By 1916 the horrors of the war were beginning to how at home. Soldiers blinded by shrapnel, mustard gas, falling debris and more were returning home and requiring accommodation and training in their changed lives. The local Red Cross and Newington House were able to accommodate such returning soldiers. However, fundraising efforts were needed to ensure that the already stretched economy and third sector could meet the needs of those injured in service.
The Battle of the Gore (1916), was published by the Borthwick Horticultural and Industrial Association in aid of the Red Cross and Newington House Training Home to aid the injured in newly needed skills such as brail, guide dogs, and other aids for personal dependence. It can be read in full below:
O’ Scotland’s rivers great or sma’,
It’s I that bears the gree,
For maist – in little ower miles twa –
Romance and history.
And that’s no brag, nor is’t “My glen,
For lasses blyth and bonny
And brave and hardy honest men,
Can haud its ain wi’ ony!”
Doon thro’ the moors my parents trace
Their way, and nearer rowe,
Until I loup frae their embrace
Hard by a castled knowe.
That spot’s sweet charms the painter limns,
And poets sings their praise,
Tho’ war, red war’s reign’d there oft times,
Frae Pict and Roman days.
In auld war-scarr’d sentinel
That croons Lochwarret Mote-
The Castle – there the Borthwick’s dwell,
As roon its base I trot.
A noble part the Borthwick’s play’d,
Sae Time’s sered records tell,
When Scotland had its King and made
Her laws tae suit hersel!
Aye first when Scotland’s was war riven,
Oft fand ‘mang heroes slain,
As when their famous “Sisters Seven”
Were lost on Flodden’s Plain.
Their Castle shelter’d Scotland’s Queen –
The bonny hapless Mary
When came “My Lords” pursuing keen,
They fand its Baron wary.
And when fifth Lord got Rome’s dire threat
“Ye Abbot of Unreason”
Gied Macer Langlands there, as treat,
The Parchment ower his weasin’.
When Cromwell bade its bold ninth Lord
“Surrender or I’ll bend
My cannon on thy towers,” his word
Was “No! My King’s cause I’ll defend.”
Near by’ts the Kirk, a hallow’d fane,
An exile leal son raised
To God’s Ain Glory and Man’s gain –
O’ wad it was mair yaised!
Then there’s the Manse, where Robertson,
Renown’d for lear, was born;
And lown kirkyaird, where man sleeps on
Till dawns Eternal Morn.
My course starts thro’ a pleasant haugh,
Where couthie fairm folk toil,
And gowfers sport on sheep clad faugh,
And fishers ply their coil.
At weel kent Catcune Mills I steer
It’s busy water-wheel;
I’ve thus help’d ‘bune a hundred year
To make its famed Oatmeal.
I here was note that o’ – as thocht
Unveil’s aince mair the past –
My auld time sons wha in trede trock’t,
The Pendreighs are the last.
Frae Catcune doon fair Harvieston
Thro’ woods, past ruins grey
O’ Catcune Peel; I wimple on,
And loup my fa’s fu’ gay.
Near Catcune Peel – the ancient hame
O’ Borthwick ilk – i’ yore
A fecht took place, that gied me name,
As then I ran wi’ Gore.
I noo pass on, wi’ gatherin’ strength,
Thro’ my ain pride – Gorebrig’ –
Ower bonny Scotland’s breadth and length,
Nae place mair bein and trig.
Aince there, I drave a Pouther Mill
That help’d tae gie richt shairly,
“Auld Nap” his dose. Noo chiel o’ skill
There cures fowk that’s puirly.
There memories o’ the past too brings
Grey crumblin’ Newbyres Tower;
Tho’ roon’t, to me, a sadness clings,
For ’twas the widow’s dower.
Noo trottin’ on in tree-cled strength,
Where bird choirs echoes wake,
Past black brou’d vomiters o’ wealth –
I’m proud yin’s my namesake.
I come to Shank, where ruin’d stands
Bluidy MacKenzie’s hame;
The martyrs bluid upon his hands
Will aye besmear his fame!
Near Shank intae Esk’s airms I fa’
And kiss her gurglin’ tide
In Arniston where glen and shaw
Fu’ aften lovers hide.
Proud Arniston; in fairs o’ state
For ages Laird and son –
Soldiers, Lawyers, Statesmen great –
Richt sterlin’ work hae done
Wae on the day should frae’t be gane
The auld race o’ Dundas;
May that ne’er be, but lang there reign
Its Leddy and its Lass
Tho’ much o’ my ancient glory
May be dimmed by auld times raid,
There’s opened a page in my story –
A page that shall never fade.
The flower o’ my laddies hae rallied
At their country’s anxious ca’;
Na! the brave yins never dallied,
But proodly march’d awa.
For Honour, Justice, Truth, and Richt,
And glorious Liberty,
They a’ hae gane, wi’ Britain’s micht,
Awa oot ower the sea.
And ower’d again they’ll no’ seek back
Till victory they hae won,
And redd the warld o’ hells ain pack,
Turk, Bulgar, Slav and Hun.
Ne’er sic rally when Fiery Cross
Or Slogan gie’d the order
To ride on raid for neibor’s loss,
Or ower the English Border.
The Middleton’s, and Fushie’s best,
Standpretty, and Catcune,
Stobs Brewery, Stobhill, faced the test,
Wi’ Gorebrig’ and Arniston.