History of the Foundation

The genesis of The 1926 Foundation lies with Kelso High School, which John Cawthorn attended.

The Foundation began supporting the School by presenting two prizes at the Annual Celebration of Achievement Evening. The first is a prize for the best essay about the annual trip to the Battlefields, which the Third Year students undertake each year. We also present a prize for the best dissertation by S6 students, on varied subjects. The standard of writing in both cases is extremely high, year on year.

It is hoped that the Foundation will eventually be able to extend this support to other areas of the School’s activities, and then, ultimately, to other aspects of the life of Kelso and surrounding villages.

The Russell Cawthorn Collection

The Russell Cawthorn Collection is a considerable collection of volumes on the subject of The Great War and Associated Conflicts. The first book to appear was Martin Middlebrook’s study of “The First Day on The Somme”. It was the Middlebrook book which first sparked John's interest in the Great War, and so the collection began.

There are more than 2,000 individual publications in the Collection, and this number is increasing at somewhere between 100 and 150 volumes each year.

“Where is the coward that would not dare to fight for such a land as Scotland?”