In Memory of Pt. Robert Caldwell of the Ayrshire Yeomanry
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Kir'michael auld Kir'michael
It nearly gars me greet,
To hear that dear name spoken
In lonely lane or street. 
Though I should make my hame
In earth's remotest pairt
The thoght of auld Kir'michael
Will charm and warm my heart.
Kir'michael auld Kir'michael
That name is like a spell,
And gars my heart gang loupin'
Wi' thochts I canna tell,
Though sick in bed I'm lyin'
Wi many a mile between,
I'm ever back in fancy
In each familiar scene.
Kir'michael auld Kir'michael
There first I saw the day
In yon bit humble housie,
Adoon the sleepy brae,
There passed my bouncin' boyhood
The careless days o' schule,
At thocht it's little wonder
My een wi' tear drops fill.

Pt Robert Caldwell

 Poem written by Robert Caldwell

 The grave of Robert Caldwell in Gaza Palestine

The photos and images above were contributed by Herbert Kay and Helen Smith ( Kelly ) both formerly of Kirkmichael. Robert Caldwell was wounded in the 1st World war whilst serving with the Ayrshire Yeomanry in Egypt. An entry in the Commonwealth War Graves Common website reads as follows:  Private R CALDWELL  296060, 12th (Ayr and Lanark Yeomanry) Bn., Royal Scots Fusiliers who died on Thursday 30th August 1917. Commonweath War Graves Commission. There appears to have been another earlier tragedy for Robert Caldwell's family. While on a Sunday outing in 1910 a Robert Caldwell of Kirkmichael was saved from drowning but his father James Caldwell died. Read about this story here.

Gaza was bombarded by French warships in April 1915. At the end of March 1917, it was attacked and surrounded by the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in the First Battle of Gaza, but the attack was broken off when Turkish reinforcements appeared. The Second Battle of Gaza, 17-19 April, left the Turks in possession and the Third Battle of Gaza, begun on 27 October, ended with the capture of the ruined and deserted city on 7 November. Casualty clearing stations arrived later that month and general and stationary hospitals in 1918. Some of the earliest burials were made by the troops that captured the city. About two-thirds of the total were brought into the cemetery from the battlefields after the Armistice. The remainder were made by medical units during the occupation. During the Second World War, Gaza was an Australian hospital base, and the AIF Headquarters were posted there. Among the military hospitals in Gaza were 2/1st Australian General Hospital, 2/6th Australian General Hospital, 8th Australian Special Hospital, and from July 1943 until May 1945, 91 British General Hospital.  Gaza War Cemetery contains 3,217 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 781 of them unidentified. Second World War burials number 210. There are also 30 post war burials and 234 war graves of other nationalities.  Text and photos courtesy of the British Consulate-General Jerusalem. See the Gaza War Cemetery.