Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin. Today I want to tell you a story. It is a true story told to me by Annie Robertson this afternoon. Her story was once published in the newspaper and I have her permission to share it again here.
Kirriemuir – Winter of 1947 – The Great Storm.
Many folk will remember the terrible snows of 1947 in Scotland. Annie Robertson certainly did. She was expecting her third child and was due any time. Dr Rattray was concerned about the weather and the nurse was completely snowed in. Annie lived out in the country, on a farm, the other side of Westmuir. He and his wife wanted Annie to come and stay with them in town until she had the baby. Annie had two little ones at home and wanted to stay with them.
At 1am in the morning Annie phoned Dr Rattray to say that baby was on its way. Dr Rattray got himself ready, headed out into the deep snow to make his way to Auchendorie Farm. Annie’s husband and other hands went out and managed to dig a long path from the farm to the main road for the doctor’s arrival. When he arrived at the farm he had four bags strung around him. One on each arm, one on his back and another strung around his neck and hung down his front. Annie queried all the bags and he replied “I have to be prepared for absolutely everything”. He then sat down at the fire and waited for things to take their course.
Baby was eventually born. Dr Rattray held her up and said that she should be called ‘Storm Robertson’ after the great storm. He bathed the little baby and then headed back out into the storm to return home.
Later that day he made his way all the way back to the farm to make sure that mum and baby were doing ok. As they were chatting Annie referred to his earlier visit and said to him: “You didn’t even get a cup of tea!” Dr Rattray replied that when he had left the farm that morning, walking past Herdhill in the snow, he had seen the most beautiful sunrise. That, he said, had been a very special moment for him.
Unsung heroes walk in our midst. May their stories continue to be told.