Bid to solve mystery of Scottish soldier

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A Scottish researcher is attempting to track down the identity of a oldier featured in a photograph that was given to a girl in Edinburgh during World War I.

Elizabeth Edgar, who kept the photo in her scrapbook, helped her mother, who was a volunteer at the ‘American Hut’ in Edinburgh. The Hut was an entertainment complex for troops, featuring a cinema screen and billiard tables.

The Scotsman newspaper reports that researcher Alistair McEwen, who has created the online archive Edinburgh’s War, is hoping to trace the soldier’s family in time for the centenary of World War I.

‘We would be very keen to identify him as it would be nice for the family that gave me the autograph book to find out who he was,’ he said.

‘That soldier’s photo was inside and there’s a dedication at the front to her [Elizabeth]. We’re wondering, is it possible they knew each other?’

Elizabeth collected autographs, cartoons and poems written by some of the soldiers who passed through the American Hut.

Lance corporal RW Brown, of the 9th Scottish Rifles, wrote in her book in March 1917: ‘What? Write in a book, Where ladies look, and critics spy? Not I, Not I.’

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