World War 1

World War One Collage

War Records 1914-18

Private James Sangster

Lance Corporal Sclater (Tain)

Private Arthur Scott

Lance Corporal Edgar Scott

Private George Scott

Private William Scott

Private William Fane Dalziel Dalrymple Sewell

Sergeant John Sharp

Lance Corporal A L Shaw

Private Donald Angus Shaw

Gunner John Angus Shaw, MM 

Private Stanley Shaw

Lieutenant J Rognvold Shennan, MC

Private Alexander Daniel Simpson

Private Murdoch Simpson

Able Seaman John Skene

Seaman David Skinner

Private Donald Skinner

Seaman John Skinner (Avoch)

Driver John Skinner (Nigg)

The four photos which follow refer to the entry for CSM John Kendrick Skinner, VC, born in Inver.  [Photographs courtesy of John Ross]

Father, Walter Skinner, surrounded by sons Alastair (left) and Jock (right).

CSM Jock Skinner, VC, DCM, Croix de Guerre. receiving his Victoria Cross from King George V at Buckingham Palace on 26 September 1917.

John Ross, Inver, at Vlamertinghe cemetery on 27 July 2016, preparing to lay a wreath at the grave of Jock Skinner.

The grave of CSM John Kendrick Skinner, VC, DCM, C de G

John Ross died on 25 April 2017 at the age of 80.
This photograph is reproduced by courtesy of his family and is included in memory of a lovely gentleman who was anxious that the bravery of a a native of Ross-shire should not be forgotten. Sadly, this new website went live only days after John's death and so he did not see the results of his research. 

Lance Corporal William Skinner

Surname Sangster - Swanson

Surname Forename Rank Home Relationship
Sangster James Private Tain  
Sclater Not stated L/Corporal Tain  
Scott Arthur Private Invergordon Brothers 1
Scott Edgar L/Corporal Invergordon  1
Scott George Private Invergordon  1
Scott William Private Invergordon  1
Sewell William F D D Private London  
Sharp A Lieutenant Horsham Brothers 2
Sharp John Sergeant Horsham   2
Shaw A L L/Corporal Grantham Brothers 3
Shaw Arthur Not stated Grantham  3
Shaw Donald A Private Skeabost  
Shaw John A Gunner Broadford  
Shaw Stanley Private Grantham  3
Shennan J Rognvold Lieutenant Hamilton  
Simpson Alexander D Private Culbokie Brothers 4
Simpson Murdoch Private Culbokie  4
Skene John Able Seaman Invergordon  
Skinner David Seaman Avoch  
Skinner Donald Private Fearn  
Skinner John Seaman Avoch  
Skinner John Driver Nigg  
Skinner (VC) John Kendrick CSM Glasgow  
Skinner William L/Corporal Avoch  
Smart Not stated Private Oxford  
Smith Alick Private Alness Brothers 5
Smith James Private Alness  5
Smith John D Private Selkirk  
Smith William L/Corporal Alness  5
Smith William C C Corporal Balblair  
Souter John J 2nd Engineer Birkenhead  
Stevens Joseph H Engineer Cardiff  
Stevenson Alexander R Private Alness  
Stewart A Private Edderton  
Stewart Algernon B A Lt-Colonel London  
Stewart Angus Sapper Maryburgh Brothers 6
Stewart Donald Private  NZ ex-Ardross Brothers 7
Stewart Ian A Private  Ardross  7
Stewart John Private  Maryburgh  6
Stewart John B L/Corporal Ullapool  
Stewart John R Private Ullapool  
Stewart Kenneth Private Ardross  7
Stewart Kenneth Private Maryburgh  6
Stirling David Not stated Kildary Brothers 8
Stirling Walter Not stated Kildary  8
Stirling William Private Kildary  8
Strachan Allan Private Maryburgh Brothers 9/
Strachan Archibald Corporal Maryburgh  9
Strachan James ex-CSM Maryburgh  9 (Father)
Strachan Kenneth J Corporal Maryburgh  9
Strachan Robert Sergeant Maryburgh  9
Strickland Not stated CSM Glasgow  
Sutherland Alexander Seaman Avoch Brothers 10
Sutherland Alick C Corporal Fearn Brothers 11
Sutherland Carlos Not stated Invergordon Brothers 12
Sutherland D Sergeant Dingwall  
Sutherland David Seaman Avoch  
Sutherland David Corporal Fearn  11
Sutherland Donald Private Avoch  10
Sutherland Donald Gunner Invergordon Brothers 13
Sutherland Donald Private Melbourne
Sutherland Hugh Private Dornoch  
Sutherland  J Private Invergordon  13
Sutherland James Private Canada
Sutherland John Not stated Invergordon  12
Sutherland T Drummer Ullapool  
Sutherland Thomas Sergeant Invergordon  13
Sutherland William Private Invergordon  12
Sutherland William Sergeant Strathpeffer  
Swanson George Private Canada
Brothers 14
Swanson Harry Private Evanton  14
Swanson John Not stated Evanton  14

