This is Dundee's story of those that served in the First World War, and of the people left at home
Abertay Historical Society
Founded in 1948, the society promotes and supports the study of local history in Dundee, Angus, Perthshire and north Fife. It holds regular public lectures and publishes at least one book on a local history topic each year.
A number of the society’s past publications relate to the Great War, including Julie Danskin’s A City at War: the 4th Black Watch (Dundee’s Own) and Ann Petrie’s The Rent Strikes: An East Coast Perspective. Both are available via their website. Other publications focusing on the Great War are planned.
Tel: 01382 384310
We are a modern university with a long history and a clear sense of our distinctive mission, highly regarded for our academic performance in areas with genuine relevance and impact on society and the economy, and with a community of talented students and academics who make us the success we are.
Abertay has a Roll of Honour for staff and students that gave their lives in the First World War. The University also holds the minute books for the Dundee Technical Institute and are all registration records from 1888 onwards.
Dundee City Archives
Dundee City Archives holds the official records of the City Council as well as historical maps, plans, photographs and other records relating to businesses, schools, churches, societies, families and people in the Dundee City area.
In addition to the Dundee roll of honour which lists the Dundee soldiers who died in the First World War, Dundee City Archives also have lots of photographs, letters, diaries and papers. These tell us about the people involved in the fighting and their families at home. You can arrange to come and look at these at their public search room which is open: Monday to Friday: 9.30 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 4.30 pm. Many of their most interesting records have also been indexed on the Friends of Dundee City Archives website.
Dundee City Council
Dundee City Council’s Education Department and Leisure & Culture’s School Library Service (SLS)
Working in partnership to support learning and teaching in all Dundee schools, the above provide high quality activities and resources. They have also been involved in delivering outreach activities related to WW1 and continue to do so. In addition, they managed the school aspect of the WW1 Book Competition. To support the topic of WW1, resources have been developed and purchased by the SLS.
D.C. Thomson & Co Ltd
D. C. Thomson is a private company and one of the leading media organisations in the UK. It is headquartered in Dundee with a London base in the world-famous Fleet Street. The company publishes newspapers, magazines and books and has diversified into new media, digital technology, retail, radio and television.
It is an established family enterprise that has origins in the entrepreneurship of William Thomson in the early 19th century when the firm’s main business was in shipping.
During the mid-19th Century, the Thomson family invested in publishing, taking an interest in The Courier and Weekly News and buying the papers in 1886. At that stage there were two major publishing houses in Dundee, the other run by Sir John Leng. In 1905, the Thomson and Leng firms merged under the leadership of William Thomson’s son David Couper (D. C.) Thomson.
The company publishes regional daily Dundee titles; The Courier and Evening Telegraph, and Aberdeen titles, The Press and Journal, Evening Express and Aberdeen Citizen. It also publishes national weekly titles the Sunday Post and The Weekly News and online title, Energy Voice, which fuels the energy conversation in the North East of Scotland and is an extension of The Press and Journal’s monthly Energy supplement.
The Press and Journal and The Courier are two of top five regional dailies in the UK.
D. C. Thomson also has an established history of magazine publishing, developing some of the most successful children’s publications of all time. The company launched its first comic, The Dandy, in 1937 and currently publishes 16 magazine titles including iconic brands The Beano and The People’s Friend, the 275-year-old The Scots Magazine and recently launched children’s magazine 110% Gaming.
The wider D. C. Thomson Group includes global genealogy company findmypast, leading IT business services provider brightsolid, global book publisher Parragon Books and magazine publishers This England, Shortlist Media and Puzzler Media.
Dundee Heritage Trust (DHT)
Dundee Heritage Trust (DHT) is a registered charity set up to preserve and interpret Dundee’s industrial past. They look after two accredited, 5 star Visit Scotland attractions the Royal Research Ship Discovery, built to take Captain Scott to the Antarctic as part of his 1901-1904 expedition and its associated Antarctic Museum. They also run Scotland’s Jute Museum @ Verdant Works, which looks at the jute industry and the impact this had on Dundee and its people.
Museum collections include some items relating to the WWI experiences of the men of the 1901-1904 Discovery expedition and a little information regarding the jute industry during the war. However, in order to expand their collection, DHT are always actively looking for more information, archives and objects relating to RRS Discovery during 1914-1918 and the jute industry in Dundee during the wartime period.
Friends of Dundee City Archives
The Friends of Dundee City Archives is a charity, established in 1989, that supports the work of the City Archives. Members of the group, all volunteers, help to make the historical documents preserved by the City more accessible to people of all ages. Another important aim is to raise awareness of the work of the City Archives.
The volunteers have brought together information on World War One from material held in the City Archives and elsewhere. This includes names of the fallen taken from the City’s Roll of Honour and from a variety of war memorials surviving in various locations in Dundee and Angus including schools and churches. Volunteers have also gathered information about sick and wounded servicemen cared for in hospitals run by the Red Cross in Dundee and the surrounding area. This, and much more, has been put up on the website of the Friends’ group which can be found at www.fdca.org.uk.
