Poignant postcards shed light on Musselburgh soldier’s final journey

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On May 19, 1915 a young soldier posted a card to his mother in Musselburgh as he prepared to board a train in Larbert.

Sent to an address in Levenhall, the postcard showed members of the Musselburgh Company of the 7th Battalion Royal Scots, part of the 52nd Lowland Division Expeditionary Force during WW1.

“Received your letter last night. We are leaving tonight but don’t know where for,” wrote Private Arthur Colville, with a promise to send the names of those pictured “later on”.

It was the last Mrs Colville would hear from her son, who was to die in the Gretna Rail Disaster three days later, aged 24.

The postcard and others sent by Arthur have since fallen into the hands of Canadian researcher Steven Clifford, whose family has roots in the Honest Toun.

Now, almost a century on, Steve is keen to identify some of those pictured, in a bid to fulfil the young man’s final promise.

“I think it would be a fine accomplishment if we could follow through on Arthur Colville’s promise to ‘send names later on’, even if it is 99 years on,” he said.

If you have information or would like to know more, click here to contact Steve

Full story in this week’s Musselburgh News and East Lothian News, on sale now.

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