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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sacrifice of Arthur Conan Doyle's Family

Yes, we should have enormous gratitude for the people who bestowed upon us a free and prosperous life but especially a free life. That is the motto on my blog BYDAN FREE forever free.

My family came to American with only two things:

A strong faith and a strong desire to be free. We value that heritage.

We no longer are Gaelic speaking –I will be the last of my family to have a knowledge of Gaelic- but as my father said in a long journey some things have to be left behind. My grandfather left the Gaeltacht in 1894 never to return.

He spoke Gaelic –and Punjabi- quite frequently during his military service but after that it dwindled and he never again lived in a Gaelic speaking community. The only Gaelic he heard was from recordings or the names of pipe tunes. He couldn’t read it either. What little education he had was in English. His best Englsih dialect was the braid Scots. He always said THOCHT for though for example and used many Scottisms in his speech. Burns was easy for him. He had read a lot of Burns and the King James Bible when he was young at sea with a Scottish sea captain. He was a boy apprentice in a tall ship from 1894-1902. I wish I remembered the name of the ship and the captain –I remember him telling me stories about ti but I was crazy to hear about Clan Munro and the Argylls so I paid more attention to his military career. But looking back his Odyssey was very interesting as a boy and later as a WWI vet working around America and boarding with his friends of the HLI and Argylls who were his bosom friends. They worked in construction and ship building in Baltimore , New York and Galveston Texas. I don’t believe they travelled by train very often but by sea.

Richard MUNRO


From: Michael Munro []
Sent: Sunday, November 09, 2008 8:43 AM
Subject: RE: The sacrifice of the Doyle family of Edinburgh 1914-1919

Hey those images make me feel grateful!


Amen to that…will send other things…always a big day in my family we used to call it Armistice Day and now it is Remembrance Day in Britain and most Commonwealth countries.

We lost over 30 family members and friends in the Ypres Salient 1914-1918 including two of my grandfather’s brothers and one brother in law.

My father’s cousin’s fiancé was killed at Ypres and so was the father of my godmother’s fiancé ; her fiancé was killed serving in the American Forces (US Marine Corps) in Guadalcanal 1942 in the defense of Henderson Field.

Douglas Munro –our kinsman –he was the descendant of Scottish immigrants to Canada –he was born in Vancouver BC- was killed in action Sept 27 1942 which is ironically the same day my sister in law was born and my father died September 27,2003.

So I knew my father’s date of death all my life. (he was awarded, posthumously the Medal of Honor by Franklin D. Roosevelt for his heroism in covering the evacuation of several Marine companies –saving the lives of hundreds of Marines; his ancestors served in the 93rd Highlanders at Balaklava the Thin Red Line of Heroes)

Arthur Conan Doyle (Scottish author of Sherlock Holmes stories) lost many close relatives –six- in the Great War as it was known.

His son Kingsley, his brother Innes

His two brother in laws, his two nephews

Kingsley survived the Somme but was severely wounded and died of pneumonia October 28, 1918 so he never saw Armistice Day. Talk about supreme sacrifice.

74,000 Scots were killed in WWI and they suffered 250,000 casualties (in a country of four million); it was the highest per capita causality rate of any country even Russia.

In WWII 25,000 Scots were killed so the toll was much greater in WWI.

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders –my Auld Pop’s Regiment suffered 7,131 killed and over 25,000 casualties. The 1st Battalion ASH –which saw some of the heaviest fighting in the war 2ndYpres, Gallipoli, the Struma Valley suffered over 400% causalities.

NE OBLIVISCARIS…do not forget

Let us hope and pray there is no disrespect ON REMEMBRANCE DAY


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