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Sanquhar's Story - Words from the Great War

Letter from James McMinn, 3rd January 1915 (2)

20th Century

One of nine letters from James McMinn to 'Tib'. It was sent from Caterham Barracks, Surrey and is dated 3rd January 1915. In it James talks about a cake he had received from his Aunt, going to church, and two men who deserted the barracks. He signs off 'Jamie', presumably the name family members referred to him by.


'Sanquhar's Story - Words from the Great War' consists of a collection of letters written by brothers James and David McMinn, from Durisdeer near Sanquhar. They were the sons of William and Janet McMinn. There are nine letters from each brother written to 'Tib' during their time posted at their training barracks in England. Who was 'Tib'? Both James and David wrote to her regularly after they enlisted. She was not their mother Janet, and it is
unlikely that she was a sweetheart of either of them, but it is very possible that she was a sister.


James (Jamie) was the eldest child born c.1897. He signed up to serve in 1914 and died during active service in 1915, about two weeks after being sent to the front.


David, born c.1901 was among the first men to enlist with the Royal Air Force in 1918. He survived the War and afterwards continued to train with the RAF. He worked his way up from a Private to an Air Mechanic. There is a record of him emigrating with his family to New Zealand in 1922.

Sanquhar Tolbooth Museum
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Dumfries & Galloway Council