Thursday, 1 November 2018

James Bell SALMOND (1891 - 1958) – Scottish soldier poet of WW1

Information kindly supplied by Patrick Anderson, Second Cousin of James Bell Salmond.

James Bell Salmond was born on 8th December 1891 in Arbroath, Scotland, which was then in the County of Forfarshire (now Angus).  His parents were James Boath Salmond and Annie Bell Salmond, nee Duncan .  James's father was also an author.  He died in 1901, while James was still at school.

James Bell Salmond was educated at Arbroath High School and in 1909, he won the  dux  medal for English.  He went on to study at University College, Dundee for a year and then went to St. Andrews University in Fife.

After graduating from university, James moved to London to become a journalist. When WW1 broke out, he was a member of the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps.  He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the  Black Watch, serving in the 7th Battalion in  France.

James was sent to Craiglockhart Hospital in Edinburgh from 25th June to 13th November 1917.  During 1918, he became Editor of the war hospital magazine and his sub editor was Second Lieutenant  Wilfred  Owen.  When Lieutenant Salmond returned to the Western Front, Wiflred Owen took over the editorship of the magazine.  Captain Seigfried Sassoon MC was also a patient at Craiglockhart at that time and he also submitted articles for publication .     

James B. Salmond was promoted to the rank of Captain in the Black Watch and in 1919  he was discharged due to Government cuts in the forces in the UK. He went to work for as a journalist for the media company  D. C. Thompson in  Dundee.  He became Editor of the Scots Magazine until 1948, when he became Head of Manuscripts at  St  Andrews University.

James died in 1958, leaving a legacy of books - among them one about General Wade and another about the 51st Highland Division during the Second World War.