Som­bre Somme shrouds in­spire a for­mer soldier

Campbeltown Courier - - NEWS - by Mark Davey [email protected]­bel­town­

A for­mer soldier who bought a Somme Shroud is proud to have a cer­tifi­cate for Kin­tyre’s Pri­vate Daniel Docherty. When Paul Squire, from Southamp­ton, bought the boxed minia­ture shroud of Pri­vate Docherty, who fell dur­ing the Bat­tle of the Somme in 1916, he was de­ter­mined to find out more about the soldier whose life he was com­mem­o­rat­ing. Mr Squire said: ‘When I bought the shroud, I promised my­self I would do some re­search into who­ever it was go­ing to be. ‘It was quite easy, I Googled his name and the Camp­bel­town Courier was the sec­ond re­sult.’ On Novem­ber 16, 2018, the Courier fea­tured a memo­rial, at Kilki­van cairn, to the Docherty broth­ers who died in the First World War. The story was about their nieces Moira Gra­ham and Mar­garet McCal­lum un­veil­ing the memo­rial plaque. Mr Squire’s cer­tifi­cate states: ‘Shrouds of the Somme, to com­mem­o­rate Pri­vate Daniel Docherty, Royal Scots Fusiliers, died 12/8/16, No Known Grave, Thiep­val Memo­rial Pier, face 3C, re­mem­ber­ing those who made the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice, num­ber 3639 cer­tifi­cate of au­then­tic­ity.’ Mr Squire added: ‘Once I had cross-ref­er­enced the de­tails I had al­ready looked up on an­ces­ and an­other forces web­site, I knew it was the Kin­tyre Pri­vate Docherty aged 32. ‘None of the shrouds are alike and each one has a sep­a­rate name with his own his­tory. ‘Full de­tails are at: www. shroud­soft­he­ ‘They have been dis­played around the coun­try. I saw them at Winch­ester and it cul­mi­nated in a huge dis­play on Re­mem­brance Day 2018 in London.’ The shrouds were cre­ated from an art in­stal­la­tion, which phys­i­cally rep­re­sents each of the 72,396 Bri­tish Com­mon­wealth ser­vice­men killed at the Bat­tle of the Somme. It was started by artist Rob Heard in 2013. In 13,000 hours he has hand sewn about 1.6 mil­lion stitches in the cal­ico shrouds round a small fig­ure. The work is sup­ported by two char­i­ties, SSAFA and the Com­mon­wealth War Graves Com­mis­sion, as well as a large num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies. Cus­tomers re­ceive one of the ac­tual shrouded fig­ures from the in­stal­la­tion, af­ter it was dis­man­tled last Novem­ber and are warned that it will not be in pris­tine con­di­tion. Mr Squire added: ‘I am orig­i­nally from York­shire but have lived in Southamp­ton since fin­ish­ing my 22 years’ ser­vice in the Royal Corps of Trans­port in 2000. ‘I love all mil­i­tary his­tory. My grandad on my mother’s side never re­turned from the Sec­ond World War. ‘He was cap­tured by the Ja­panese and put to work on the Burma rail­way where he died, so I know just how the nieces feel. ‘Mr grandad also has no grave in the UK, but I have man­aged to find his in the Kan­chanaburi mil­i­tary grave­yard.’

The shroud for Pri­vate Daniel Docherty.

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