Soldiers found inside wallpaper identified

Mystery soldiers: Do you know who they are?
Mystery soldiers: Do you know who they are?

The identity of two soldiers whose pictures were found mysteriously hidden behind wallpaper in Stonehaven have been identified.

In October, Liz Wood was stripping wallpaper in her house in Stonehaven, when the two old pictures of the mystery soldiers fell out.

She brought them into the Mearns Leader office and we published them, and asked our readers to help us find out who they were.

Alastair Noble got in touch with us first. He identified the soldier on the left as James Noble, his father, who was with the Gordon Highlanders, and the soldier on the right as Alexander Leslie, his uncle.

Alastair sent a copy of that week’s paper to his cousin, Ian Leslie, who stays in Dumfries, who was able to tell us more in a letter. Of his father, Ian wrote: “He is in the uniform of the Royal Artillery, taken about 1941. When he signed up he wanted to join the Gordon Highlanders but because of the blitz in London he was sent to the RA anti-aircraft guns based at Woolwich, London, where he met and married my mother.

“After D Day he was sent back to the Gordons where he went to France, Belgium and Holland. After VE he was sent to Palestine as part of the peace-keeping force and was eventually demobbed about 1947.”

Alexander died in Dumfries in 2005.

Both men were farm workers in the Stonehaven area before and after the war. Alexander also worked at the Mains of Dunnottar.

Ian’s grandmother, Mrs Alice Leslie, lived on the Old Pier, Stonehaven, until her death in the 1970s.

How the pictures ended up concealed behind wallpaper remains a mystery. If you have the missing piece of the puzzle, please get in touch.