27 Nov

Whisky and Heroines

Allanna Brough, Archive

So, last week was wonderful. Digging deeper to find out more about Frederick Rendell Burnette was exciting and thrilling but I knew I should really get back to researching the other early shareholders of the Picture House. I needed to get the Biographies for William McKersie and William Greenlees finished. In 1912, William Greenlees bought 100 shares and William McKersie bought 50.

Both men were whisky distillers so off I went to the Library to pour over some reference books about the whisky industry in Campbeltown. I thought this would be straightforward but, trying to untangle who owned which Distillery, was it the Father or Son, who inherited what, and which Brother was in partnership was anything but straightforward.

A few hours later, I had all the relevant facts for both men and was able to build a timeline for each. While these two men were successful and prosperous in their lifetime, there was nothing uneventful to discover. I had information for births, marriages, deaths, census, property and business. William Greenlees owned “Redcliff”, a beautiful villa built on the Kilkerran Road. William McKersie owned “Craigard”, a villa on the opposite side of Campbeltown Loch at Askomil. (Both villas designed by Henry Edward Clifford).

Vice President Mrs Marion McKersie MBE,
British Red Cross Society.

When I research a person, I always build a Family Tree and look at parents, spouses and children. I like detail and I like digging. That’s when William McKersie started to become a bit more interesting.

William McKersie married Marion McCall. Marion was awarded an MBE on 12 November 1918 for her work with the Campbeltown Division of The British Red Cross. The Imperial war Museum Archives hold a rather glamorous photograph of Marion.

But Marion wasn’t the only heroine in the family. I went looking a bit further and found a link to The Daily Mail, dated 1918. I discovered that two daughters, Jean and Marion operated a field kitchen on the Italian Front during WW1!

William McKersie died in 1916 so he may not have known about his brave daughters as I have no idea when the girls first started working the field kitchen. However, I feel sure that William would have been extremely proud of his three heroines.



Image credits

1.) Image of Field Kitchen, copyright Daily Mail newspaper (1918). 
2.) Photograph of Vice President Mrs Marion McKersie, copyright Imperial War Museums (© IWM (WWC D8-6-550)

Mysteries, Detectives… November 27, 2017 Gentleman Greenlees November 27, 2017