World War Two Collage

Nursing Sister Annie Kerr

World War 2:  Hamilton - Lyon

Surname  Forename(s) Rank Home Relationship
Hamilton Alastair F Lieutenant Muir of Ord  
Holmes Duncan Private Redcastle  
Hughes Thomas Seaman Balintore  
Innes William G Private Dingwall  
Jack James Seaman Avoch  
Johnston W D C.S.M. Invergordon  
Kerr Annie Sister Alness  
Lochore John A Major Aylesbury  
Lockhart James Seaman Dingwall  
Low Arthur Major Elgin  
Lyon William Seaman Evanton  

Date of Paper:   01.12.1944
Surname:   Hamilton
Forename(s):   Alastair Frank
Rank:   Lieutenant
Regiment:   Royal Artillery
Home Address:  1 Prospecthill Place, Greenock, ex-Muir of Ord

Lieut. Alastair Frank Hamilton, R.A., 51st Division, killed in action, is a son of the late Mr Archibald Hamilton, Muir of Ord, and of Mrs M. Hamilton, 88 Langside Avenue, Glasgow. Twenty-five years of age, he was educated at Muir of Ord and Dingwall Academy. He went overseas with the 51st Division in 1942 and took part in the battle of El Alamein and the Desert Campaign, being twice wounded. Later he was in Sicily, from where he returned to the home country. In June last he crossed to Normandy with the Invasion Army. His young wife resides at 1 Prospecthill Place, Greenock. Much sympathy is extended to her and the sorrowing mother.

Date of Paper:   10.11.1944
Surname:   Holmes
Forename(s):   Duncan
Rank:   Private
Regiment:   Cameron Highlanders
Home Address:   Parkton, Redcastle, Killearnan

Pte. Duncan Holmes, Cameron Highlanders, wounded in Italy, is the youngest son of Mrs Holmes, Parkton, Redcastle, Killearnan. Prior to enlisting, he was employed as a hairdresser with Mr John Macgregor, Inverness. His many friends will be glad to know he is making satisfactory progress.

Date of Paper:  16.06.1944
Surname:   Hughes
Forename(s):   Thomas
Rank:   Able Seaman
Regiment:   Royal Navy
Home Address:   South Shields, ex-4 Bank Street, Balintore

A.B. Thomas Hughes, Royal Navy, killed in action, is a grandson of Mr and Mrs Tom Vass, 4 Bank Street, Balintore. He was in the Royal Naval Reserve when war broke out and was called up immediately. Well known and popular in Balintore, Hilton and Shandwick, his cheerful personality will be greatly missed. Much sympathy is extended to his wife, who resides in South Shields, and his mother, who is in Australia. A brother served with the Australians in the Middle East, but was wounded and sent back to Australia.

Date of Paper:   14.07.1944
Surname:   Innes
Forename(s):   William George
Rank:   Private
Regiment:   Seaforths
Home Address:   Drynie Farm, Dingwall

Private William George Innes, The Seaforths, wounded in Normandy, is a son of Mr and Mrs Innes, Drynie Farm, Dingwall, and a grandson of Mrs Pirie, The Lodge, Newmore, Invergordon. Pte. Innes, who is 22 years of age, is in hospital in England. He was wounded in the foot and above the knee in the same leg.

Date of Paper:   11.08.1944
Surname:   Jack
Forename(s):   James
Rank:   Seaman
Regiment:   Royal Navy
Home Address:   Seaton Cottage, Avoch

Mrs Annie Jack, Seaton Cottage, Avoch, has been officially informed that her youngest son, Seaman James Jack, who was previously reported missing, is now presumed to be lost by enemy action on June 11, 1944, whilst on active Naval service off Normandy. Jimmy, who was very popular, proved himself an efficient seaman. He had also been on naval service in Bermuda for a long period. News of his sacrifice for his country at the age of 29 years, evokes sympathy for his mother, who was bereaved of her elder son last year. Sympathy is also extended to his father who is working in England.

Date of Paper:   11.08.1944
Surname:   Johnstone
Forename(s):   W. D.
Rank:  Company Sergeant Major
Regiment:   Seaforths
Home Address:   Mossfield, Invergordon

News has been received by Mrs Johnstone, Mossfield, Invergordon, that her husband, C.S.M. W. D. Johnstone, The Seaforths, has been wounded in Normandy, and is now progressing in an English hospital. C.S.M. Johnstone crossed to France with the 4th Seaforths in January 1940. He also saw service in the African and Sicily Campaign. A keen Territorial, he was one of them to be chosen to attend the Coronation in London of His Majesty King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

The extract which follows did not appear in wartime copy of the Ross-shire Journal but details in that newspaper emerged following the refurbishment of Alness War Memorial in 2016.  

Surname:  Kerr
Forename(s):  Annie
Rank:  Nursing Sister
Home Address:  Coulhill, Alness, and Ledbeg, Lairg.

In September 2016 the Ross-shire Journal reported on an entry in the restored memorial, and details are reproduced courtesy of the Editor.  

