25579 Michael Tonner McNamee (MM) (Private) – Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) 17th Battalion.
My relative Michael McNamee died of wounds on the 19th of October 1918 at No 2 Canadian Casualty Clearance Station, while his division was engaged in the Battle of Ypres (28th September – 2nd October).
Michael was 22 years of age and was born and raised in Hamilton. He also enlisted in Hamilton and was part of the 106th Brigade 35th Division. Prior to enlisting he was employed as a Coal Miner at Ferniegair Colliery.
During his army service Michael had been awarded the Military Medal (MM). He was five feet four inches tall and weighed 98 pounds and was the son of Thomas McNamee and Jane Rankin Adams and their home address was 35 Church Street.
Michael is interred in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot XXX Row H, Grave 3.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Over the past few weeks Wilma Bolton has been sending us her Hamilton Advertiser newspaper transcriptions from her collection.
The names of the people mentioned are mostly now out of recent memory to the families involved, however throughout the day we will be posting Wilma’s transcriptions for you to read.
To start things off, Wilma sent me an article on my 2nd Great grand uncle who was called Michael McNamee, and he was killed in action over in France in 1918. Like many young Hamilton men who went to fight in WW1, a lot never came back. I did know a little about Michael McNamee as I have researched him and have most of his details in my Family Tree, however I didn’t have the transcription from the Hamilton Advertiser, so thank you Wilma for sending this to me.
PRIVATE MICHAEL McNAMEE.
35 CHURCH STREET, HAMILTON, WW1. 1918
HAMILTON AND THE WAR.— Pte. Michael McNamee, son of Mr and Mrs McNamee, 35 Church Street, has died from wounds received in action of 18th October.
Twenty-one tears of age, Pte, McNamee left his employment in Ferniegair Colliery in June 1915, and enlisted in the Royal Scots. For his gallantry on the field he was awarded the Military Medal. His commanding officer, writing to his parents, says, Pte. McNamee was “a great favourite with both officers and men.
He was a great boy, and thoroughly deserved the honour he gained, as he always showed himself a brave lad, and willing to help others.” Ref. Hamilton Advertiser. 7/12/1918 page 4.
(Wilma S. Bolton 2012)
Let us know if a member of your family has been mentioned in Wilma’s transcriptions.
Dan Daly was in his day, one of Hamilton’s most notorious figures; he was liked and loved by many people and also feared by many. If you had a problem, you went and saw Dan and it would be sorted. Dan was a local legend and known throughout Hamilton.
Dan left school and and got his first job working at the Slaughter House on Bothwell Road, he worked there for a while before deciding that he wanted something different. He was a keen boxer and later his boxing talents gained him respect in the streets of Hamilton.
Back in the day there were no licenced betting shops and pitch & toss was rife among the local hard working man, back street gambling was like a release for someone who had just finished a hard week at work. It took someone really ‘hard’ to stop fall outs and make sure that money was paid out. Before Dan Daly, people like Michael McNamee who was a bare knuckle fighter was known as the ‘head tosser’ in Hamilton.
Dan stepped up to the plate and gained respect from the local men in the town and he later ran the Tossing Schools in Hamilton. Dan Daly was only 5’7 in height, however through his boxing training, he was heavily built and had a very wide chest and big shoulders and arms that were just as big.
He met a local Burnbank girl called Elsie Dunn and they soon got married in 1951, they had 6 kids, Diane, Brenda,Daniel,Irene, Peter & Paul.One story that was reported in the Hamilton Advertiser was titled ‘Notorious hard man head split by wife’ and it was from the time that Dan’s wife Elsie was charged for ‘bursting Dan’s head open’ and knocking him out with a frozen chicken. Dan had been winding her up for the dinner not being ready on time and she hit him over the head with the frozen bird. That old saying comes to mind….Behind every strong man is an even stronger woman……
Dan later became the manager at the Hamilton Hibbs Club, ran the doors, was in charge of the bar and he had his own team of guys that would back him up in any situation. Dan also ran busses to the Celtic games, he was a Celtic man through and through. He later ran the doors at the Double J and was mates with Jimmy Johnstone.
One of the infamous stories that circulated was the time that Dan and his mates skidded up in a van, beside a group of guys at the Burnbank flats (where the BP garage is now situated) and they ‘done them in’ with baseball bats, it turned out that they had got the wrong guys and these unfortunate group of lads took someone else’s beating.
As much as Dan was feared, he was a gentleman and he looked out for his family, neighbours & friends and it was not uncommon for Dan to help people out during hardship and times like Christmas.
Hugh Haney was kind enough to share one of his memory’s of Dan, Hugh wrote:
“Dan Daly, whit a man, lots of people only heard stories about this guy, i remember as young lad runnin aboot the toon, my first run in with him was in the two up in Baileys Causeway, underage n’ bein a clever shite” he gave me enough rope, then a quick kick up arse,
sent me home while i still had some winnings left, soon after i thanked him, he would always call me Tiny Tim” you can ask the people of the Auld Toon, Dan had an idea that they should get a double decker bus for anyone goin tae the Auld firm match mixed tae save money, SMT bus , it never left the auld toon because the conductor shouted “Catholics inside, blue noses upstairs ” that bus had tae be towed away! Thir wis hell on, Dan went balistic,
Later i married and my wife was expecting our first child, i was in the Hibs one Wednesday dan asked about how things were ,,,,
I told him the wife wis in Belshill maternity, He dragged me up the street, knocked on the florests windae got a bunch o” flowers put me in a taxi paid the driver, n” sent me tae the hospital,,,to be with my wife Mary, jist some examples of whit a good man he was, But by no means a saint, jist a typical HAMILTONIAN””
Sadly Dan Daly died from a stroke & aneurysm at the age of 60. When he died, the streets of Hamilton were packed and there were many famous faces at the funeral,including Jimmy Johnstone. He was buried at the Bent Cemetery.
We would like to thank Dan’s Granddaughters Ann Marie & Diane for telling us the story of Dan Daly. What was your memories of Dan Daly?