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Photo: #7040

Cran David, Lieut, Dingwall, 1944

Lieutenant David Cran

Date of Paper: 06.08.1943 and 19.01.1944
Surname: Cran
Forename(s): David
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment: Royal Scots Fusiliers
Home Address: Caberfeidh Terrace, Dingwall


Lieutenant David Cran is reported wounded in Sicily. He is a son of Mr J. R. Cran, Caberfeidh Terrace, Dingwall, and is a banker by profession, having received his training in the Commercial Bank, Dingwall. There are six of Mr Cran’s family serving with the Forces. In addition to Lt. David Cran, these are: Jack in the R.A.F.; Robert and Alistair, and Winnie and Mona.

[19.01.1944] DIED OF WOUNDS

Lieut. David Cran, Royal Scots Fusiliers, died of wounds while serving with the Mediterranean Force, was a son of Mr J. R. Cran, Caberfeidh Terrace, Dingwall. A banker by profession, he served his apprenticeship in the Dingwall branch of the Commercial Bank. Later he was transferred to London, where he joined the London Scottish, with which he served in Norway. On his return he qualified for a commission and was posted to the Royal Scots Fusiliers. Prior to going East, Lt. Cran was married to a Miss Muriel Bain, whose home address is in Surrey, but who is serving with an Anti Aircraft Motor Transport Coy., in which she holds a commission. Of a very cheerful disposition, his smiling face made him a general favourite. Much sympathy is extended to his wife, and father, sisters and brothers. Jack, Robert and Alistair are serving with the Forces, as also are Winnie and Mona, while Nannie is at home.

Courtesy of Lieut. Cran’s sister, Mrs W. Sinclair, we are able to reproduce his photograph and his last letter home:

“Lt. D. H. Cran, 21 R.S. Fus., C.M.F. 30 Dec. ’43.
“Dear Win,
“My correspondence has suffered a lot this past while. Things have been rather tough and I have been feeling rather out of sorts because of the wretched cold and one thing and another which accompanies active service. I don’t mind the shells and the killing as much as the dread of spending long days and sleepless nights in cold wet trenches. The boys have done wonders of ‘sticking it’ in this unhappy country: may they see some result for it all when the end of the war comes.
“At the moment we are at rest in good billets and have been fortunate in having been able to spend Xmas in comparative comfort. The usual fare was in good supply and considering everything the usual customs were kept in good style. New Year has to come yet and, if we can, we hope to procure some beverages for the celebration. We are, of course, too near the guns to allow any undue frivolity but in a small way we shall, no doubt, toast 1944. What it will bring no one has much doubt. Let us hope some Providence may come about to stop extreme frightfulness.
“Since beginning this letter the snow has come and now all the country is white in about a foot of snow. During the first wild night the conditions were very extreme but now that the sun has come out it is quite pleasant and our spirits have revived.
“The date is now actually the 2 Jan. and all the boisterous mirth of the New Year has passed, thank goodness. The fellows get most horribly drunk on that infernal vino and perhaps you have some idea by now of how Jocks behave when they get boozed up with raw spirit. It is all OK when you are far from the front but it is not to pleasant when Jerry is just across the way.
“I send you my sincere good wishes for the New Year and my wish is that we may see each other again before the year is out.
“Give my love to everybody at home when you go north.
“Yours aye, David

Mrs Sinclair adds that David was killed in Italy and that his name is recorded on both the Dingwall War Memorial and on a plaque in Castle Street Church of Scotland, Dingwall.

No photo available

Gunner Alister M. Fraser

Date of Paper: 01.09.1944
Surname: Fraser
Forename(s): Alister M.
Rank: Gunner
Regiment: Royal Artillery
Home Address: Caberfeidh Terrace, Dingwall


Mr A. W. Fraser, Caberfeidh Terrace, Dingwall, has received notice that his son, Gnr. Alister M. Fraser, R.A., A.A., has been wounded in the knee while serving in Northern France. He joined the A.A. battery at Dingwall early in the war.

No photo available

Captain Hector Gascoigne

Date of Paper: 19.07.1940
Surname: Gascoigne
Forename(s): Hector
Rank: Captain
Regiment: Seaforth Highlanders
Home Address: Ardullie Lodge, Dingwall

Captain Patrick Munro of Foulis, and Captain Hector Gascoigne, The Seaforths, have both been reported missing. Sons of the late Lieut. Colonel Cecil Gascoigne, D.S.O., The Seaforths, and of Mrs Gascoigne of Ardullie, and grandsons of the late Colonel Sir Hector Munro of Foulis, Bart., and of Lady Munro of Foulis, both were serving in the 51st Division and are believed to be prisoners of war. Capt. Patrick Munro, it will be recalled, succeeded to the estate of Foulis on the death of his grandfather, taking the old family name. He is Chief of Clan Munro (Association). The attachements of the House of Foulis with The Seaforths, direct and indirect, have been long and intimate. The heir to the title, Captain Hector Munro, yr. of Foulis, fell in the last war shortly before the Armistice while serving with The Seaforth Highlanders.

Handwritten notes: “Prisoner of War 9th August, 1940. Pat liberated 11th May, 1945. Hector liberated 18th May, 1945.”

