News of the Armistice Reaches Fearnan, November 1918
Thanks to the Fearnan School Log Book, we have a first hand account of the reaction to the news of the Armistice in 1918 in the village.
On 15th November 1918, the Head Teacher, Miss L M Roberts wrote:
“The glad tidings that the Armistice was signed and that peace once more reigned reached us on Monday about three o’clock in the afternoon. Captain Thistle and Mr Peter Dewar called and made known the welcome news. The children cheered and all at once hastened to hoist the “Union Jack”. The children then sang the National Anthem and were dismissed. The village received the news quietly, the bereavements being too recent to admit of any demonstration of joy. The lumber camp of Newfoundland soldiers ceased work until Wednesday but there was no disturbance in this village.”
(The wonderfully named Captain Thistle is most likely Captain David Thistle of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and Forestry Corps mentioned above. Thanks, Mike Haig, for tracing him.)
Armistice Sunday in Fearnan 100 Years On
The full impact of our Poppy Project became clear this weekend, as the Fearnan War Memorial was “dressed” for its big day. This small village has managed to produce 935 knitted poppies in the last few months, with a little help from Fearnan-connected people in Canada, the USA, France, and various parts of the UK.
The war memorial looks fantastic and has been attracting admiring glances from passing motorists. Many thanks to Tom Taylor, who was passing as we were setting up, and took the above photo.
The project itself has been a wonderful community project. It has linked present-day residents with former residents, re-united long-lost friends and stirred a forgotten (but not altogether happy) memory of learning to knit in Fearnan School during the war years.
It also inspired a reader of the Perthshire Advertiser to send a contribution of 2 poppies in an envelope simply addressed to Cath McGregor, Poppy Project, Fearnan. The package was delivered safely to Cath’s house by the Royal Mail and the poppies were included in the display.
We had a very well attended service at the memorial on Sunday, led by Shirley Shearer. Alistair Grier and Lisle Pattison laid wreaths on behalf of the community and the parish. This year we had a third wreath, provided by the Russian Consulate in Edinburgh, laid by Fiona Ballantyne, in memory of the Russian Airmen who died in an air crash just outside the village in WW2 ( see The Fearnan Air Crash 1943).
After the service, the Village Association served tea and coffee in the Hall, which gave us all a chance to socialise and talk to some of the guests who had come from further afield to be at our service. The Hall had also been decked out with poppies, and an exhibition of WW1 memorabilia, curated by Alistair and Linda, attracted much interest in this special anniversary year.
A collection for Help for Heroes raised an impressive £145.22. Many thanks to all who donated so generously.
Thank you to everyone who made a contribution to the Poppy Project, and a particularly big thank you to Cath McGregor for being the inspiration and designer behind this special project. A very small number of our knitters, with Cath in the middle looking bashful, are pictured at the set up of poppies on the memorial on Saturday.