Down memory lane, week 32

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Southend groom was destined for Western Front

The pensive look in the eyes of a newly-married Southend soldier perhaps tells of his apprehension about his impending deployment to Passchendaele.

The Courier reported 100 years ago on the marriage of Kintyre couple Second Lieutenant John Galbraith, of Polliwilline, and Margaret Hardie, from Southend, during the First World War.

The report was included in the Courier’s ‘From our files’ page last month and sparked a conversation among the pair’s descendants about their special day.

Their grandson, also John Galbraith, and still of Polliwilline Farm, Southend, shared the story on social media and one of his relatives posted their wedding portrait.

With 16 months of the Great War left, Second Lieutenant John Galbraith would have returned to the Western Front very soon after his wedding. In those 16 months he was promoted to the rank of colonel.

Grandson John said: ‘Imagine having to leave the beautiful Southend scene described in the article, and his own farm here at Polliwlline, for that horror.

‘As I was outside trimming the very same hedge our Grampa must have trimmed scores of times, I realised the hardest thing he would have had to do was leave behind his beautiful new young wife.’