World War 1

World War One Collage

War Records 1914-18

Lance Corporal A Macleod, DCM

Sergeant Alexander Macleod, DCM, Cr of St G (Achiltibuie)  [Photo courtesy of his great-nephew, Colin Macleod, Beauly]

Private Alexander R Macleod (Ardgay)

Stoker Angus Macleod (Gairloch)

Lance Corporal Angus Macleod (Strathpeffer)

Lance Corporal D Macleod (Strathpeffer)

Major David Macleod

Lance Corporal Donald Macleod (Achiltibuie)

Private Donald Macleod (Ardgay)

Private Donald Macleod (Delny)

Gunner Donald Macleod (Kildary)

Private Donald Macleod (Ullapool)

2/Lieutenant Donald Angus Macleod (Invergordon)

Private Hugh Macleod (Contin)

Private Hugh Macleod (Ullapool)

Private James F Macleod

Private John Macleod (Ardgay)

Sergeant John Macleod (Aultbea)

Sergeant John Macleod (Dingwall)

Private John Macleod (Kildary)

Private John Macleod (Muir of Ord)

Private John H R Macleod (Evanton)

Private Kenneth Macleod (Conon)

Private Kenneth John Macleod (Strathpeffer)

Private M Macleod

Trooper Murdo Macleod

Private Norman Macleod

Private Thomas D Macleod

Private William Macleod (Ardgay)

Private William Macleod (Delny)

Corporal William Macleod, MM (Tain)

Surname Macleod

Surname Forename(s) Rank Home Relationship
Macleod A Corporal Ullapool  
Macleod Alexander Sergeant Achiltibuie  
Macleod Alexander R Private Ardgay Brothers 1
Macleod Angus Stoker Gairloch  
Macleod Angus L/Corporal Strathpeffer Brothers 2
Macleod D L/Corporal Strathpeffer  
Macleod David Major Stornoway  
Macleod Donald L/Corporal Achiltibuie  
Macleod Donald Private Ardgay  1
Macleod Donald Private Delny Brothers 3
Macleod Donald Gunner Kildary Brothers 4
Macleod Donald Private Ullapool  
Macleod Donald A 2/Lieutenant Invergordon  
Page 02        
Macleod Hugh Private Contin  
Macleod James F Private Delny  
Macleod John Private Ardgay  1
Macleod John Sergeant Aultbea  
Macleod John Sergeant Dingwall  
Macleod John Private Kildary  4
Macleod John Private Muir of Ord Brothers 5
Macleod John H R Private Evanton  
Macleod Kenneth Private Contin  
Macleod Kenneth RNAS Strathpeffer  2
Macleod Kenneth John Private Strathpeffer  2
Macleod M Private Ullapool  
Macleod Murdo Trooper Ardgay  1
Macleod Norman Private Alness  
Macleod Robert Sergeant Muir of Ord  5
Macleod Thomas D Private Alness  
Macleod William Private Ardgay  1
Macleod William Private Delny  3
Macleod William Corporal Muir of Ord  5
Macleod William Corporal Tain  

Date of Paper:  20.10.1916
Surname:  Macleod
First Name(s):  A.
Rank:  Corporal
Regiment:  Seaforths
Home Address:  Coigach

The above is a portrait of Lance-Coporal A. Macleod, Seaforths, who won the DCM and in recognition of which he was, on 21st September, presented by the inhabitants of Coigach with a double gold albert with pendant replica of his medal bearing the following inscription:
Presented to Lance-Corporal A. Macleod from the inhabitants of Coigach on the occasion of his winning the DCM in France, September 1916.
Corporal Macleod belongs to Polbain. He is 23 years of age, and has been in the Territorials since he was 18. Previous to the war he was for some time a motor car driver with Mr G. Morrison, Caledonian Hotel, Ullapool.

The following account did not appear in the Ross-shire Journal but was given to Ross and Cromarty Heritage Society by Mr Colin Macleod, Beauly, great-nephew of Alexander Macleod.

