Royal Highlanders (Black Watch)
Born 22nd November 1872 to father, William and mother Mary at Arbroath, Scotland confirmed by birth certificate. When he was born the family may have been living at 29 Dishland Street, Arbroath. The only records to show the full alliterative name including “Wallace” are when he is a Freemason, so perhaps this name is not actually his birth name but added later, perhaps, as a reference to Scottish patriotism. That would be contradicted by his military service in the Suffolk Regiment, so perhaps it was the result of military nicknaming.
He is not old enough to make the 1871 census, but his family are recorded as living at 10 Spink Street, Arbroath.
In 1881, now aged 8 he is living at 78 Helen Street, Arbroath, Angus. He is a scholar and living with older sisters Mary Ann (16), Betsy Jane (12) and younger brother & sister David (6) and Flora (1). Joined the Royal Highlanders (Black Watch) on the 25th March 1890 at Perth.
Served with the 2nd Battalion Black Watch Regiment at Maryhill Barracks, Glasgow. He was of full age when he was initiated into Union Lodge No. 332, Glasgow in 1893. Married Jane Gordon on 7th June 1895 at Stracathro (Arbroath), though it would soon be sad times as his sister Flora died soon after in January 1896, aged 16. More positively, later that year later Williamina is born at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, Scotland. Following soon after, second daughter Victoria Jane is born 1897, born in Pimlico, London. Sadly, Victoria doesn’t live very long and is deceased 29th November 1898.
1900 is the year that William Jnr. is born. This would have been prior to embarkation to South Africa and family is in Dover Kent. At the time of the 1901 census, Jane is living as a Boarder at 180 Ann Street, in Aberdeen. Williamina and William are living with her and she is earning a living as a Jute Spinner. She may not have gone to South Africa as she would have been pregnant in 1899, and opted to stay near to what might have been familiar.
In 1902 he is back from South Africa and living in Colchester, the year that John Gordon is born. He is still in Colchester in 1903 as Florence Lily is born that year. Comrades Lodge show him recorded as being with the 1st Suffolk Regiment as a Sergeant and Master Tailor, working out of Meanee Barracks, Colchester.
In 1911 he is living with the whole family at 57 Waterloo Road, Aldershot, Hampshire. He is now 38, and living as an Army Pensioner Military Tailor/Cutter now having been married for 15 years.
- Jane 1874 - nee Gordon 37 in 1911 so born around 1874. Born in Aberdeen, Scotland
- Williamina 1896 - Born at Haddington, Edinburgh about 1897 Victoria Jane 1897-1898 Born at Pimlico, London. Born 10th July 1897 and died aged 16 months on the 29th November 1898
- William 1899 - Born at Dover, Kent about 1900
- John Gordon 1902-1969 Born at Colchester. Died December 1969
- Florence Lily 1903-1904 Born in Colchester 21st August 1903 but died less than a year later 1st August 1904
- Robert Alexander 1904 Born in Woolwich, Kent 16th November 1904
- Stewart 1910 - Born at Parkhurst, Hampshire 1910 31 on 10th December 1902 (United Lodge)
Engaged himself in a full career even after joining up aged 21, but, using his previous trade skills throughout. Not a high flyer and probably a family man and taking advantage of any situation that might have presented itself. His loyalty was not necessarily to the Regimental No. 4062 (R.Highlanders) 0213/593 / 5269 (Suffolks)
- Military Service: 24 Mar 1890-10 Nov 1899
- Posted for Home Service home, 9 years 252 days.
- 25 Mar 1890 Principal; Perth, Perthshire, Scotland; Royal Highlanders; born Arbroath, aged 18 years 4 months, trade tailor, apprenticed for 4 years to Mr Thomson tailor, not married, never imprisoned, willing to serve 12 years; height 5 feet 5 3/4 inches, weight 121 pounds, chest measurement 33 1/4 inches, complexion dark, eyes dark brown, hair black, religious denominarion Presbyterian, distinctive marks blue dots base of left thumb; medically fit; next of kin father William Welsh 82 Helen Street Arbroath; wife Jane.v 1901 Sergeant?
- 12 Nov 1890 Principal; 3rd class certificate of education. Qualification: Qualification* 20 Oct 1897 Principal; qualified to perform the duties of a master tailor to an Infantry or Highland Reg.vii
- Qualification: 16 Jun 1898 Principal; 2nd class certificate of education.viii Military Service* 15 Jul 1898 Military Service; appointed Black Watch 2.ix Military Service: 18 Jan 1899 Military Service; transferred to Suffolk regiment with a ... to bring appointment... master tailor.x Military Service: 1 Feb 1899 Military Service; Suffolk 1st promoted sargeant master tailor.xi
- Military Service: 11 Nov 1899-12 Apr 1901
- Military Service; South Africa; campaign South African War, 1899-1901; 1 year 153 days.xii
- Military Service: 13 Apr 1901-23 Mar 1911
- Military Service; Home, 9 years 345 days.xiv
- Military Service: 1 Jul 1901
- Military Service; provisional battalion 9th transferred S M Tailor.xv
- Military Service: 17 Jun 1902 Military Service; Colchester, Essex, England; re-engaged for the Suffolk Reg at Colchester for such a term as shall complete 21 years’ service with the ... Sg Master Tailor.xvi
- Military Service: 1 Oct 1902
- Military Service; Suffolk 1st transferred Sgt.xvii
- Military Service: 1 Apr 1904
- Military Service; granted service pay at £7.xviii Military Service: 20 Nov 1907 Military Service; Suffolk 2nd, transferred Sgt Ms Tailor.xix 23 Mar 1911 Termination of Military Service* 5269 William Welsh, 2nd Suffolk regiment; discharged at the termination of his second period of engagement; total service 21 years.xxi
Second Boer War Entitled to :
MasonicOccupation Soldier of the 2nd Battalion the Black Watch Regiment resident at Maryhill Barracks, Glasgow His age above is confirmed by the D.o.B. you were able to provide, 22nd November 1872. Sadly we have no old photographs of any significance or antiquity due to moving premises in the 80’s and probably loosing many historical items at that time. Office at Consecration: Steward Other: One of the 25 petitioners not named individually on the Warrant of Constitution. 50 Year Mason in Comrades.
- L332 Union S.C., Glasgow
- Initiated 16th December 1893
- Passed 10th January 1894
- Raised 7th February 1894
- Recorded in Grand Lodge (S.C.) 16th February 1894
- L697 E.C. United Lodge 10th December 1902 – September 1904 (resigned)
- Grand Lodge Certificate E.C. 4th May 1903
- L2976 E.C. Comrades (Founder) 6th August 1903 – 9th June 1954 (By death)