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The Men

Hugh Gilver and Alexander Osborne introduce themselves...

Hugh Gilver

I was born, Hugh Murdoch Cathellan Gilver, the eldest and only surviving son of Hugh McDonald Murdoch Gilver on the 13th May 1879 at Gilverton in Perthshire. My education was first at Kingoldrum College and then at the University of Aberdeen where, eschewing the fashion for poetics and other nonsense, I gained a grounding in the practical aspects of husbandry and the tight running of a large estate which has stood me in excellent stead ever since.

It has long been my belief that every boy should do a tour of duty — although I have to own that I am glad my own two missed this latest adventure. Accordingly I took up a captaincy in the Black Watch, saw a year of action in South Africa, and left a portion of my right kneecap to enrich the soil of the Transvaal. Missing this crucial shard of bone, I spent 14-18 a long way from the sounds of battle, making sure that the bandages were tightly rolled and all in boxes of twenty.

Between the Boer and the Great War, in 1906, I married. Sensible girl or so it seemed at the time; recently I have begun to wonder. In any case we have two sons, Donald and Teddy, at school in the south somehow although I can never quite remember agreeing to this, and overall one cannot complain. The salmon isn’t what it was, nor the grouse, nor the stags but one has little time to notice what with letting one's under-steward go and taking on the work oneself. Comfort can be drawn from the fact that there is no need for London these days. Courting long over, thankfully, and with no daughters to badger one into opening up a house for a season, we can all live happily at home.


Alexander Osborne

Alexander Osborne was born 21st June 1890 at Purbeck in Dorset, the middle son of three and eldest surviving after the loss of his brother, Edward, at Arras. He was educated at Sherborne, Harrow and Pembroke College, Oxford and has this to say of what came after:

“Joined up 1912 just in nice time for all the fun. Left the regiment in 1919, loath to spend the rest of one's life reliving past events as glories. Engaged in 1921 to Cara Duffy, a cousin of mine, and through her met, in 1922, one Dandelion Gilver (Mrs). Cue rapid disintegration of formerly calm life into penny-dreadful cum operetta. Now resident in Dunelgar, Perthshire, for my sins. A long way from Purbeck in more ways than one cares to name.”