Photo: #7618

Joseph Wood Gibson in 1940

Photo taken while he was a prisoner of war in Germany. Joseph died from pneumonia lasting eight weeks in a large hospital on the 31 August 1943. He was buried with full military honours in a cemetery near Inowroclaw about 60 miles from Posnan in September 1943

Photo of Joseph Wood Gibson taken in 1940 

Private Joseph W. Gibson

Date of Paper: 12.11.1943
Surname: Gibson
Forename(s): Joseph W.
Rank: Private
Regiment: 4th Bn. Seaforth Highlanders
Home Address: Astor Cottage, Dingwall

Apart from any earlier announcement of the death of Private Joseph Gibson, extended information revealing the circumstances appears in the Ross-shire Journal of 12 November 1943 and reads as follows:

“Further information has now been received with regard to the death of Pte. Joseph W Gibson, The Seaforths, son of Mr Kenneth Gibson, Astor Cottage, Dingwall, which took place on 31 August 1943 while he was a prisoner of war in Germany. Miss Gibson, sister of the deceased, has received the following letter from Corporal Leslie Martin, The Seaforth’s, a prisoner of war at Zepruft Oflag 64B:

Dear Miss Gibson, I am writing to express not only my sympathy but also that of the twenty-three Seaforth Highlanders in this camp, at your sad bereavement. Joseph died from pneumonia in a large hospital, on 31 August, after an illness lasting eight weeks. Four of his comrades, including myself, brought the remains back to camp on 2nd September, and he was buried in a beautiful little cemetery, about 100 yards from where I write, at 10 am on the morning of 3rd September. The German authorities supplied a firing party of eight men and, in all, one hundred of his comrades in the camp attended. It was a beautiful and impressive service with all the tradition of a military funeral. I hope you find some consolation in these facts and also in the knowledge that he died very peacefully. The German hospital matron informed me that he was singing softly to himself at the end. Photographs were taken of the funeral, and these you will receive in due course. As we hope to be repatriated in the near future, perhaps some of us may have an opportunity of paying you a visit personally.

Leslie Martin, Corpl., 4th Seaforth Highlanders”

The newspaper entry continues:
“One other important aspect of the Chaplains’ ministry was to conduct the funeral of prisoners who, sadly, died (or, in some cases, were killed) in captivity. These funerals were always conducted with due reverence and full military honours. The coffin, draped in a Union Jack flag, would be borne by six men, with an honour guard and wreath bearers and, after the committal, the Last Post would be sounded by a bugler. David Wild records that, in his experience, “With rare exceptions, the German guards present behaved with reference and kept well in the background.”

The following photographs, which were taken to be sent to the relatives of the deceased, conducted by Duncan Macinnes at Stalag XXI, are of the funeral of Private Joseph Wood Gibson of the 4th Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders, a prisoner at the Heilag at Stalag XXI-D, Montwy (Polish Matwy), who died of pneumonia in the Tiegenhof Hospital in Gniezo on the 31st of August 1943, a few weeks before his 25th birthday. He was the son of Kenneth and Isabella Gibson of Dingwall, and the youngest of their seven children. He was buried with full mil,itary honours in the cemetery at nearby Inowroclaw, about 60 miles ENE of Posnan. After the war, on 8th October 1948, Private Gibson was reburied in the Posnan British Military Cemetery.

Minister at Joe Wood Gibson's funeral
Funeral of Joseph Wood Gibson, Dingwall

No photo available

Private John George Cormack Gunn

Date of Paper: 28.07.1944
Surname: Gunn
Forename(s): John George Cormack
Rank: Private
Regiment: Seaforths
Home Address: Humberston, Dingwall, ex-Strath of Watten, Caithness


Pte. John George Cormack Gunn, The Seaforths, killed in action, was the third son of Mr and Mrs William Gunn, Humberston, Dingwall, and formerly of Strath of Watten Caithness. Thirty-one years of age and a farm servant, deceased was in the Caithness Seaforth Territorials before war broke out. He went through the North African campaign with the 51st Division and after the occupation of Sicily returned to Britain and later took part in the invasion of Normandy. In a letter of sympathy to the deceased’s parents, his officer writes: “I have been John’s Platoon Commander for over a year, in which time I learned to respect and admire him as a fine, steady and dependable soldier. His loss was a great blow to all in the Battalion who knew him, and he is sadly missed by his comrades, amongst whom he was universally popular.”

No photo available

Private William George Innes

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.

No photo available

Able Seaman James Lockhart

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.

No photo available

Corporal James Macallister

Date of Paper 30.06.1944
Surname: Macallister
Forename(s): James
Rank: Corporal
Regiment: Not stated
Home Address: 7 Meiklefield Road, Dingwall

Mr W. Macallister, 7 Meiklefield Road, Dingwall, has received intimation that his two sons, Cpl. James Macallister and Pte. Tom Macallister, have been wounded.

