Last week I was contacted by Nathan Joy, the great-grandson of Robert McNab Baird, a Signaller in the 7th Royal Scots. Nathan recently inherited a photo album which he has scanned and kindly shared with those of us interested in the 7th Royal Scots. The album names a number of soldiers, including: C Higgins, Robert Nicholson, James Cochran, James Walls, P. Allan, Arthur Todd, and J or P Coulter.
Nathan has provided a brief biography of his great-grandfather which I have published below. If you have any information on Nathan’s great-grandfather, or any of the soldiers featured in his photo album, please contact me. I wish to pass along my thanks to Nathan for allowing me to share some of his photos on my blog.
My great grandfather Robert McNab Baird (2714/300812) served in the 1/7th Royal Scots, 156 Brigade, 52nd Division.
He was one of four brothers who fought for peace. It’s told in the family that he ran away to war three times. He wanted to be with his brothers and was eventually permited to enlist. His brother Andrew Baird (28631, 2nd Bn., Kings Own Scottish Borderers) was killed in France on the 8th November 1917.
I assume he fought alongside with Australians and this may be where he got the idea to settle in Australia after the war. Some of his photo’s might be of Australian soldiers.
He migrated to Western Australia after the war as a soldier settler and walked over 300 miles to his plot.
He farmed virgin bush in the outback and had to clear it by hand. The land was in the West Australian desert, in a place called Bullfinch which is now a gold mine area but is still very remote.
My great grandmother Ruby Alexander Main was from Glasgow and she joined him after some time and they married.
They started their family in a white washed hessian tent and were pioneers of Western Australia.
They reared four children (losing the 5 at birth) in dust and throughout all the trials and tribulations my great grandfather treasured these photos of his mates.
He never made it back to Scotland as the farm never paid well and the Depression and WW2 made a family reunion impossible.
They were proud of their Scottish heritage and they raised community minded children who served Western Australia in different ways. Their children have contributed to Western Australias development in the areas of farming, sports, business and health care.
Only two of his children are alive and the eldest daughter recently passed and I inherited these images and a war diary written in pitmans shorthand.
He never spoke of the war and so the family knows little of his service.
I have correspondence from him where he is trying to secure his service records but was advised they were destroyed in WW2.
I would appreciate any information people might be able to offer on my great-grandfather or the people and places in the photos.
I offer these image to other families who might be seeking images of their loved ones and to researchers.
Categories: Photographs, Remembrance, Researching
Re 7th r/scots photo
Are any of the men individualy named in the
Photo as there is a very strong resemblance to my grandfather in the photo ( back row 4th from left)
His name was robert nicholson this photo ties in with the
Information that he did not wear s kilt
He survived ww1
Hi John … there is a photo of a soldier holding a swagger stick and he is identified as Robert Nicholson. It’s the third photo from the top and the one located here: https://doingourbit.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/r_baird_collection12-x3.jpg
Almost a match?
I will now confirm with other sources ie ww2 homeguard
Records and possible visit to edinburgh castle and r/scots
My grandfather was in the 7th royal Scots private John McLeod from Leith he was in the second train he was badly injured in Gallipoli his arm was amputated and he was bayoneted through his cheek whilst lying in a trench he was helped back to his own lines by a member of an English battalions who came up in reserve to find the trench full of wounded and dying troops of both sides
Hi Gordon … thanks very much for sharing your grandfather’s story.
I’m just enquiring about James Cochrane.
Do you have any additional information about him. I’m trying to find details about a James Cochran Higgins, but evidently he often dropped the Higgins. Just wondering if it could be the same person.