Alexander Macleod, DCM, Cr. of St. G. - Hero from Loch Broom
"The red light from the blazing oil, flashing and glittering on the long line of bayonets, was a sight to fire the imagination."

So recorded a historian as he witnessed the sight of the 13th Battalion of The Royal Highlanders of Canada on the dawn of the 15th August, 1917, as they stormed their way into the ruins of coal mining villages immediately in front of Hill 70, near Lens in France.

Leading his men in this assault was Sergeant Alexander Macleod, the son of Alex and Margaret Macleod of Achiltibuie. Alexander had grown up as a boy and youth in this wild and beautiful part of Wester Ross. However, the life, though tough, did not present the kind of challenge and excitement sought by young Alexander. Prior to emigrating to Montreal in 1911, he had been employed as an assistant blacksmith, although much more important to him had been the two years he had served with the Lovat Scouts. The first corps of the Lovat Scouts, some 250 men, had originally gone to the South African War in 1900 and on their return Lord Lovat organised two further regiments of 500 men in 1903. (Today, in Beauly, there is a war memorial commenorating those in the Lovat Scouts who lost their lives whilst serving in various wars.)

Alexander, after emigrating to Montreal at the age of 20, enlisted in the country's Non-permanent Active Militia, organised by the astute Colonel Sam Hughes, who had already anticipated the inevitability of The Great War. Alexander then joined the Expeditionary Force - the 5th Battalion of the Royal Highlanders which was affiliated to the oldest Scottish Regiment, The Black Watch. At Valcartier, in Canada, he was transferred to the 13th Battalion of the Royal Highlanders, which was later to earn the reputation of being the most revered and famous fighting force in the country's military history.

By September 30th they had embarked on the RMS Alaunia and by October 13th they arrived at Plymouth. After travelling up country to Salisbury, they then marched 10 miles to Salisbury Plain where they underwent intensive training. This was carried out in extremely rainy and muddy conditions which, ironically, must have proved to have been very valuable experience considering what they were about to endure in France in the months ahead.

On arriving in France in February they were first billeted in Armentieres, quickly finding themselves being taken on short "tours" of duty in trenches as close as 100 yards from the Germans!

There they had their first taste of what trench warfare was to be all about. Inevitably, casualties and fatalities were soon incurred and it was as early in the war as this that the following prophetic war song became popular:

I want to go home, I want to go home,
The Germans shoot dum-dums, I don't like their roar,
I don't want to go to the front any more,
Oh my! I don't want to die
I want to go home.

By July, Alexander was now entrenched at the infamous Ypres Salient, where the exploits of The Royal Highlanders were to fill new pages in Canada's history.  The battalion was now to encounter at first hand the enemy's newest weapon - chlorine gas. It was here at Ypres that a historian present recorded the following, after some particularly fierce trench warfare: "The 13th Battalion of The Royal Highlanders were inspired by gallant leadership and fought a dauntless fight, but even that sublime courage could not withstand fire and steel."

During desperate fighting the Canadian-made Ross rifles were to prove most unreliable, letting the battalion down in its hour of need. There were many casualties but Alexander survived - though he was wounded in the leg. This was later on followed by an attack of measles, which had swept through the battalion.

A goat, found at Ypres, now named "Flora Macdonald", accompanied the troops as their mascot. With the advent of Spring, fighting continued on the battlefields of Festubert, Ploegstreet and Messines.

By June 1916, the Ypres Salient confiict had resurged with vengeance.  Conditions deteriorated rapidly with death ever present amidst deep mud-filled craters.

