Reverend James MacMorland, born 8 June 1886, was the fifth child of William MacMorland, a Schoolmaster, and Agnes McMorland (nee Jack), of School House, Straiton, Ayrshire.

He grew up in the School House in Straiton, and was educated there. He was a member of a large family of eleven children (eight boys and three girls) of whom two died in infancy. At the age of seventeen he went on to Glasgow University to study for the ministry of the Church of Scotland. During his studies he was a very successful student and won various prizes including the Recitation Prize, Vacation Essay Prize and the Cleland and Rae-Wilson Gold Medal for Bible Languages (Hebrew) in 1908. James graduated from the University MA 1906 and BD 1909.

Reverend MacMorland was a missionary at Arduli in 1908 and at Kinloch Lagan from 1909-1910. He was licenced by the Presbytery of Ayr and became Assistant Minister at Larbert and Dunipace Parish Church from 1911-1913. Reverend MacMorland was ordained and inducted to St. Margaret’s, Tollcross by the Presbytery of Glasgow in August 1913, moved to Kirkmaiden Parish Church in April 1915 and then joined the RAMC, Aldershot in June 1916. On 18 June 1915 he married Bethia Dickson. His first daughter Marion was born 6 May 1916.

He joined the Royal Army Medical Corps as a Private rising to Lance Corporal at Aldershot in June 1916 and was sent out to Salonica, Greece in July/August 1916 and was invalided home with malaria in April 1917, though on recovery was appointed Chaplain to the Forces with the 51st (Highland) Division in France. He served in France with the 51st Highland Division from October to November 1917 and was home again from December 1917 to June 1918. He went back to France from June to November 1918 and was mentioned in dispatches in July 1918.

He was demobilised on 27 March 1919 and returned to Kirkmaiden Parish where in all he spent six years.

Thanks to Gavin McWhirter for permission to include extracts from the family website.

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A Padre with the Highland Division (51st) in the 1914-18 War.

Reverend James MacMorland.

 Reverend James MacMorland

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