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Volunteer researchers reveal history of Pullar House workers who perished in WWI ahead of centenary service

Councillor Chris Ahern has heaped praise onto the researchers.
Councillor Chris Ahern has heaped praise onto the researchers.

A special service will be held next weekend to remember the 61 employees of J Pullar and Sons who perished in the First World War.

The service will mark 100 years since a memorial plaque was installed at the Kinnoull Street building which, after a major refusrbishment, has housed Perth and Kinross Council departments for the past two decades.

The premises was rebuilt in 1865 under the name of North British Dyeworks and is thought to be the earliest dry cleaning enterprise in Scotland.

In total, 478 employees from the cleaning and dying dynasty’s Perth operations fought in the war.

A handful of employees who fell in the Second World War had their names added to the roll of honour later.

A team of council workers based at Pullar House have spent the last three and a half years delving into the lives of the men immortalised on the Kinnoull Street stone tablet.

Supported by local and families history staff at Culture Perth and Kinross, volunteers have been researching names such as two former St Johnstone stars, John Cameron and Bert Sampson.

The group has been keeping followers updated on social media, posting details about each of the men on the anniversary of the day each was killed.

An exclusive display of historic photographs will also mark the centenary.

Starting on Monday, a fortnight-long exhibition containing images of the soldiers, along with information uncovered by the council’s volunteer research team, will be on show in the foyer area inside Pullar House.

Representatives from St Johnstone and Perth and Kinross Council’s Armed Forces Champion councillor Chris Ahern will lay wreaths during the Saturday service, at 11am.

The volunteers have invited the families of the men listed on the memorial to join them for the event.

Conservative Councillor Chris Ahern said: “We’ve held a service there every Remembrance Day. There’s a group who attend that sing as well.

“It’s got bigger over the past three years and this is something special. We’d really like for as many relatives of the employees who fell to attend.”

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