Alexander was now fighting in some of the bitterest battles of the war, as the Germans continued to make significant gains and his battalion sought to prevent the Germans advancing further in an area between Sanctuary Wood and Mount Sorrel. The following is recorded in the Battalion's official historical war accounts. "15 Germans advanced and succeeded in getting close to a forward post now garrisoned only by Sergeant Macleod and one other man. The doughty pair, viewing with dislike the possibility of being surrounded and captured, organised a counter-attack, which was principally a bombing affair, fell upon the astonished Germans and drove them in confusion back to their own wire. The counter-attack then re-formed and returned in safety." On June 23rd it was announced that decorations had been awarded and that the Distinguished Conduct Medal had been awarded to (newly promoted) Sergeant A. Macleod for his heroic action at Ypres Salient. Later, in The London Gazette of 27th July, 1916, the following report was published: "Sergeant A. Macleod for Conspicuous Bravery. After a heavy bombardment, the enemy sent over some reconnoitering parties, but Sergeant Macleod jumped the parapet and bombed them back to their wire, 160 yards. He set a fine example."

Such actions were unlikely to be sustained without death or serious injury, and on June 23rd at the now devastated Sanctuary Wood, two pieces of shrapnel pierced his helmet whilst in action. The entry in his actual medical record at this time recorded: "two pieces of shrapnel in mid-parietal line, not taken out. Well healed. To duty."

During July 1916, the 13th Battalion was under heavy trench bombardment as the Germans strove to advance. During one of their attacks a small party of soldiers entered a trench quite near to the position that Alexander and a few others, including a Lance Corporal Johnson - a Russian in the 13th ranks - were occupying. A flare suddenly revealed that they were wearing flat caps with Red Cross brassards. Challenged by Johnson they made a guttural, unconvincing reply. Johnson, suspecting a trick, replied with a bomb. The Germans duly returned the compliment. However, they under-estimated the courage and spirit of this tiny bunch of men of the 13th, who duly drove the Germans back towards their lines, although they then found themselves under machine gun fire as they retreated to safety and the welcome support of a rapidly re-manned line of Canadians.

The following month Alexander was awarded The Cross of St. George (Russian 3rd Class).  He was one of only 200 awarded this decoration who were not Russian by birth, and it was awarded "in recognition of an extreme act of bravery in the face of the enemy." The decoration meant that a number of benefits were automatically awarded to the recipient, such as "freedom from taxes upon retirement from Military Service". Sadly, Alexander was to receive none of them. After fighting at the Somme he returned to Ardgay, in Ross-shire, where he stayed with his brother Murdoch, a shoemaker, and enjoyed a brief period of rest and tranquility before returning once again to the battlefields of France. After the winter of 1916 Alexander was entrenched at the bloody and deadly Vimy Ridge, where it was "decreed" that "the Canadian Corps would succeed in capturing it" (where others before them had failed). The regiment did indeed play a huge part in its eventual capture, but not without severe losses, suffering over 10,000 casualties. Once again Alexander survived, although only to fight one more battle. No one had managed to capture Hill 70, to the north of Lens, and once again the Canadians, under Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Currie, were asked to take it. The following is from the 13th Battalion's historian's account:

[Sadly, a page must be missing.]
....... found were buried together in several large shell holes, care being taken to identify all the bodies. In the soil they had captured, lay buried the bodies of Scots who were part of the heart of the 13th Battalion of the Royal Highlanders. A cross was erected and unveiled at Vimy Ridge by the Canadian Premier, to commemorate all those who had lost their lives there whilst serving in the Canadian Regiment.

Six Books of Remembrance are displayed in the Memorial Chamber in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill, Ottawa, a new page being opened each day in the poignant ceremony.

Examination of the names of all those who died reveals that many were either of Scottish parents who had emigrated in earlier years, or Scots, like Sergeant Alexander Macleod, DCM, Cr. of St. G., who had arrived in Canada seeking a new life and who died in France while serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, and who are remembered daily on Parliament Hill, Ottawa.

Date of Paper:  Unknown
Surname:  Macleod
First Name(s):  Alex. R.
Rank:  Private
Regiment:  Not known
Home Address:  Ardgay

There are photographs only of the five Macleod brothers and no text.