Date of Paper:  12.05.1916
Surname:  Sangster
First Name(s):  James
Rank:  Private
Regiment:  Imperial Service
Home Address:  Tain

Sangster, Private James, 1863, was the eldest son of Mr. George Sangster, sanitary inspector, Station Road, Tain. A printer to trade, he had served four years with the battalion, and obtained his discharge; but when war broke out he at once rejoined and volunteered for Imperial Service. Going out to France with the battalion, he saw much service. "Your boy fell gallantly, charging the enemy's trenches," the Colonel wrote to the bereaved parents

Date of Paper:  24.03.1916
Surname:  Sclater
First Name(s):  Not stated
Rank:  Lance-Corporal
Regiment:  2nd Cameron Highlanders
Home Address:  Tain

8285 Lance-Corporal Sclater, 2nd Cameron Highlanders, of whom a portrait will be found on this page, was killed in action in Mesopotamia on January 10th, 1916. The deceased, who is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Sclater, 4 Knockbreck Street, Tain, was only 22 years of age, and had served eight years with the colours. Much sympathy will be felt for the sorrowing parents in their bereavement.

Date of Paper:  05.07.1918
Surname:  Scott
First Name(s):  Arthur
Rank:  Private
Regiment:  Camerons
Home Address:  Rosskeen Farm, Invergordon

There are reproduced to-day photographs of the four soldier sons of Mr and Mrs Scott, Rosskeen Farm, Invergordon. All four are Highlanders; all four have joined Highland regiments. One of the sons has been missing for over seven months.
Pte. Arthur Scott, Camerons, the eldest son, went to France with the B.E.F., and saw much of the heavy fighting in the early days of the war. Twice wounded he returned again to the Front, and over seven months ago was posted missing, and no word of him has yet been received. Before the war he was a ploughman with Mr A. T. Gill, Rosskeen Farm.
Pte. Wm. Scott, Seaforths, the second son, went to France with the county regiment in November, 1914, and has up the ribbon of the Mons Star. He is one of the old hands of the battalion and his luck has stood solid all through, never once having figured in the casualty list. He too was a ploughman in 1914, and was in the service of Mr Cruickshank, Priesthill, Delny.
L./Cpl. Edgar Scott, Seaforths, has been on active service since the outbreak of hostilities, and he too wears the ribbon of the 1914 Star. He was cattleman at Rosskeen before joining up.
Pte. George Scott, Argyll and Sutherlands, the youngest son, joined up in 1917. He was cattleman at Rosskeen then.

