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Sergeant Victor J. Brown

Date of Paper: 31.03.1944
Surname: Brown
Forename(s): Victor J.
Rank: Sergeant
Regiment: Royal Air Force
Home Address: Alness

ALNESS AIRMAN MURDERED

Sergt. Victor J. Brown, R.A.F., who belongs to Alness, has been murdered in Algiers. He was found dying on Sunday afternoon in a wood and died in hospital the following day from a broken neck, received when he was struck with a blackjack or similar object. He was fully clothed when found, except his boots. It has been ascertained that he drew £5 pay on Saturday night, of which about 10/- was found in his clothes. The funeral took place with military honours in Algiers Military Cemetery.

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Private Jack Reid Fraser

Date of Paper: 07.01.1944
Surname: Fraser
Forename(s): Jack Reid
Rank: Private
Regiment: Seaforths
Home Address: No. 4 New Houses, West End, Alness

KILLED IN ACTION

Pte. Jack Reid Fraser, The Seaforths, killed in action in Italy in November, was well known in Alness, where he resided at No. 4 New Houses, West End. “Jackie”, his popular name, was 19 years of age and joined The Seaforths two years ago, prior to which he was employed at Inchindown and Orkney. Deep sympathy is extended to his relatives and friends.

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Lieutenant William A D Gammie

Date of Paper: Not applicable
Surname: Gammie
Forename(s): William A D
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment: Seaforth Highlanders
Home Address: Caplich, Alness

Lieutenant William A D Gammie, second son of the late Mr and Mrs Alex. Gammie, Caplich, Alness.

He worked on the Bovril Ranch, close to Buenos Aires, until war came and volunteers were asked for. He came home and joined the Seaforth Highlanders and did his training at Fort George, later becoming an officer. His regiment, the 5th Battalion, took him overseas and at El Alamein he was badly wounded and for many months hardly lived. Eventually he recovered and went to join his regiment, then near Tripoli he was killed on his first day there, leaving a widow and a baby girl. 13th April, 1943, aged 32.

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Private Henry Gow

Date of Paper: 06.10.1944
Surname: Gow
Forename(s): Henry
Rank: Private
Regiment: 51st Highland Division
Home Address: 12 Council Houses, Alness

WOUNDED

Pte. Henry Gow, wounded by shrapnel in the chest in North West Europe, is a son of Mr Charles Gow, 12 Council Houses, Alness. Prior to enlisting, he was employed by Messrs Tuach & Son, contractors, Invergordon, and before going to Europe served with the 51st Division in North Africa. He is now in hospital in France and making satisfactory progress.

Date of Paper: 08.12.1944

Handwritten note: “Wounded several times on 1st November, 1944.”

Photo: #7039

Kerr Annie, Nursing Sister, Alness

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.

Photo: #7049

Kerr Annie, Nursing Sister, Alness, medals

Nursing Sister Annie Kerr

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.

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Sergeant Hugh Macpherson

Date of Paper: 24.07.1942
Surname: Macpherson
Forename(s): Hugh
Rank: Sergeant
Regiment: Cameron Highlanders
Home Address: Cluny Cottage, Coulhill, Alness

Official information has been received by Mr and Mrs Donald Macpherson, Cluny Cottage, Coulhill, Alness, that their son, Sgt. Hugh Macpherson, Cameron Highlanders, has been reported missing in Libya on 21st June. Sgt. Macpherson is 24 years of age and joined the Camerons as a boy eight years ago. Of these, seven were served abroad, mostly in Palestine and also in India and Egypt. Further news is anxiously awaited by his parents.

Handwritten notes: “Prisoner of War 25th Sept., 1942. 3rd December, 1943, transferred to Germany. Liberated 4th May, 1945.”

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Warrant Officer D. J. Macrae

Date of Paper: 20.07.1945
Surname: Macrae
Forename(s): D. J.
Rank: Warrant Officer
Regiment: Royal Air Force
Home Address: The Bungalow, Alness

MACRAE – Previously reported missing on operations over enemy territory on 6th August, 1944, now officially reported to have lost his life on this date, Warrant Officer D. J. Macrae, RAF, aged 24, only son of Mr and Mrs John Macrae, The Bungalow, Alness. No letters please.

Warrant Officer D. J. Macrae
Warrant Officer D. J. Macrae, RAF, reported missing while on operational duty over enemy territory on 6th August 1944, is now officially reported to have lost his life on that date. W.O. Macrae was the only son of Mr and Mrs John Macrae, The Bungalow, Alness, who have received the following letter from the Air Ministry:

“Some time ago we received a report fromn a Monsieur Pussot of Jonzac (Charente-Maritime), France – unfortunately of a very distressing nature – to the effect that an aircraft crashed at Jonzac on the 6th August, 1944. The crew of two were killed and one airman was identified as Robert Fletcher.

“Your son’s companion was Flight Sergeant Fletcher, but his Christian name was Clement and not Robert. Further enquiries were instituted in France and it transpires that when the aircraft crashed the Germans took all the papers from the crew. Monsieur Pussot, however, managed to glance at the papers and made a mental note of one of the names. He remembers the name Fletcher but apparently made a mistake with his Christian name.

“In our mind there was no doubt that the French report referred to the Mosquito aircraft in which your son was flying. It was the only aircraft missing on that day which could possibly have been in the Jonzac area.

