Autograph Album

Autograph album kept by Bessie Allan during her time as a VAD nurse at Keir House near Dunblane.   It contains some entries from patients who served with the King's Own Scottish Borderers.  The picture of a British battleship was drawn by Guillaume D'Haemers, aged about 23 from Ghent. He writes that he is an engineer with the Belgian Railway Company and a soldier.  He was wounded during the battle of Nieuport on 20 January 1915.  He was later listed as a Belgian refugee in Glasgow. Drawing was a popular way of recording individual and collective war experiences. When time and circumstances allowed, amateur artists made and kept their own pictures.  Because photography was limited and strictly controlled drawings could be the only visual record of the war service of a military unit.
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Dumfries and Galloway Council
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