Date of paper:  05.07.1918
Surname:  Scott
First Name(s):  Edgar
Rank:  Lance Corporal
Regiment:  Seaforths
Home Address:  Rosskeen Farm, Invergordon

Date of paper:  05.07.1918
Surname:  Scott
First Name(s):  George
Rank:  Private
Regiment:  Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Home Address:  Rosskeen Farm, Invergordon

Date of paper:  05.07.1918
Surname:  Scott
First Name(s):  William
Rank:  Private
Regiment:  Camerons
Home Address:  Rosskeen Farm, Invergordon

Date of Paper:  10.03.1916
Surname:  Sewell
First Name(s):  William Fane Dalziel Dalrymple
Rank:  Private
Regiment:  Seaforths
Home Address:  20, Balcombe Street, London, N.W.

Sewell, Private William Fane Dalziel Dalrymple, 2053. B (Dingwal) Coy., killed in action 11th March, 1915; only son of Mr W. G. Dalrymple Sewell, 20 Balcombe Street, London, N.W. Born on 24 March, 1896. Grandson of the late Colonel H. Fane H. Sewell, H.M. Indian Army, and great-grandson of the late General Sir William Henry Sewell, K.C.B., 79th Cameron Highlanders.

Date of Paper:  11.01.1918
Surname:  Sharp
First Name(s):  A.
Rank:  Lieutenant
Regiment:  Seaforths
Home Address:  Horsham

No photograph available

As recently reported, news has reached Horsham of the death in action on the Western Front of Sergt. (acting S.M.) John Sharp, Seaforths. The youngest son of Mr and Mrs J Sharp, Culross Farm, Horsham, the late Sergt. Sharp (whose photograph appears today) was a native of Logie Parish, near Stirling, and went to England with his parents when eight years of age. After finishing his education at Horsham Grammar School, he served an apprenticeship in the workshops of Messrs. Rice Bros., motor engineers, Horsham. He was engaged in the engineering shop when he joined up early in September, 1914, along with his brother, now Lieut. A. Sharp, Seaforths. He went to France with his battalion in November 1914, and passed uninjured through the earlier engagements in which the battalion took part. He was slightly wounded in the Somme fighting of July, 1916. After a rapid recovery and a short time with the Reserves at home, he rejoined his old comrades early in the present year, to fall on November 22nd. Of a fine type physically, his loss is much regratted by a wide circle of friends. An enthusiastic member of the Horsham Caledonian Society, he was celebrated for miles around as a brilliant step dancer, securing the Society's championship medal for the sword dance and Highland fling three years out of four. In the county battalion Sergt. Sharp was greatly respected, and old comrades, reading with sorrow of his having "gone West" will feel deep sympathy with his bereaved relatives.
Lt. A. Sharp, Seaforths, deceased's brother, was educated at the Polytechnic, Regent St., London, where he passed his examinations with distinction, taking honours. Subsequently he was employed as a technical teacher at the Polytechnic. On the outbreak of war he joined up with his brother in September 1914, and went to France with the battalion in November of the same year to join the First Seven Divisions. He received his commission in May, 1915.

Date of Paper:  11.01.1918
Surname:  Sharp
First Name(s):  John
Rank:  Sergeant
Regiment:  Seaforths
Home Address:  Horsham

Date of paper:  12.05.1916
Surname:  Shaw
First Name(s):  A. L.
Rank:  Lance Corporal
Regiment:  4th Seaforths
Home Address:  Bridge Street, Grantham

Shaw, Lance-Corpl. A. L., 2062, and Pte Stanley Shaw, 2066, belonged to one of the best known Grantham families. They were sons of Mr and Mrs A. J. Shaw of Bridge Street, and grandsons of the late Mr John Shaw, J.P. Both were educated at the King's School, Grantham, "Loo"afterwards entering the firm of Messrs A. & J. Shaw, leather dressers, Grantham, an extensive business established by his grandfather and great-uncle, whilst Stanley chose engineering as a profession, and was employed by Messrs R. Hornsby & Sons Ltd., the world-famed agricultural and general engineers of Grantham. "Loo" was a keen sportsman, being a prominent member of the Grantham Golf Club, and an ardent and daring motor cyclist, but Stanley was of a quiet studious nature. They, with their brother Arthur, were the tallest men in the 4th Seaforths, averaging 6ft 4 inches each, and were known as the "19 ft. of Shaws". They were as good and brave as they were big, jovial, generous and staunch pals, and they are still greatly missed in Grantham.

Date of paper:  12.05.1916
Surname:  Shaw
First Name(s):  Arthur
Rank:  Not stated
Regiment:  4th Seaforths
Home Address:  Bridge Street, Grantham

Date of paper:  12.05.1916
Surname:  Shaw
First Name(s):  Stanley
Rank:  Private
Regiment:  4th Seaforths
Home Address:  Bridge Street, Grantham

Date of paper:  06.07.1917
Surname:  Shaw
First Name(s):  Donald Angus
Rank:  Private
Regiment:  Camerons
Home Address:  Skeabost, Skye

Pte. Donald Angus Shaw, Camerons, whose photograph is reproduced-to-day, was killed in action on 11th April. Twenty-five years of age, his parents, Mr Angus Shaw, mason, and Mrs Shaw, reside at Skeabost, Skye, where a brother is an assistant to Mr Campbell at Inchbae, Ross-shire.  Deceased joined up in June of last year, before which he was employed as a mason.

Date of paper:  30.05.1919
Surname:  Shaw
First Name(s):  John Alexander
Rank:  Gunner
Regiment:  R.G.A.
Home Address:  Broadford, Skye

Gunner John Alexander Shaw, R.G.A.,whose photograph is reproduced, is a son of Mr W. Shaw and Mrs Shaw, Broadford, Skye, and late of the Royal Hotel, Dingwall. Although born in Edinburgh, he spent most of his days in Dingwall, and was educated at the local Academy.   He went in for engineering and was with Mr Grant, C.E., Inverness, when war broke out. He enlisted in the R.G.A., and became an exceptionally clever gunner. His first battlefield was in Italy, where he was with the Expeditionary Force, and for his work there he was awarded an Italian decoration. Subsequently he was transferred to the East, and took a prominent part against the Bulgarians there. Recently he was awarded the Military Medal. He is still in the East, but hopes to get home this summer.
Date of paper:  02.03.1917
Surname:  Shennan
First Name(s):  J. Rognvold
Rank:  Lieutenant
Regiment:  Royal Engineers
Home Address:  Angus Lodge, Hamilton

As recently reported, Lieut. J. Rognvold Shennan, R.E., eldest son of Sheriff and Mrs Hay Shennan, Angus Lodge, Hamilton, and formerly of Dingwall, has been awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous bravery in the field.
A portrait of Lieut. Shennan appears in to-day's paper. Born in Lerwick in 1892, where his father was Sheriff-Substitute, his first school was Dingwall Academy, which he entered in 1900. In 1902, he went to Altonburn, Nairn, and in 1906 to Fettes College, Edinburgh. He entered Edinburgh University in 1910, and after a distinguished course graduated B.Sc in 1913. On leaving the University be joined the staff of Messrs Easton, Gibb & Sons Ltd., at Rosyth. Two months after the outbreak of war, although meantime engaged on work of high national importance, he resolved that his services would be more useful to his country in the Army, and he obtained a commission in the Royal Engineers in October 1914. He went to France in September, 1915, and to Salonica in December of the same year. He has remained there throughout, except a period when he was invalided with wounds.
His younger brother, who was born in Dingwall, is doing credit to the place of his birth; he took the First Open Scholarship at Fettes College last year.
As was said on a former occasion, Ross-shire retains nothing but the kindliest recollections of the Shennan family, and hearty congratulations and good wishes will go out to this young officer who has earned high honour in a profession which he entered by the oath of patriotic fervour.
Date of paper:  16.11.1917
Surname:  Simpson
First Name(s):  Alexander Daniel
Rank:  Private
Regiment:  Seaforths
Home Address:  Findon Pier Cottage, Culbokie

