The Souter family headstone, Kennethmont

The Souter family headstone at Kennethmont


Edward Adam Souter, known to his family as Adam, was born at Piperwell, Kennethmont on 27th July 1896 to William and Maggie Souter. His father farmed at Piperwell but had moved to Whiteburn at the time of Adam's death. The family later moved to Woodside Cottage at nearby Wardhouse.

The letter S in his army number indicates a wartime enlistment. Adam was employed as a Clerk by The Great North Of Scotland Railway Company. It is known that he enlisted, probably called up towards the end of 1916, at Oldmeldrum and was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, The Black Watch ( Royal Highlanders ).
At the beginning of March 1917 Adam was at Alloa having previously been at Cambusbarron, Stirling.

Adam's battalion had been in Mesopotamia ( now Iraq), in the 7th Indian (Meerut) Division, since arriving at the port of Basra in December 1915. During April 1917 they were in action against the Turks at Istabulat and later occupied Samarra.

It is known that during the summer the battalion were stationed at Samarra and that a number of the personnel, including Adam, were given a month's leave in India. While in India he was involved in a railway accident at Yermaras in which Adam and three of his comrades died.

S/7305 Cpl John Bannerman, age 25
S/19753 Pte Alexander Ritchie, age 21
S/20012 Pte David Blaik, age 2

Five Seaforth Highlanders also died due to the accident. It may be they were all returning to Mesopotamia at the end of their leave. They too were in the 7th Indian Division at the time

All were buried at Trimulgherry Cantonment Cemetery.


St Andrews Church, Bangalore
St Andrew's Church, Cubbon Road, Bangalore

There is a memorial plaque to the them near the the main door of
St Andrew's Church at Bangalore. St Andrews, as the name suggests is a Presbyterian church and known to all as " the Scots Kirk ". It opened in 1866 and will have been the place of worship, for Scots regiments based at Bangalore garrison throughout the years of British rule in India. Bangalore Cantonment was the most important of the region and it is likely that is why the memorial tablet is in the local " kirk ".

Memorial tablet, St Andrews Church, Bangalore
Photographs of St Andrews Church and memorial kindly supplied by Paul Nixon, Bangalore.

It reads:

"This tablet has been erected by the officers, warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the 2nd Battalion, The Black Watch and
1st Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders, in memory of their comrades who lost their lives in the railway accident at Yemaras on the 13th August 1917
whilst proceeding on active service."

The names of four Black Watch men and five Seaforth Highlanders are then noted underneath.

Adam's name is recorded on the family headstone in Kennethmont Kirkyard (New).

Kennethmont Kirkyard (New)

Kennethmont Kirkyard with the WW2 Memorial in the background

The Souter family headstone

GNSR Memorial, Aberdeen Station


The memorial to the fallen employees of The Great North of Scotland Railway Company is located in the foyer of Aberdeen Railway Station.

The memorial was unveiled on 15th February 1921 by the Very Reverend Sir George Adam Smith, Principal of Aberdeen University in the railway headquaters at 80 Guild Street. It was rededicated at it's present location on 8th November 1981.

On it is recorded the name of
Pte Edward A Souter, Royal Highlanders

The name of Edward A Souter