Attribution: WikiImages from Pixabay

You are welcome to comment on these pictures

Ross and Cromarty Heritage Society welcome further information and comments about any person or photos on our website. Adding a comment means that you accept our Privacy Policy.

Table of Contents for this page

Photo: #5864

photo taken during service in World War I

Reid James, Seaman, Avoch

Gunner James Reid

Date of Paper: 08.08.1941 and 22.08.1941
Surname: Reid
Forename(s): James
Rank: Gunner
Regiment: New Zealand F. Troop
Home Address: New Zealand, ex-14 Dock, Avoch


Mr William Reid, 14 Dock, Avoch, has been officially informed that his son, Gnr. James Reid, New Zealand F. Troop, is reported missing in the Middle East. Gnr. Reid visited his home last year after an absence of over 19 years. Before he finally settled in New Zealand, he served in the foreign Mercantile Service. He is 45 years of age and unmarried. He served in the Great War * in the RNR and was a prisoner of war in Germany for a period. His last letter to his father was dated 2/5/41.

* See the extract from Ross-shire Journal of 04.08.1916:  TWO AVOCH NAVAL HEROES


Mr William Reid, 14 Dock, Avoch, has been officially notified that a cablegram was received on August 13th, 1941, by the Dominion of New Zealand Government Office, London, that his son, Gnr. James Reid, of the New Zealand Forces, serving in the Middle East, and who was previously reported missing, is now reported as having returned to his unit. The New Zealand Colonel who wrote Mr Reid hoped that this communication would alleviate the aged parents’ anxiety.

Photo: #7652 (Seaman James Reid)

Seaman James Reid

Photo: #7654 (Seaman Thomas Reid

Seaman Thomas Reid.jpg

Seaman James Reid

Seaman Thomas Reid

Date of Paper: 22.08.1941
Surname: Reid
Forename(s): James and Thomas
Rank: Seaman
Regiment: Royal Navy Reserve
Home Address: 24 Dock, Avoch


Mr and Mrs George Reid, 24 Dock, Avoch, have been officially notified by the Admiralty that their son, Seaman James Reid, RNR, who was previously reported missing on May 13, 1941, is now presumed lost at sea on April 30th, 1941. Seaman Reid, who had been serving since the outbreak of war, had been on foreign active service when he became ill. After hospital treatment, he was returning home on sick leave when the ship in which he travelled as a passenger was sunk by enemy action in the Atlantic. He was 30 years of age and unmarried. His youngest brother, who was also serving in the Navy, Seaman Thomas Reid, DH, RNR, was lost in the North Sea as the result of enemy action in 1940. Three other brothers are serving.

Photo: #7653

Seaman John Patience Reid.jpg

Seaman John Patience Reid

Date of Paper: 14.06.1940
Surname: Reid
Forename(s): John Patience
Rank: Seaman
Regiment: Royal Navy
Home Address: 3 John Street, Avoch

Mr and Mrs Simon Reid, 3 John Street, Avoch, have received official information that their eldest son, Seaman John Patience Reid, was killed in action on May 31 during hostilities at Dunkirk and was buried at Ramsgate. Later a letter was received from the depot chaplain testifying to the fine character of Reid whilst in the service. Deceased was 20 years of age.

Photo: #7647

Lance Corporal Edward Shearer

Lance Corporal Edward John Shearer

Date of Paper: 19.02.1943
Surname: Shearer
Forename(s): Edward J.
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment: Seaforths
Home Address: Old Schoolhouse, Avoch

Mr and Mrs E. Shearer, formerly of Brucefield, Portmahomack, and now of Old Schoolhouse, Avoch, have received official information that their only son, L./Cpl. Edward John Shearer, Intelligence Section, The Seaforths, was severely wounded on 21st January, 1943, and is dangerously ill in hospital in the Middle East. L./Cpl. Shearer was in the 4th Seaforths at the outbreak of the war but, being under age, was transferred to another battalion of The Seaforths. Mr and Mrs Shearer have two daughters serving in the WAAFs and another has now taken up nursing as her profession.

