WW1 1915

Sergeant Simon Mackenzie.

4th Seaforth Highlanders. 

Died 06 February 1915.

Sergeant Simon Mackenzie was born at Fearn, Ross-shire and worked as a shepherd at Mounteagle Farm near Fearn before the outbreak of war. He enlisted at Tain and served with the 4th Bn. Seaforth Highlanders.

Simon was one of the many soldiers to succumb to disease due to the dreadful conditions in the trenches. Sergeant Mackenzie died of pneumonia on 6th February, 1916 aged 27 years.
Sergeant Simon Mackenzie was the son of Mrs M. Mackenzie, of Mounteagle, Fearn, he is also listed on the Fearn war memorial.

Remembered with Honour Bethune Town Cemetery.


Major William Robertson

4th Seaforth Highlanders,

​Killed in Action 11 March 1915

Major William Robertson was a farmer at Mounteagle Farm, near Fearn. He was a prominent member of the community, serving on various public bodies as well as being a Justice of the Peace. Major Robertson joined the volunteers as a private, commanded A (Tain) Company for years and ultimately became a junior major.Major Robertson was married with one son.
Major Robertson was killed during the battle of Neuve Chapelle. 

Remembered with Honour Pont-Du-Hem Military Cemetery.


Corporal Hugh Ross

​4th Seaforth Highlanders,

KIA, 11 March 1915

Corporal Hugh Ross was born at Tain. He worked as a baker at the Cameron Buildings before the war.
Hugh joined the Tain Company of the 4th Seaforth Highlanders and arrived in France in November 1914.
Corporal Ross fell at the battle of Neuve Chapelle on the 11th March 1915, only 4 months after arriving at the front. We do not know how old he was.

Remembered with Honour Le Touret Memorial


Private William Graham

4th Seaforth Highlanders,

KIA, 11 March 1915

Private William Graham was born in Alness and moved to Glenmorangie Farm near Tain where he joined the 4th Bn Seaforth Highlanders.
Although only 17 years old William served at the front as a stretcher bearer which was an extremely hazardous job. During the battle of Neuve Chapelle William was shot and killed whilst helping to carry their wounded officer Colonel Mason MacFarlane to safety.
A comrade sent a letter to William’s father expressing the sympathies of his section and an item was published in the local paper  about William entitled “4th Seaforths’ Hero”.

Remembered with Honour Le Touret Memorial


Private John Sutherland

4th Seaforth Highlanders,

KIA 11 March 1915​

Drummer John Sutherland was born in Tain and worked as a  Post Office messenger before the war. His address was the Schoolhouse, Tain. John enlisted at Tain and and became a member of the local 4th Bn. of the Seaforths.
John was one of two 17 year olds  serving with the Seaforths who were killed at Neuve Chapelle. He was helping to carry the Wounded Major William Robertson from the field when he was killed. Major Robertson later died from his wounds.

Remembered with Honour Le Touret Memorial.


Private Alexander Ross,

4th Seaforth Highlanders,

DOW, 12 March 1915

Private Alexander Ross was born at Tarbat in Easter Ross. His parents moved to work on St Vincent Farm in Tain and young Alexander also worked on the farm. He joined the local Territorials 4th Bn. Seaforth Highlanders and was sent to France in November, 1914.

He was severely wounded at the battle of Neuve Chapelle on 11th March, 1915 and died of his wounds in hospital the following day.
A newspaper article reported his death and recorded that Tain Town Council passed a minute of sympathy with the relatives of officers and men belonging to the district who had nobly given up their lives in the service of their country. Alexander was only 16 years old.

Remembered with Honour Boulogne Eastern Cemetery.


Captain John Henry Budge

4th Seaforth Highlanders,

 DOW, 14 March 1915​

Captain John Henry Budge’s father, Joseph, had been factor at Wemyss estate for over 30 years before the family purchased Easter Rarachie Farm near Nigg.
Captain Budge joined the local Territorials (4th Bn Seaforth Highlanders). On hearing the news that Captain Budge had been severly wounded at Neuve Chapelle his brother rushed to France to comfort him but arrived too late. Captain Budge’s remains were brought back to Scotland for burial at Tarbat Churchyard. A large number of mourners turned out to pay their respects to the gallant young Captain. After the service a contingent of the Black Watch fired three volleys over the grave and the bugler sounded the last post. The chief mourners were Captain Budge’s brothers - John, George and Wemyss.

Remembered with Honour Tarbat Parish Churchyard.


