Category Archives: GRANTOWN ON SPEY

From #Folkestone July 1915.

July 1915 was a busy month down at the harbour. I have a long list of the units,  and the dates they crossed from Folkestone in the draw. Lack of funding has more or less brought research into the embarkation of Units and soldiers to a halt. More soldiers do get added to the list most days but…. Anyhow I will continue to publish some of these soldiers as and when. These two soldiers both crossed to France from Folkestone on the same day, 9th July 1915. The first died from his wounds in 1927.  The second killed in action in September 1915.

7No. 10618 Lance Corporal Duncan Begg Mackintosh

7th Battalion Queens Own Cameron Highlanders,

Highland Light Infantry, and the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

Died of Wounds 21st June 1927.

Duncan Mackintosh was born in Grantown-on-Spey on the 19th November 1883. He was the eldest surviving son of Peter and Margaret Mackintosh of Rosemont, Grantown-on-Spey. Duncan enlisted in Inverness during October 1914 and joined the 7th Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders in Glasgow. He arrived in France with the battalion on the 8th July 1915. Duncan took part in the Battle of Loos in 1915 where on the 25th September 1915 he was wounded in the shoulder. After his recovery, Duncan went on to serve in Mesopotamia, now modern-day Iraq. He was reported in the Strathspey Herald, as being dangerously ill, on the 1st June 1916. During the Battle of San-I-Yat a bullet entered his left lung and exited through his spine. After a tiring journey by boat down the river Tigres he was transported by Hospital Ship to Bombay in India. Here he lost his left lung. Eventually, Duncan returned to Scotland and married Mary Robertson. They lived at 5 Kings Street Coatbridge. Duncan worked as a Master Watchmaker. Eleven years after being shot Duncan Begg Mackintosh died on the 21st June 1927. His death certificate records that he died from “Gunshot Wounds” On the Family Memorial in Inverallan burial ground Duncan is commemorated as “Dying from the effects of wounds received in 1917.” Duncan was awarded the 1915 Star, British War Medal, the Victory Medal, and the Silver War Badge. 8 9

S/6523 John Lawson, “C” Company 8th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders. (Ross-shire Buffs, the Duke of Albany’s)

Killed in action 25th September 1915

John was born in Paisley son of Mr and Mrs L Lawson of Achnahannet Grantown-on-Spey. A brother of Lewis Lawson of 13 South Street Grantown-on-Spey. He worked as a railway porter at Knockando. Arriving in France on the 8th July 1915 he was killed in action on the 25th September. His grave is now lost. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Grammar School Memorial in Grantown-on-Spey and on the Grantown-on-Spey War Memorial.

He fell where fall the dying brave,

Among the noble slain,

Nor Kindly love nor tender care

Could light that couch of pain.

Nor loving hands may kindly tend,

The sod above his breast,

But tender thoughts will ever haunt,

His far off place of rest.

(in Memorium, Strathspey Herald, 27th September 1917 and 26th September 1918)10

John Lawson was awarded the 1915 Star, War Medal, and the Victory Medal.

7 Information reproduced with slight editing, from Poppies from the Heart of Strathspey by, Peter Anderson, 2010

8 Morayshire Roll of Honour 1914-1918

9 Poppies from the Heart of Strathspey, Peter Anderson, 2010.

10Page 60, Poppies from the Heart of Strathspey, Peter Anderson 2010

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Enlisting and Trains “Train Window Death” #FWW #WW1

“Train Window Death” A very recent tragedy. It reminded me of Private 2778 James “Jas” George, 2/6th Seaforth Highlanders death over a hundred years ago. Jas had his head out of the window chatting to friends in another carriage. The train was approaching Grantown-on-Spey when he hit his head on a viaduct. He died shortly afterwards at Ian Charles Hospital in Grantown-on-Spey. Jas was 31 years old with four children. He is buried in Elgin New Cemetery.

Mind you getting a train wasn’t that easy.

Andrew Simpson was killed a few weeks before Jas. He was on his way to enlist and was killed in a railway accident in Bulawayo, Rhodesia. Andrew is not on any memorial that I know of.

Another man who had problems getting to a train was Alexander Cumming.

Alexander was born at Baillieward, Grantown-on-Spey, 11th October 1883. The son of John and Isabella McMillan Cumming of Garth Green, Grantown-on-Spey. He was a student at the Grammar School in Grantown-onSpey. Alexander’s first job was as an apprentice clerk in Lord Elgin’s Estate Office in Dunfermline in Fife. Then he emigrated to Canada. Here he became a rancher in Alberta.  In 1915 Alexander decided to enlist. Easy, walk downtown and sign on the dotted line. Or get a bus or a train to the nearest city. Alexander decided on a train. So he walked. Well, when I say “walked” that was only part of the way to the station. He then boarded a raft. This brought him a bit closer. He still had a way to go. He did what any self-respecting rancher would do. he completed the last part of the 300-mile journey to his nearest railway station by bullock waggon. This was by no means the end of his journey to enlist. That was just to get to the station. Alexander then crossed the Atlantic and made his way to his parents and then on to Elgin. Here he enlisted. His travels were not over. The army sent him to Salonica. Salonica was the end of his journey. Private S/18408 Alexander Cumming died of illness on Christmas day 1916. He is buried in Salonica, at Lambert Road Military Cemetery. He is commemorated on Grantown-on-Spey War Memorial, Grantown-on-Spey’s Grammar School’s War Memorial, and a family gravestone in Cromdale Churchyard.

