WW1 1917

CSM Donald Ross

10th Bn., Gordon Highlanders

DoW, 16th March 1917


CSM Donald Ross was born at Tain. He worked as a Police Constable in Bannockburm before the outbreak of the war.

Donald enlisted in the Gordon Highlanders and died of his wounds on 16th March, 1917

He was 24 years old.




Remembered with Honour Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension


Private John Mackay

4th Seaforth Highlanders

KIA, 06th April 1917

Private John A Mackay was born at 11 Ross Street, Tain. He was the sixth of nine children born to  Mr Donald Mackay and his wife Jessie.  John was called after his grandfather John Mackay who was the Grieve  at Rhives Farm on Balnagown Estate. His middle name Alexander was from his uncle Alexander Macandrew Ross who was the founder and first editor of the “North Star” newspaper. Before the war John worked for Mr Duncan Matheson who was a grocer in Tain.

John joined the 4th Bn Seaforth Highlanders in 1915 and posted to 1st/4th Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders in October 1916.

He was killed in action near the village of Ecurie on 6th April, 1917, immediately prior to the Battle of Arras. He was 23 years old.

Remembered with Honour Anzin-St. Aubin British Cemetery


Sergeant David Urquhart

15th Battalion Royal Scots

KIA, 09th April 1917

Sergeant David G Urquhart was born at Tain. He was the son of a Bailie of the town. David went to Art College where he met Sir Robert Inches. After the outbreak of war Sir Robert raised a regiment of Royal Scots which David immediately joined.
The 15th and 16th Battalions of the Royal Scots were serving at Arras south of Roclincourt. Initially the 16th led the assault with the 15th in support. The fighting was intense and much raw courage was called for from both battalions. By the time the 15th was due to advance on the Brown Line its fighting strength had been reduced to only four officers and not much more than 100 soldiers. Both battalions were relieved on the night of 14/15 April until returning to the line, in the Point du Jour area, on 23 April.

David became a Sergeant and was killed leading his platoon into action after all the officers had fallen. He died on 9th April, 1917 aged 33.

Remembered with Honour Arras Memorial


Private Andrew Rose

7th Seaforth Highlanders

KIA, 09th April 1917


Private Andrew Rose  presents us with a problem. He is listed on the War Memorial as serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps but the only Andrew Rose from Tain that we can find was in the 7th Bn Seaforth Highlanders.

If we have the correct Andrew Rose, he was the son of Councillor Rose of Tain and was killed in action on the 9th of April, 1917.

We do not know how old he was.

Remembered with Honour

Ste. Catherine British Cemetery


Private John Hendry

4th Seaforth Highlanders

KIA, Between 8th-10th April 1917

Private John Hendry was born at Tarbat and worked as a farm servant at Rockfield near Portmahomack before the war.

John joined the 4th Bn Seaforth Highlanders and went to France in November, 1914.

He was killed in action on 8th April, 1917.

He was 22 years old.

Remembered with Honour

Nine Elms Military Cemetery, Thelus


Private James Ross

4th Seaforth Highlanders

KIA, 10th April 1917


Mrs Ross, 6 Thornhill, Tain, has been informed that her husband, Pte. James Ross, Seaforths, was killed in action on April 10th. He took part in the great struggle on Easter Monday. Thirty-eight years of age, a tailor to trade, he was employed with Mr R. Calder, clothier, before joining up. Deceased was an excellent citizen, quiet and loyal in the discharge of his duties. The community sympathise deeply with his widow, by whom and one child he is survived.
The only brother of Pte. Ross is serving with the London Rifle Brigade in France.

Remembered with Honour

Roclincourt Military Cemetery


Private Robert Michael

4th Seaforth Highlanders

DoW, 10th April 1917

Private Robert Michael was born at Kilmuir and lived in Milton, Kildary before the war. He worked for Messrs Macdonald Ltd., timber merchants of Inverness as a sawmiller.

Robert joined the 4th Bn Seaforth Highlanders and went to France in November, 1914. He survived several severe engagements and was promoted to Lance Corporal. Robert was  fighting with the Machine Gun Corps when he was shot in the head. Robert died at the Casualty Clearing Station on 10th April, 1917.

