Moray Floods 1915

Moray Floods 1915

The headlines in The Northern Scot on 2 October 1915 succinctly summarized the biggest natural disaster to hit Moray since the great Moray Floods of 1829.

Disastrous Floods in the North

Unprecedented Scenes at Elgin

Traffic Blocked and Trains Delayed

Great Damage to Property and Crops

Many Bridges and Culverts Swept Away

In The Northern Scot Christmas Number of 1915, it was remembered that:

Friday 24th September 1915 was warm and pleasant – an ideal harvest day Much moisture, however, had gathered on the hills. The sky became dark and overcast, and early on Saturday a steady downpour of rain commenced, which continued without ceasing until Sunday night. The most startling effects of the flooding were probably witnessed in the Elgin district.

In the Souvenir of the Moray Floods by George Tyrrell, Photographer, Elgin, he recalled:

Floods such as these which occurred at Elgin, on Sunday and Monday, the 26th & 27th September, 1915, are rarely witnessed more than once in a lifetime. They are local landmarks, and if the year 1914 has been made memorable as the opening year of the Great War, 1915 will be memorable in local annals as the year of the second Moray Floods. The most alarming and picturesque incidents of the floods were probably to be witnessed at Elgin, which for a time was literally surrounded by extensive lakes of water. 

There is little doubt that the floods of 1915 had a significant effect on life and work across Moray and particularly the Elgin area as evidenced by the photographs and articles within this section of Moray’s War.

Active local newspapers and photographers captured the suffering and scenes for future generations and in the hope, that in the future, communities might be better prepared for such a disaster.

While the people of Moray were facing a deluge of wind and incessant rain, across in France and Flanders, on 25th September, 1915, her sons were facing the hell of the first day of the Battle of Loos. On that day alone, some 79 men of Moray were killed in action.

More info: 

Fleurs Farm, near Elgin September 1915
GNSR line near Elgin
The GNSR line near Elgin undermined by floodwater September 1915
Haughlands near Elgin September 1915
Troop train leaving Elgin Station September 1915