Carlekemp during the First World War

Carlekemp was bought in 1945 by Fort Augustus Abbey School as a prep school. Prior to 1945, it had been a family home. The Benedictine Abbess of Holme Eden, formerly the Abbess of the Old Convent at Fort Augustus and the sister of Old Boy Lord Carmont, told her brother to ask St Benedict to find a buyer for Long Bellenden, a handsome property he owned in North Berwick in East Lothian. So it was that on 9 October 1945, after a considerable amount of searching for a suitable site, the boys finally came to the mansion house of Long Bellenden (now reverting to its former name of Carlekemp). The building had been designed in 1898 by John Ross for the papermaker James Craig. Taken from Abbey Boys by Mike Turnbull (p261)

By 1918, the house was owned by a Mrs Addie. During the First World War and shortly afterwards, Carlekemp was used as a place for soldiers to convalescence there in 1918-19, recovering from serious wounds received from the battlefields in France. Huntly Gordon, a field gunner, was one such recipient of the care received and his son Gordon is about to republish his father’s memoirs called ‘The Unreturning Army’ which also includes an account of his time convalescing at Long Bellenden (aka Carlekemp). 3 photos of Huntly Gordon in 1918 can be found in the photo gallery in the Carlekemp album.

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