He was 27.

Remembered with Honour Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension


Sergeant Alan Cameron

2nd Seaforth Highlanders

KIA, 11th April 1917

Sergeant Allan Cameron was born at Oban and moved with his parents to Nigg, Ross-shire where he worked as a carpenter at Westfield Farm. Allan married and lived with wife Flora and their child at Lochslin Cottage, Fearn.

Allan joined the Seaforth Highlanders and went to France with them in November, 1914. He was wounded in 1915 and while in hospital his time of service came to an end. Allan voluntarily re-enlisted and returned to France in October 1916.
The Chaplain sent a letter to Allan’s widow explaining “Sergt. Cameron went into action on 11th April. During the attack someone had seen him wounded, but they were unable to bring him in, and, along with others he had to be reported ‘wounded and missing’. It was a whole month before that piece of ground where he was lost was won from the enemy, and his battalion was not at that point then. But other British troops found his body and buried him there. They sent a few things that were in his pockets to the base, and they will be forwarded in due time.”

Allan’s widow spent several weeks waiting to hear of her husband’s fate. Eventually after making inquiries Mrs Cameron learned of his death.

He was 26.

Remembered with Honour Brown's Copse Cemetery, Roeux


Sergeant Donald Fraser

6th Cameron Highlanders

KIA, 11th April 1917


Sergeant Donald Fraser was born at Tain. He enlisted in the Lovat Scouts and was serving with the 6th Bn Cameron Highlanders when he was killed in action on 11th April, 1917.

Donald was married to Annie Fraser of Skinnerton and had at least one child who included him on Annie’s gravestone showing that although Donald had been dead for many years his family did not forget him.

Donald’s age is recorded on his military records as 29 and on his memorial stone as 31.

Remembered with Honour Arras Memorial


Private James Cormack

4th Seaforth Highlanders

KIA, 23rd April 1917


Private James Cormack was born at Edderton, Ross-shire. He worked as a ploughman on Moultavie Farm near Alness where his father was the foreman.

James joined the 4th Bn. Seaforth Highlanders and was mobilised in 1914. He was wounded and on recovery sent to a different Seaforth battalion.

James was killed in action on 23rd April, 1917. He was 21 years old.

At the time of his death James’s brother was still alive and serving in the forces. Two of James’s uncles had already been killed in the war.

Remembered with Honour Arras Memorial


Private Peter Williamson

4th Seaforth Highlanders

KIA, 24rd April 1917

Private Peter Williamson  was born at Fodderty, Ross-shire.  He was one of five sons of Mr and Mrs Williamson, Birch Cottage, Edderton who were all serving with the Colours. Before the war Peter worked for Mr Donald Mackay,who was a farmer at Meikle Daan, Edderton.

Peter joined the 4th Bn. Seaforth Highlanders on the outbreak of war and went to France about a year before his death. He had been involved in much severe fighting. Peter was killed in action on 23-24th April, 1917. He was 22 years old.

At the time of Peter’s death two of his brothers were serving on the Front, one had been wounded and was in England in hospital and another was training in Scotland.

Remembered with Honour Arras Memorial


Sergeant James Ross

4th Seaforth Highlanders

DOW, 12th May 1917


Sergeant Ross was born at Rockfield, Ross-shire. He was working as a labourer at Rockfield before the war.

James joined the 4th Bn. Seaforth Highlanders and rose to the rank of sergeant. He died of wounds at home on 12th May, 1917 and is buried in Tarbat Churchyard, Portmahomack. He was 22 years old.

Remembered with Honour

Tarbat Parish Churchyard


Private John Robertson

16th Highland Light Infantry

KIA, 02nd July 1917

Private John Robertson was born at Nigg. He served his apprenticeship with Messrs Wallace & Fraser, Tain and prior to the war he had been working with Messrs Fraser & McColl, Ironmongers, Inverness. John was married and lived with his family at Murray Place, Inverness.

