Far from the Front

West Calder and the Great War

Email: jamesfanning@icloud.com



M Devlin

'We regret to announce the death from wounds received in action of Private Michael Devlin, whose home is at 9 Dee Street, West Calder. Private Devlin was the youngest son of Mr Hugh Devlin, Muirhall, West Calder. He enlisted in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in September 1914, and had been through most of the heavy fighting of the war.'


'He was invalided home to England but made a good recovery and was sent back to the fighting line. In 1917 he was awarded the Military medal for bravery in the field. The incident which won him the medal was as follows : 'An officer and a squad of fully 20 men were cut off. They held on fighting however until they were nearly all killed or wounded. The officer and men arrived safely back in the British lines and Pte Devlin was complimented on the bravery he had shown and was awarded the military medal'.'


'He had been in all the severe fighting since the big offensive started in the spring of this year. On the 22nd September he was wounded in several places, and lay on the battlefield for a day and a half before he was picked up. On being taken to the base it was found that he had sustained four gunshot wounds and he was sent to Bellahouston Hospital, Glasgow, where his wife visited him. Everything possible was done for him, but he succumbed to his wounds on Friday of last week.'


'The body was brought home to West Calder, and was interred in the Cemetery on Monday afternoon with full military honours. A firing party form the Black Watch accompanied the cortege to the graveside and an impressive service was conducted by the Rev Father Chase. Three volleys were fired over the grave and buglers sounded the 'Last Post'. A large crowd assembled to see the warrior who had fought the good fight, laid in his last resting place. Previous to enlistment Private Devlin was employed as a miner at West Mains colliery. He leaves a widow and seven of a family.'


Midlothian Advertiser, October 11th, 1918