Arisaig and the First World War

On this page you will find a digital version of the Arisaig and South Morar Record of Service. The original book is housed in the Arisaig Land, Sea and Islands Centre, together with a facsimile copy which is on open display.

The Arisaig and South Morar Record of Service is a unique document containing original letters, postcards and accounts written by Arisaig people who served in the First World War.

The book was compiled by Helen Nicholson, younger daughter of Sir Arthur and Lady Gertrude Nicholson. Lady Nicholson (née Astley) had inherited the Arisaig Estate on the death of her brother, Francis Dukinfield Astley. On Lady Nicholson’s death in 1920, estate ownership passed to her husband. Helen Nicholson’s two brothers, Arthur and William, were both killed on active service in the early years of the War. Helen created the book as a memorial to all people from Arisaig and South Morar who served in the War. The artist who produced the illuminated text was Annie A. MacDonald Clark, Edinburgh.

The cabinet which houses the Record of Service was built by Arisaig joiner, Frank Baillie, and constructed from timber salvaged from a sycamore tree which stood on Station Road. Most Arisaig service men and women would have passed by the tree on their way to the railway station, departing Arisaig on their way to war.

Station Road, Arisaig