Date of Paper:  Unknown
Surname:  Macleod
First Name(s):  Donald
Rank:  Private
Regiment-:  Not known
Home Address:  Ardgay

Date of Paper:  Unknown
Surname:  Macleod
First Name(s):  John
Rank:  Private
Regiment:  Not known 
Home Address:  Ardgay

Date of Paper:  
Surname:  Macleod
First Name(s):  Murdo
Rank:  Trooper
Regiment:  Not known
Home Address:  Ardgay

Date of Paper:  Unknown
Surname:  Macleod
First Name(s):   William
Rank:  Private
Regiment:  Not known
Home Address:  Ardgay

Date of Paper:  25.05.1917
Surname:  Macleod
First Name(s):  Angus
Rank:  Stoker
Regiment:  R.N.
Home Address:  Achgarve, Aultbea, Gairloch

Angus Macleod, stoker, the only son of his widowed mother, Mrs Macleod, Achgarve, Aultbea, Gairloch, was drowned at sea on the 2nd May. He was a young man of great promise, well-known in the Aultbea district, and greatly respected for his sterling character.
A photograph of Stoker Macleod appears today in the top line of portraits.

Date of Paper:  19.01.1917 and 11.05.1917
Surname:  Macleod
First Name(s):  Angus
Rank:  L/Corporal
Regiment:  Canadians
Home Address:  Fodderty, Strathpeffer

Lance-Corpl. Angus Macleod, Canadians, who, as already reported, was killed in action on the 9th April, was the son of Mr Macleod, shepherd, and Mrs Macleod, Fodderty. Lce-Corpl. Macleod emigrated to Canada 4½ years ago, and was "making good" in the land of his adoption when the call came. He joined up, and arrived here with the Canadians eighteen months ago. After six months' training he went to France, and as a machine gunner had taken a worthy part in those brilliantly gallant deeds which have made famous the name of the Canadians. It is supposed he fell at Vimy Ridge, but, so far, particulars as to the manner of his death have not come to hand. Deceased, who was 27 years of age, is the second son of Mr and Mrs Macleod to fall in the Great War. Pte. K. J. Macleod, Seaforths, was killed in action by shell fire on 6th December, 1916, in his 18th year, and was buried in the Arras burying-ground, near where his brother fell. Another son, Pte. Kenneth Macleod, is serving with the Royal Naval Flying Corps overseas. Much sympathy is felt with the parents whose patriotic spirit has been so well manifested, and whose losses have been so heavy. A portrait of Lce-Corpl. Angus Macleod appears in today's paper.

Private Kenneth John Macleod, Seaforths, was killed in action by shell fire about 4.30 pm on the evening of 6th December, 1916. The sad intelligence reached deceased's parents, Mr and Mrs Macleod, Fodderty, Dingwall, last week. One of three sons serving, Kenneth John was not 18 years of age. He enlisted early in 1915. Unfortunately, he was struck down with pleurisy, and was for a long time in the Dingwall hospital. On recovering he rejoined his battalion, and in July last proceeded with a draft to France.
In a letter of sympathy to Mrs Macleod, Captain barrington Anderson, MC, deceased's officer, writes: "Private Macleod was a splendid soldier, trusted by his officers, loved by his comrades, and a type difficult to replace. He was buried in Arras burying-ground.
The brothers on Service are Angus, who is in the Canadians, and Kenneth, who is in the Royal Naval Air Service.
Deep sympathy will be expressed with the bereaved parents.
A photograph appears in today's paper.

Date of Paper:  19.01.1917 and 11.05.1917
Surname:  Macleod
First Name(s):  Kenneth
Rank:  Private
Regiment:  Royal Navy Flying Corps
Home Address:  Fodderty, Strathpeffer

No photograph available

Date of Paper:  19.01.1917 and 11.05.1917
Surname:  Macleod
First Name(s):  Kenneth John
Rank:  Private
Regiment:  Seaforths
Home Address:  Fodderty, Strathpeffer

Note:  It may seem incomprehensible to some that there could be two brothers with the same name, but it was a custom in Highland families for many years, for a child to be given the name of, say, a grandfather and the other, perhaps, of an uncle.  In this case, Kenneth Macleod survived the War but his brother, Kenneth John, sadly did not. 

