War heroes feature in early yearbook

editorial image

The artistic talents of some of the town’s bravest young men can be seen in a book donated to Arbroath’s historical collection.

An early 20th century autograph book belonging to a former pupil of Arbroath High School is on display at the Signal Tower Museum.

The book details messages and artwork drawn by friends and family of Dorothy Marshall, starting with a picture of her sister, Gertrude.

Featuring in the remarkable book, which can be likened to modern day yearbooks, are drawings by the young men of the town who joined the war effort. Many of whom did not return.

The only living relative of the family, Dorothy’s daughter Muriel Pyle, sent the book to the museum. She said: “The autograph book belonged to my mother. The people in the book were all pupils of the High School and three of the lads featured, who were friends of my mother, were killed in World War One.

“My mother and Gertrude lived in Canada for some years. The book must have gone with her and moved around with her and I found it after she died.”

Signal Tower Museum, senior museum assistant Kirsten Couper said: “This is a striking album and very much of its time. But it holds a treasured reminder of the tough, brave young men who were extremely talented and gave themselves up for war. It never ceases to impress me. For example Tam Myles swam the river Tay, he was an accomplished sportsman, and yet he gave it all up for the war and sadly didn’t come back.”

Pictured is ‘Crossing the Brook’ drawn by Captain James Ogilvie Grant Stuart, who was awarded the Military Cross and was shot by a sniper on March 30, 1918. Captain Thomas Booth Myles, Highland Light Infantry, was shot by a sniper on the August 1, 1917. Patrick Wright Anderson’s artistic impression of a lady wearing a sari was simply signed and dated. Anderson served as an observer with the Royal Flying Corps and his DH4 aeroplane was shot down by enemy fire on the June 27, 1918. Anderson died later in Arbroath Infirmary.