Dumfries and Galloway Standard 18 July 1942, p 4

Rob Wanlock

Sir- In reply to the inquiry made by Herbert Reid in Wednesday’s “Standard” in relation to Robert Reid, the Wanlockhead poet, I wish to give him the few details of Robert Reid’s life that I know.

Robert Reid, better known as Rob Wanlock, was born on 8th June, 1850, at Wanlockhead.  He was educated at the village school, went to Glasgow at the age of fifteen, and then went to Belfast, engaged on commercial affairs.  In 1877 he went to Montreal.  He was with Henry Morgan & Company, Limited, until he retired in 1914.

In 1874, before leaving Scotland, he produced a volume entitled “Moorland Rhymes.” That volume contained one of his finest poems, “The Whaup.”

In 1894 Rob Wanlock published a second volume of poetry, entitled “Poems, Songs and Sonnets.” In this volume appeared Reid’s greatest poem, “Kirkbride,” perhaps one of the finest poems in the Scottish tongue.

Reid died in his residence, 600 Landsdown Avenue, Westmount, on 1st June 1922.  On several occasions he won the Kinnear Wreath offered by the North American Caledonian Association for the best Scottish song or poem of the year.  Robert Reid was poet laureate of the Montreal Caledonian Society, and for three years president of the Montreal Burns Club.

Reid was a true patriot.  All his best poems refer to Scotland or his own dear Wanlock.  As he himself says:

Proud mother, whose best son with reverence turns

To greet thee, land of Wallace, Knox and Burns

Yours, etc

Robert Black

Strathspey, Georgetown Road, Dumfries, 16th July 1942