Wartime Gigha teenager’s living memorial

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In 1914 a young Gigha woman ‘Polly’ Reid aged 19 started a remarkable collection of photographs.

A soldier sent Mary Andrew (Polly) Reid, of Dumeonbeg, his photograph, in uniform and she carefully stuck it into an album, which Calum Morrison showed the Courier last week.

It is not recorded which was the first picture in her album but soon she had collected 14 photographs, of service personnel, some of whom perhaps were vying for her affection.

Some of the pictures have brief notes on the back, probably composed by Polly’s mother, but others are unidentified and four have no clue to their identity.

Polly, who passed away in May 1991, eventually married Malcolm McSporran on the neighbouring farm, Drumeonmore. Although he was in a reserved occupation, as a farmer, he had served with the Argylls.

The unknown soldiers in Polly’s album. NO_c46GighaFWW12_Unknowns

Angus Wilkinson of Gigha Post Office. NO_c46GighaFWW01_Angus_Wilkinson

Corporal Henderson. NO_c46GighaFWW02_Cpl_Henderson

Peter Morrison with someone unknown. NO_c46GighaFWW03_Peter_Morrison_unknown

Fisherman Peter McCallum. NO_c46GighaFWW04_Peter_McCallum_Fisherman

Corporal Donnie McNeill. NO_c46GighaFWW05_Cpl_Donnie_McNeill

Able Seaman Wotherspoon. NO_c46GighaFWW06_Able_Seaman_Wotherspoon

James Alex McMillan’s uncle who served in the Durham Light Infantry. NO_c46GighaFWW07_James_Alex_McMillan’s_uncle

Duncan McSporran from Strabane Farm Machrihanish. It was razed to make way for the runway in 1941 and he became a farmer at Knockrioch, Stewarton. NO_c46GighaFWW08_Duncan_McSporran

Donald McSporran, Duncan’s brother from Strabane. He became an acting sergeant, was mentioned in dispatches, eventually passing away playing the 18th hole at Machrihanish in 1956. NO_c46GighaFWW09_Donald_McSporran

Corporal Tommy Millar. NO_c46GighaFWW10_Cpl_Tommy_Millar

One of these two is Duncan McNeill. NO_c46GighaFWW11_Duncan_McNeill