Soldiers at the Dookit, 1916


1916 Sodliers at the Dookit wm 2

How amazing to think these photos are now 102 years old! These wounded soldiers, recovering from WW1 battles, stand on Glasgow Road outside the Dookit Cinema, awaiting to go in. Some stand supported by walking sticks, others even manage a smile for the camera. The man on the left with his hand in pockets is most likely Mr Marchant, the Cinema Owner.

You can imagine the silent reels that would be shown about the progress of WW1. Propaganda perhaps leaning to the ‘success and hope’ of the war, may have been met with some disbelief from these men, who had seen firsthand what was really happening.

1916 Soldiers at the Dookit wm 1

With thanks to Gordon Cook for these brilliant photos.

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:

Norma Lawrence Marr Hi Paul — was very interested to see this image. It is a big ask but is there any way that Gordon would be able to see the cap badges? My great uncle Robert Downie served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force and was injured in 1916 — his military records indicate that he was recovering in Blantyre in July of that year.

Blantyre Project I will ask for you Norma

Edward Boyle There’s a mixture of cap badges here. Impossible to accurately identify

Norma Lawrence Marr I agree Edward — I was hoping that the original image would be a little clearer. My great uncle was a Lieut. with the 31st Battalion and their cap badge was a maple leaf and so was a little wider. He would have been 39-40 years old at the time.

Blantyre Project not sure we’ll get these clearer. I think they’re newspaper images.

Norma Lawrence Marr Will try to locate an image of Robert in his military dress — might help with identification.

Margaret Mary OSullivan Can’t help but ponder on the horror those eyes must have witnessed. Blantyre cinema miles away from those scenes …. but I wonder what was going on in their minds

Jessie Caldow Thank you for posting all of these wonderful old photos 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿1M

Blantyre Project You’re welcome. Quite literally only just getting started.

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  1. They could have been going to see The Battle of the Somme. It was being shown uncensored within one week if being “shot” live on the battlefield . There is an ASC badge ie army service corps cap badge ie he would be most likely a horse wagon “driver”. Most appear to be from regiments/units from based south of the border.

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