WW1 1916

Corporal Alexander Sclater 

2nd Cameron Highlanders

KIA, 10th Jan 1916


Corporal Alexander Sclater was born at Tain. He was the only son of Mr and Mrs Sclater, 4 Knockbreck  Street, Tain.

Alexander was a boy soldier who joined up whe he was 16. He was with the 2nd Cameron Highlanders in Mesopotamia when he was killed in action on the 10th January 1916.

Remembered with Honour Basra Memorial, Iraq




Sergeant Alexander W Munro 

42nd Canadian Highlanders

KIA, 5th June 1916


Sergeant Alexander Munro was born at Edderton. He had formerly been a member of the 4th Seaforths but was living in Canada at the outbreak of the war and enlisted in the 42nd Canadian Highlanders.
The Battle for Mount Sorrel took place in June 1916. The 1916 British Front Line south-east of Ypres was situated on the high ground of the Ypres ridge at Zillebeke known to the British Army as Mount Sorrel and the double summits of Hill 61 and Hill 62 (called Tor Top). Three divisions of the Canadian Corps were involved in the defence of the line here when the German Army made an attack on 2nd June 1916. Having lost the high ground on the first day of the attack, the Canadians put up a determined fight to recapture the ground, which they did for the most part after 13 days of fighting.

Casualties on both sides were heavy. The Canadians suffered just under 8,500 casualties; of those 1,000 men were killed and another 1,900 were missing. Many Canadians killed in this battle are buried in the nearby cemeteries of Hooge Crater Cemetery and Maple Copse Cemetery. Those who are missing in action and whose discovered remains could not be identified are commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing in Ypres. He was 40 years old.

Sergeant Munro is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial. 


Corporal William Munro

2nd Canadian Highlanders

KIA, 6th June 1916

Corporal Wm. Munro was born at Tain. He was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs John Munro, Broomhill, Fendom, Tain.

William emigrated to Canada in 1913, and  joined the 2nd Canadian Highlanders in June 1915.

He landed in England with his battalion in June of the same year, got home on leave to Tain in August and was in France by the following month. An engineer by profession, he was a crackshot with the rifle and in the tests was second in his battalion.

William was first posted as “missing since the Battle of Hooge on June 6th, 1916”, is later reported "missing, believed killed". He was 23 years old.

It was reported that “Corpl. Munro,  was the admiration of all as the real type of the powerful Highlander, being of a compact and proportionate physique. He was loved by all with whom he came in contact, his ready smile providing a welcome for him no matter where he went.”

Remembered with Honour Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial


Lance Corporal William MacCulloch

2nd Seaforth Highlanders

KIA, 25th June 1916


L/Cpl William McCulloch was born at Tain. He had served for nine years, both in the colours and the reserve, before the war. William had been working as an engineer on a steamer when he was called up at the outbreak of the war.

In 1915 William had been sent to hospital suffering from a bullet wound. On his recovery he had returned to front line duties.

On 25th June, 1916 William was in a  bivouac which received a direct hit from a shell at 1.15 am. He and 13 of his comrades were killed instantaneously. They are buried together  at Mailly Wood Cemetery.

William was 26 years old.

Remembered with Honour Mailly Wood Cemetery, Mailly-Maillet


Pioneer James Watt

Royal Engineers

KIA, 30th June 1916

Pioneer James Roderick Watt was born at Fearn. His father, also named James, was the local schoolmaster. James Roderick went to Invergordon Academy where he was Dux in Mathematics. He matriculated in Medicine. James enlisted in “U” Company 4th Gordon Highlanders in January 1914 and trained at Bedford in England. When the battalion went to France James was left behind and acted a Special Guard on the Clyde and then Medical Orderly at Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow.

James was transferred to the Special Brigade, Royal Engineers late in 1915 and went to France early in 1916. He was killed in action on the Somme on 30th June, 1916.

James was 21 years old.

Remembered with Honour Carnoy Military Cemetery


Major Eric Mackenzie

Royal Field Artillary

KIA, 8th July 1916

Major Eric Mackenzie was born at Malvern in England. He and his brother Keith attended Tain Royal Academy.

Eric was an army reservist with Boer War experience. He became a Major with the Royal Field Artillery.

