The message could not have been clearer amid the ghastly fog of war. “This is not the time to play games, wholesome as they are in times of piping peace,” stated Field Marshal Lord Roberts in the weeks after Britain had declared war on Germany in August 1914. “We are engaged in a life and death struggle.”

The stern, pointing finger of Lord Kitchener, meanwhile, wanted you. And you. And you. They would come from a’ the airts in response to this rallying cry and the sportsmen of the nation stood up to be counted.

Among the abundant Pals Battalions which were forged from kindred spirits, the brothers in arms of the Niblick Brigade swapped the fairways for the frontline as a fighting force of golfers, roused and gathered by Albert Tingey, Charles Mayo and the decorated Scot, George Duncan, enlisted.

In the trenches near Armentieres, Tingey once reported the most serious incident was the loss of the B company rum ration. There was always gallows humour amid the dark desperation of appalling squalor, grim sacrifice and unprecedented slaughter.

The wider involvement of professionals, assistants and club makers in the Great War continues to be researched by the PGA and its former chairman and current heritage curator, Phil Weaver.

“We often wondered how many PGA golfers had died during the war but didn’t have a clue,” said Weaver, who has been aided in his delves and rummages by Scottish golf historian, Douglas MacKenzie. “The PGA became determined to find every single golf pro and club maker who went to war.

“We hope to create a permanent memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum and golf will be the first sport represented there. We will never close the files on this in case more names emerge. To not include anyone who deserves to be there would be unforgiveable.”

The Silver Scot, Tommy Armour, is perhaps golf’s most venerated First World War veteran. Despite losing the sight in his right eye and having plates inserted into his head and arm, Armour went on to win the US Open, the PGA Championship and the Open Championship.

Armour survived the grisly hostilities. Many more less-heralded golfers did not. Weaver’s research has, to date, uncovered the names of 103 young men, all eligible to be PGA professionals, who fell on the front with 33 of that number being Scots.

“Some clubs say ‘we’ve never heard of this chap’ and then when you explain the history they are astonished,” he said of this quest to raise awareness of those who paid the ultimate price for their bravery and duty.

“I know the members at Lanark, for instance, were flabbergasted when they were informed that their former professional, James Anderson, had gone to war and was killed. There are so many sad stories, but all are fascinating.”

The fate of two members of the Bridge of Weir Boys has particular poignancy. At the outbreak of the war, Robert Barr was employed as the assistant professional at Ranfurly Castle.

He volunteered in November 1914 and was enlisted in the 15th battalion of the Highland Light Infantry. A week earlier, Robert McDougall, a professional at the Old Ranfurly club, joined the same battalion.

Barr, 21, was killed by shrapnel on November 18, 1916 during the Battle of the Ancre, the final British offensive of the Battle of the Somme. On the same day, McDougall, also 21, was killed by a sniper’s bullet. “They are buried just four graves apart,” noted Weaver.

The tales are abundant. Davie Watt, the East Lothian pro who was one of the few left-handers in the game at the time, died of his injuries in 1917, just three years after he had won the Scottish PGA Championship while the story of Melrose-born James Milligan, one of four siblings, underlines the harrowing futility of conflict.

With an endorsement from the distinguished Ben Sayers, Milligan crossed the Atlantic to take up a club professional post at the Wyoming Valley Country Club in Pennsylvania.

And then came the war. One brother was killed, then another and then a third. Milligan returned home but soon enlisted too. Like his three siblings, Milligan would be killed in action.

An article in The American Golfer magazine of 1918 paid its respects. “It was a brave game you played, far bigger than any. And now the men, with whom you played another game, are to know gloriously you ended your last round . . .”