Saturday 14 December 1918 diary of Dr J S Muir of Selkirk

General  Election all over the Country. Voted for Munro (Secy for Scotland) at Knowepark School which was the only polling station*. Cycled round the town & out to Smedheugh & Whitmuirhall Toll. It was a fresh blowy drying day. D [Dr David Graham] was at Ettrick Shaws twice. The Ford broke down & he had to take the Swift the 2nd time. Got a brace of wild pigeons from John Black. Dora arrived Copenhagen**.

* Robert Munro, 1st Baron Alness, GBE, PC, QC, DL (1868-1955), Scottish lawyer, judge and Liberal politician; served as Secretary for Scotland (1916-1922) and was elected M.P. for the new Roxburgh and Selkirk Constituency in the 1918 General Election

** Andrina Dorothy ‘Dora’ Muir (1882-1978); nurse and Dr Muir’s daughter, served in Salonika (Greece), Egypt (though only noted as “on way to”), Malta, and the Baltic; she died 60 years later back at Selkirk

Friday 13 December 1918 diary of Dr J S Muir of Selkirk

As mild as ever: slight drizzle at times. Strongish W wind. Clear moonlight at night. Called to Mrs Jeffrey before breakfast. Saw her with D[avid] at 11 & again. Visited her again at 4 & 8.30. There is a suspicion of pneumonia. Dorothy Crichton a niece of Bob Marshall died*. Did a list walking including Hospital. 6 new cases were admitted making 13. Was there again at night. Nurse Stewart (from Miss Graham) down with Flu. Miss Dickson still ill. Motored to Townhead & Whitmuir Toll. D[avid] at Ramsaycleuch.

* Dorothy Crichton, grocer’s assistant and daughter of William Strang Crichton and Jessie Crichton née Jeffrey, died on 13 December 1918 at 14 Beechbank, Selkirk as a result of Tuberculosis and Influenza, aged 19

Thursday 12 December 1918 diary of Dr J S Muir of Selkirk

Top of page beginning Thursday 12 December “Argyll & Suth[erland] arrived & stole the money out of the Sunday school boxes.”

Another wonderfully mild day & no frost. In the afternoon however a considerable wind blew & made it seem a little colder. Frank Philip died this morning*. There were several new cases of flu. I was called out last night to Mrs Rae, Dovecot & was there all night. I had a rather uncomfortable sleep on a sofa. She hung on all day till 6.30pm when she had another d [daughter]**. Dav[id] was at Gala in the forenoon & Ett[rick]shaws in afternoon. I did Smedheugh & [Whitmuirhall] Toll motoring. Got a bit cut out of the kitchen table which made it more comfortable to sit at. Wrote Barbara***.

* See Wednesday 11 December

** Margaret Wallace Rae, daughter of Alexander Rae, journeyman baker, and Helen Rae née Wallace, married 2 July 1914 at Selkirk, born 12 December 1918 at Dovecot Park, Selkirk

*** Barbara Roberts, Dr Muir’s granddaughter

Wednesday 11 December 1918 diary of Dr J S Muir of Selkirk

Some hoar frost. Dense fog all day: drizzling at night: calm mild. Wm Forest died at Mauldsheugh*. D [Dr David Graham] says he has left £6,000 & no will. Frank Philips very ill. Bled him at 3 & don’t suspect he will survive tonight**. D saw him during the night. I was busy in the town all day. Mr Robertson & Colin at tea. Saw Mrs Jeffrey twice. D was at Smedheugh & Whitmuirhall Toll & then at Ett[rick]shaws &c.  Called to Mr Rae, Dovecot at night. Dora sailed from Leith 5am & lay at Methil till 8pm.

*  William Forrest, skinner and farrier, died 11 December 1918, at Mauldsheugh, Selkirk, usual residence Mill Street, Selkirk, aged 77, of ‘a cerebral haemorrhage, certified by Dr D Charteris Graham M.B., Ch.B.

** Frank Salmon Philip, grain merchant and nurseryman, husband of Isabella Gordon Stewart, died 06:15 on 12 December 1918, at 14 Glebe Terrace, Selkirk, aged 40, of ‘influenza 12 days, pneumonia 7 days’, certified by Dr John S Muir M.B.; one of the other deaths registered on page 23 of the Selkirk Death Register was a victim of pneumonia and influenza

Tuesday 10 December 1918 diary of Dr J S Muir of Selkirk

A lighter morning but dull all day: calm & mild & some rain after 4. Saw Philips early & thought him a shade better. D [Dr David Graham, co-partner] went early to Ett[rick]shaws & Whitehillshiels. I cycled about the town & made 31 visits including evening visits to Mrs Jeffrey & Dorothy Crichton (niece of Bob Marshall). Letter from Dora written before her wire about going to the Baltic in a Hospital Ship to bring home prisoners. Dora joined ship – HMSS Western Australia at Leith*.

* Andrina Dorothy ‘Dora’ Muir (1882-1978); nurse and Dr Muir’s daughter, served in Salonika (Greece), Egypt (though only noted as “on way to”), Malta, and the Baltic; she died 60 years later, back home in Selkirk

There were estimated to be about 191,000 prisoners – see Jones, Marjorie Ann. “The Danish Scheme: The Repatriation of British Prisoners of War through Denmark at the end of the First World War,”, M.A. Dissertation, University of Birmingham Centre for First World War Studies, September 2009.

Dr John Stewart Muir of Selkirk

Rumbling Clint’s blog will be publishing daily, 100 years on, the diary of Dr John Stewart Muir of Selkirk. Born 1845 in Leith he worked at Selkirk from 1867, as assistant to Dr Henry Anderson, until 1874, when he took over Anderson’s practice. He then worked until just before his death in 1938, though he was in a co-partnery from 1918.

In August 2014 a member of Dr Muir’s family offered his diaries 1891, 1902-1938, to the Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service for safekeeping. For the duration of the First World War centenary the Scottish Borders Archives blogged Dr Muir’s diary via Tumblr, but the editor is now taking over the work as a personal project and on a more interactive platform.

The editor welcomes feedback.