Speakers’ Club regaled with series of talks on First World War centenary

The Den in Kirriemuir, 1914.
The Den in Kirriemuir, 1914.

Strathmore Speakers’ Club held a tribute evening to commemorate the centenary of the First World War with a programme of nine varied speeches.

The speeches, given at Kirriemuir Golf Club to more than 40 people, were dedicated to different aspects - some were personal, some factual but all were very well researched.

Bob Stewart was first up, giving a breakdown of the 1,900 men and women from Forfar who served in the First World War.

He discussed the casualties and military awards as well as his own family’s contribution to the war.

Alison Summers then shared some photos of suffragettes, depicting the unrest of the time.

She also discussed how life changed dramatically when the Black Watch left for France in 1914.

Ron Harrow gave a personal tribute to his uncle Albert, while wearing two medals he had found with other memorabilia in an old family trunk.

He described how his uncle was a POW and the horrors he endured.

David Howat then gave a personal view of Canada’s role in the war.

Bill Walker then offered an interesting portraiture of Sir Harry Lauder after an excellent meal that was enjoyed by all.

Eric Summers was next and he transfixed everyone in the room with his factual and historical speech about the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose death in Sarajevo in 1914 triggered the start of the war.

Jim Gibb’s subject was the leadership in the British Army and David Binnie told a fascinating tale of naval history.

Douglas Wares provided the evening’s final speech, outlining the remarkable of life of Dr Noel Chevasse of the Army Medical Corps.

Chevasse won the Victoria Cross on two occasions, astonishingly.

The evening was brought to a close with a moment of silence and appreciative applause.

The vote of thanks was given by Alex Rae.