Private John Mackenzie

​4th Cameron Highlanders,

DOW, 16th March 1915

Private John Mackenzie was born at Kingussie and moved with his parents, Hugh and Jane Mackenzie to Queen Street, Tain.
Private Mackenzie, with his regiment, was involved in the battle of Neuve Chapelle. On 10th March 1915 thirty soldiers from his battalion were killed or wounded on one day.  Private John Mackenzie died of his wounds at the Duchess of Westminister's Hospital on 16th March. He had been at the Front for just one month.
He was 24 years old.
Private Mackenzie is buried at Le Touquet-Paris Plage Communal Cemetery.  


Private Matthew Urquhart

Royal Engineers,

KIA, 28th March 1915​

Private Matthew Urquhart was born in Tain where his main claim to fame was getting into trouble, when young, for stealing bottles which he and his friends then tried to sell. Matthew later moved to Canada. He returned to Britain to join the 55th Field C, Royal Engineers.
The Royal Engineers landed at Zeebrugge in the first week of October 1914, to assist in the defence of Antwerp, they arrived too late to prevent the fall of the city and took up defensive positions at important bridges and junctions to aid the retreat of the Belgian army. The 7th Division then became the first troops to entrench in front of Ypres, suffering extremely heavy losses in the First Battle of Ypres. By February 1915 the Division had been reinforced to fighting strength and they were in action at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, the Battle of Aubers and the Battle of Festubert.

Private Urquhart was killed in action on 28th March, 1915 aged 34.

Remembered with Honour Royal Irish Rifles Graveyard, Laventie


Private Munro Mackay 

4th Seaforth Highlanders,

KIA, 30 March 1915 

Private Munro Mackay was the son of Mr and Mrs George Mackay of Edderton Main, Edderton.
Pte Mackay worked as a gamekeeper for Sir Kenneth Mackenzie of Gairloch on the Conon estate. He was a keen Territorial before the war and was mobilised with Tain Company who went to France in 1914 as part of the  4th Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders.
Munro survived the battle of Neuve Chapelle unscathed only to be killed a month later on 30th March, 1915 aged 19. 
Munro’s brother was Donald Mackay who had been working as a valet in the the south of England when the war broke out. Donald joined the R.F.A and became a gunner in A Battery in the 4th Brigade. According to family tradition Donald was serving close to Munro when he was wounded and rushed to his brother’s side. By the time he reached him it was too late and Munro had died. 

Remembered with Honour, Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez


Lieutenant Arthur Cameron

2nd Seaforth Highlanders,

KIA, 25 April 1915 

Lt Arthur Ian Douglas Cameron was born at Arpafeelie in the Black Isle to Rev Angus Cameron and Mrs Elizabeth Cameron. Rev Cameron later moved to St Andrew’s Church in Tain with his family. Arthur was educated at Trinity College, Glenalmond, Norwich and Hanover. He joined the Special Reseve of the Seaforth Highlanders on 13th July, 1913 and was attached to the 2nd Bn. on the outbreak of war.

Arthur was killed in action on 25th April, 1915. He was 21 years old.

Col. R. S. Vandaleur writing to Arthur’s father said: “I saw and spoke to him not long before he fell, and he was then leading his men gallantly into the firing line. You will have heard how our brigade was ordered to attack early in the morning of 25 April; not knowing the ground or the exact position of the enemy we suffered terribly. We and the Waricks, supported by the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, were attacking on the left of the road leading to St Julien when we came under the fire of machine guns in a farm in front of us. Your son’s company was in support, and the last I saw of him was when he was leading his platoon up on the right of that farm.”

Arthur had two brothers who also served during the war. One brother, George Cameron, later become Provost of Tain.

Remembered with Honour Seaforth Cemetery, Cheddar Villa.


Lieutenant William Cameron

Transvaal Scottish,

KIA, 26 April 1915 

Lieutenant William Cameron was the youngest son of Duncan Cameron, Bank Agent with the Commercial Bank in Tain. William was educated at Tain Academy and George Watson’s College, Edinburgh after which he entered the Commercial Bank in Glasgow.
On the outbreak of the South African War William joined the Imperial Yeomanry. He served throughout the war earning a commission as Lieutenant,  also receiving two medals and five clasps.
After the war he settled in Johannesburg where he was secretary to the manager of the Anglo Section of the East Rand Proprietary Mines. At the start of the European War William volunteered and was appointed Lieutenant in the Transvaal Scottish. He served under General Botha in German West Africa and was killed by a shell during a German attack on South African Railway Protection Troops at Trekkopjis on the morning of 26th April, 1915.

William was married and had a daughter named Constance.

There is a plaque in Lt Cameron’s memory in the St Duthus Collegiate Church erected by his fellow officers as a mark of esteem.

Remembered with Honour Trekkopje Cemetery, Namibia


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