For further information contact Martin Allan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Leisure and Culture Dundee
Leisure and Culture Dundee is an independent Scottish Charity with responsibility for the delivery of leisure, sports, library, information and cultural services in Dundee City. In addition to the fourteen libraries in Dundee, Leisure and Culture Dundee is also responsible for The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum.
The McManus has a number of WWI items within its collections; items include examples of military uniform, propaganda posters, fine art and much, much more. You can arrange to view items at the McManus Collections Unit. The Central Library holds reading and educational material related to WWI. The Local History Centre, found within the Central Library, has a large collection including books, pamphlets and directories relating to Dundee and surrounding areas which can be used to find out more about Dundee during the First World War.
The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and the McManus Collections Unit
Tel: 01382 307200
Tel: 01382 41500
Stand Easy will work towards the recovery of twenty Wounded, Injured and Sick service personnel, both serving and veteran, through the use of theatre and theatre skills. Stand Easy are working with partners such as Royal British Legion Scotland, Combat Stress, Dundee and Angus College, Rosendael Veteran’s Home and Dundee Council.
During the project Stand Easy will train the participants, devise a play with them and rehearse and tour the play around community centres in Dundee, Angus and Perthshire, and to the Dundee Rep. The play will be about the role played in WW1 by the 4th Battalion of the Black Watch as interpreted through the experience of the participants. Stand Easy are in the process of raising funds, and if successful, the project will start on Monday 21st November.
The Black Watch Castle and Museum
The Black Watch Castle & Museum houses the collection of Scotland’s premier Highland regiment, whose history stretches back almost three centuries. Located in the city of Perth, Scotland, The Black Watch Castle & Museum is one of the top visitor attractions in Perthshire and includes the Copper Beech Cafe, the Museum Shop and the Regimental Museum.
The Museum holds an extensive collection of First World War objects and documents relating to The Black Watch service during the War. The archival collection does not include individuals’ service records but does include personal documents, letters, photographs, scrapbooks, newspaper cuttings, official Battalion War Diaries, personal diaries and books about The Black Watch. The Museum offers a research enquiry service, details of which are on the website. Museum staff are available to give talks on The Black Watch in the First World War.
The Unicorn Preservation Society
HM Frigate Unicorn is an original 190 year old historic ship and museum – the oldest British built warship still afloat. Based in Victoria Dock at City Quay Dundee, the museum is an authentic and interactive experience of life on board a 46-gun frigate.
The most important artefact held by the Unicorn Preservation Society is the Unicorn itself. Men and others who trained on Unicorn are commemorated by the War Memorial on the Upper Deck and the Service of Remembrance held on board every year. The Unicorn Preservation Society has a large dedicated team of volunteers and much of the relevant expertise rests with individual volunteers. Available expertise includes technical aspects of the Great War at Sea and the evolution (and demise) of the Dreadnought Battleship.
University of Dundee
The University’s museum service stages regular public exhibitions in the Tower Foyer & Lamb galleries as well as running the D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum and the Tayside Medical History Museum. It also cares for the University’s unique collections of over 30,000 objects, specimens and artworks.
The Museum Collections include a large number of drawings by Great War poet and artist Joseph Lee, including sketches done in Karlsruhe and Beeskow prisoner-of-war camps. The Great War memorial from Dundee Training College and the memorial window in Dundee Dental Hospital & School also form part of the collection. There is also some Great War-era material in the Tayside Medical History Museum.
The University of Dundee Archives holds records relating to history and development of the University as well as archives of individuals and organisations in Dundee and the surrounding area. Significant collections include the NHS Tayside archive, records of the Brechin Episcopal Church, material relating to the majority of the jute companies based in Dundee (and some based in India), large photographic collections, and other records of local and international significance.
The records reveal much about Dundee during the time of the First World War, and letters, diaries and photographs of individuals who served in the War bring to life the circumstances of those who fought, worked behind the scenes as medics or in ambulances, or stayed at home. Of particular note are the diaries, poems, sketches, correspondence and photographs of Joseph Lee, a Dundee journalist who served in the Black Watch and was a prisoner of war.
Western Front Association (Tayside Branch)
The Western Front Association (WFA) was formed with the aim of furthering interest in The Great War of 1914-1918. It aims aim to perpetuate the memory, courage and comradeship of all those on all sides who served their countries in France and Flanders and in their own countries during the Great War. The organisation has more than 6500 mebers in mainly British branches though there are also branches in Ireland, Canada and Australia.
The Tayside Branch was formed in 2009, and serves Dundee, Perth & Kinross, Angus & Fife, though many members travel from further afield. The branch meets seven times a year in the Glasite Hall, King St, Dundee, DD1 2JB and details of the programme can be found on the branch website. Meetings are open to all.