See entry below for details of his brother Tom Macallister

No photo available

Private Tom Macallister

Date of Paper 30.06.1944
Surname: Macallister
Forename(s): Tom
Rank: Private
Regiment: Not stated
Home Address: 7 Meiklefield Road, Dingwall

Mr W. Macallister, 7 Meiklefield Road, Dingwall, has received intimation that his two sons, Cpl. James Macallister and Pte. Tom Macallister, have been wounded.

See entry above for details of his brother James Macallister

Photo: #7046

Macallister Tom, Corp,

Photograph, courtesy of Tom Macallister's nephew, shows: Back l-r: Willie Macallister, Peter Macallister Front, l-r: Alex Macallister, Corporal Tom Macallister Date of Paper 21.07.1944

Photograph, courtesy of Tom Macallister’s nephew, shows:
Back l-r: Willie Macallister, Peter Macallister
Front, l-r: Alex Macallister, Corporal Tom Macallister
Date of Paper 21.07.1944

Corporal Tom Macallister

Date of Paper: Unknown
Surname: Macallister
Forename(s): Tom
Rank: Corporal
Regiment: The Seaforths
Home Address: Camore, Dornoch

Extract from Ross-shire Journal (undated) provided by Tom Macallister’s nephew, also Tom Macallister:

“Corporal Tom Macallister, The Seaforths, was killed in action on the Burma Front in June. He was a son of the late Mr and Mrs Lindsay Macallister, Dingwall, and his young wife resides at Camore, Dornoch. Twenty-five years of age, he was labouring in Dingwall when he joined The Seaforths at the outbreak of the War. The Macallister family, who have intimate family connections with Ross-shire, have a remarkable war record, both in this campaign and in the 1914-18 struggle. An uncle of Corporal Macallister, Peter Macallister, was a well-known member in the old 1/4th Battalion Seaforths in the last war.”

Nephew of Tom and James Macallister, see entries above

No photo available

Corporal Tom Macallister

Surname: Macallister
Forename(s): Tom
Rank: Corporal
Regiment: Seaforths
Home Address: Burn Place, Dingwall

Handwritten note: “Nephew of Jean Macallister, 30 Meiklefield Road. Wife resides at Burn Place. Killed in action.”

No photo available

Private William Macbain

Date of Paper: 14.05.1943
Surname: Macbain
Forename(s): William
Rank: Private
Regiment: Seaforths
Home Address: Meiklefield Square, Dingwall


Pte William Macbain, The Seaforths, son of Mr John Macbain, Meiklefield Square, Dingwall, who is a prisoner of war and stationed at Stalag XXI D, writes that he is out in the sun working at the potato pits. He adds, “We have had a bit of bad luck. The Germans found the camp wireless set, after we had had it for two years. Never mind, we know everything and we feel sure that this coming Christmas will be our last here.”

No photo available

Corporal J. McCuster

Date of Paper: 25.08.1944
Surname: McCusker
Forename(s) J.
Rank: Corporal
Regiment: Royal Corps of Signals
Home Address: Peffery Road, Dingwall


Intimation has been received by Mrs J. McCusker, daughter of Mrs Finlayson, Peffery Road, Dingwall, that her husband has been wounded in Normandy, and is now lying in hospital in England. Before joining up, Cpl. McCusker, Royal Corps of Signals, was employed by Messrs McRae & Son, the Garage, Dingwall.

No photo available

Pilot Officer Iain Alasdair Macdonald

Date of Paper: 26.05.1944
Surname: Macdonald
Forename(s): Iain Alasdair
Rank: Pilot Officer
Regiment: Royal Canadian Air Force
Home Address: Courtney, B.C., ex-Vulcan Cottage, Dingwall


Pilot Officer Iain Alasdair Macdonald, R.C.A.F., posted missing, is a son of Mr and Mrs Alexander Macdonald, Courtney, B.C., and a grandson of the late Mr Wm. Macdonald, carpenter contractor, and of Mrs Macdonald, Vulcan Cottage, Dingwall. Pilot Officer Macdonald was commissioned last October after a series of outstanding successes with the R.C.A.F. Schools through which he passed, being an honours student. Prior to joining up he was at University in B.C. studying Applied Science.

No photo available

Battery Sergeant Major James Mackay

Date of Paper: 13.04.1945
Surname: Mackay
Forename(s): James
Rank: Battery Sergeant Major
Regiment: Royal Artillery
Home Address: 7 Fingal Road, Dingwall


Battery Sergeant Major James Mackay, R.A., died of wounds as a result of injuries received while serving in Germany, on 20th March, 1945, was a son of Mr and Mrs Simon Mackay, Blackwells Street, Dingwall, and husband of Mrs Mackay, 7 Fingal Road, Dingwall, a daughter of Mr and Mrs Colin Campbell, Temperance Cafe, Tulloch Street, Dingwall. Prior to enlisting, B.S.M. Mackay was employed with Messrs R. Mackenzie & Sons, plumber contractors, Dingwall. He joined the Anti Aircraft unit prior to the war and was called up immediately hostilities broke out. He served in the North African campaign before going to the Western front. In his younger days he was a keen Scout and also a member of the Dingwall Fire Brigade. Many will regret his death, and sympathy goes out to his wife and three young daughters and also to his parents.

Page updated on 19 October 2022

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