Schools on Bute are to link up with the island’s museum on a memorial project to commemorate the local men who lost their lives during the First World War.
Secondary pupils at Rothesay Academy are to look at expanding the entries in the Island of Bute War Memorial Volume, produced by The Buteman following the end of the conflict and listing all the men who died in action during the conflict.
Pupils are to be invited to help expand the information in the booklet, where possible, by finding out details of the men’s service records, the precise location of the grave or memorial on which they’re named, family details and information on any surviving relatives.
The project, which has the full backing of the Isle of Bute branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland, will also see the island’s primary schools research the role of animals, such as horses, mules, dogs and pigeons, in the war.
George McKenzie, vice-president of the Buteshire Natural History Society, which is based at the museum, has offered to provide each school with his grandfather’s hand-written notes on the care of animals in war.
“As a member of the Black Watch,” George said, “he was in the Machine Gun Corps and served in the conflict in Mesopotamia (Iraq), and his note book gives details of what he had to do when looking after the mules and other animals which pulled the gun carriages and transported the Corps equipment during the campaign.”
“Originally it was thought that at the conclusion of the project the information compiled by the pupils could be published as a second volume to the Buteman booklet, but it may be better and more manageable to compile the information in disc form, one volume per year of the project thus allowing the pupils and their parents to see the results of their efforts at the end of each year. Uncompleted research could then be carried forward into the next volume.
“The completed project could then be produced as a set of discs to be available in the school, Bute Museum, Rothesay Library and the Legion’s proposed military museum.”