Annie Kerr was the only woman with her name inscribed on Alness War Memorial.  She lost her life at the age of 51 in the sinking of the SS Ceramic which was being used as a military hospital boat when it was torpedoed by the Germans during World War 2.

The boat was carrying 656 people and sailing across the Atlantic from Liverpool to Australis when tragedy struct, overnight, on December 6-7, 1942.  Passengers and crew scrambled into lifeboats following the attack, close to the Azores, but many of them capsized amid a storm and there was only one survivor.  Sister Kerr, who lived at Coulhill, Alness, was among those lost.

Sister Kerr, who was born and brought up in Lochinver, completed her nurse training in England before moving north to work as a staff sister in the Ross Memorial Hospital in Dingwall.  Her name is inscribed on both the Alness and Lochinver war memorials.

She was awarded five medals for her work - the 1939-45 Star, Atlantic Star, Pacific Star, War medal 1939-45 and British Red Cross for War Service 1914-1918.  She was the eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs Andrew Kerr of Ledbeg, Lairg.

Date of Paper:   21.07.1944 (two entries)
Surname:   Lochore
Forename(s):   John Alexander
Rank:   Major
Regiment:   Seaforth Highlanders
Home Address:   Resolis, Weedon, Aylesbury

Among the brave who have paid the supreme price for the advance in Normandy is Major John Alexander Lochore, Seaforth Highlanders, son of Sir James and Lady Lochore, whose other son was lost with HMS Barham in 1941. Major Lochore leaves a young widow, who is Hazel Mary, a daughter of the late Sir Robert Weston Brooke,* of Fearn Lodge, Ardgay, Ross-shire. They had their wedding there only two years ago, and a son, Hamish John, was born to them last year. Mrs John Lochore now lives near her parents-in-law, in Buckinghamshire.

Major John Alexander Lochore, aged 28, Seaforths, has been killed in action. Major Lochore was married in February 1942 to Hazel, younger daughter of Sir Robert Brooke. Bart., of Midfearn. They have a year old son. Mrs Lochore resides at "Resolis", Weedon, Aylesbury.

There is much symnpathy with the parents, Sir James and Lady Lochore. This is their second wartime bereavement, for their younger son was one of the victims of the disaster to HMS Barham in Sollum Bay in November 1941.

Major Lochore was born in Ceylon in October 1914. He took a commission in the Seaforth Highlanders in 1937, and was posted to the Second Battalion in 1938. He was latterly posted to a Brigade (as Major) in the Scottish Division. It was while serving in this Division that he was killed.

* See Ross-shire Journal extracts for 1914-1918 War.

Date of Paper:   31.03.1944
Surname:   Lockhart
Forename(s):   James
Rank:   Able Seaman
Regiment:   Royal Navy
Home Address:   Dingwall

A.B. James Lockhart, M.A., Royal Navy, killed in action in February 1944, was principal classical master in the Dingwall Academy. A former pupil of Dunfermline High School, which he attended while his father was stationmaster at Halbeath, he graduated M.A. with first-class honours in classics at Edinburgh University. His first teaching appointment was as assistant classical master at Wick Academy. In 1927 he came to Dingwall Academy. About a year ago he joined the Navy, in which he was proud to serve as an A.B. Last Christmas he was on leave, which he spent among his friends in Dingwall. A keen rugby enthusiast, he was for several seasons an invaluable member of the Ross-Sutherland Rugby Club. As a teacher he was most painstaking and thorough and his success was shown by the number of pupils he guided through the Leaving Certificate examinations. Extremely popular with his pupils, he will be missed by many, now scattered in all parts of the world. About 40 years of age, he was unmarried.

Date of Paper:   26.05.1944
Surname:   Low
Forename(s):   Arthur
Rank:   Major
Regiment:   Seaforth Highlanders
Home Address:   9 Moray Place, Elgin

Major Arthur Low, M.C., The Seaforth Highlanders, died of wounds, was the youngest son of Mrs Low, 9 Moray Place, and of the late Mr Malcolm Low, net manufacturer, Elgin. He mobilised with the battalion at the start of hostilities and was awarded the M.C. for bravery at Zillebeke in 1940. Major Low was educated at Elgin Academy and was a bank accountant in the Dingwall branch of the North of Scotland Bank, having been previously stationed at Elgin, Forres and Inverness.

Date of Paper:   18.10.1944
Surname:   Lyon
Forename(s):   William
Rank:   Able Seaman
Regiment:   Merchant Navy and Royal Navy
Home Address:   Florida Place, Evanton

A.B. William Lyon, Merchant Navy, attached to the Royal Navy, who has died of injuries received while on duty in September, and was buried at sea, was a son of Mr and Mrs William Lyon, Florida Place, Evanton. Twenty-three years of age, deceased was educated at Kiltearn Public School, and was learning the carpentry trade in Dingwall when he joined the Merchant Navy. To the sorrowing father and mother and two sisters and brother, deep sympathy is extended. Mr Lyon is well remembered in Dingwall, where for some years he was on the staff of Messrs Matheson & Sons, architects.

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