Dingwall Folk

Dingwall Community Collage
Major General Sir Hector Archibald Macdonald, KCB, DSO

Frederick Walter Urquhart, photographer.

Many old photographs of people and places bear the inscription "Urquhart, Dingwall".

F W Urquhart, at one time a Bailie and Senior Magistrate of Dingwall, served a photographic apprenticeship in the town before establishing his studio in Harper's Court in 1896.  He was a gunner in the Royal Artillery during WW1 and the last man to fire cannons situated at the Macdonald Monument on Armistice Day.

He worked from his studio until 1947 when his son-in-law, Mr Ian Sutherland, took over the business and continued to operate from this small building until vandals torched it (1960s/1970s?), thus erasing much of Ross-shire's history.

Dingwall's Famous People

Major General Sir Hector Macdonald, KCB, DSO

Although born at Mulbuie, on the Black Isle, Hector Macdonald was greatly revered by the people of Dingwall and on 11 May 1899 he was awarded the Freedom of the town. The photographs which follow are in the ownership of Ross and Cromarty Heritage Society.

General Sir Hector Macdonald.  Photograph may have been taken at Lemlair House.

Sir Hector's shako, or ceremonial hat, and the Freedom casket, both of which are in Dingwall Museum.

On 13 May 1899 Sior Hector Macdonald was awarded the Freedom of Dingwall.  The town was thronged for the occasion.  This photograph has been taken outside the Masonic Hall (later the Picture House) and the building facing is the gable end of what is now Deas' tearoom.

Inside the Masonic Hall for luncheon following the Freedom ceremony.
 l-r:  The Provost(?), Sir Hector, Lady Macdonald, and ?

When in due course the residents of Dingwall decided to honour Sir Hector by building the Macdonald Memorial on Mitchell Hill, this was a photograph of the miniature railway used to convey material to the top.  The photograph can be seen in Dingwall Museum.

Dingwall Museum holds a considerable number of artefacts associated with Sir Hector, including the Freedom casket.  Email:  enquiries@dingwallmuseum.co.uk

In August 2019 Mr Ian McNeish gave permission for RCHS to reproduce this postcard, which he owns, showing the birthplace of Sir Hector Macdonald in the early part of the 20th century.

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