Culter man’s First World War book on sale now

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An historic book on a Lower Deeside war memorial has now gone on sale - but with only 68 prints of the first edition.

‘Peterculter War Memorial,’ a wonderful collection of anecdotes and pictures compiled by local man Callum Stuart, offers insights into life in the village of Peterculter during WW1 and into the lives of the 68 soldiers names on the memorial.

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Between October 19 and November 22, 1914, several Culter soldiers had already perished in what would become known as the ‘Great War’ - Percy Edwards (29) on October 29, John McDonald (27) on November 14, and James McAllan (19) on November 18.

In full colour, the A4 book consists of 228 pages (over 55,000 words) and contains information about Culter from the outbreak of war in 1914 until the dedication of the war memorial in 1920, including details of the Commonwealth War Graves in Peterculter Cemetery, and a section on soldiers who died in the Great War and seem to have a strong connection with the Parish of Peterculter, but for some reason did not get named on the village memorial.

The memorial consists of a cranellated tower reflecting the ramparts of a castle, built of granite rubble with rough hewn quoins - the stones used in the angles of the tower - and built on a rubble plinth. Four granite tablets record the names and ranks of the fallen, including those of the Canadian formations of those who fell in both world wars.

Editor Callum Stuart told the Piper: “Having been brought up on Malcolm Road, on the other side of the Mill Dam, the war memorial was a very familiar sight. However, I admitted that I knew very little about the soldiers, apart from the name, rank and regiment marked on the memorial. So began the search.

‘‘Last summer, I chanced upon a retired couple who were sitting enjoying a cup of tea at the memorial. They often cycled or walked out the Deeside line and ended up there because - according to them - it was a ‘very peaceful spot. Now, just over a year later I am pleased to offer some of the answers to that retired couple and to yourselves (the Culter community).

‘‘I hope that the initial run of books will bring more information and photographs from readers who maybe do not know they are related to a Culter war hero.”

Callum’s choice of 68 for the initial run of the book reflects one for each soldier named on the Memorial, and at only £15, it offers a great opportunity to own a small slice of Peterculter history.