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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
Comments:
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
Just to add to the Lancashire connection. One of the other brothers, Robert Anderson Ross (my g.grandfather), ran a wines and spirits business in Bolton, Ross Munro & Co. My Grandfather Andrew Anderson Ross continued the business until his death in 1964. My mother was Kathleen Roberta Ross.
I still reside in Bolton; one of my sons being named Jack Anderson Whyte.
Added by Richard Anderson Whyte on 22 June 2019
HUGH ROSS

Mayor of Wigan 1905-06



Hugh was born 4th November, 1866 to parents Donald Ross and his wife Roberta they were living at Loubcroy, in the parish of Kincardine, Rosshire, Scotland.

Hugh’s father Donald, was a forester and head gamekeeper to Sir Charles Ross Bart.

Hugh was one of six sons born to the couple.



He evidently left Scotland in 1888, originally having the intention to seek his fortune in Australia, but came first to visit a brother who was living in Bolton, here he took up employment as a representative, working for George Munro & Co., a local wholesale wine and spirit merchant and a fellow Scot by birth.



At the time of the 1891 census Hugh was living in Wigan, in lodgings at No. 123 Standishgate he is recorded as being a Traveller – ale & spirits



Hugh married Deborah Rimmer, on 10th, January 1894, at St. George’s Church, Wigan. Deborah was a widow some six years older than himself whose previous husband William Rimmer, had been licensee of the Clarence Hotel in Wallgate, Wigan. After their marriage Hugh became licensee of this establishment.



Hugh’s employer George Munro died in April 1894 following which, Hugh founded his own company Ross, Munro & Co. with premises in King Street West. The company flourished, buying out several other old established firms in neighbouring towns. These firms being:-

Law and Buckley, of Oldham, est. 1836.

Loader and Co. of Bradshawgate, Bolton, est. 1829.

Bromilow and Sons, of Bolton, est. 1851.



He had also became involved with running the 8th Scottish Volunteers which were associated with the King’s Liverpool Regiment, in recognition of his efforts, he was offered a commission in the regiment which he decided not to accept due to his business commitments.



He did in 1901 however, stand for election and enter Wigan Town Council as the representative of All Saint’s Ward; he served as vice-chairman of the Health Committee, and as deputy Mayor 1904-05.



In the 1905 elections, Hugh was returned (unopposed) as representative for All Saint’s Ward following which in November of that year he was elected as Mayor.



During his year of office, on Wednesday 21st, February the Mayor and Mayoress, hosted an “at home” afternoon in the Old Council Chamber at the Borough Courts, Wigan, this was attended by a very large number of ladies and gentlemen of the town and took the form of a concert, the music provided by Messrs. Grime & Sons band.

The concert was followed by the Fire Brigade providing demonstrations of the speed with which they were able to harness their horses and be able to respond to an incident. Once harnessed to the tender, the Brigade turned out and galloped along Chapel Lane, where they erected their escape ladder against the steeple of the Presbyterian Church, and then one of the firemen carried a comrade down the ladder on his back. This was followed by other examples of drill after which the Mayor and guests expressed their appreciation of the Fire Brigade’s work.



After relinquishing his term as Mayor, Hugh continued to serve on the Council, from November, 1907 he held again the post of Deputy Mayor and would continue to serve in this role over the next four years until his tragic death aged 45.



During the afternoon of Tuesday 30th May,1911, a body was found floating in the River Mersey in the neighbourhood of Clarence Dock, Bootle. It was in an advanced state of decomposition and appeared to have been in the water for some considerable time, possibly nine or ten weeks, the body was fully clothed but the features were practically unrecognisable. The quality and description of the clothing suggested that the body was of a gentleman who had been well-to-do in life and consisted of a frock coat and checked trousers of superior quality. In one of the overcoat pockets was a handkerchief bearing the name “H. Ross, Wigan”.

It was this which led to the police contacting Hugh’s family and a formal identification being made. Whilst no possessions such as watch, money, or papers were found, there was no particular reason to suspect foul play.



The Inquest heard that Hugh had left his home at 10 Swinley Road, Wigan, on 21st. March for the purpose of visiting his brother who lived in Newcastle-on-Tyne; his family knew of no reason why he may have gone to Liverpool and they had not heard from him since he left. This had not concerned them as he frequently went away from home for periods of time and it was very seldom that he would write. They were becoming uneasy however. Witnesses at the Inquest confirmed that Hugh always displayed a lively disposition and there was no reason to suspect he would consider taking his own life.



As there was no evidence to suggest how he came to be in the water or how he came by his death. The jury returned a verdict of “Found drowned”



Hugh’s remains were conveyed from Bootle Mortuary for burial at Bickerstaffe Church, the funeral took place 2nd June, 1911.



Hugh’s widow Deborah later moved from Wigan to Southport, where she died on Tuesday 3rd February, 1942. Her funeral took place at Bickerstaffe on Friday 6th February, her Obituary as former Mayoress of Wigan was reported in the Wigan Examiner 7th February 1942
Added by Richard Anderson Whyte on 22 June 2019
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WW1

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