Pte. Alexander Daniel Simpson, Seaforths, son of Mr and Mrs Simpson, Findon Pier Cottage, Culbokie, was killed in action in France in October last. Today his photograph and that of his brother, Pte. Murdo Simpson, Seaforths, is reproduced.
Pte. A. D. Simpson was a well-known shorthorn herdsman. He had a great fancy for the breed and his experience was broad and his knowledge of much intrinsic value. First under herdsman with the late Mr Colin M. Cameron, Balnakyle, he was appointed chief herdsman to the famous Millhills herd belonging to Mr Stewart, Crieff, and served there for four years. Subsequently he took over the management of the famous English herd at Grange, where he was employed when war broke out. His figure was a well-known one in the best showyards and sale rings. He was known to most of the best shorthorn breeders, and was a popular personality among herdsmen, among whom he supported wholeheartedly that splendid cameraderie which distinguishes the whole company of fanciers of the breed. Pte. Simpson answered the call to arms with alacrity, joining his own county Territorial battalion. He was a 1914 man, going to France with his unit in November. He took part in the memorable battle of Neuve Chapelle, where he was wounded, like many others, with shrapnel in the head. His escape was miraculous and for a time life was held by a slender cord. At a base hospital an operation resulted in a large piece of shrapnel being taken from the head. One portion of shrapnel still remained, which was too near the brain to be removed. With the best of skilled nursing, the wound healed and he did not seem to suffer. He returned to Scotland, and after a considerable convalescence in Aberdeen he was, largely on his own pressing importunity, discharged fit and returned to his regiment. Always an officer's servant, two of his superiors lost their lives, and he himself fell in action just when he was posted, on 8th October, for his first leave for two years. Everybody speaks kindly of him, and if the sanctity of the home and the domestic circle were invaded it would reveal that the splendid type of character which was exemplified in his common actions was founded on his deep personal affections for his home and his splendid and abiding interest in all that made for the happiness and comfort of all people, to whom and to the family goes out the deepest sympathy.
Pte Murdoch Simpson, Seaforths, a younger brother, whose photo, as stated, is also reproduced, has served with a line battalion in France. In April, 1915, he suffered from shell shock, and was sent to England. Recovering, he returned to the line, and after sharing in the heavy fighting in which his battalion has participated he was severely wounded in July last, his left arm being shattered at the shoulder. Happily, he is making good progress in an English hospital.

Date of paper:  16.11.17
Surname:  Simpson
First Name(s):  Murdoch
Rank:  Private
Regiment:  Seaforths
Home Address:  Findon Pier Cottage, Culbokie

Date of paper:  17.12.1915
Surname:  Skene
First Name(s):  John
Rank:  Able Seaman
Regiment:  Royal Navy
Home Address:  113, High Street, Invergordon

The above is a portrait of John Skene, A.B., R.N., HMS Orveita, son of Mr J. Skene, 113 High Street, Invergordon, and Highmills, Tain. He has seen service in the Persian Gulf and on the Somaliland Coast, for which he had the medals and clasps.
Date of paper:  04.08.1916
Surname:  Skinner
First Name(s):  David
Rank:  Able Seaman
Regiment:  Royal Naval Reserve
Home Address:  8, Factory Buildings, Avoch

On the 8th inst. sincere regret was felt for Mr David Skinner, 8 Factory Buildings, Avoch, in the tragic death of his eldest son, Seaman David Skinner, R.N.R., 5272 A, in his twentieth year. He was the only Avoch lad in his ship and seems to have won the esteem of his shipmates, as their remembrance of sympathy denotes. The sad intelligence was unusually pathetic, as only that morning a letter came from the deceased, and the wire being so addressed to his mother who had predeceased him a few weeks ago, a mother sorely missed by her husband and young family. Seaman Skinner had leave home, but did not arrive in time for the funeral.
The portrait of the deceased appears above.

