Military Burials


There are military burials in both New Cumnock Old Church Cemetery (The Auld Kirkyard) and New Cumnock Old Cemetery (Afton Road). The primary source for this page was the CWGC Database. Some of the soldiers do not have military headstones.

The Auld Kirkyard

This lies in the historic centre of the village to the west of the A 76. It is easily accessed by turning into Castlehill at the Arthur Memorial Church (the one with the steeple) or walking up the lane at the side of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

There are four CWGC burials in this cemetery. All are from the First World War.

Pte. T S Dick / Pte T Mathieson / Pte A Ross / Pte A McKenzie

1. New Ground 801

Private A Ross
Royal Scots Fusiliers
22nd July 1918
Age Unknown

It would appear that Private Ross is buried in the family plot. His name is not on the village war memorial or any of the others in the village. Archibald Ross was the son of Hugh (Grocer, wine and spirit merchant, possibly of Craigbank ) and his second wife, Margaret Hastie. Archibald died in the Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow of pneumonia. His death certificate (633/30/501) lists him as a journeyman engine fitter / army reservist. His usual residence was Cartbank Lodge, Cathcart and the certificate was signed by his brother, John. He was predeceased by his parents which may explain why his name is not on any of the memorials. His death certificate gives his age as 19.

2. New Ground 101

Private Thomas Samuel Dick
Machine Gun Corps (Inf)
19th August 1919
Age 20 years

Private Dick is remembered on the village war memorial and both the village school and Bank School memorials. He is also remembered on the family headstone in the Old Cemetery at the Afton Road. He died in Kilmarnock Infirmary of Tubercular Peritonitis. His usual residence was 32, Boig Road.

3. West part of Old Ground

Private T Mathieson
Kings Own Scottish Borderers
19th November 1917
Age 24 years

Private Mathieson’s name is not on the village war memorial or any others. He is buried in a family plot. His sister was the first internment on 18th Dec 1882, thereafter the family moved to Kirkconnel where his father, Robert, and mother, Sarah Reid died. They too, are buried in this plot. The last few lines on the stone read

Also their son JOSHUA
Killed in action in France 15th Sept 1916
Aged 18 years

Also their son THOMAS
Who died in the Western Infirmary Glasgow
19th Nov 1917 aged 24 years

Thomas died of Infectious Jaundice. His death certificate issued at Hillhead (1917/644/12/0932) describes him as an Army Pensioner.

Joshua served as a private, no. S/15661, with the 11th Bn. of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He was killed in action on 15th of September 1916 on the Somme and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 15A and 16C.

Both Thomas and Joshua are remembered on the War Memorial in Kirkconnel, Dumfriesshire.

The military stone, which can be seen in the background, is that of Private Ross.

4. Pte Archd McKenzie

Erected by George McKenzie
In Affectionate Remembrance Of
His Loving Wife
Mary Caldwell
who died at the Rottenyard
25th June 1894 aged 34 years
also Archibald McKenzie
Sherwood Forresters MGC
son of the above
who died 27th January 1918 aged 28 years

Private McKenzie contracted TB while in France and after a spell in Trent Bridge Hospital, Nottingham, he was brought to Glen Afton Sanitorium, where he died. He was brought back to New Cumnock through the good offices of the Duchess of Portland.

Cumnock Chronicle 1st Feb 1918

Since his burial in 1918, Pte McKenzie was overlooked by the War Graves Commission until March 2012 when work by myself and the "In From the Cold" Project had him placed on the CWGC roll.

New Cumnock Old Cemetery (Afton Road)

is reached by taking the B741 Dalmellington road from the roundabout at the school and turning left onto an unclassified road leading to Burns Cairn. The cemetery sits about half a mile on the left. The new extension is met first where cars can be left. The Old Cemetery gates are just beyond the brow of the hill and the memorial sits at the top of the knowe.

There are four CWGC burials from the First World War in this cemetery

Pte W G L Martin / Pioneer E McGovern / Pte A McNeil / Pte A Sweden

1. Grave 1291

William G L Martin
Ayrshire (ECO) Yeomanry
30th August 1916
Age 24 years

The day is aye fair in the land o’ the leal

Private Martin died in Glenafton Sanitorium of enteric fever which he caught in the Middle East. He is remembered on the village war memorial and both the parish church and village school plaques. He was the grandson of William Lind who was the proprietor of the Afton Hotel.

ECO in the inscription refers to the "Earl of Carrick's Own" which was the name given to the first troop of the Yeomanry which was formed in 1789 under the patronage of the Earl of Carrick.

2. Grave 1532

Pioneer E McGovern
Royal Engineers
28th January 1917
Age 44 years

Beloved brother of Mrs Cox Mansfield village

Private McGovern is not mentioned on the village war memorial or any others in the village.

He died at Coalburn in the parish and was single. His sister, Margaret Cox, made her mark on his death certificate (1917/608/00/0009)
He died of Phthisis Pulmonalie, which is the weakness and debilitation associated with TB.
It is possible that he caught this during the war and was invalided out.

3. Grave 593

Private A McNeil
(Scottish Rifles)
12th October 1918
Age 28 years

Private McNeil was the second youngest son of Mr William McNeil from Pathhead. He died at the start of the influenza pandemic in a training camp at Cromarty. He is mentioned on both the village war memorial and the village school plaque.

4. Grave 1485

Private A Sweden
Royal Scots Fusiliers
29th January 1919
Age 23 years

Private Sweden is mentioned on the village war memorial along with the Bank School memorial and the parish church and village school plaques. He died at 11, Connelpark of Encephalitis Lethargica, commonly known as Sleeping Sickness.

There are also four from the Second World War.

Guardsman D H Capperauld / Major W McCall MC / Pte J Murray / Signalman H M Harrison

5. Grave 621

David Hastie Capperauld
Scots Guards
15th March 1941
Age 20 years

Watch ye soldiers of the Lord and He will reward you in the last day

Guardsman Capperauld’s name is on the village war memorial. He was critically wounded during a German air raid on London. Bombs fell on the Tower of London where he was billeted. He died later in hospital and was brought home to be buried.

6. Grave 1745

William McCall MC
Royal Artillery
21st November 1941

Major McCall is not mentioned on any of the village war memorials or plaques. However, this simple gravestone and its inscription belie the story of the man who lies beneath. His death notice and obituary can be read in the Cumnock Chronicle of the 28th November 1941.

7. Grave 1279

John Murray
5th Ayrshire Bn. Home Guard
1st July 1943
Age 18 years

Private Murray is buried in a family plot. He was drowned in Brockloch dam and the stone makes no mention of his military status. His name is not on any of the village war memorials or plaques.

8. Grave 1901

Signalman D/JX
Hugh McLeod Harrison RN
1st November 1944
Age 19 years
HMS “Whitaker”

Signalman Harrison is also remembered on the village war memorial and the village school plaque. He was killed when HMS "Whitaker" (a lend lease ship) was torpedoed off Malin Head, Northern Ireland. He was brought home to be buried. His coffin was met at New Cumnock station by a contingent of the 46th Ayrs. Rover Scouts who formed an honour guard and escorted him to his final resting place "up the Afton".

Personal memories from Mr Charles Kerr, Pathhead, March 2004.

Home Page