, he has shown humility in asking local experts in other fields to contribute and has commissioned local artist Judith Murray to add her invaluable talent. On behalf of the Society I would like to thank all contributors, but especially Derek, whose project this has been from the start. I would also like to acknowledge the far-sighted decisions of previous HAS Councils and Past Presidents Ian Lowes and Iain H. Scott to support this undertaking, going back almost a decade to it first being mooted. Our founding fathers would be delighted that their organisation is ensuring that future generations can know as much possible about the disastrous effects of the War to End All Wars on Hawick.

We decided to ask individuals and organisations to contribute in advance to the printing of this mammoth work because we felt that many would want to be part of this process. We have not been disappointed and to date well over £6000 has already been pledged or donated. I’d like to thank our Honorary Secretary, Alastair Redpath, and our Honorary Treasurer, Norma Graham, for their sterling work in facilitating these payments. To all subscribers and organisations who have already contributed amounts large or small, I offer my sincerest gratitude on behalf of our Society. You will not be disappointed to be associated with this fine publication.

Duncan Taylor, President, Hawick Archaeological Society, November 2017.

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