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Who was Peter Welsh ?


This story might be better subtitled "or so it seemed.." read on. 
Status: unfinished research.

Carluke’s Memorial to the Fallen of the Great War includes the name PETER WELSH.  Unfortunately this man is not recorded on the Commonwealth Graves Commission Register and there is no Service Record for him.  The latter is not unusual as many such records were destroyed in the Second World War.
According to the town’s Peace Souvenir (1919) and Relatives Memorial Book, Peter, who had enlisted in the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, was the son of Mrs Welsh who lived at 84, Kirkton Street in the town.  He was captured by the Germans and transferred to a POW camp at Kassel in Germany where he died on 10th February 1918.

So his war records were destroyed.  Or so it seemed....

Further research has revealed that Peter, who was born in Glasgow about 1882/3, was the oldest child of the shoemaker Alexander Welsh and his wife Mary Ann Malley.  His younger siblings included his 3 brothers - Edward, James and Willie - and his 2 sisters - Mary Ann and Maggie.  The family moved from Glasgow to Carluke between 1893/4 and 1898/9 and it was in their home in Rankin Street, Carluke that Peter’s father died from TB on 8th October 1899.  By the time of the 1911 census Peter was living with his widowed mother and three youngest siblings at their home in Rankin Street.  

And the "or so it seemed ? "  The War Graves Commission eventually  did find him for us. He had enlisted as James Kennedy and his grave has this name on it.  So this was the source of the mystery!  Also we too unearthed some of his war records which show he enlisted as James Kennedy so his records being lost in WW2 isn’t even close, though exactly why he used a different name remains a mystery.

Status March 2014: This is still an ongoing research & investigation.
Read more stories from the First World War section
William Watson 5th Scottish Rifles (the next story in sucession)
(About warstories@carlukehistory.co.uk)
2nd Lieutenant Andrew Stewart
Capt. W.E. Elliot MP
CPHS Weekly image from our 1914-18 gallery
George Cavan


Created before 2012