The Edinburgh City Artillery Volunteers took part in the Royal Scottish Volunteer Review at Holyrood Park in August 1860. The 1st Company consisting of over forty gunners including, Alexander Ritchie quartermaster, sergeants Robertson, Hay and Vallance was commanded by Captain James Ballantyne. Lt. Spence was second in command. Sam Bough RSA painted the review which is now in the collection of the National Galleries Scotland. image credit National Galleries Scotland.
Born in Wooers’ Alley Cottage, Dunfermline in 1821 artist Joseph Noel Paton joined the ‘Smashers Club’ which was formed in Edinburgh in 1848. The sketching club’s president was John Ballantyne. The members included James Archer, William Crawford, John and Tom Faed and William Fettes Douglas. In 1859 the artists decided to form the 1st Edinburgh City
Artillery Volunteers No. 1 Battery. Noel Paton RSA was appointed captain and John Faed first lieutenant. James Archer who was appointed second lieutenant was responsible for the administration of the battery. Supervised by Master Gunner Findlay who was responsible for maintaining and firing the One o’ clock Gun, the part-time gunners used the twelve pounders on the Argyle Battery at Edinburgh Castle to practice artillery drill. image credit Wikimedia Commons
The One o’ Clock Gun Asscn will be unveiling a memorial stone to the memory of John McLeod the artist who painted the portrait of Greyfriars Bobby hanging in the visitors centre at Greyfriars Kirk. The unveiling will take place in the New Calton Cemetery in Regent Road on Saturday 17th February at 12.45 pm. The ceremony is open to the public. We’d be glad to see you if you can attend. The cemetery is divided into two parts. John McLeod is buried on the north side of the cemetery. The stone has been provided by Purves Funeral Directors, Edinburgh. Tim Purves one of the company’s directors will be attending the ceremony. image credit Wikimedia Commons
John McLeod was born on 18 July 1812 in Golspie, Sutherland. Moving to Edinburgh in the 1830s he specialised in painting cattle, horses and dogs. He received commissions from wealthy landowners including Lord Abercromby and the Duke of Buccleuch. Following the hearing at the Burgh Court in 1867 to establish the identity of Greyfriars Bobby’s owner, the artist was commissioned to paint a portrait of the terrier. Loaned by the owner Thomas Cowan, the painting entitled ‘Greyfriars Bob’ was shown at the RSA’s annual exhibition in the South Octagon Room in the National Gallery of Scotland the following year.The artist also painted a portrait of the little dog lying in a kennel which was presented to the Kirk Session of Old Greyfriars. The niece of a celebrated English writer wrote to the ‘Scotsman’ offering to provide a kennel for the dog shortly after the hearing in the Burgh Court. The painting which was restored by Kenneth Brien in 1986 can now be seen in the visitors’ centre. The prolific painter who lived
at 28 Buccleuch Place died on 16th February 1872. His wife Mary Ann McLeod died on 8th August at Seafield Place in Leith.
The cold weather failed to prevent the local residents and tourists turning up to mark the anniversary of the death of Greyfriars Bobby. Bert Hutchings deputising for the Reverend Richard Frazer introduced the main guest Councillor Lezley Cameron who delivered a tribute to the memory of the little dog. Bert an elder at Greyfriars continued the theme by informing the guests on the life of Dr Robert Lee the minister of Old Greyfriars who died 150 years ago next month. The innovative minister was responsible for installing the church’s stained glass windows and introducing a harmonium. Lisa Fleming and Bob the mascot of the One o’ Clock Gun Asscn laid the wreath from the Lord Provost and the citizens of Edinburgh on the terrier’s grave as Jennifer Hutcheon the association’s piper played a ‘Tribute to Greyfriars Bobby’. Following the ceremony the guests were invited to Greyfriars for a cup of tea served by the ladies of the kirk and a
chocolate biscuit. Greyfriars Kirk guide Willie Telford showed visitors round the church, while Wallace Ferguson took a number of the guests including Councillor Cameron to ‘Auld Jock’s’ headstone the spot where the little dog’s owner is said to be buried.
Greyfriars Bobby Day is held annually on January 14th at the little dog’s headstone in Greyfriars Kirkyard. Edinburgh, Scotland UK. As the terrier went for his dinner when the time gun fired from the Half Moon Battery at Edinburgh Castle, the ceremony normally starts with the firing of the One o’ clock Gun. As the time gun does not fire on a Sunday, this year’s ceremony will begin at 1.30 following the morning sermon in the church. 2018 marks the 150th anniversary of the death of Dr Robert Lee the minister of Old Greyfriars. As Dr Lee was chaplain to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert when
they came to Scotland on frequent visits, he would have kept the royal couple informed on the little dog’s welfare. A bust of Dr Lee can be seen inside the church on the north wall above the burial door. Dr Lee was responsible for installing the beautiful stained glass windows in the building where the National Covenant was signed, transformng the
interior. John MacLeod’s painting of the terrier sitting in a kennel can be seen in the visitors’ centre. When you arrive in Edinburgh, head for Greyfriars which Sir Walter Scott described as ‘Scotland’s Westminster’.
The tradition of firing a time signal resumed in Vladivostok in 1970 when the shot was fired from a 100mm field gun on ‘Tiger Hill’. The time signal continued until 1996. Since 1997 the signal was fired by a 45mm signalling cannon on the battery ‘With No Name’ until 2008 when it became difficult to obtain the charges. The tradition was resumed on 12th June 2016 which marks Russia Day. Information on the Vladivostok time gun can be seen