Tain Museum Image Library

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Tain Museum Image Library
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Photograph Collection of Thomas Robert Ross (born Strathpeffer, Scotland1891-1977). Photo of his brother James McDonald Ross (born Nov 17, 1893 - Nov 13, 1916) Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve -Able Seaman on Howe Ballalion. Family stories says he was killed in action by a sniper. His father was John Anderson Ross and mother Jane McDonald and they lived in Carrbridge, Scotland.
Picture added on 17 May 2017 at 11:45
It is not clear from your description of the photograph as to whether you may have established these following facts already.

During WW1 Winston Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty was aware that the Royal Navy had more sailors than they had ships, and most of them were either RNVR or RNR, essentially volunteers. So it was agreed with the Army that units of sailors would be formed under the generic title the Royal Naval Division(RND) and and the battalions within the RND (which also included Royal Marines) would take the names of famous Admirals, namely Howe, Hawke, Benbow, Collingwood, Nelson & Hood. The units fought bravely in both Gallipoli and in the trenches around Antwerp (they won 8 VCs) and were regarded by the Germans as one of the top four Divisions of the British Army!!.

If as the family story relates that James Ross was killed by a sniper then this could have happened in either Turkey at ANZAC Cove alongside commonwealth troops or on the front in Europe. In order to establish his Service Record you can approach the Ministry of Defence by completing the appropriate paperwork and they will send you details.

The definitive book on the Naval Division is by E C Coleman called Khaki Jack. Historically of course the Royal Navy has performed ashore in many theatres of war including the Boer War, and the subject book is called Field Gun Jack versus The Boers, by Tony Bridgeland both are available for Kindle.

I hope that helps with your family research. If you need any more advise please don't hesitate to get in touch. I am a retired Royal Navy living in Nairn and have done military research for my own family and helped other friends as well.
Added by John Hart on 17 July 2017
James was killed by a sniper on 13th November 1916.
I have copies of his records and newspaper photo and report.
Added by Michael Caldwell on 01 January 2018
John Anderson Ross was born at Rosehall in 1862. He was one of the six sons of Donald Ross, 1820-1904, gamekeeper at Loubcroy & his wife Roberta Anderson, 1832-1882. She was a daughter of John & Mary Anderson who had moved to the Inn at Bonar [later South Bonar] from Kiltearn about that year. Donald & Roberta were buried at Tutim.
Of their other sons, at least two moved to Lancashire where Hugh was Mayor of Wigan in 1905.
Roberta was my great aunt.

Added by Katharine Broome on 08 February 2019
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POWs helping at ArabellaDr Elizabeth Macbean Ross in Bakhtiari costumeWar Memorial, Ardgay/Bonar BridgeBlack Watch Army Camp c 1915Lovat Scout CampLovat Scouts on High StreetMr & Mrs Munro, FendomPreparing for WarLovat Scouts Camp, Tain, WWI