Glenfarg War Memorial Project

David Duncan Reekie

Private 3583 6th (Perthshire) Battalion (Territorial) Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

Born 6 April 1892, Mains of Huntingtower, Tibbermore, Perthshire.
Died 30 July 1916, Somme France.

David Duncan Reekie was born on 6 April 1892 at Mains of Huntingtower, Tibbermore, Perthshire, the son of George Reekie, a ploughman, and Margaret (née Davidson) Reekie.
The 1901 census shows the Reekie family living at East Damside, Kinross, Kinross-shire; his father George aged 36 a labourer at a coal mine, his mother Margaret also aged 36, and David's siblings: Isabella aged 12, George aged 10, Euphemia aged 8 and Marion aged 6.

By the 1911 census only Euphemia and another sibling John aged 7, are shown living with their parents, now at Middleton, Orwell, Kinross-shire.

David Reekie appears on the 1911 census, aged 18, living as a boarder and working as a ploughman at Hattonburn Farm, Orwell. On 11 December 1914 he acted as witness at his brother George's wedding to Margaret Mitchell. (George is recorded as living at Lethangie Farm, Kinross in 1919 and in 1922 at Lochelbank, Glenfarg, Perthshire).

At some point David enlisted in the 6th (Perthshire) Battalion (Territorial) Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) which landed in Boulogne, France on 2 May 1915 and became part of the 153rd Brigade of the 51st (Highland Division).

On 1 July 1916, supported by a French attack to the south, thirteen divisions of Commonwealth forces launched an offensive on a line from north of Gommecourt to Maricourt. Despite a preliminary bombardment lasting seven days, the German defences were barely touched and the attack met unexpectedly fierce resistance. Losses were catastrophic and with only minimal advances on the southern flank, the initial attack was a failure. In the following weeks, huge resources of manpower and equipment were deployed in an attempt to exploit the modest successes of the first day. However, the German Army resisted tenaciously and repeated attacks and counter attacks meant a major battle for every village, copse and farmhouse gained. At the end of September, Thiepval was finally captured. The village had been an original objective of 1 July. Attacks north and east continued throughout October and into November in increasingly difficult weather conditions. The Battle of the Somme finally ended on 18 November with the onset of winter.
[CWGC website of Thiepval Memorial]

David Duncan Reekie was killed in action on 30 July 1916 and is commemorated on Pier and Face 10a of the Thiepval Memorial to the missing of the Somme.

David's mother Margaret had three children before she married George Reekie:  James born 3 September 1882 at Kinnaird, Cleish, Kinross; Elizabeth born 23 October 1884 at 62 Pomarium Street, Perth and William born 27 December 1885 at Henderson's Wynd, Dundee. The birth certificates of all three show no father's name, they are all registered as 'Illegitimate' and Margaret's occupation is given as, first, 'Farm servant' and then 'Domestic servant'.

The 1891 census shows James, age 8 and William, age 5 living with their grandparents James and Margaret (née Duncan) Davidson at Kinnaird, Cleish, Kinross, but there is no mention/trace of Elizabeth, who would have been 7.

The 1901 census shows James, age 19 and William age 16 living at Kinnaird, Cleish, Kinross
with their grandmother Margaret, age 70, and their uncle Duncan, age 34. James is a wood carter and William a postman. At some later date James married an Elizabeth Sharp.

William (a postman) married Helen Hay on 3 June 1914, and their son George was born on 20 May 1915 at Kelty, Fife. William enlisted in 3/Black Watch Special Reserve on 10 April 1915 (service no. S/41283), was transferred to 5/Gordon Highlanders on 4 August 1918 and died of wounds in the field between 9-13 April 1918. He was buried in a collective grave near Vieille-Chapelle, France, and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, France.

He is also commemorated on Cleish village war memorial, as is another William Davidson – William Turnbull Davidson Pte 6725 1/Black Watch – his cousin: son of David Davidson, brother of William's mother Margaret.

Isabella (b. 3 September 1889) a domestic servant, of Old Fargie, Glenfarg, married in 1909 James Steedman. She died on 10 September 1963 in Bridge of Earn Hospital, Perthshire.
Euphemia (b. 10 June 1893), of Wester Fordel, Glanfarg, died age 21 of tuberculosis on 4 April 1915.
Marion (b.1894) married on 31 October William Brown Dobbin at Strathmiglo.
John (b. 30 October 1896) was in 1927 resident in Milnathort, Kinross.

Their father, George Reekie, died in 1924.
Their mother, Margaret Reekie (born 1864 at Dullomuir, Cleish, Kinross) died in 1944, age 70, in Orwell, Kinross.