Tolsta tributes to village war heroes

editorial image
Share this article

The North Tolsta Historical Society is ensuring those from the village who gave their lives in the Great War are forever remembered.

A £9,000 grant from The Heritage Lottery Fund, combined with £2,000 of the Society’s own funds, will see the creation of a website dedicated to detailing the lives of the men of Tolsta village who served in the First World War.

“We have already collected and collated records and photographs of most of the 58 men who perished,” said Society member Catherine Smith.

“Their service numbers and records are usually readily available in Military Archives. We thank the archivists at Fort George Barracks and the Gordon Highlanders’ Museum in Aberdeen who were very helpful when we visited both these places in June.”

She continued: “However, we require a lot of help with tracing the lives of those who survived.

“We plead with their relatives to ask around in their families and the community if they know any stories relating to their fathers, grandfathers or great grandfathers who served in the 1914-1919 war.

“If we can get their service numbers, it’s amazing what we can find out through research. So look out your grannies’ Tolsta Treasures and put them in a special box until we can come along and photograph or label them for you!”

The website, to be created by Web Designers Christine and Graham Walling, will also explore the effect that the Great War had on islanders left behind to cope with their loss and how they dealt with the day to day process of surviving at home.

Catherine added: “We are also looking for photographs and any documents that show how our village had changed over the years since 1914 and hope to exhibit many class photographs and school records.”

An exhibition of what is discovered in Tolsta, including a more complete record of what has been collected, will be shown on October 10th, at a social evening at the village hall with Sandy Matheson and Robert Doig who will give a talk on their visits to war graves in France and Belgium.

If you have any connection with someone in North Tolsta who served in WWI, or have photographs, artefacts or information, please contact any member of the North Tolsta Historical Society or call Cathie Mary on 01851 701871.

Pictured is the North Tolsta commemoration service which took place on Monday, August 4th.