Armadale & District War Memorial Association

Registered Scottish Charity No. SC044493

George Dennaird

Military Medal & Mention in Dispatches

15831 Pte George Dennaird

12th Royal Scots


MiD (LG 15/06/1916)


MM. (LG 11/10/1916)


Employed Southrigg Colliery, George arrived in France on the 11th May 1915.


Medal entitlement of Pte George Dennaird:


Military Medal

1915 Star

British War Medal

Victory Medal & Oak leaf spray (emblem for MiD)



Edward Friel

Military Medal & Mention in Dispatches

17466 Private Edward Friel

8th Coy Machine Gun Corps

MiD. (LG 15/06/1916)


MM. (LG 27/10/1916)

At Loos in September 1915, Pte Friel did a very gallant deed, while in charge of a Machine Gun something went wrong with one of the parts. Despite the fact he was under heavy fire he coolly repaired his Gun and then, in the nick of time, was able to turn it on the Germans, who were calculating on an easy capture.


Son of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Friel ho resided 69 East Main Street Armadale.


Edward Friel joined the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion Royal Scots in September 1914. He was transferred from the 3rd Reserve Battalion to the 2nd Battalion and landed in France on the 22nd February 1915.


Edward was a Machine Gunner with his Battalion and on the formation of the 8th Company the Machine Gun Corps 22 January 1916 was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps.

Edward was previously mentioned in dispatches for Gallantry in saving his Machine Gun and turning it on the enemy with satisfactory results.


Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Friel received the following Letter from Capt EF Petie, Edwards Company Commander:


“In the field 15th July,

Dear Mrs. Friel,

            I am afraid I have to break the sad news to you that your son, Private Friel, of this Company, was killed in action yesterday evening in the great advance. I am afraid I cannot, with my clumsy pencil, help you much in your bereavement, but you might like to know that he was killed doing his duty like a true British soldier.

            He was, and has been for the past ix months one of my best men, and has nobly upheld the great name of the great regiment to which he belonged; so much so that I have recommended him for special decoration, and I am in the hope that it is likely to come, s that you may have something by which to remember him.

            On behalf of myself and the other officers ad men of this company, we offer you our tenderest and sincerest sympathy at your sons death, and if I can help you in any way don’t hesitate to write me.

Believe me Mrs. Friel, with deepest sympathy.


Yours sincerely, Edward F Petie, 8th Coy., M.G. Corps”


Medal entitlement of Private Edward Friel:


Military Medal

1915 Star

British War Medal

Victory Medal

* Note Edward Friel is wrongly commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial as Edward Frier.



David McKelvie

Military Cross & Mention in Dispatches

Lt David McKelvie

Royal Engineers


MC. (LG 00/01/1916)

For the admirable manner in which he carried out the arduous and dangerous work of laying four mines under the German trenches, south of hooge. The long period of delay in exploding the mines placed a very heavy strain on those concerned, but due to the keenness and vigilance the operation was an unqualified success, and the success of yesterdays (25th September, 1915) operations was greatly due to the work so admirably performed.


MiD. (LG 13/01/1916)


It was while at Loos in September 1915 he gained his military cross for especially successful work in cutting and firing mines in enemy territory.


David McKelvie was a native of Glasgow, but who for six years prior to enlisting he was surveyor of mines for the united Collieries Company Armadale District. He enlisted in September 1914 with the 9th (Glasgow Highlanders) Highland Light Infantry, and he went to France in November 1914.


Whilst in France during February 1915 he earned great distinction in connection with his conducting mining operations, a big feature of trench warfare. Due to his background as a Mining Engineer, he was transferred to the Royal Engineers with the rank of Lieutenant.


2nd Lt. David McKelvie MC relinquished his command on account of ill health and was granted the honorary rank of 2nd Lt. 9th June 1916.


David received his discharge from the Army and he became the manager of Uddingston Colliery. He contracted a chill, and this was followed by an attack of double pneumonia. He succumbed after a few days illness.


Prior to enlisting David was employed as principal surveyor at the United Collieries, Armadale District, he appears on The United Collieries Limited, active service roll 1914-19, this shows him as being employed at Bathville Colliery.


Medal entitlement of Lieutenant David McKelvie:


Military Cross

1914 Star

British War Medal

Victory Medal & Oak leaf spray (emblem for MiD)



William Russell Paterson

Military Cross & Twice Mentioned in Dispatches

Rev. William Russell Paterson, M.A.

Army Chaplains Department

attached 12th Field Hospital, 5th Cav Brigade


MiD. (LG 01/01/1916)


MC. (LG 27/01/1917)

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When several casualties were caused by shell fire on a road, he at once assisted in removing the wounded and dressing their wounds. Whilst he was doing so a further burst of shelling wounded two more men, and by his promptness in dealing with the situation he prevented further casualties. He saved at least one life, and showed splendid devotion to duty and self-sacrifice.


MiD. (LG 24/12/1917)



The Rev W R Paterson was a minister at Armadale U F Church for 12 years before accepting a commission as Army Chaplain to the Scots Greys, with who he had served as Chaplain during the South African War (see picture above), his first station being at the Curragh Camp, Ireland.


An earnest worker, Mr Paterson held strong views on the South African War, and when he volunteered his services as Chaplain, one of the greatest demonstrations ever seen in Armadale or given to a single man in the history of the town, was witnessed on the evening he left to embark for South Africa. He was conveyed to the Station by practically the whole of the townspeople, headed by the brass band. He made a stirring speech to the crowd at the station that raised their greatest enthusiasm. When the train moved off, the surging mass of people that surrounded the train to cheer Mr Paterson off was so great that the guard was unable to get into his van, and the train went off without him.


Rev Paterson carried the first message from Field Marshall Lord Roberts into Pretoria, and during the Great War he was mentioned twice in dispatches.



Medal entitlement of Chaplain William Paterson:


Military Cross

Queens South Africa Medal

1914 Star

British War Medal

Victory Medal & Oak leaf spray (emblem for MiD)