Jas, Andrew, and Alexander are all included in my book Poppies from the Heart of Strathspey

 

 

Observations on the 1st July 1916 #FWW #WW1

IMG_8041There will be plenty written about the 1st of July  on the Somme in 1916. most of it repeated from previous years with the same tales, the same blame game. that is not the purpose of my blog though. There are plenty of books on the subject. plenty of views.  This blog is called Scarce Heard Among the Guns. The views and stories are mine, and hopefully rarely heard. two observations on the Somme, and the 1st July 1916. H ere is the first. The Somme was more than the 1st July 1916, and the dying continued long after the killing  was done. The photo above is the grave of Elliot Hector . He crossed to France from Southampton with the Middlesex Regiment on the 12th of March 1915 as a private. On the 12th May 1916 he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. Wounded in action he died from wounds on the 7th February 1925. He is not commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. As far as I know he is not on any war memorials. He is one of the many forgotten dead of the Some, yet hundreds walk past his grave. 2nd Lt EH Macintosh is buried in Shorncliffe Military Cemetery near Folkestone.

Not only is the Somme is not all about the 1st July 1916, as seen above. My second observation. Despite the  mass killings the nearly 20,000 British dead. The world did not end on that day.

On the 1st of July 1916 the the Grant Arms Hotel, The palace Hotel, and the Strathspey Hotel in Grantown-on-Spey, provided brakes, a type of bus, to take the children of Inverallen on their annual School picnic at Grant Castle.  There were games for the children, and plenty of food. Local accounts mentioned that even the sun managed to shine. At around 7pm the tired happy children were taken home on the brakes that had brought them to the castle.

These children grew up in one of the most exciting periods of history. Some lost fathers in war, a few were killed in war. The majority lived to see the first man on the moon. The age of transatlantic air travel. Free universal health care, a standard of living their parents would not have dreamed of. The dawn of an amazing world. yes the Somme saw an end of a certain predictable self reassured world. For others though their life was only just beginning, it would be an incredible hundred years.

Corporal Duncan Begg Mackintosh, Died of Wounds 21st June 1927.

No. 10618 Lance Corporal Duncan Begg Mackintosh

7th Battalion Queens Own Cameron Highlanders,

Highland Light Infantry, and the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

Died of Wounds 21st June 1927.

Duncan Mackintosh was born in Grantown-on-Spey on the 19th November 1883. He was the eldest surviving son of of Peter and Margaret mackintosh of Rosemont, Grantown-on-Spey. Duncan enlisted in Inverness during October 1914 and joined the 7th Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders in Glasgow. He arrived in France with the battalion on the 8th July 1915. Duncan took part in the Battle of Loos in 1915 where on the 25th September 1915 he was wounded in the shoulder. After his recovery Duncan went on to serve in Mesopotamia, now modern day Iraq. He was reported in the Strathspey Herald, as being dangerously ill, on the 1st June 1916. During the Battle of San-I-Yat a bullet entered his left lung and exited through his spine. After a tiring journey by boat down the river Tigres he was transported by Hospital Ship to Bombay in India. Here he lost his left lung. Eventually Duncan returned to Scotland and married Mary Robertson. They lived at 5 Kings Street Coatbridge. Duncan worked as a Master Watchmaker. Eleven years after being shot Duncan Begg Mackintosh died on the 21st June 1927. His death certificate records that he died from “Gunshot Wounds” On the Family Memorial in Inverallan burial ground Duncan is commemorated as “Dying from the effects of wounds received in 1917.” Duncan was awarded the 1915 Star, British War Medal, the Victory Medal, and the Silver war Badge. 1 2

1 Morayshire Roll of Honour 1914-1918

2 Poppies from the Heart of Strathspey, Peter Anderson, 2010.

#FWW #1WW #WW1 Donald Fraser A Piper of Loos,

No. S/1456, Donald Fraser, Piper.

 7th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, the Duke of Albany’s)

Killed in action, 25th September 1915, age 27.

Donald Fraser was born in Nethy Bridge the son of Donald and May Fraser of Station Cottages, Blair Athol, Perthshire. Nephew of Mr and Mrs Gordon of Ardverikie, Kinguissie. He enlisted at Fort George. Donald arrived in France on the 10th of May 1915 with his battalion. The bulk of the battalion crossed from Folkestone on the SS Queen. In the 7th Battalion. the Pipers piped the soldiers into the attack. and Donald was killed in action during the attack on the Hohenzollern Redoubt by the 7th, in the Battle of Loos. He was awarded the 1915 Star, British War Medal, and the Victory Medal. He was one of five pipers from the 7th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders killed, or dying of wounds, during the battle.

Today brings back sad memories,

Of one who was called to rest,

And those who think of him today,

Are those who loved him best.

(In Memoriam, Strathspey Herald. (Date unknown 1921?)

Inserted by his Aunt, Uncle and Cousins at Ardverkie) 1 2 3

1Poppies from the Heart of Strathspey, page 58, Peter Anderson,2010, ISBN978-0-9561750-4-5.

2Commonwealth War Graves Commission Web site