The Thanks of a Town

Discussion in 'Veteran Accounts' started by Joe Brown, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. Joe Brown

    Joe Brown WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    This is the Burgess Ticket presented by the Royal and Ancient Burgh of Peebles to returning Servicemen after the end of the Great War and then to service men and women after the end of the Second World War. My Father - Lance-Corporal Neil Brown, 8th Volunteer Battalion The Royal Scots - received his in 1919. I received mine in 1948 as did my four Big Brothers.

    As a boy in the mid-1920s remember seeing my Dad's Burgess Ticket framed and hanging in the sitting room. Little did I know that some twenty years later I would have one of my own to hang in my house, receiving it with a £5 note.

    My Brothers and myself would unhesitatingly claim that my Dad had the worst to face. The hellishness of the four years of trench warfare. Whereas as a Royal Scots infantryman in WW2 I was defending from slit-trenches sited on commanding ground to give all-round protection and linked in depth with fields of covering fire; our attacking tactics based on fire and movement and rarely relying on the full frontal charge.

    I lovingly guard and treasure the three mortar shell tops strung together as alarm bells which my Dad had brought home for my Big Brothers. They are still bound together with the original cord and had hung in front of a sector of trench which he was manning in 1916.

    Joe Brown.
    Owen, mcan, stolpi and 8 others like this.
  2. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    amazing how some cities regarded the servicemen with honour while others tried to hide it away by ignoring them…

  3. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    Does this mean you have the right to drive a herd of cattle through the streets of Peebles, Joe?

    Whatever it entails it was a noble gesture of thanksgiving from the community. :)
  4. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    More like a flock of sheep as they are noted for the wool trade - still have a tie bought for High School in 1936 - and a

    suit made from a length of woollen cloth in the late 70's - never wears out

  5. Joe Brown

    Joe Brown WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Dear Tom and Ritson,

    Nothing so glamorous as driving a flock of sheep through the town. In medieval times it conferred the right to belong to the town and elect the Magistrates, but the extension of the franchise put an end to that! However what was glamorous was the occasion when my Regiment of The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) received that same Honour in 1952 and to my great delight my Commanding officer detailed me to commanded the 7th/9th (Highlanders) Battalion Detachment that day and we marched through the town with Colours flying and Bayonets fixed.

    Here I am with a fine body of men, Saluting HRH The Princess Royal the late Princess Mary, then our Colonel-in-Chief.


    4jonboy, ritsonvaljos and Peter Clare like this.
  6. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    Another memorable photograph, Joe.

    And nae sheep or 'coos' in sight!
  7. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Very interesting, I wonder if Jim Swan and his Brothers had the same, also his Dad as he had mentioned his WW1 service.

    I once spoke to the local post mistress about a veteran and she mentioned having a list somewhere as after the War her Father had organised a token of appreciation for the returning servicemen although I'm not sure what form it took - unfortunately she has recently passed away and I imagine this piece of local history will have been lost.


  8. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    Joe, I did a WW1 tour of Canadian Battlefields last month. A British friend asked me to take a photo of the inscription of his great uncle who died during the Battle of the Somme with no known grave. I went to the Memorial at Thiepval, the Canadian 'Vimy'. The names of over 75,000 Brits with no known grave are inscribed on the walls of the 45 meter high structure. Then on to Tyne Cot, the largest Commonwealth cemetery. The north east wall holds the names of some 34,000 Brits and Kiwi's with no known graves. Of the 11,879 burials over 30% are without name. " A Canadian Soldier....known unto God" reads the haunting inscription. A question that I asked my late father " given the horrors of WW1, why did you volunteer? Son, it was the right thing to do". Every Veteran of WW2 that I have spoken to ( including my good friend Tom Canning ) says the same thing. Thank you for your service. Cheers
  9. Bernard85

    Bernard85 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    good day joe brown.ww2 veteran.yesterday.03:23.#1,re:the thanks of a town.and well deserved.i am always moved by people showing respect to there veterans.your photo in #5 and your men march as one.thank you for sincere regards bernard85

Share This Page