The 1st Galashiels Company was enrolled on 25th
February 1887, in the Central Hall and at that time was connected to the Parish
The Company was disbanded in 1891 and re-enrolled on the 23rd
December 1897. At that time the Captain and Chaplain was Rev. Alexander Waters,
an Assistant Minister, and the three Lieutenants were Thomas Dryden, John
Stirling McQueen and Thomas Spiers. Another two Assistant Ministers took over as
Captain and Chaplain, Rev. John Chalmers in 1899 and Rev. Walter Lamb in 1902.
Thomas Dryden became Captain in 1904 with Rev. David Hunter becoming Chaplain.
The Rev. Dugald Butler became Chaplain in 1907.
The 1st Galashiels Company continued to flourish
during the 1900s. On 16th September 1901, the Minister, Dr. Gloag,
informed the Kirk Session that an anonymous member of the congregation had
generously offered to supply funds for procuring instruments for a flute band
for the Boys’ Brigade. In addition to the flute band, the Company also had a
Bugle Band, and finally in 1927, they established the first Boys’ Brigade Pipe
Band in Galashiels.
At the end of the First World War, the 1st
Galashiels Company lapsed, but was reconstituted in 1922. During the 1920s, the
Company attended various Church Parades. They also attended summer camps at
North Berwick, Gullane and Bamburgh. They also took part in numerous
competitions, and this included a shooting competition known as the Strathcona
The following is recorded in the Company records:
“19th November 1928 – First Drill night in new Halls.
The day we have looked forward to for years.”
They are obviously referring to the Halls at St. Paul’s,
which were completed then.
On Monday 23rd March 1931, the first annual
inspection of the Company and prize giving was held. At the annual inspection
the following year, the Inspecting Officer, Thomas Dryden, was appointed
President of the Company. That same year, the Company took part in a Battalion
Parade at Melrose to celebrate the 31st Anniversary of the 1st
Melrose Company. The total number on parade was between 450 and 500. Also in
1932, the 4th Galashiels Company amalgamated with our Company, but we
must have split again later, as they are one of the four Companies in
The 1st Galashiels Company was represented at the
50th Anniversary of the Boys’ Brigade. At this jubilee Review in
1933, more than 32,000 Officers and Boys paraded at Queen’s Park, Glasgow, in
the presence of His Royal Highness, Prince George.
During the 2nd World War, the Halls at St. Paul’s
were used by the Army as a hospital and dental clinic. As a result, the 1st
Galashiels Company moved to Aidan’s Church, where the 1st/6th
Company was formed.
In 1946, the 1st Galashiels Company returned to
their own halls at St. Paul’s and have met there ever since. The Captain at that
time was Andrew Finlay, and one of his members was Jim Mills, who had been a
member of the 4th and 6th Companies before becoming a
member of St. Paul’s. When Andrew retired, Jim took over as Captain.
During 1962, the Company celebrated their 75th
Anniversary. At this time, the officers and Boys and members of the Congregation
converted the old hall of the church into the B.B. Chapel.
On Sunday 1st March 1987, the 1st
Galashiels Company celebrated its Centenary with a Thanksgiving Service and
When the Company started in 1887, there were four Officers
and thirty-four boys. Today, the Company consists of four Officers and
forty-three boys. Unfortunately, Volume I of the Company Register is missing.
Volume II starts from 1914, with the enrolment of the 539th boy,