James joined the 16th Bn. Highland Light Infantry and arrived at the Front in April 1917. He was killed on 2nd July, 1917. James was 33 years old.

James’s brother Pte. Francis D Robertson was in the Seaforth Highlanders. He had been severely wounded in the arm in the Battle of Arras and was still in hospital at the time of James’s death. Francis was said to be making an excellent recovery as regards his general health but was not expected to be fit enough for further service in the field.

Remembered with Honour Ramscappelle Road Military Cemetery


Private John Nicol

11th Bn., Essex Regiment

KIA, 09th June 1917

Private John Nicol was born at Tain. He was the son of James and Olivia Douglas Nicol who lived at 2 Shandwick Street, Tain.

John joined the 11th Bn Essex Regiment and was promoted to Lance Corporal. He was killed in action on 9th June, 1917. He was 36 years old.

We do not have a photograph of John.

Remembered with Honour

Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe


Private Kenneth Ross

6th Bn., Cameron Highlanders

DOW, 22th July 1917


L/Cpl Kenneth Ross was born at Tain. He worked as a printer before the war.

Kenneth joined the 6th Bn. Cameron Highlanders. He died of wounds on 22nd July 1917 aged 31.

We do not have a photograph of L/Cpl Ross.


Remembered with Honour

Dozinghem Military Cemetery


Captain Andrew B Ross

Royal Army Medical Corp

KIA, 5th August 1917

Lieutenant Andrew B Ross, son of James Ross of Pollo, Delny was educated at Edderton Public School and Tain Royal Academy. He went on to Edinburgh University where he gained the Vans-Dunlop Scholarship and achieved M.A. and M.D. degrees.Dr Ross was interested in practising medicine rather that surgery and wrote a number of papers and treatises on subjects. He studied pathology and bacteriology under Dr Delpine of Manchester.

Andrew volunteered with the Royal Army Medical Corps and was granted a commission travelling to France on 7th August, 1916.

Andrew returned home on leave on July 25th, 1917 and received a telegram recalling him to the front the very next day. He returned to France at once and was killed attending to his duties in the advance at the east of Ypres.

Andrew died on August 5th, 1917 - one day after his 39th birthday.

Remembered with Honour Dickebusch New Military Cemetery Extension


Private James Sharp Ness

7th Bn., Gordon Highlanders

DoW, 16th September 1917

Private James Sharp Ness was born at Nigg, Ross-shire. He was the son of Charles and Eliza Ness of Calrossie Main, Nigg Station, Ross-shire. James was educated at Tain Royal Academy and went on to Edinburgh University where he had completed the first year of a veterinary course when war broke out.

James joined the Lovat Scouts and was later transferred to the 7th Bn. Gordon Highlanders. James died of his wounds on 16th September, 1917. He was 21 years old.

Remembered with Honour

Dozinghem Military Cemetery


Lance Corporal William Anderson

4th Bn., Seaforth Highlanders

KIA, 21st September 1917

L/Cpl William Anderson was born at Elgin. He went to school at Tain Royal Academy and then to Edinburgh University where he studied medicine. William was married to Jeanie G. Anderson of Craigard, Newtonmore, Inverness-shire.

William joined “A” Coy 4th Bn. Seaforth Highlanders. He was killed in action on 21st September, 1917.

He was 31 years old. We do not have a photograph of him

Remembered with Honour Tyne Cot Memorial

Private Thomas A Ewing

2nd., Seaforth Highlanders

KIA, 4th October 1917

Private Thomas A Ewing was born at Portmahomack. His father was the schoolmaster at Tarbat Old Public School for 39 years.

Thomas joined the 2nd Bn Seaforth Highlanders and was killed in action near Ypres on 4th October, 1917. He was around 20 years of age.

Thomas’s brother John had been killed in action on 1st May, 1915. Both brothers are remembered on their father’s gravestone.

We do not have a photograph of Thomas.

Private William A Mackenzie

44th Bn., Australian Infantry

KIA, 18th October 1917

Private William A Mackenzie was born at Tain. William had been a member of the 4th Seaforth Highlanders and had served during the Boer War with the Seaforths. He was entitled to the Queen South Africa Medal with a clasp for Transvaal.