On the 7th July 1916 the Battery that Major Mackenzie commanded had been in action covering the advance of the 8th Infantry Brigade south of Montauban.  That night there was a bombardment of the Battery’s position and the dugout that Major Mackenzie was sleeping in collapsed killing him.

Eric is buried at Carnoy Military Cemetery.

Eric’s brother Keith died on the 12th November, 1915 and is also listed on Tain War Memorial.


Private Hugh Campbell

2nd Argyle & Sutherland Highlanders

KIA, 14th July 1916

Private Hugh Campbell was born at Melnish. His father George Campbell worked at Mansefield Farm, Tain. Hugh was one of five brothers who all served in the Armed Forces. He joined the 10th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders.

Hugh was killed on the first day of the Battle of Bazentin or Bazentin Ridge. The British advance had taken it to a point where it was now facing the second German defensive system. A well planned night on 14th July took British troops through that system in the area of Bazentim. There was a fleeting but lost opportunity to capture High Wood beyond it.

Hugh was killed in action on 14th July, 1916. He was 26 years old.

Remembered with Honour at Thiepval Memorial


Lieutenant Donald Ross

4th South African Infantry

KIA, 20th July 1916

Lieutenant Donald Ross was born at Tain. He was the son of Roderick Ross, who was a shepherd at Glenaldie Farm, Tain, and  his wife Catherine.

Donald went to South Africa with Baden Powell’s Scouts during the Boer War. He was considered the finest marksman of the corps.
At the outbreak of the First World War Donald joined the 8th Infantry(Transvaal Scottish) and fought with General Bocha.
Lieutenant Ross was brought to the Notice of the Secretary of State for War.

LG Sup 22nd August 1918 “For distinguished service in the Field and in connection with the campaign in German South-West Africa, 1914-15.”

Donald was serving with the 4th South African Infantry when he was killed in action on the 20th July, 1916 at Delville Wood.

He was 36 years old.

He is listed on the memorial at Thiepval.

Corporal Charles James Gordon

4th Gordon Highlanders

KIA, 23 July 1916

Corporal Charles Gordon was born at Fearn on 29th January, 1896. He went to Tain Royal Academy and then to Aberdeen University were he studied medicine. Charles joined the 4th Gordon Highlanders known as the University Company.

The battalion went to France in February, 1915 and Charles was wounded at the battle of Hooge on 23rd September, 1915. He recovered in hospital and received further training at Ripon before returning to the front.

During heavy fighting round High Wood in the summer of 1916 Charles volunteered to get information on the enemy trenches.  He was reported missing on 23rd July, 1916 and later presumed killed.

His Commanding Officer wrote “ He died the death of a hero. He ‘played the game’ in everything and finished with a stainless character.”
Corporal Gordon was 20 years old.

Remembered with Honour at Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval


Sergeant Andrew Fraser

4th Gordon Highlanders

KIA, 23rd July 1916

Sergeant Andrew Fraser was born in Tain on  18th July 1889. His father was William Fraser a builder in Tain. Andrew graduated from Aberdeen University with an MA in 1910. He taught at Fraserburgh Academy until 1913 when he entered the Aberdeen U.F. College. He later went to Canada where he ran a Mission covering a wide district.
Whilst at university Andrew was President of the Christian Union and was said to be very popular in this post and esteemed for his “sterling character”.

In November 1914 Andrew enlisted as a private in the 4th Gordon Highlanders.
He was sent to France in December 1915. He rose to the rank of Sergeant and rendered very efficient service with the Machine Gun Section  until his death in action at High Wood, in the Somme district, on 23rd July 1916.

Remembered with Honour at Thiepval Memorial


Sergeant William Fridge

4th Seaforth Highlanders

KIA, 23rd July 1916

Corporal William Fridge, known as “ Wiilie” was born in Tain and worked as a painter before he enlisted, along with his brother Angus, in the 4th Bn Seaforth Highlanders.

William went to France in 1914 and survived all the fighting unscathed until he died of his wounds on 23rd July 1916.

He was 20 years old.

Williams’s brother Angus died on the 20th November, 1917. In a letter to their parents an officer wrote that they; “were two of the noblest boys that ever joined the regiment”.

