Beyond the Battlefields: An Argylls story through objects

This month, we would like to take a look at the amazing collection that belonged to Sergeant James Fisher who joined the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in 1901 until 1918 – which means he served in both the Second Boer War and World War One. The relatives of Fisher have shared his story with the museum and allowed us to document the incredible objects so that his experience is never forgotten.

James Fisher pictured on the left.
Photo credits: The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Museum

James Fisher was born at Kilchrean near Inverary in Argyllshire in 1882. On enlisted to The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in 1901 his civilian trade was noted as “joiner”. James’s first experience of war was on the battlefields of South Africa during the Boer War with the 1st Battalion. Returning from the war he was employed as a pioneer and Regimental joiner with the Battalion until being released from service in 1904.

Image shows the back of (the then) Private James Fishers 1914 star.
Photo credits: The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Museum

Re-engaging in 1913, he was mobilised in Stirling in August 1914 and posted to the 2nd Battalion. Fisher was sent to France on the 10th August 1914 but was invalidated to the UK with a knee problem in October the same year. He was transferred to the 3rd Reserve Battalion and eventually returned to the front to join the 10th (Service) Battalion in May 1918. It was during this part of his service that Sergeant James Fisher was badly wounded with machine gun fire in the September of 1918, near the River Somme.

Notes which describe James Fisher  as well as the three bullets that wounded him.
Photo credits: The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Museum

His service papers describe Fisher as 5 foot 7 inches, with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair. The note below the bullets also reveal that Fisher was wounded twice in his chest and once in his left hip but thankfully Fisher survived. However, the injuries resulted in his discharge from the army on the 5th of December 1918 as he was “no longer physically fit for war service” after 17 years. The three bullets that hit Fisher were removed from his body The first bullet on the left hit Fisher’s rib and was consequently dented when it deflected by the bone.

James Fisher with his wife Mary Meekison, 1913
Photo credits: The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Museum

Fisher returned home to his wife Mary after his discharge. James and Mary were married on the 6th of June 1913 in Arbroath, and they had two sons named Ian and Wilfred. After his service, Fisher became a chauffeur for Lord Lovatt. The period sunglasses are also a cherished part of the collection.

Fisher’s sunglasses
Photo credits: The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Museum

If you have any historic objects and stories of individuals related to The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and would like to share them but do not wish to donate the items, then the museum welcomes this so that we can keep stories living forever more. Then we can arrange an appointment to the museum so we can photograph any objects, scan any documents and photographs, or perhaps you have some good quality images yourself.  

Gaming dice Fisher carried with him throughout his service.
Photo Credits: The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Museum

If this is something you would like to know more about, you can email the museum team on museum@argylls.co.uk

Written by Caitlin Stewart, Digital Content Volunteer