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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > First World War Commemoration > The Bedford Highlanders

Virtually meet the Bedford Highlanders

Thanks to the expertise of local expert, Richard Galley, Bedford Borough’s Virtual Library has a host of information on the topic of the ‘Bedford Highlanders’, which serves to bring the topic to life.

 

Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, the aim of the project was to develop content for the Virtual Library which focused on the Highlanders’ stay in Bedford in 1914/1915. The content is now available to view and features incredible photographs which are beautifully described by Richard, from where they came from and the reasons why, to the residents of Bedford saying farewell to the troops as they were sent off to the front.

 

The Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “The Highlanders’ stay in Bedford is a fascinating, tragic story and an important feature of Bedford’s role in World War One. 

 

"We are pleased to be making available material which helps to tell the story and bring it to life for present-day readers, and I hope that people of all ages take advantage of this excellent project.

 

"The library service has been working closely with Richard Galley to gather together content on the Highlanders for our Virtual Library and have been contacted by Argyle and Bute library service with a view to working together to share this captivating story in the future.”

 

From August 1914 to May 1915 20,000 soldiers from the Scottish Highlands arrived in Bedford to undergo training before being sent to the front. By May 1915 many of the troops had died in Bedford, struck down by diphtheria, scarlet fever and pneumonia, although the main killer was measles. The Highlanders had never been in contact with these diseases before and had no immunity - many were buried in Bedford cemetery.

 

For more information visit www.bedford.gov.uk/libraries  - click on ‘Virtual Library’, and then click on the photo of ‘Wee Jock’!

 

Richard Galley, will give a talk on the Bedford Highlanders at Putnoe Library, at 10am, on 24th September. Tickets are not yet available to buy, but will be available about three weeks before the event.

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