Granton War Memorial
John Telfer Kay
The name ‘Telford Kay’ appears on the Granton War Memorial along with the letters ‘RS’ to indicate that he served in the Royal Scots. Initial searches under this name were unsuccessful but reference to the Roll of Honour of the Edinburgh Institution (the school which later became Melville College) revealed the name ‘John Telfer Kay’. He was stated to have been the son of an Edinburgh wine merchant, Mr J Kay. The Edinburgh and Leith Post Office Directory for 1914 showed that James Kay, a wine merchant, lived at 10 Granton Road – an address that was then within the Parish of Granton.
The Roll of Honour indicates that he was the third son of James Kay and was born in Edinburgh in 1885. He attended the Edinburgh Institution from 1892 to 1894 and then went on to George Watson’s College. After leaving school he started on a commercial career and became the Scottish agent for Messrs C & T Harris of Calne, Wiltshire – a firm then famous for its pork pies, hams and sausages. At the time of the outbreak of the First World War he was based in York. He enlisted there but joined the 9th Battalion, Royal Scots – Edinburgh’s kilted Territorial Battalion which was often referred to as the ‘Dandy 9th’. In 1916 he was promoted to Lance Corporal.
He was killed in action on 9th April 1917 during fighting at Vimy Ridge. He is buried at Nine Elms Military Cemetery, Thelus.
He is also commemorated on the War Memorial of Inverleith Church and in the Watsonian War Record.