Appeal for information on lives of two Moray WW1 soldiers

Two Moray soldiers were among those who left messages at Peterbourgh Station
Two Moray soldiers were among those who left messages at Peterbourgh Station

INFORMATION ON TWO Moray soldiers who penned messages at a railway station visitors book on their way to serve in the First World War is being sought by historians.

The names of Private John Gault from Lossiemouth and Gunner Jos Allen, who is believed to have been from Elgin, appeared on the book that had lain undiscovered in a Peterborough Library for over 80 years.

Both had left messages in the book after it was established in 1916 at the Peterborough East station tearoom, which catered for soldiers by providing non-alcoholic drinks and words of comfort as they made their way to the front.

The visitors books were unearthed eight years ago and sparked a project that has seen historians and researchers look into the details of those servicemen who made entries. Project leader is Richard Hunt, who said: “Some are just simple words of thanks but others talk of love and hope.

“They provide a unique insight to the servicemen’s thoughts and feelings – we want to try and paint a personal picture of the men who once found comfort in Peterborough. We have found some of the facts of some of their lives, but are appealing for their descendants to come forward and add colour to the stories of these heroes.”

The project team have established a website at where information and photographs will be shared from Friday, May 6 – the centenary of the first entry in the books. The site already contains a great deal of information including a means of leafing through the book entries.

It is hoped that the personal story of every soldier who made an entry will have his personal story told on the website. The team behind the website can be contacted by email to

Was either soldier a family descendant? Do you have information on their lives?  Please copy into your email to the researchers so we can share it with our community.