Moray 1914 and the key industries were fishing, farming, textiles and distilling. The herring industry was at its peak. But with the outbreak of war much was to change.

Fishing was to reduce drastically as markets were lost and men and boats were requisitioned or volunteered for war service. The ancillary industries, such as net making, were devastated.

Textile and woollen mills at Elgin, Keith, Knockando and elsewhere were required to switch from tweeds and smart fashions to khaki and tartan to meet the war effort.

Farming saw more and more women being drafted in to assist. The Cabrach never fully recovered from the absence of the men and the onslaught of harsh winters.

Distilling, which had accelerated in the previous twenty five years with the building of new distilleries, many designed by Charles Doig, required women to ensure the production levels required .

Forestry, already important, became vital. Canadian lumbermen became key to supporting production. Sawmills, staffed by an increasing number of women, grew in number and output.

The story of Moray’s industry during World War 1 is largely unknown and untold.

If you can help inform this story or want to carry out research, your input would be very welcome.

Farming harvest time
Harvest-time pre-war
Cullen Harbour
Fishing fleet in Cullen Harbour
Mortlach distillery 1895
Mortlach distillery 1895