Date of Paper:  29.09.1916
Surname:  Macleod
First Name(s):  D.
Rank:  Lance Corporal
Regiment:  Seaforths
Home Address:  Rose Cottage, Strathpeffer

1936 Lance Corporal D. Macleod, Seaforths, reported killed in action on 24th July, was the son of Mr and Mrs Macleod, Rose Cottage, Strathpeffer. Out with the County Battalion in November 1914, L-Corpl. Macleod was a singularly brave and efficient soldier. He distinguished himself at Neuve Chapelle in March 1915, and was mentioned in dispatches by Sir John French.
We reproduce a photograph of Lance-Corporal Macleod in today's paper.

Date of Paper:  19.10.1915
Surname:  Macleod
First Name(s):  David
Rank:  Major
Regiment:  8th Gordon Highlanders
Home Address:  Lewis

Major David Macleod, 8th Gordon Highlanders, who was wounded at Loos on September 25, is a son of a Lewis crofter. He enlisted in the Seaforth Highlanders before he was quite 16 years of age, went to Egypt in 1895 as one of that small band of sergeant instructors whose praises Kipling sings in Pharaoh and the Sergeant, was mentioned in Lord Kitchener's dispatches from the Soudan, received medal for distinguished conduct in the field, and given a commission in the Cameron Highlanders; was through the South African campaign, wounded, and again mentioned by Lord Kitchener in dispatches; for services in Central Africa was specially promoted captain, retired in 1914 after 27 years' service, re-offered services on outbreak of war, and was appointed to 8th Gordons as major.

Date of Paper:  14.06.1916
Surname:  Macleod
First Name(s):  Donald
Rank:  Lance Corporal
Regiment:  5th Seaforths
Home Address:  Achiltibuie

Mr Neil Macleod, Sea View Cottage, Polbain, Achiltibuie, as recently reported, has received official information that his son, Lce.-Cpl. Donald Macleod, Seaforths, is a prisoner of war in Germany. His photo appears today. Previous to the outbreak of war, L./Cpl. Macleod was employed in the Columba Hotel, Oban. On 4th August, 1914, he was called up as a Territorial, and mobilised with the 5th Seaforths. He went to Bedford, where he took ill, and went through a serious operation, with the result that in November 1915 he was discharged, being medically unfit. Returning home to Coigach, he resided with his parents. Recovering his health in his Highland home, he was called up on 20th June, 1917, and in December of same year was sent to France. L./Cpl. Macleod went through several engagements, including the offensive of the 21st March last, along with the famous 51st Division. Again in the thick of the fighting on the 9th April, on the 10th he was posted missing. The post card now received was posted in Germany on 11th April, and was received here by his father on 23rd May. L./Cpl. Macleod's safety has been a relief to his people, and his many friends in a district where he is very popular hope that under the proposals for exchange of prisoners he may not be long in returning. He is a fine type of Highland soldier.

Date of Paper:  03.08.1917
Surname:  Macleod
First Name(s):  Donald
Rank:  Private
Regiment:  Seaforths
Home Address:  Delny

Private Donald Macleod, Seaforths, who was killed in action on August 22nd, and whose photograph we reproduce above, was the elder son of Mr and Mrs William Macleod, Balintraid Farm, Delny. He was killed while advancing with his company, being hit by a shell. He fell without a word, death being instantaneous.
Private Macleod was called to the colours in January last, going out to France in July. His only brother, Pte. William Macleod, was in a territorial battalion, and was called up in August 1914. He is still in France. He was wounded in April, came home on leave, and rejoined his battalion in France last June.
The chaplain of the battalion writes to Mrs Macleod - "I can assure you his loss we deeply deplore. He showed himself brave and fearless - a good soldier. He was highly esteemed by his commander."
Pte. D. Macleod was much liked and respected by all who knew him. He was a generous and hard-working man, and will be sincerely missed by all his relations and his friends in his old home. He was 24 years of age, and ever since he left school he worked for Major Forsyth, being a ploughman at Balintraid for many years.