Date of paper: 24.11.1916
Surname:  Skinner
First Name(s):  Donald
Rank:  Private
Regiment:  Seaforths
Home Address:  Balaldie, Fearn

We reproduce a photograph of Private Donald Skinner, Seaforths, who was married in the Free Church Manse, Fearn, on the 7th inst. to Miss Isabella Macintosh, Bridge Street, Inverness. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. George Mackay. The marriage feast was served at Balaldie by Mrs Skinner, at which there were 26 couples. A number of congratulatory telegrams were read, including some from comrades of Pte Skinner's in the trenches. The gifts were numerous and valuable. Pte. Skinner was mobilised in November, 1914, and went to France with his regiment. He was time expired but has rejoined, and is now back with his battalion at the front.

Date of paper:  08.02.1918
Surname:  Skinner
First Name(s):  John
Rank:  Able Seaman
Regiment:  Royal Naval Reserve
Home Address:  11, Factory Buildings, Avoch

5282 A. Seaman John Skinner, R.N.R. aged 21 years, whose photograph appears to-day, was drowned on December 13th 1917. During the past two years he served in a Naval vessel and was lookout when she was torpedoed. He must have leaped into the sea unhurt as he was afterwards seen by three survivors who were clinging to a raft within 20 yards of him. They urged him to come alongside but Seaman Skinner, believing that the frail raft already had more than it could sufficiently support, refused to take any risk saying, "It's better that one life should be sacrificed than four." An expert swimmer at an early age, now when every effort was needed he made a gallant attempt to reach an empty raft which seemed about a hundred yards distant. Swimming in the teeth of a gale he was seen to stop about half way, turned his face towards his shipmates and waved his hand calling distinctly, "It's all over now, farewell". His was a doubly noble sacrifice.
Deceased was the second son of Mr and Mrs Alex Skinner, 11 Factory Buildings, Avoch. He was a fine lad of sterling character and well-liked by a large circle of friends. Prior to the war, Seaman Skinner was engaged in the fishing industry and joined the Royal Naval Reserve in March, 1914. Since being in the service he experienced some trying ordeals. He was on duty aboard other two boats which were mined and some of the crews lost.  His eldest brother, who is on foreign service in the Navy at present, also served on a vessel which was mined.

Date of paper:  17.05.1918
Surname:  Skinner
First Name(s):  John
Rank:  Private
Regiment:  Royal Engineers
Home Address:  Cullisse Farm, Nigg

A photograph appears to-day of 199563 Driver John Skinner, Royal Engineers, who, as reported last week, was killed in action on 24th March, 1918. The son of Mr and Mrs John Skinner, Cullisse, Nigg, deceased mobilised with the 1/4th Seaforths in August, 1914, and proceeded to France with his unit in November following, in time to earn the 1914 Star. Time expired, in1916 he transferred to the Royal Engineers, and after three months training at home returned to France, where first to last he spent over three years, having entered his fourth year some time ago. Driver Skinner will be regretted by his many comrades, and his loss will be keenly felt by the diminished band of young soldiers who, under the strain of a terrible was, were taught the trade of a soldier.
Ane by ane they gang awa',
The Gaitherer gathers great and sma',
Ane by ane makes ane an a'.
Mr and Mrs Skinner have two other sons who served with the Colours in France. One, a 1/4th Seaforth, is now on a Government farm in Scotland, after nearly four years in the line; the other is in France with the Canadians.  There is much public sympathy with the family in their bereavement.

The following entry did not appear in the Ross-shire Journal of 1914-18 but is included because of John K Skinner's connection with the County. 


Company Sergeant Major John Kendrick Skinner, VC, DCM, Croix de Guerre

On 27 July 2016, during a tour of Flanders battlefields organised by Spa Coaches, Strathpeffer,  John Ross, Inver, at Vlamertinghe cemetery, laid on behalf of the Royal British Legion (Scotland) a wreath in remembrance and honour of CSM Jock Skinner, VC, who by a strange coincidence had been born in the same house as John.

