Come join the Highlanders’ Museum for mulled wine, mince pies and an evening guest lecture entitled “The Patersons of Beauly: reflections on rifles, romance, shinty and WW1″
One of the most fascinating stories to emerge from researches on the impact World War 1 had on shinty-playing communities is to be told in the stunning setting of Fort George Regimental Chapel.
The presentation, on Friday 13 December, will be given jointly by Dr Margaret MacKay (formerly of the School of Scottish Studies) who has a personal family connection with the renowned shinty family of Patersons from Beauly and Dr Hugh Dan MacLennan (Academy of Sport at the University of Edinburgh), who has researched the impact of WW1 on shinty-playing communities. Also taking part will be Anny Mary Paterson of Beauly, a niece of the two players who lost their lives and daughter of William Paterson, a former President of the Camanachd Association and the world-renowned piper Duncan MacGillivray of Calrossie.
Dr MacKay said: “This presentation takes us into a Highland community one hundred years ago and uses family history and lore, medals, an autograph book, sporting activities, music, and military imperatives to illuminate a remarkable story of Scotland and Canada which resonates to this day.”
The tale of the Paterson family and the set of bagpipes which was returned from the Battle of Festubert (1915) is remarkable in many respects, from the loss of two Camanachd Cup winning brothers, their heroism in battle and the subsequent emergence of a romantic story which spans the Atlantic Ocean and a century of mystery and intrigue.
The Paterson pipes which were recovered from the Festubert Battlefield were returned there in 2018 on a very special visit and will be played once again by Duncan MacGillivray in the Fort George Chapel as a tribute to all the shinty-players who lost their lives, and a very special relationship which remained unverified for 100 years.
Hugh Dan MacLennan added: “This is a very special opportunity for all of us to complete the circle in many ways, taking the pipes back to a place where a great number of shinty players had some of their last experiences on the field of play before departing for other, more brutal battles. We are grateful to the Ogilby Trust and to Fort George for making this possible and I hope that as many people as possible will avail themselves of the opportunity to attend this special occasion.”