William joined the 44th Bn. Australian Infantry which formed part of the 11th Brigade of the 3rd Australian Division. The Division was known as “Old Bill’s Thousand” after it’s first commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel William Mansbridge. The battalion left Australia on 6th June and proceeded to Britain for further training. They arrived in France on 27th November and entered the front line trenches of the Western Front for the first time on 29th November.
The 44th spent the winter of 1916-17 alternating between service in the front line and training and labouring in the rear areas. The battalion fought it’s first major battle at Messines , in Belgium, between 7th and 10th June. In the months that followed it was heavily employed in the Ypres sector. Of the 992 men from the battalion who were involved in the Ypres operations only 158 emerged unwounded when it was relieved for a rest on 21st October.
William was killed in action on 18th October, 1917, three days before the battalion was relieved. He was 43 years old. We do not have a photograph of him.

Remembered with Honour Tyne Cot Cemetery

Sergeant John Ross

4th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders

KIA, 22nd October 1917

Sergeant John Ross was born at Tain. He joined the 4th Bn. Seaforth Highlanders.

According to an entry in the 4th Seaforth diary;
“On 21st October the Battalion relieved the 7th Argyll and Sutherland in the line, Nos. 1 and 2 Companies in the front line and Nos. 3 and 4 in support and reserve respectively. One man was killed and one wounded by shell fire after the relief but otherwise everything was very quiet.
The 2nd Royal Lancasters came up in relief on the 28th.”

Sergeant Ross was the unfortunate man killed on that day.

We do not know his age.

Remembered with Honour Wancourt British Cemetery


Private Walter Mackay

51st Bn., Australian Infantry

KIA, 24th October 1917

Private Walter Mackay was born at Tain. He moved to Perth, Australia and joined the 51st Bn. Australian Infantry.

According to a report from the 53rd General Hospital in Boulogne, Private Mackay died as a result of “gas poison received in action”. Walter died on 24th October, 1917.

He was 32 years old.

Remembered with Honour Wimereux Communal Cemetery

Rifleman James Grant

8th Battalion, Post Office Rifles

KIA, 30th October 1917

Private James Grant was born at Tain.  He was the son of Mr and Mrs Grant, Woodside, Highmills Road,Tain.
James worked for the Post Office and joined the Post Office Rifles, part of the London Regiment, as soon as he was of age.

James was posted as missing in action  on 30th October, 1917 and it was concluded after nine months that he must have died on this date. James was 22 years old.

The historian and military writer Charles Messenger in his history of the 2nd/8th Londons in the Great War describes the events of 30th October. “It was a disaster. Initially the battalion had managed to advance some 500 yards and had managed to establish some sort of outpost line, but this was ordered to be abandoned during the night. Five officers were killed, and a further five wounded. Of the men, thirty-four were definitely known killed and forty-two wounded, but staggeringly no less than 173 were posted as missing. Drowned in shell holes, wounded and died of exposure, killed and their bodies torn into unrecognisable fragments by shell fire, were some of the reasons why they could not be traced.”

Remembered with Honour Tyne Cot Memorial


Sergeant Angus Fridge

4th Bn., Seaforth Highlanders

KIA, 20th November 1917

Sergeant Angus Fridge was born at Tain. His parent, Mr and Mrs Fridge of 18 Stafford Street, Tain and already lost one son William in 1916.

William and Angus had gone to France together with the 4th Bn Seaforth Highlanders in November 1914.

Angus was wounded three times but always returned to service. He was killed in action on 23rd November, 1917. He was 23 years old.

Lieut. Campbell said in a letter to Mr and Mrs Fridge “ ‘Angie was the most popular man in the section, and his cheerfulness, his eagerness to volunteer for a task, however dangerous, and, above all, his fine sense of duty endeared him to all.”.....For Angus I had the greatest admiration, as also I had for your dear son Willie who fell last year - two of the noblest boys who ever joined the ranks of the regiment they loved and honoured.”

Remembered with Honour Cambrai Memorial, Louverval



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