Alexander Watson of Auchentibber

An article from the Hamilton Advertiser, during July 1945 referring to the life and times of Mr Alexander Watson, a resident of Auchentibber. I think it important to recount the lives of as many Blantyre people as possible within Blantyre Project and hope you can find a connection to this too.

“Only a week ago it was our pleasant duty to chronicle the opening of Auchentibber Welfare Institute under the most happy auspices; to-day it is our sad lot to report the death by untimely accident of one of its most enthusiastic workers, Alexander Watson.

Consternation reigned in the village when just about “lowsing time” on Friday last, word was brought up that Alexander had met with a serious accident while engaged at his work in Messrs Dixon’s Colliery.

He was severely crushed beneath a hutch, and despite every attention at the pithead and the Western Infirmary, to which he was hurried, he passed away in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Deceased was a general favourite with young and old, his sunny temper and cheerful spirits never deserting him. He was among the first of the married men in the village to answer Kitchener’s call in 1914, joining the 10th Batt, Black Watch in September of that year and faithfully carrying on till released from military duties in 1919.

An enthusiastic member of Blantyre Ornithological Society, he exhibited and won many prizes at the various shows almost his last words being directed to the welfare of his little feathered friends.

At all the village festivities Sandy was a noted figure, being a talented piper, and his place at these gatherings will not easily be filled. He was laid to rest in Wellhall Cemetery on Tuesday last, and in response to a general request, the funeral was of a public nature. A touching and beautiful service was conducted by the Rev. C. S. Turnbull, M.A. minister of the parish, in the Welfare Institute, attended by almost all the residenters in the village, and after a short service in the home the cortege slowly wound its way up through the village, the entire population respectfully following.

At the cross-roads a halt was made for a few minutes when, in the sunshine and silence of the country, a silence broken only by the sound of the reaper throughout the land, a last farewell was taken of a loyal and gallant soul. The deepest sympathy of the village is extended to Mrs Wilson and her three little children in their terrible loss.”

Pictured some 30 years earlier during the 1910’s are some of the miners of Auchenitbber’s small community, pictured at the Quoiting ground and Italian Gardens, a place I’m sure Alexander would have visited often, perhaps even assisted in its construction.

Late 1910’s Auchentibber Gardens

Ref. Hamilton Advertiser. 11/7/1925. Page 2.  Research…..Wilma Bolton. 2006

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