Lochbroom Folk

Lochbroom's Sacrifice in the Second World War

Page 12

Private 2822847
Died of wounds on 7th June 1940 aged 26

John’s parents, Norman Macaulay and Christina Mackay were married on 26th August 1912 at Fraserburgh.  John had an older brother Norman, born in 1909 at Uig (Ross and Cromarty).  John was born on 22nd October 1913 at 12 Upper Barvas, Barvas.  His father Norman was a fisherman (domiciled at 7 Crossbost, Lochs).  His parents must have moved to Ullapool in the early 1930s. 

John fought in the Battle of Abbeville on 4th June 1940.  On 7th June, the day he died, the Seaforths had retreated to the Starfish Crossroads in the Foret d’Eu.  There is no mention in Captain Munro of Foulis’ diary that anyone was killed on this day, as -

The day was uneventful and most of it was spent reorganising the very depleted Companies.”

It is suggested John was injured on 4th June and died in a hospital at Rouen, possibly the 13th British General Hospital, which functioned between 21st January and 17th June 1940.  His death certificate gives the Cause of Death as “Died of Wounds”.  Unfortunately the details are brief so no location of actual death is given apart from “France/Belgium”.

He was buried at St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen in Block “S”, Plot 4, Row S, Grave 14.
Photo courtesy of laurinlaurin espie.

Norman died on 12th November 1956, aged 72, retired crofter, and widower of Christina Mackay, address 11 Braes, Ullapool.  She died in 1952 aged 74.


It is most probable that many more men from Lochbroom serving with the 4th Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders were injured at the Battle of Abbeville on 4th June 1940 who are not mentioned.  If any more come to light please contact the author (address given on page 03) so that they can be included.  
Lance Corporal, 4th Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders


This photograph included with others from the Lochbroom area in the People’s Journal dated 10th August 1940, mentions that Lance Corporal James, son of the late Mr Alex. and Mrs Macleod, of Ullapool was wounded.  James is the father of Mary MacLeod who has written a very interesting article about his experiences during WW2 on page 29.

James’s father, Alexander Macleod, a retired Seaman, died aged 72 on 10th June 1940 [shortly before the article in the People’s Journal] at 17 Ladysmith Street.  James was born on 29th May 1911 at Shore Street, his mother was Isabella Macleod (née McLeod).  After return to Scotland on recovery from his injuries, James married Effie Campbell (1914-2006) on 20th August 1941 at the Free Church of Scotland, Ullapool.  He was listed as a postman (30), resident at 66 High Street, Invergordon.  Effie (26) lived at the Caledonian Hotel, Ullapool where she was employed as a housemaid. 

Mary writes: “Before the war, he worked in the yachts, hence the uniform.  He moved home [to Ullapool] from Invergordon in 1948.  He was lucky.  He was wounded in the action at Abbeville.  The casing of the bullet that went through his thigh was lodged in the bone and could not be moved.  But it remained stable and once healed did not prevent him from cycling the postal round of over 15 miles daily up and down Braes and Morefield to Rhue and Blughasary until the post office gave him a van.  His hands and arm were full of shrapnel as a result of a bullet hitting the magazine of his rifle.   His arm was painted up to be amputated but a young surgeon arrived in the hospital from Edinburgh and said he would try to save it, which he did  Nevertheless both hands were disabled and he was discharged and had a war disability pension until his death.”

Private, 4th Seaforth Highlanders
Mary MacLeod mentions that her father James Macleod (Jimmy) was in the same ward in hospital as Hugh, and when Hugh woke up one day Jimmy was not there so he thought he was dead and only found out years later that he was still alive.  Hugh emigrated to Australia but came back to the UK to visit from time to time.

Private, 4th Seaforth Highlanders
Home address: Corry, Ullapool

Information from the Ross-shire Journal dated 5th July 1940 – wounded.
His father, Alistair was a shepherd employed by Charles Morrison Rose, junior.  
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