Remembered with Honour at Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L'abbe


Private Kenneth Munro

4th Seaforth Highlanders

DOW, 24th July 1916

Private Kenneth Munro was born in Dingwall. He was the son of Treasurer W.J. Munro of Gower Street, Tain
Kenneth joined the 4th Bn Seaforth Highlanders and went with them to France in November, 1914. Before his death he was attached to the trench motar battery. Kenneth died of wounds at a base hospital in France on 24th July, 1916.

Kenneth was said to be a great favourite in Tain and district. He was 20 years old when he died.













Remembered with Honour Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L'abbe.

In the museum collection we found a glass plate negative of the grave of Kenneth taken around the time of his burial.


Sergeant Robert Ross

4th Seaforth Highlanders, MGC

KIA 15 August 1916​

Sergeant Robert Ross was born in the parish of Tarbat. He was living at 1 Bank Street, Balintore. Robert went to France with the 4th Seaforths in November 1914.
After surviving several severe engagements he was killed in action on 15th August, 1916.
Robert married two months before his death. His widow received a letter of sympathy from Sergt.-Major Burnett. She also received a letter from Lieut. J. MacGregor Mills part of which is reproduced here; “It is with great regret that I have to report to you that your husband was killed in action yesterday morning at seven. I can realise what a loss this is to you, for we ourselves have learned to love and admire him. As my section sergeant for many months, we have gone through much together. In the tightest corners, he has always been the one I looked to, and never has he failed. Cool, and strong, and resolute, he has proved himself the finest soldier I have met in my experience as an officer. In the three weeks we were in the thick of it, he bore a charmed life, and it [remainder missing]."

Remembered with Honour Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres


Lance Corporal  John Munro

7th Cameron Highlanders

KIA, 17 August 1916

Lance Corporal John Munro was born at Tain to Finlay and Williamina Munro of Shandwick street.

John went to Glasgow to train as a butcher before he was called up.
John and his brother Robert joined the 7th Cameron Highlanders. Robert trained with the regiment in Tain in 1915, John had been on leave only 2 weeks before he was killed in action.
The engagement that resulted in John’s death took a heavy toll on the
Camerons. 5 officers were killed and 9 wounded. Rank and file 44 killed
and 6 missing believed dead with 67 wounded.

He was 22 years old.
Remembered with Honour Thiepval Memorial


Lance Corporal D A Mackenzie

1st (Royal) Dragoons

KIA, 25 September 1916​

L/Cpl Donald A. Mackenzie was born at Tain.
Donald was fighting with the 1st Royal Dragoons when he was reported missing in action on 25th September, 1916.  It was later confirmed that he had been killed on that day. Son of William and Isabella Mackenzie, of 82, Telford Rd., Inverness.
Donald was 25 years old.
We do not have a photograph of him.

Remembered with Honour
Peronne Road Cemetery, Maricourt


Lieutenant P W Murray

Royal Navy Reserve​,H.M.S. "Alsatian."

DoW, 12 October 1916

Lieutenant Philip Wolfe Murray was born at Tain. He was the second son of retired Commander Philip C. K. Wolfe Murray and Mrs Ellie Blanch Wolfe Murray who lived at Scotsburn Lodge near Tain.
Philip was studying forestry before he joined the Navy. He took on the role of interpreter and was serving on H.M.S. Alsation when he was wounded and invalided home. He died from his wounds three months later on 12th October, 1916 aged 25.
Lieutenant Wolfe Murray’s coffin was carried on a gun carriage drawn by a naval party to his resting place at St Duthus Cemetery, Tain. A firing party and bugler paid the last honours.

Remembered with Honour
Tain (St. Duthus) Cemetery

Private William Forbes

2nd Seaforth Highlanders

KIA, 14th October 1916​


Private William Forbes was born at Edderton and at a young age joined the 2nd Battalion Seaforth Highlanders. After completion of his time with them he joined the Inverness Burgh Police Force. At the outbreak of war he was recalled to his regiment and was involved in practically all the heavy fighting from Mons right up to the time of his death.
William was killed on 14th October, 1916, during the battle of the Somme when his battalion, fighting in the mud and fog, attacked the German positions at Dewdrop and Rainy Trench, he was one of sixteen other ranks to be killed that day, fifty-three were wounded.
The newspaper report of his death said that it was “well known that  throughout the campaign he displayed a spirit of self sacrifice and devotion to duty that proved an inspiration to those who fought side by side with him.”
He was 33 years old.

