The Patriotic Williams Family of Kemnay, Scotland



The Patriotic Williams Family of Kemnay, Scotland


Alexander R Williams. Driver, R. H. A.
George S Williams. Pay Sergeant, R. F. A.
John T Williams. Gunner, R. F. A.
W. B. Williams. Private, motor transport.
Adam B. Williams. Private, Army B Reserve.
James Williams. Private, Army B Reserve.
William Dow. Private, 6th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders.


1. Article about the Williams family with photographs extracted from a Newspaper. 1 image.


The story is about the Williams family from Kemnay, Aberdeenshire, and is given in an article extracted from a Newspaper Archive. There are nine photographs accompanying the article, which is entitled ‘KEMNAY PARENTS AND THEIR PATRIOTIC SONS’. Top left and top right are Mr and Mrs Williams, Viewforth, Kemnay. They are my great grandparents. The text of the article reads: ‘Above are photos of Mr and Mrs Williams, Viewforth, Kemnay, with their six soldier sons and one grandson. Four of the sons are with the colours; two are privates in the Army B Reserve. The grandson, Private William Dow, 6th Gordons, has fallen in the fight. He died of wounds received at Neuve Chapelle. Mr Williams is foreman wayman on the Kemnay section of the G.N.S.R. Mr and Mrs Williams are highly respected in the Kemnay district, and both are to be congratulated on the patriotism shown by their family. Their record is certainly a highly creditable one’.

My great grandparents’ forenames were James and Jessie. James Williams and Jessie Ross were married in 1879. The 1891 census shows them living at Littlemill Cottage, Leslie, Aberdeenshire. Four of their sons are living with them: James aged 11, Adam B aged 8, William B aged 6 and George S aged under 1. There are also three daughters. At the time of the 1901 census they were at Udny, Aberdeenshire, and their John aged 8 was there along with Adam and George. Alexander was born to Jessie before she married James Williams.

The full name of William Dow, who is listed in the newspaper article as grandson of Mr and Mrs Williams, was William Beattie Dow. He was the son of Alexander Dow and Helen Dow née Laing. He was the stepson of Mary Stuart Dow of Daisy Cottage, Bankhead, Aberdeenshire. Alexander and Helen were married on 14 January 1895 at Tarves. Alexander Dow married Marjory Stuart Williams in 1901 at Newhills. She was the daughter of Jessie Ross, born before she married James Williams. Alexander died in 1913.

William Beatie Dow died of wounds on 14/03/1915, aged 19. He is buried at Merville Communal Cemetery, Nord, France. The grave reference is Plot II, Row E, Grave 08.




Kemnay, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Merville Communal Cemetery, Nord, France.


Anne Park

Collection Day

Gordon Highlanders Museum, Aberdeen (27/02/2019)

This item was submitted on May 24, 2019