A Fine Pair # 1171 ~ Wallaceton
<h4 style="text-align:center;">Number xxxx in a series of caches where a red telephone box is in close proximity to a post box.</h4><h4 style="text-align:center;"><br />The only rules are that they have to be able to be photographed together, be not more than 100’ apart and the phone boxes have to be red.</h4>
Wallaceton is a hamlet on the B729 between Dunscore and Moniaive. It has a Village Hall within which there is a Roll of Honour for those who lost their lives in the Great War, and subsequent 2nd World War. Importantly, it was the home for Lt. Samuel Wallace VC who is remembered in Thornhill and Moffat.
In a recent programme of laying memorial plaques for VC awardees, the following was written:
TYNRON GUNNERS DECORATED FOR GALLANTRY
Late 1917 was a grim time throughout the country as the armed forces on the western front suffered mounting losses, sending ripples of grief through every parish. Then on 20th November five infantry divisions and 325 tanks supported by 1,003 guns punched a hole through the German line at Cambrai. ‘Nothing could resist this powerful combination of guns, infantry and tanks’.
The accuracy of the artillery barrage was the result of weeks of planning and surveying by Royal Engineers. Whilst Cambrai was hailed as a brilliant success the British then had to hold the salient against counter attacks which began on 30th November. This was a particularly bad day for the Royal Artillery, which, in spite of great acts of courage, lost more guns in one day than in any previous
At the village of Gonnelieu there were three batteries of field guns. Two batteries did all they could until their ammunition was exhausted and they were forced to retire taking the breech blocks from their guns with them. Meanwhile ‘C’ Battery 63 Brigade Royal Field Artillery, which was sited back from the village, saved the day.
By 10.30 the original gun crew of 24 or 25 men in the battery was reduced to five men and one officer; with the enemy only 150 yards away, as the British infantry arrived, they withdrew.
It was with a sense of pride and hope of victory that the announcement of the first Victoria Cross to be awarded to a Dumfriesshire sold was received, particularly at Dumfries Academy and Tynron Parish. The officer of ‘C’ Battery was Lieutenant Wallace of Ford, Tynron who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 30th November 1917.
Samuel Thomas Dickson Wallace was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs Wallace of the Ford, Tynron. He was born at Holmhill, Thornhill and when the family lived at Wallace Hall, Wallaceton, he went to school at Crossford. He was a nephew of Professor Wallace of Edinburgh University, Mr William Wallace of Lincluden and Mr JRW Wallace of Auchenbainzie. Samuel Wallace was a pupil at Dumfries Academy from 1903-1910 when he went to the East of Scotland College of Agriculture and graduated with a B.Sc in Agriculture at Edinburgh University where he excelled in structural and field geology and in agricultural Chemistry. He had been in the Edinburgh University OTC 1912-1914 and was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in October 1014 and promoted to Lieutenant in July 1917, spending two years in France.
The citation read: ‘For most conspicuous bravery and devoted service in action in command of a section. When the personnel of the battery was reduced to five by the fire of the artillery, machine guns, infantry and aeroplanes; has lost its Commander and five of the Sergeants, and was surrounded by enemy infantry on the front, right flank and finally in rear, he maintained the fire of the guns by swinging the trails round close together, the men running and loading from gun to gun. He thereby not only covered other battery positions, but also materially assisted some small infantry detachments to maintain a position against great odds. He was in action for eight hours, firing the whole time, and inflicting serious casualties on the enemy. Then, owing to the exhausted state of his personnel, he withdrew when infantry support arrived, taking with him the essential gun parts and all wounded men. His guns were eventually recovered.’
The rector of Dumfries Academy, Mr JW Critchley, read the citation during his speech at a presentation ceremony in the Academy Hall when the pupils, teachers and managers presented Lieutenant Wallace V.C. with a fitted suitcase inscribed:
Lieutenant S.T.D. WALLACE
By his ‘Old School’
In recognition of his winning the V.C.
The Academy Cadet Corps formed a guard of honour and the school Scouts and Guides were on parade. Invitations to the ceremony had been sent to a number of local education and military chiefs as well as members of the Wallace family. It was a light hearted occasion with numerous pauses in the speeches for the audience to cheer and was punctuated by several rousing musical items. The pupils had previously been given a day’s holiday.
What was also amazing was that of the five surviving gun crew members – all of whom were awarded the D.C.M.-one was Private Andrew Armstrong. As the Dumfries Standard said:
‘One of these five is Private Andrew Armstrong, also of Tynron, and curiously enough of Cairnycroft Farm, adjoining Ford. He enlisted in the RFA, and, being sent to France, landed ultimately in the battery to which Lieut. Wallace was attached. Lieutenant Wallace and Private Armstrong many a time worked side by side in the fields at Ford, little dreaming that a time would come when they would be standing side by side at sterner work.
The war honours of Tynron are now: one VC, one DSO, and two DCM’s- a good record for a parish of but 62 houses.’
On leaving the army Mr Wallace went to India where he married Noel Edenborough. Their daughter, Margaret, was born there but, in the early 30s the family returned to Britain and made their home in Moffat in time for Samuel Wallace to volunteer for the RAF in WW11. He died in Moffat. His younger brother Quintin, served at Gallipoli with the Scottish Horse and was commissioned into the Glasgow Yeomanry.
31st October 2017
Army bomb disposal experts were called out after a suspected wartime bomb was discovered near Thornhill.
A cordon was put in place and a nearby road shut after the bomb was unearthed on a building plot on farmland near the B729 at Wallaceton.
The discovery was made at about 16:30 on Monday.
The bomb - believed to be a remnant from World War Two - was taken to a safe area where a controlled explosion was carried out.
The cache is placed in the vicinity of “the Fine Pair” You have to decide where…
The post box is relatively new, and serviceable. The telephone box contains a phone, but it is currently unserviceable. A local resident suggests the box is now owned by the community, and is a likely home for an AED
On the neatly cut grass lawn there is also a yellow fire hydrant post, an old concrete post which has a missing plaque or worn description, and most curious of all, a holloware box on a rusty post which was originally used for newspapers as the delivery van passed early morning on its way to Moniaive. Please don’t move the box or try to open it in case it falls over!
Pen and tweezers useful, but there is a pencil inside.
<table width="100%" border="1" bgcolor="#D6D4D3"><tr><td><h5 style="text-align:center;">The Fine Pair series was originally started by wizardsmum but is now managed by mattd2k<br /><br />If anybody would like to place 'A Fine Pair' of their own please do. I would just ask that you first visit <a href="http://www.afinepair.co.uk" target="_blank">www.afinepair.co.uk</a> to request a number to avoid any duplication<br /><br />mattd2k also keeps a public Bookmark List of this series. Once your cache is published please contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org to have yours added</h5></td></tr></table>