Private George Telford

Private George Telford

A Hawick man by the name of Private George Telford, of the Mechanical Transport, A.S.C., is pictured in charge of an engine with which he would have been responsible for moving heavy guns about.

He named his engine 'Teribus', which hails back to the supposed battle cry of Hawick men at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. This led to it becoming a famous local ballad which still gets sung to this day as part of Hawick's Common Riding in June of each year.

As the song goes, "Teribus ye teri odin, Sons of heroes slain at Flodden, Imitating Border bowmen, Aye defend your rights and common".

The Hawick News reported that "In the course of his duties, Telford would have frequently came across Hawick men and other Border men to whom the sight of something bearing such a magic name was as refreshing as a breath of fresh air from their native hills."

In his time at war Telford would, like many others, send letters home.

One such letter; to a friend in Hawick read, "The heat is very great here yet, and the flies, in fact all vermin, are something wicked. I enclose a photo of a snake I killed in the camp myself. It is 5ft. 6in. in length and 4½in. in diameter. You might please show it to The Hawick News, and ask them to publish it to let the Hawick people see what sort of company we have out here!"

And indeed his friend did show the photo to The Hawick News and it was published it for all to see.

George Telford and his 'Trebus' engine. Courtesy of 'Hawick and the War' by The Hawick News.
George Telford and snake. Courtesy of 'Hawick and the War' by The Hawick News.