Information about Jock Skinner has been supplied by Regimental HQ of The King's Own Scottish Borderers, as follows:
Jock Skinner was born on 26 October 1881 in Inver, near Tain, Ross-shire, and was the son of Walter Skinner and Barbara Cumming.  The family later moved to Pollockshields, Glasgow, where Jock began a trade as an engineer.
He served with the West of Scotland Artillery prior to joining 1st KOSB, serving in the Boer War where he was wounded three times.  He transferred to the 2nd KOSB and served in the East Indies 1902-3, Burma 1903, and Aden 1906.  He was with 2nd KOSB as part of the British Expeditionary Force in 1914, was wounded at this time and was awarded the DCM. When he had recovered from his wounds he transferred to 1st KOSB, fought in the Dardanelles 1915-16 and then returned to France.
On 18 August 1917, at Wijdendrift, Belgium, when his company was held up by machine-gun fire, although wounded in the head CSM Skinner gathered together six men and with great courage and determination worked round the left flank of some blockhouses from where the fire was coming and succeeded in single-handedly bombing and taking the first blockhouse.  Leading his six men, he then proceeded to the other two blockhouses, clearing them and taking 60 prisoners, three machine-guns and two trench mortars.  For his bravery he was awarded the Victoria Cross.
Jock Skinner was promoted to Acting CSM in June 1917, two months before winning his Victoria Cross at Langemark and wounded yet again.  Leaving hospital, he was sent on leave when he married Miss Annie Lee in Glasgow and then received his decoration from King George V.  He was also presented with the French Croix de Guerre.
Promotion to CSM came on 17 September 1917.  On 17 March 1918 he was killed in action near Passchendaele while attempting to rescue a company medical orderley. The men of his company carried him back to Vlamertinghe, a distance of about 15 miles, and he was buried there on 19 March with pall bearers numbering six recipients of the Victoria Cross.
On 20 March 1917 a fellow soldier wrote:  "I think you would like to hear about wonderful Jock Skinner, VC.  The night before he was killed, I was in his Company dug-out and had a long chat with him about things in connection with my work and of which he had expert knowledge.
"He was a typical Glasgow fellow with high set voice and strong Glasgow accent and when I spoke to him I just thought Can this 'Jock' be the man of outstanding bravery and extraordinary courage who was feted all over Scotland as one of its bravest sons?  [The soldier then relates how they shared a cup of tea.]
"A man of deep human sympathy, even when I was there they told me he had gone out in broad daylight, at extreme risk to himself, and buried three of our fellows (not KOSBs). He brought in their personal effects - photos, letters, identification discs - saying 'Their folks'll like to hear they got a decent burial' and I'm sure their folks will be proud that Jock Skinner was the man to do it.
"He was on an errand of this nature when he was sniped on the following day.  A very brave stretcher party went out to get him and paid the penalty.  The dirty sods might have recognised the action of a brave man and a stretcher bearer, as our fellows did two days before. 
"Well, Jock was brought back and the Division arranged his funeral.  A staff Captain arrived saying the best team in the Division was turning out and the men were polishing and cleaning with great enthusiasm.  Unfortunately I couldn't go on account of a blistered heel, which is now all right, but I had the honour of saluting the gun carriage where Jock was lying under the Union Jack for which he had done so much.  The usual din was going on all round, but what did it matter to Jock, for even when alive he paid not the slightest heed of them.
"They took him to one of the official cemeteries where were assembled the other nine VCs of the Division - an exceptional gathering.  Our CS Majors and Sergeants carried him to the grave, with our Battalion all wearing steel helmets standing round, surely the most fitting close, although deplorable, to such an outstanding career.
"The CS Major in charge of the firing party was Jock's friend.  They have been through it together, both wounded eight times, and this same Sergeant Major Stevenson went out and brought Jock in notwithstanding the fact that the first stretcher bearer had been shot.
"The firing party having fired one volley, the pipes played a part of The Flowers of the Forest of which Jock was one of the fairest, then another volley was fired and again the pipes played The Flowers of the Forest.  A third volley having been fired, the firing party presented arms, the whole Battalion stood to attention, the Officers at the salute and the bugles sounded The Last Post.
"I hope at the end of the war I shall be able to visit the grave of this wonderful little man as will thousands of others who go to that cemetery." 

