Markinch brothers remembered for service in World War One

The grandchildren of Henry Ford held a private ceremony.
The grandchildren of Henry Ford held a private ceremony.

The contributions of one Markinch family during World War I was remembered earlier this month.

Three brothers – James Ford, John Dickie Ford, and Henry Wright Ford – from the village volunteered to fight during the Great War, but sadly just one returned to Fife following the Armistice.

Henry Ford with wife Marjory and daughter Margaret.

Henry Ford with wife Marjory and daughter Margaret.

Henry, the youngest, was just 16 years old when he signed up in 1915, while James and John volunteered after the war broke out, aged 26 and 29 respectively.

The house the family lived in was part of the former Balbirnie Wool Mill, where their father, William, worked as a wool mill foreman. The three brothers, meanwhile, worked at the paper mill.

William would not live to see the end of the war – he died of heart failure in September 1915.

The three brothers received the basic training and served with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

Henry remained a Private until the end of the War – and he would be the only brother to return to Markinch.

James, a Private, was lost in the Battle of Ypres in 1915.

His body was never recovered. His mother refused to accept he was dead and refused to allow his name to be put on the War Memorial in Markinch.

John was promoted to Lance Corporal but was killed in action on October 31, 1918, some 11 days before the Armistice.

Henry was Honourably Discharged after suffering shrapnel wounds and being gassed.

He married Marjory Gold after he returned from the war. They had three children, the eldest of whom sadly died aged two. Their other children – Anne (born in 1924) and William (born in 1926) – survived them.

Henry worked on the railways as a goods guard but died on May 15, 1929, aged just 30 years old.

His death certificate records the cause of death as ‘bronchial asthma and emphysema’, which was caused by being gassed during the war.

To mark the centenary of the Armistice earlier this month, and the contribution the family made during World War I, the grandchildren of Henry held a private ceremony at St Drostan’s Cemetery.