Meet the Man who 'shot up' Leith

Andrew and his driving bandThe 6 inch Naval artillery shell incident on the Fourth 1940. Told by Gunner Andrew Grant of Gilmerton. Andrew Grant a member of the Fourth Heavy Coastal Defence at Inchkeith fired a warning shot in front of an armed trawler as it headed towards one of our own mine fields on a February morning in 1940. Due to the angle of fire the shell bounced of the firth waters and struck a house in Salamander Street Leith.

(Pictured on right Andrew holds the driving band)

Fortunately the shell made of wood and filled with sand did not seriously injure the occupants, despite making a large hole in the front side of the building. Mrs Cairns received a slight graze to her head and was transported along with her 3 year old son Robert to Leith Hospital. Janet her daughter a bit older at eleven after being rescued by some neighbours ran to tell her dad Robert of the incident. Mr Cairns, finding his family safe inspected the damage.

This included interior furniture and plaster work, a kitchen sink, his raincoat and a teapot. The shell after being slowed by sand bags in the end ruined a hut at the rear of the house. 

thanksgiving booklet
The Crew of the gun instrument in this event heard what had occurred later in the day when visited by naval personnel. Andrew was astonished and relieved no one was permanently injured and as a momentum kept the driving band of the practice shell. In 1943 Winston Churchill ordered all A1 men to form fighting battalions. Andrew and fellow crew members joined the 11th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers.

The battalion was part of the Polar Bear Division, Montgomery's left flank. At the end of the war a service was held to commemorate the end of the European conflict for the famous Polar Bear division Second Army on the 5th June 1945. The Chaplain lead them in thanks for deliverance and sacrifices in this great cause. Andrew kept the Thanks Giving Service booklet (left) which signalled the end of his war. Andrew an ordinary soldier of Scotland returned to his previous employment as a bus driver, as if there had been no interruption in his life's path.

 Researched by Eddie Anderson and Eddie McCarthy.
The Gamekeeper Murders
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