genealogy of the Bird and Musgrove families
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Bill Anderson - his childhood

The story of William Anderson's unsettled early years where he began life as a bastard ...... and died a hero.

William was born on 6th July 1896 at 12 Fore Street, Coupar Angus.  He was the illegitimate son of Margaret Lamond, a 15 year old domestic servant, born in St Martins, Perthshire.  Five years before this, his mother was on the 1891 census living at 91 Causeway End, Coupar Angus, aged just 10. Her father was William Lamond, a railway surfaceman, from Dunning, Perthshire.

When William was born, his birth certificate actually named him as William Anderson Lamond, suggesting his father was almost certainly a ‘William Anderson’.  This assertion is borne out on his marriage certificate which says his father was William Anderson deceased and his mother Margaret Anderson nee Lamond.  I can find no evidence that William and Margaret ever married.  His birth certificate isn’t terribly clear but you can just about read everything :

I wasn’t able to confirm this was the right record until I had received his service records (see below) but I then found him aged 4 on the 1901 census, having been fostered by the Ramsay family :

Where born: Coupar Angus, Perthshire
Town: Hillgarden Road, Coupar Angus, Perthshire

I believe William's father may have been just 17 when he and Margaret, 15, had their son.  Due to their young age, it seems likely that William was fostered from an early age.  Where was his mother on the 1901 census ?  Had she perhaps died in the five years since his birth ?  Had she married ?  I have been unable to trace her at all.  I will keep trying but perhaps we will never know.

Anyway, back to young William.  I next found him at 92 Blairgowrie Road, Coupar Angus on the 1911 census.  He was living with the same family as a ‘Ward’ but Jane Ramsay had married William McDonald and William was now listed as “William Ramsay”, and Olive Crammond had become Olive Ramsay, also now a ‘ward’.

I haven’t found anything else about his schooldays. 

As he would be about the right age to join up for service in WW1, I sent off for his service record.

Read more of his extraordinary story including during WW1, the middle years and, finally, in WW2. 

Linked toWilliam Anderson; Margaret Lamond; William Anderson Lamond

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