Date of Paper:  03.08.1917
Surname:  Macleod
First Name(s):  William
Rank:  Private
Regiment:  Seaforths
Home Address:  Delny

Date of Paper:  11.4.1919
Surname:  Macleod
First Name(s):  Donald
Rank:  Gunner
Regiment:  R.F.A.
Home Address:  Balnagown Farm, Kildary

Reproduced above are the photographs of two well-known Kildary boys, sons of Mr James Macleod, Balnagown Farm, Kildary.
Private John Macleod, 2nd Seaforths, paid the supreme sacrifice on 4th October, 1917, and lies at rest in Leipsic Farm Cemetery, two miles north-west of Ypres. Just 20 years of age the month before his death, he enlisted on 5th March, 1917, and after training at Cromarty he went to France on 21st June of the same year, and was attached to the 2nd Seaforths. Prior to enlisting he was a clerk to the Surveyor of Taxes at Elgin.
Gunner Donald Macleod, RFA, who is 25 years of age, was a clerk with Messrs Robert Murray & Sons, grain merchants, Glasgow, when he enlisted in the QOR, Glasgow Yeomanry, on 17th May, 1915. In 1917 he was transferred to the Dragoons, and subsequently in 1918 to the RFA. On 6th August, 1918, he was injured, and invalided home in October. On 18th February this year he was demobilised.

Date of Paper:  11.04.1919
Surname:  Macleod
First Name(s):  John
Rank:  Private
Regiment:  2nd Seaforths
Home Address:  Balnagown Farm, Kildary

Date of Paper:  22.11.1918
Surname:  Macleod
First Name(s):  Donald
Rank:  Private
Regiment:  Seaforths
Home Address:  149 Dumbarton Road, Glasgow (ex-Coigach, Ullapool)

A photo appears today of Pte. Donald Macleod, Seaforths, whose family belongs to Coigach, Ross-shire, and whose father, Mr Murdo Macleod, resides at 149 Dumbarton Road, Glasgow. Wounded in the German offensive of March last, he has made a good recovery after five months' hospital treatment, and is now with the 3rd (Reserve) Seaforths at Cromarty. When Pte. Macleod joined up he was working his uncle's croft at Coigach. He has seen a good deal of the fighting.

Date of Paper:  02.11.1917
Surname:  Macleod
First Name(s):  Donald A.
Rank:  2nd Lieutenant
Regiment:  Seaforths
Home Address:  Invergordon

2/Lieut. Donald Angus Macleod, KOSB, who died of wounds in a CCS in France on the 5th inst., was the second son of Mr and Mrs David Macleod, Dunvegan, Invergordon. He was twenty-six years of age, educated at the Invergordon Academy, and thereafter served his apprenticeship as chemist and druggist. At Edinburgh University he passed his examination as a pharmaceutical chemist, and, having secured an important appointment, went to London. He was not long in the city until he got an offer to go to China as representative for Messrs Watson & Coy., which offer he accepted, and successfully conducted business for them for several years in Hong Kong. When war broke out he joined the British Forces at Hong Kong, and remained with them for some time. Considering that this was not sufficient, he volunteered for active service in Europe, came home, and went to Gailes Camp, where he trained, and obtained a commission in the Gordon Highlanders, but was immediately transferred to the KOSB. He served with his battalion one month before being sent to France, and after six months hard fighting was fatally wounded by gunshot, and, as already stated, died without having regained consciousness.
His elder brother was adjutant in the Gordons, and is now attached to the RFC, in which he did some hard fighting, was severely wounded in the foot, and is at present in hospital in London.
Deep sympathy goes out to the relatives in their grievous loss of a son of much promise.

Continued on page 02
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