(A work in progress!)



This website is my small contribution to commemorating the men and women who lost their lives in the Great War of 1914-18. It’s very much a work in progress, and I’d hoped to have completed much more in time for the 2014 centenary of the outbreak of hostilities on the 28th July, 1914. But I don’t have a lot of spare time at the moment. (A poor excuse, I know!)

j-cairns-pic-medalsI’ve always had a keen interest in history, but it was when my aunt gave me some WW1 medals, plus a faded photograph of two soldiers – one of whom she thought could be her uncle – that things started to become personal.

My attempts to track down the man inscribed on the medals proved both frustrating and difficult. But a harsh and very tragic story began to emerge, taking this young man from the poor tenements of Edinburgh and ending on a hospital ship moored in Malta. I’ll start to tell it over the coming weeks.

Share your family stories

There are many people like me who have been inspired by the centenary to trace relatives who fought and died on the battlefields of WW1. I’d very much like to be able to publish more personal stories on this site. Click here to contact me.




book-cover-smThe evocative poems of WW1 bring to life the emotions of men caught up in such terrible circumstances. This book, published a few months before peace was declared, contains poems and descriptions of some 58 soldier poets killed during the war. Click any link below to read more.