Far from the Front

West Calder and the Great War

Email: jamesfanning@icloud.com



The Executive



Far from the Front


West Calder: A Scottish Village and the Great War 1914-1919

(As recorded in the pages of the Midlothian Advertiser)


Located 16 miles (26 km) southwest of Edinburgh, in the old county of Midlothian, the village of West Calder was an important centre for the oil-shale economy in the 19th and 20th Centuries.


Most housing dates from the mid-20th century though it has an earlier public library built in 1903. Funded by Carnegie money this building represents a fine example of the Art Nouveau style and has a decorative interior. The parish church (1643) was abandoned in 1880 and is now roofless. A memorial in the centre of the village remembers the fifteen men killed on the 10th January 1947 as a result of an explosion at the Burngrange Oil-Shale mine that lay to the southwest of the village.


Source: Gazetteer for Scotland


The Centenary

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Images from West Calder Co-operative Society: Railway Station, Central Premises, Fleshing Department & Addiewell Branch.

With the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the First World War there has been a wealth of publications about that event.


This site tells the story of the village and district of West Calder during the years 1914-1919. Evidence has been collected from the pages of the Midlothian Advertiser (now the West Lothian Courier).


Details of some of the names on the village war memorial have also been included.