West Dunbartonshire Arts and Heritage
These WWI medals were recently donated to the West Dunbartonshire Arts and Heritage Trust. They were awarded to the Scott brothers from Dumbarton who both served in the 1/9th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. Allan survived the war but sadly John was killed at Ypres in 1915. Another local Argyll who thankfully survived that war that was supposed to end all wars was James Aitken from Renton, the village post boy who ran away from home at the age of 16 to join the Army. Democrat editor Bill Heaney joined James on a visit to Ypres which was sponsored by local house builder Eddie McMurray, who has a special interest in military affairs. “Jimmy Aitken was a great man, a kenspeckle figure in the local community and a bowler of exceptional skill,” said Bill later. “Mr Aitken was also an avid supporter of Rangers FC and an example to all to reject sectarianism from which ever quarter it came from.” A special, and much appreciated contribution to the local community was that he often went into the classrooms of local primary schools to relate stories to the pupils about the horrors of war.” Mr Aitken spent his latter life in Erskine Hospital for Ex-Service personnel. He lived past his century and his funeral took place at Renton Trinity Parish Church of Scotland.
James Aitken with Democrat editor Bill Heaney in Ypres. Belgium. Private James Aitken of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (kneeling extreme left) in top picture.