In the Ross-shire Journal of 18 August 2017 Lynne Bradshaw reported on the special ceremony during the week to mark the centenary of John Skinner's bravery during the Battle of Passchendaele.  Parts of her article are reproduced by kind permission. 

"One hundred years to the day since he carried out his brave actions, Glasgow's Lord Provost Eva Bolander unveiled a World War 1 centenary paving stone in CSM Skinner's memory at the city's People's Palace.

Lord Provost Eva Bolander with Harris Rotherford (6) and Ben Ridgewell (3), great-great-great-nephews of John Skinner.  [Photo Glasgow City Council]

"Many members of the association of his regiment, The King's Own Scottish Borderers, 25 of his relatives from around the world and representatives from his old school and neighbourhood attended the poignant event.

Descendants of John Skinner beside the memorial paving stone.  [Photo Glasgow City Council]

Representatives of The King's Own Scottish Borderers.  [Photos Glasgow City Council]

"John's great-nephew Stewart Skinner, who travelled from Australia to attend the service, is keen for the Easter Ross side of the family to know about John's honour so they can share in his pride.

"John was thought to have been born in Inver in Easter Ross, where his father Walter, a tailor, was from, but was brought up in Pollockshields in Glasgow. 

"Stewart explained they had lost contact with their Ross-shire family, but John's strong connections to the area had not been forgotten.  'We wanted to spread the news of his honour to that side of the family,' he said.  'It is a shame they weren't there and didn't know about it;  when my cousin and I went up there many years ago to visit them, they were very proud of him.  The more I read about him, the more I realise he was a boy's own hero, forever in trouble.  He ran away from school and joined the army at 16.  This is a great story for Inver, and we want them to know that he was honoured again 100 years on for what he did to win the Victoria Cross.'

"During the ceremony Stewart gave a vote of thanks, his cousin Myra Grant read the Victoria Cross citation and his cousin Alan Skinner delivered a poem.  The Skinner familhy also commissioned a pipe tune in his name which was played at the event, and a painting of the battlefield by one of the relatives was presented to the regimental association.  'The event went very well;  it was well worth the trip,' said Stewart."

In November 2018 the residents of Inver gathered to unveil a Memorial in memory of John K Skinner, VC.  Councillor Mrs Fiona Robertson presided, the Act of Remembrance was led by the Rev John Macleod, and the Memorial was unveiled by Lord Lieutenant Mrs Janet Bowen, CVO.

NB:  A photo of the memorial will appear as soon as RCHS can obtain one.  

Date of paper:  24.05.1918 and 06.09.1918
Surname:  Skinner
First Name(s):  William
Rank:  Lance Corporal
Regiment:  Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
Home Address:  3, Geddestone, Avoch

There is reproduced today a photo of 39472, L./Cpl. William Skinner, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), eldest son of Warrant Officer Alex. Skinner, R.N., and Mrs Skinner, 3 Geddeston, Avoch, who, as already reported was killed in action in France on April 9th, 1918, at the age of 19 years. A fine, manly boy, beloved by that knew him, his is much mourned in his early death, and sympathy goes out to the parents in their bereavement.
Warrant Officer Alex. Skinner and Mrs Skinner, 3 Geddeston, Avoch, have been officially informed that their eldest son, 39472 L./Cpl. Wm. Skinner, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), was killed in action on April the 9th. He went to France in January, 1918, and took part in the severe fighting. He was in the nineteenth year. Prior to his enlistment in the H.L.I. in February, 1917, he served in the Recorder' Office, Invergordon. L./Cpl. Skinner was eager to do his part. The Rev. T. Kerr, Avoch, made touching references to the ending of a young and promising life at his post of duty. Much sympathy is felt for his parents, brothers and sister.
The parents are without precise particulars as to the manner L./Cpl. Skinner met his death and would gladly receive information.  A photo appears to-day.

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