Act Of Remembrance
Greatly treasured in Peebles are two volumes by Dr C. B. Gunn, a local doctor and historian who wrote a great number of books about Peeblesshire and its Churches. ‘One cannot think of them without emotion, nor recall their memory without grateful pride’ wrote Dr Gunn, when in an act of remembrance, he wrote a loving obituary about each young man and woman killed during the Great War of 1914-1918. His two volumes of “The Book of Remembrance for Tweedale” (1920, 1921) show his concern for the gallant young men and women of Peeblesshire and for their families as each is recorded with a photograph which faces a moving and loving obituary of a young life given in the service of their Country. As an example of his very fine memorial, I reproduce the tribute he paid to Private David Stewart who would be one of my kinsmen although I was not born until two years after he had died in the 44th Casualty Clearing Station, Cologne, on the 2th March 1919, aged 36. He was a Brother-in-Law and a Brother Royal Scot that I would come to respect and honour. These two pages keep his memory fresh and dear. My Act of Remembrance was to dedicate the “History of Peebles: 1850-1990”, which I edited and was joint author, to the 69 men and the one girl of my generation who grew up in Peebles but were killed whilst serving during the Second World War. Many were friends, school mates and playmates of my age. However, the “History of Peebles” is not only about the ‘stones that buildeth the city’ but it is about the people who lived and loved the place that was their home, and that is why I included the names of 294 men and women of Peebles who fought and died in 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 as the final chapter in the story. It was they who had safeguarded and preserved the heritage of Peebles folk to live in peace and freedom. Joe Brown.