LEST WE FORGET…..

LEST WE FORGET…..

In one way or another, whether being directly or indirectly involved, most of us have been affected by war. For me, I would like to keep the memory alive of two people in my family who were killed in action.

Michael McNamee WM.

The first person who was killed in action was my second great uncle who was called Michael McNamee. Michael was born at 35 Church Street to parents Thomas McNamee & Jane Adams and after leaving school he worked as a coal miner at Ferniegair Colliery.

Michael enlisted in the army on the 7th of June 1915 and was part of the 17th Battalion with the Royal Scots. He was 19 years and 11 months when he joined.

He was not a large boy, being only five foot four inches tall, and he weighed 98 pounds. Michael spent around three years in the army and he was based in France when he was killed.

His division was engaged in the battle of Ypres when he died of wounds on the 19th of October 1918 at No 2 Canadian Casualty Clearance Station. During Michael’s Army Service he had been awarded the Military Medal.

robert-thompson1

My second family member who was tragically killed was my mother’s cousin, Robert McNamee Thompson, who was killed in action during the troubles in Northern Ireland. Robert was a Whitehill man and a father and husband.

Robert enjoyed his time in the army and his regiment was the Royal Highland Fusiliers and his life was brought to a devastating end when on the 27th of July 1980, he was on patrol at Moy Bridge, Maughnahan Road, Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone and was killed by a remote-control Bomb. Robert was only 26 years old.
Today there are still former soldiers who either served in the army or survived war. You will see them out in the shopping centres and standing in the rain collecting money and handing out Poppy’s.

James Poulton.123

One of these men is called James Poulton who served in the Army and never misses collecting money for Remembrance Day. You will find James standing in the doorway at Morrisons superstore over in Whitehill.

Remember to stop by and donate what you can, and wear your poppy with pride, to remember the men who fought and died, not only in both World Wars but in every other war that happened after.

Did you have an ancestor or family member who was killed in action? Send us their picture and we will add it to our ‘Hamilton Folk’ Album and have your picture proudly displayed on Historic Hamilton which is viewed all over the world.

Abbottsford Road 1988

James Poulton.

James Poulton sent us a picture from 1988 which was taken at Abbotsford Road in Whitehill.

In the picture, we have left to right Jaqueline Stevens, Stuart Poulton, Margaret Poulton. Donna Stevens, Edward Ducy. & James Poulton and the dog’s name was Toby.

Do you have a 1980’s picture that you would like to share? 
Send them to us and we will share with everyone who follows Historic Hamilton from all around the world.

Sing Sing

 

SING SING.
SingSing.1
The mayor Reid along with some residents including Mrs Foley and her daughter Irene.The baby boy that Mrs Foley is holding was later tragically killed on the railway line.

The flats at Whitehill Road, or better known locally as Sing Sing, was a street in Burnbank, however, to the residents it was more like a separate community. The flats ran from Burnbank to Whitehill and  Sing Sing was said to have taken its name from the Correctional Facility in Ossining in New York.

Some people who lived outside Sing Sing often said that it was a scary place to walk past and it was noted that the police would never go to the flats without back up, however, many of the families who  lived here had fond and happy memories of the flats and they all looked out for one another. Some of the people and families known to have lived at Sing Singe were Rab McGhie, Big Liza, Carol Hughes, pearl Anderson, Betty Whitelaw, Dennis & Rose Cassidy, Anne Farmer, Maggie McNamee, Dane Rodger, the Poultons, the McCluskey’s, the Cannons, the Foley’s, the  Haley’s, the Steele’s, and the Aitken’s.

Sharon Allan was born at Sing Sing, Tilda Jack lived at number 72 and Arthur Belk used to have his window open wide and was renowned for music blaring which could be heard by people when  walking over from Burnbank to  Whitehill, Arthur’s  mum was big Liza. Other characters who lived here were Shug n his barrow, Rex and Ann Pan. Most of the families living at Sing Sing were connected to each other in one way or another.

There were sad things too, tragically the young boy Foley was playing between the wagons (just as most of the kids did)  when they were shunted and he got caught between the bumpers and was killed outright, everyone was warned to keep out of the railway but no one could the keep the kids away from the tracks and the burn as the tunnel under the railway was a short cut to the public park.

During the Second World War Burnbank suffered at least one attack by the Luftwaffe, when a bomb was dropped near Sing Sing at the railway works on the Whitehill Road, however, I believe that the flats were not affected by the bomb.

The families were eventually moved and re-homed from the flats and  Sing Sing was finally demolished in 1973,  and the excuse that was given to the residents was that the council was wanting to widen the road and extend the bridge over the railway, the railway bridge used to have a foot path at the side, like the bridge over just up from the portakabin next to the express way in Blantyre.

James poulton.
James Poulton in the Army.  

I spoke with a former local resident James Poulton who is a relation of mine and James told me:

“The people in it were great to get on with but the police were not welcome, the place was one big family and a lot of crooks stayed there but everyone got on and it was a great place for the children with the railway and a burn at the bottom of the drying green everyone who stayed there would have gone back given the chance the place was a community everyone knew             everyone else and a lot were connected in one way or another”

What was your memories of Sing Sing?