“An examination of certain German records has revealed the official report of the crash. The report states that the Mosquito crashed near Jonzac Station on the 6th August, 1944. The crew of two were killed and one airman they were able to identify as your son. A piece of paper bearing your son’s number, name and initials, was found in his pocket. I am afraid this leaves no doubt that your son lost his life on his last tragic mission.

“He was buried with Flight Sergeant Fletcher by the Germans in the cemetery at Jonzac with military honours. After the Germans had left the cemetery, the inhabitants of Jonzac paid their last respects and covered the graves with flowers. Monsieur Pussot is tending the graves, and he has erected crosses with your son’s and Flight Sergeant Fletcher’s names inscribed thereon.

“You may possibly like to know that your son’s aircraft was attacking two munition trains containing shells for heavy calibre naval guns. As a result of the attack the trains exploded all night and there was nothing left of them in the morning. Whilst pulling out of the attack it appears the aircraft hit the branch of a tree which tore off one of the wings.”

W.O. Macrae, who was 24 years of age, was on the staff of Messrs D. Matheson & Son, architects and civil engineers, Dingwall, prior to joining the RAF. He was of a particularly bright and amiable disposition and very popular with his comrades. Deep sympathy will be extended to Mr and Mrs Macrae.

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Lieutenant Hugh R. Macrae

Date of Paper: 21.06.1940
Surname: Macrae
Forename(s): Hugh R.
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment: Seaforth Highlanders
Home Address: Bearsden, Glasgow, ex-Tullochard, Alness

Lieut. Hugh R. Macrae, Seaforth Highlanders, wounded in the leg, is in hospital in England. He is a son of Dr. Farquhar Macrae, Alness.

Lieut. (acting Captain) Hugh R. Macrae (who was recently awarded the Military Cross), is a former pupil of Dingwall Academy and a B.Sc. of Aberdeen University. After graduating he proceeded to India and engaged in tea planting for about three years and for about an equal period was in the employment of the Chilian Nitrate Corporation in Calcutta. During his stay in India he served in the Imperial India Horse. On returning to this country he was employed by the Marketing Board and when he joined up over a year ago he was Marketing Board Officer for Scotland with head offices in Glasgow. He was quite recently promoted to the rank of Captain in the Seaforths. His wife and infant son reside in Bearsden, near Glasgow. The award of the Military Cross has given much pleasure to his many friends in Alness and elsewhere. He is a son of Dr. Farquhar Macrae, Alness.

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Sergeant Ian Macrae

Date of Paper: 12.03.1943
Surname: Macrae
Forename(s): Ian
Rank: Sergeant
Regiment: Royal Air Force
Home Address: Forglen, Alness

Sgt. Ian Macrae, RAF, reported missing, is a son of Mr Macrae, carpenter contractor, and Mrs Macrae, Forglen, Alness. Prior to enlisting he was employed with his father.

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Air Mechanic Frank George Matthews

Date of Paper: 27.12.1940
Surname: Matthews
Forename(s): Frank George
Rank: Air Mechanic
Regiment: Royal Navy
Home Address: 8 New Street, Alness

DIED ON WAR SERVICE

It is with deep regret that the people of Alness learned of the death of Frank George Matthews, Air Mechanic, Royal Navy. Official intimation received by his parents, Mr and Mrs George Matthews, 8 New Street, Alness, reads: “Died on war service.” From the date of his latest letter received on Christmas Day, it is surmised that his ship was at sea in distant waters at the time. Frank, who had attained the age of 21 years last month, entered the Navy as a boy when 15 years of age. After his official training, he was drafted to HMS Rodney, in which ship he served for four years. In 1938, he transferred to the Navy Air Arm, and since then he has seen much active service. A former pupil of Bridgend Public School and Invergordon Academy, Frank was popular with his schoolmates. His friendliness and cheerful disposition made him a favourite with all. He had a happy knack of making friends wherever he went, in far away places as well as at home ports of call. From his schoolboy days, Frank had loved action and adventure. By nature a rover, he made a typical sailor. Life on board ship and ashore alike held lively interest for this Alness lad, who loved a sailor’s life. His good service in the Navy was testified by his officer in a letter received by his mother some time ago, commenting on his diligence and efficiency. Much sympathy goes out to his parents who await intimation of further details.

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Lance Corporal Tom McCormack

Date of Paper: 09.03.1945
Surname: McCormack
Forename(s) Tom
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment: Seaforths
Home Address: Moultavie, Alness

L./C. Tom McCormack, The Seaforths, wounded, is a son of Mr and Mrs McCormack, Moultavie, Alness. He is now in hospital in Belgium.

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Captain A. D. Munro

Date of Paper: 28.02.1945
Surname: Munro
Forename(s): A. D.
Rank: Captain
Regiment: Seaforths
Home Address: Morven, Alness

munro

Killed in Action in Western Europe, in February 1945, Captain A. D. Munro, M.A., The Seaforth Highlanders, eldest son of Mr and Mrs A. J. M. Munro, Morven, Alness, Ross-shire.

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Private George Henderson Munro

Date of Paper: 05.07.1940
Surname: Munro
Forename(s): George Henderson
Rank: Private
Regiment: Seaforth Highlanders
Home Address: 71 High Street, Alness

Handwritten notes: “Missing. Employment – Dining Car Attendant. Prisoner of War 4th Oct., 1940. Liberated 1st June, 1945.”

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