Visit to Kirkintilloch was Oz-some

family history
family history

THE son of a man who grew up in Kirkintilloch has re-traced his father’s footsteps during a visit all the way from Australia.

Robin Maitland, who lives in Victoria, came to the town with his cousin Ian Ferguson, who lives on the Isle of Arran.

They were kindly allowed to see inside the house where their parents grew up. The house, which was called Lethington, is in Bellfield Road.

Robin contacted the Herald earlier this year as he was keen to find out more about his late father William’s military service.

William’s parents, James and Katherine Cooper, lived in Kirkintilloch, but moved to Philadelphia - where William was born in 1897 - to work in the lace manufacturing industry.

Sadly, James died at a young age and William and his sister Ethel were sent to Kirkintilloch as children to live with their uncle, William Maitland, who owned ‘Lethington’ house.

Robin (74) said: “It was fulfulling to have seen the house. Ian is an architect and was able to recognise features of the original building. To see where the old man grew up was rather nice.

“I passed through Kirkintilloch 20 years ago. It wasn’t until I started looking into my father’s military history that I decided to come back and try and identify the old family home.”

After the war, William studied at Glasgow University and graduated as a veterinary surgeon in 1924.

He later emigrated to New Zealand and also spent time living in England, where Robin was born, before the family moved to Australia to settle in 1948. He passed away in 1976.

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