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Compiled by Clive Bonnar – 2009
This work of Remembrance has grown from a suggestion, made by a person who lost his own father to the Solway, that the Annan fishermen who died while fishing in the Solway should have a memorial in Annan. He felt it fitting that the memorial should be in that building he knew as the ‘fisherman’s church’, that is the Annan United Reformed Church, which was from the 1890’s to 2000 the Congregational Church.
With the backing of the congregation of the Annan United Reformed Church and the members of Annandale Churches Together I undertook to do the research required to bring the memorial into being.
A small group of people drawn from all the interested denominations within Annan was formed and at its only meeting was tasked with providing the names of fishermen who fitted the criteria to be included on the memorial. The criteria was to limit the memorial to those who sailed from Annan or were resident in Annan at the time of their loss.
Using this information I researched in the local and national newspapers to find the reports telling the known facts, obtained from people present at the time of the tragedies. I have transcribed the reports from either the original newspapers or microfiche and have only added detail to correct factual inaccuracies using information from death certificates and family when supplied. Spellings have been modernised. It was during this year long task that I quickly became aware of just how many people, other than fishermen, had been drowned in our local stretch of the Solway Firth which was used for leisure, work and as a direct route to England for many years prior to the erection of the railway viaduct. .
This Book is dedicated to all those people who’s stories are recorded within it, in the hope that they will not be forgotten. .
The book is divided into four sections:
1. date order list of those fishermen who died while engaged in fishing
2. date order list of those who died working, recreating or travelling
3. date order list of Annan Mariners who died out with the Solway, included ‘as is’ as a matter of record only.
4. The newspaper reports from the time
Such a memorial will never be complete, I have made many public requests to the people of Annan and to those with fishing connections and I hope that the information they have furnished is as accurate and complete as possible. Some gave details which were so incomplete I have been unable to trace any records either in newspapers or official records and some offered no information at all.
It is left to the reader to decide if the memorial is fifty years too late and who was or was not a fisherman.
Clive Bonner September 2009