Thursday, 17 March 2011

Sutherlandshire Roll of Honour - Picture a Museum Day

It's picture-a-museum day today. All the big museums are involved but I'd like to highlight two items in two small museums in Sutherland.

The museums in question are the Brora Heritage Centre and Historylinks in Dornoch.

Both have Rolls of Honour for Sutherland from the First World War. They look similar but are actually different.

The one in Brora is called Sutherlandshire (c) and lists the men who served from East Sutherland from the parishes of Kildonan, Loth, Clyne and Golspie. The one in Dornoch is called Dornoch and District but is quite clearly done by the same people who did the one in Brora.

This leads me to suspect that there are other Sutherland Rolls of Honour. Perhaps Sutherlandshire (a) and Sutherlandshire (b) covered the other seven parishes of the county?

The one in Clyne used to hang in the drill hall in Brora and was thrown in a skip during its conversion to a library in the 1990s. Luckily a passing member of the Heritage Society saw it and rescued it.

The paper used is not the usual vellum used for rolls of honour and I think the local newspaper "The Northern Times" may have been involved in producing the rolls in 1919. That may mean several copies of the same rolls were produced to hang in drill halls or other prominent local places across the parishes of Sutherland. Historylinks have three copies of their roll which supports this theory.

The Scottish War Memorials Project now has hundreds of rolls of honour from all over Scotland and it is obvious many communities wanted to display rolls like these to highlight not only those who died but also those who served so I'm sure there would have been a demand across Sutherland for these Rolls of Honour.

Hopefully the other copies have not been lost. Many halls, churches and schools have war memorials and rolls of honour in storage in cupboards, and back rooms. I live in hope that the other rolls in this series will some day turn up in another museum or heritage centre in Sutherland.

It is picture a museum day so here are the photos of the rolls. The Historylinks' Roll is taken from this webpage.

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