Handwritten note: “Died of wounds 25th May, 1943.”

Photo: #7645

Captain Alexander Smith

Captain Alexander (Sandy) Smith

Date of Paper: Date obliterated
Surname: Smith
Forename(s): Alexander
Rank: Captain
Regiment: Seaforths
Home Address: Post Office, Avoch


Capt. Alexander (Sandy) Smith, The Seaforths, officially reported wounded in France, is now in an English hospital, where his mother and sister are visiting him. His condition is satisfactory. He also served over two years in West Africa. Capt. Smith is the only son of the late Mr John Smith and Mrs Smith, Post Office, Avoch. Prior to the war he was attached to the staff of the Bank of Scotland, Ardgay.

Photo: #7655

Sergeant Pilot Jock Spence-Ross.jpg

Sergeant Pilot Jock Spence-Ross

Date of Paper: Date obliterated
Surname: Spence-Ross
Forename(s): Jock
Rank: Sergeant Pilot
Regiment: Rhodesian Royal Air Force
Home Address: Bulawayo, ex-Avoch


Sergeant Pilot Jock Spence-Ross, RRAF, son of Mr and Mrs Alastair Spence-Ross, Bulawayo, and grandson of the late Canon Spence-Ross, Avoch, and of Mrs Spence-Ross, Blaven, Turriff, previously reported missing, is now reported prisoner of war.

Photo: #7648

Leading Steward Donald Sutherland

Leading Steward Donald Sutherland

Date of Paper: 19.02.1943
Surname: Sutherland
Forename(s): Donald
Rank: Leading Steward
Regiment: Royal Navy
Home Address: 11 Shore Street, Avoch


Official information has now been received that Leading Steward Donald Sutherland is missing from HMS Fidelity. He is 23 years of age, and was working nearly seven years in London prior to his serving in the Navy. His wife is serving with the NAAFI at Dalmore. He is the fourth son of the late Mr Lewis Sutherland and Mrs Sutherland, 11 Shore Street, Avoch. His four brothers are also serving in the Navy.

Photo: #7649

Private Alexander Urquhart

Private Alexander Urquhart

Date of Paper: 12.07.1940
Surname: Urquhart
Forename(s): Alexander
Rank: Private
Regiment: Seaforth Highlanders
Home Address: Rosehaugh, Avoch

Handwritten notes: “Missing. Employed on Rosehaugh Farm, Avoch. Liberated 4th May, 1945.”

Photo: #7656

Staff Sgt Major John Morton Wilkie.jpg

Staff Sergeant Major John Morton Wilkie

Date of Paper: 05.07.1940
Surname: Wilkie
Forename(s): John Morton
Rank: Staff Sergeant Major
Regiment: Seaforth Highlanders
Home Address: 20 High Street, Avoch, ex-15 Barbados Road, Kilmarnock

S.S.M. John Morton Wilkie (33), The Seaforths, is reported missing. He served 15 years with his regiment, having been in Palestine, Egypt, and last year returned from Hong Kong, accompanied by his wife and young daughter. At present his wife and daughter are resident at 20 High Street, Avoch, and his parents at 15 Barbados Road, Kilmarnock.

Handwritten notes: “Prisoner of War 23rd August, 1940. A brother is also with the Forces. His father served with the Seaforths in the last war.”

Photo: #7650 (Private Alexander Williamson)

Private Alexander Williamson

Photo: #7651 (Private J. D. Williamson)

Private J. D. Williamson

Private Alexander Williamson

Private J. D. Williamson

Date of Paper: 12.07.1940
Surname: Williamson
Forename(s): Alexander and J. D.
Rank: Private
Regiment: Seaforth Highlanders
Home Address: Coldholme, Killen, Avoch

Handwritten notes: “Twin sons of Mr and Mrs Williamson. Prisoners of War 30th August, 1940. Pte. J. D. Williamson repatriated 5th November, 1943.”

Page updated on 25 August 2023

Please submit your comment

Do you have any more information about any of the content on this page.

Your comments are always welcome: