Wartime Travel Restrictions

The Scotsman July 18, 1916.



In future travellers to the North of Scotland will find their facilities somewhat restricted. Notice has been given that in exercise of the powers conferred upon them by the Defence of the Realm (Consolidation) Regulations, 1914, the Army council, with the concurrence of the Secretary for Scotland, have, by order, declared that on and after the 25th day of July a specified area, roughly north of the Caledonian Canal, will be a Special Military Area. The area in question includes the Burgh of Inverness and the whole of the mainland of Scotland which is situated to the north and west of the River Ness, Loch Ness, the road leading from Invermoriston Pier by Glenmoriston to Strath-cluanie and the river Shiel to Shielbridge, Loch Duich, Loch Alsh, and the Kyle of Loch Alsh. Except as otherwise provided by the regulation, no person shall on or after that date be allowed to enter the area without permission from the Commandant at Inverness. Permit books containing forms of application, and instructions as to how applications should be made are obtainable from any police station. Persons exempted from the provisions of the regulations include members of His Majesty's Forces, officials of the Crown, any person under the age of sixteen years, all dock-yard men employed in the area, and all persons who are or have been since the outbreak of war resident within the area.or in any part of the counties of Inverness, Ross, Elgin or Nairn.

In view of the agitation in some quarters for the closer supervision of aliens and naturalised foreigners, the military authorities are confident that in taking this step they will have the support of the public. That the new regulations will cause some inconvenience will be at once apparent. Something like a Continental frontier station is to be established at Inverness, where, unless the official permit is in order, anyone will be liable to be turned back. The railway companies will naturally be called upon to co-operate to some extent, and no ticket will he issued to the restricted area except to a person in possession of a permit. The official permit will require to contain a photograph of the holder. Adequacy of purpose will have to be proved before such a permit is issued. Although a tourist may be quite an innocent person, it is pointed out by the military authorities that there may be strong reasons for refusing permission to enter the military area. Cameron of Lochiel has been appointed Commandant at Inverness, and with his intimate knowledge of the district as an asset, it is expected that the regulations will be administered tactfully and with a minimum of friction.


The Scotsman, July 24, 1916.


The Secretary for Scotland forwards the following, through the Press Bureau, for publication:-

It is thought desirable to bring the following points to the notice of persons requiring to travel to places in the North of Scotland Special Military Area.

The area includes the town of Inverness and the mainland of Scotland lying to the north and west of a line proceeding from Inverness to Invermoriston Pier (Loch Ness): from Invermoriston Pier along the road to Shiel Bridge; and thence to the Kyle of Loch Alsh by Loch Duich and Loch Alsh. The restrictions applicable to this area come into force on the 25th instant.

Any member of the general public, desiring to enter the Special Military Area should apply to the police of the district in which he resides for the necessary forms on which to make application for a permit.

Two photographs of the applicant measuring not more than one and a-half inch square will be required. After obtaining the forms from the police he will have to forward his application to the Deputy Commandant, Special Military Area, Inverness, in whom the power to issue permits is vested.

Passengers will not be booked by the railway companies to stations north or west of Inverness unless they produce a permit to enter the Special Military Area.

The restrictions on the general public do not apply to persons under the age of 16 years or to persons who are and have been since 4th August 1914 ordinarily resident in the Special Military Area or in any part of the counties of Inverness, Ross and Cromarty, Elgin, or Nairn.