Remembered with Honour at Thiepval Memorial


Private William John Mackenzie

4th Regt., South African Infantry

DoW, 19th October 1916​

Private William John Mackenzie was born at Tain. He was the son of Mr and Mrs John Mackenzie, Gower Place, Tain.

William joined “D” Company 4th Regiment of South African Infantry.The  Regiment was called the South African Scottish and was raised from members of the Transvaal Scottish and the Cape Town Highlanders; they wore the Atholl Murray tartan. The South Africans were heavily engaged during the battle of the Somme fighting for Delville Wood in August. Of the 3000 thousand men who went into action with the South African Brigade over 700 were killed. William was taken prisoner having suffered a gun shot wound to the knee.

The most costly action the South African forces on the Western Front fought  was the Battle of Delville Wood in 1916 – of the 3,000 men from the brigade who entered the wood, only 768 emerged unscathed.

William died from disease in a German prison camp on 19th October, 1916 aged 20 and is buried in Le Cateau Military Cemetery in France.

Remembered with Honour Le Cateau Military Cemetery

Private Hector Ross

Highland Light Infantry

KIA, 21st October 1916

Private Hector Ross was born at Tain where his father, Angus Ross, was a church officer.

Hector enlisted in the Highland Light Infantry but was transferred to the 6th Battalion of the Kings Own Scottish Borderers arriving at the front in November 1915.
Hector was killed in action on the 21st Octber 1916, during the Battle of the Somme, the battalion was in action around Highwood where they  struggled in the the mud whilst under heavy artillery fire and suffered 22 men killed, 135 wounded and over 50 men missing.

Hector is remembered with honour at Thiepval Memorial. The Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916.


Private James Forbes

4th Seaforth Highlanders

DoW, 04 November 1916

Private James Forbes was born at Bonar Bridge. He was the son of Hugh and Jemima Forbes who lived at Ankerville Farm, Nigg, Ross-shire. James worked on Ankerville Farm before joining the 4th Seaforth Highlanders.

He had been with his regiment at the front since November 1914 and survived the battles of Neuve Chapelle and Aubers Ridge.
The 4th Seaforth’s were stationed at the front near Lealvillers, entering the trenches on the 26th October 1916 and being relieved on the 30th. During this tour in the trenches, the 4th Seaforth diary tells of the use of gas shells and the heightened aeroplane activity, 3 men were wounded during this period and it’s likely James was one of these.

James died of wounds on 4th November, 1916 aged 25.

He is buried and remembered with honour at Warlincourt Halte Cemetery at Saulty.


Second Lieutenant Charles Macrae

70th Sqdn., Royal Flying Corps

KIA, 10th November 1916

Charles signed up with his brother Colin in the 4th Seaforth’s and went out to France in November with the regiment. According to his medal card he was also Sergeant in the 3/4th Seaforth for a time. He was gazetted, 2nd Lieutenant, to the Royal Flying Corp in November 1915 and was killed in action on the 10th of November 1916. The 70th Squadren were flying Sopwith Strutters which was a British single or two-seat multi-role biplane.

Charles was the youngest son of the Rev. Donald MacRae, B.D; parish minister of Edderton, who also served as a military chaplain, and has had three sons who fell in the war, all on them remembered on the Tain, Edderton and Lairg war memorials.

Remembered with Honour Gezaincourt Communal Cemetery Extension


Private Alexander Harper

3rd Field Amb, RAMC

KIA, 15th November 1916

Private Alexander Harper, Royal Army Medical Corp, had served with the Cameron Highlanders in the Boer War and was recalled to the army at the start of WWI.

Private Harper had been at the front since August 1914 serving as stretcher bearer. Sergeant Hugh Macdonald writes home to Tain to tell of his death. “He was along with 5 others, who had spent all night bringing in the wounded. About 6 in the morning they went to sleep in a dugout which at 7.30 was hit by a shell, killing one and wounding Harper and three others. There was great hope for Harper’s recovery as he went of cheery and smoking a cigarette but died before he reached the hospital.”

Alexander lived with his wife at 10 Murray Street Tain, he was one of three brothers who served with the army, their father also being an old soldier who had served with the Gordons.

Remembered with Honour Carnoy Military Cemetery




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