strange deaths

Forteviot This small village in Strathearn was rebuilt in the 1920s by Whisky money, the generous supplier being the 1st Baron Forteviot John Alexander Dewar of the Dewar family, eldest son of the founder of Dewar`s Scotch Whisky. In 1920 in the old graveyards of Forteviot another father's sons were buried. Two brothers who died... Continue Reading →

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English Enemies

Torphichen was once headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller in Scotland, a place of power and influence. The sign of the order was the v-shaped cross, and its full name Order of Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem. Their cross is still part of everyday life on St John’s Ambulances. They were a... Continue Reading →

former glory

Former glory, a term often applied to buildings, to countries, to people and it is hardly less appropriately used for graveyards. Where else to ponder about former glory but on a graveyard on a dreich day, the very place that changes things and signifies the end to almost everything. Bo’ness’s original name is Borrowstouness but... Continue Reading →

brothers in arms

grave of William Wallace’s faithful friend Sir John de Graeme Mente manuque potens et Vallae fidus Achates, Conditur hic Gramus, bello interfectus ab Anglis. 22. Julii anno 1298 Here lies Graham, strong alike in head and hand. The faithlful friend of Wallace. He was slain in battle by the English, 22nd July 1298. William Wallace... Continue Reading →

the forgotten war

When at the end of the Second World War the United States of America and the Russian Federation divided the Japanese occupied Korea into North and South, the conflict was by no means at an end. North Korea, with the authorisation of Josef Stalin, invaded South Korea to bring the south under communist rule. The... Continue Reading →

deadly woman

This is an old and bloody story, told among the people of Brig o’ Turk about a brave Scottish woman fighting an English soldier. The woman was one Ellen Stewart or Stuart, and she defended herself and the other women of the glen in a true Highlands way. Ellen Stewart’s great grandson, who lived in Brig... Continue Reading →

grave loss

Strontian, Ardnamurchan, the Parish church built in the 1820s by Thomas Telford, one of 32 churches built in thinly populated areas, but there is more to be found on this graveyard. The gravestone of Roderick and Mary Gordon and their sons Adam and James sits here, quietly telling a sad story. The Gordon family lived... Continue Reading →

Lunna’s Norwegian connection

Place names of Shetland are almost all Norwegian in origin. Local boats descend from Viking built ships, Shetland belonged to Norway for centuries in the past. The Norwegian connection is strong. Particularly in Lunna churchyard. A tall building towers above the small graveyard by the edge of the sea. Lunna House dates back to 1663 and... Continue Reading →

grave of a teenage hero

In 1746 the 18-year old Donald Livingstone (Domnhull Molach) rescued the Stewart of Appin regimental banner at the Battle of Culloden and lived to tell the tale. Even though he was shot various times. The Livingstones weren’t the traditional standard bearers for the Stewarts of Appin. That honour belonged to Carmichaels and was passed down... Continue Reading →

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