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Photo: #7102

Masters H D, Sergt, Dingwall

Staff Sergeant-Saddler Harry D. Masters

Date of Paper: 09.02.1917
Surname: Masters
First Name(s): Harry D.
Rank: Staff Sergeant-Saddler
Regiment: Ross Mountain Battery
Home Address: Macdonald’s Court, Dingwall (formerly Keithtown, Brahan, Maryburgh)

TWO BRAHAN BOYS WITH THE COLOURS

Above will be found reproduced photographs of two gallant brothers, sons of Mrs Master, Keithtown, Brahan, who are serving with the Colours, and one of whom has been both wounded and gassed.

Staff Sergt.-Saddler Harry D. Masters, Ross Mountain Battery, is 32 years of age, and is an saddler to trade, having been in the employment of Mr James Fraser, saddler, Dingwall, when he was mobilised. Sergt. Masters took a keen interest in the R.M.B. from its initiation, and he was very popular with the boys. He has been in the East with the Battery since they went to the Dardanelles in 1915. His wife and family, a boy and girl, reside in Macdonald’s Court, Dingwall.

Lance-Corpl. William Masters, Black Watch, has not been so fortunate as his brother. He has been on the Western front, and was wounded in the thigh at Loos in September 1915. After recovering he returned to France, and had the misfortune to be gassed some little time ago. He is now in a War Hospital at Bath, and is progressing well. Twenty-five years of age, and a gardener to trade, he served his apprenticeship in the Brahan Gardens, from where he went to Tarbat Gardens. He was in Falkirk when the war started, and immediately volunteered for service. Mrs Masters is to be congratulated on her two soldier sons.

See entry below for details of his brother William Masters

Photo: #6350

Masters William, L Corp, Maryburgh

Lance Corporal William Masters

Date of Paper: 09.02.1917
Surname: Masters
First Name(s): William
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment: Black Watch
Home Address: Keithtown, Brahan, Maryburgh

TWO BRAHAN BOYS WITH THE COLOURS

Above will be found reproduced photographs of two gallant brothers, sons of Mrs Master, Keithtown, Brahan, who are serving with the Colours, and one of whom has been both wounded and gassed.

Staff Sergt.-Saddler Harry D. Masters, Ross Mountain Battery, is 32 years of age, and is an saddler to trade, having been in the employment of Mr James Fraser, saddler, Dingwall, when he was mobilised. Sergt. Masters took a keen interest in the R.M.B. from its initiation, and he was very popular with the boys. He has been in the East with the Battery since they went to the Dardanelles in 1915. His wife and family, a boy and girl, reside in Macdonald’s Court, Dingwall.

Lance-Corpl. William Masters, Black Watch, has not been so fortunate as his brother. He has been on the Western front, and was wounded in the thigh at Loos in September 1915. After recovering he returned to France, and had the misfortune to be gassed some little time ago. He is now in a War Hospital at Bath, and is progressing well. Twenty-five years of age, and a gardener to trade, he served his apprenticeship in the Brahan Gardens, from where he went to Tarbat Gardens. He was in Falkirk when the war started, and immediately volunteered for service. Mrs Masters is to be congratulated on her two soldier sons.

See entry above for details of his brother Harry Masters

Photo: #7104

Meikle John, VC

Sergeant John Meikle

Date of Paper: 01.11.1918
Surname: Meikle
First Name(s): John
Rank: Sergeant
Regiment: Seaforths
Home Address: Nitshill, Glasgow

SEAFORTH V.C.

THE LATE SERGT. JOHN MEIKLE, V.C., M.M.

The late Sergeant John Meikle, V.C., Seaforth Highlanders, is the first member of the Ross-shire Battalion to be awarded the highest honour which falls to the lot of a soldier be he private or field-marshal. And it is a tragic circumstance that he did not live to receive his award, but fell valiantly in the hour of his greatest glory. The circumstances under which the Victoria Cross was awarded by the King are recorded in The London Gazette as follows:

“The posthumous award is made to this gallant soldier for most conspicuous bravery and initiative whem, his company having been held up by machine gun fire, he rushed single-handed a machine gun nest, emptying his revolver into the crews of the two guns and putting the remainder out of action with a heavy stick. Then, standing up, he waved his comrades on.

“Later another hostile machine gun checked progress. Most of his platoon had become casualties, but Sergeant Meikle seized the rifle and bayonet of a fallen comrade, and again rushed forward against the gun crew. He was killed almost on the gun position, but his bravery allowed two other men who followed him to put the gun out of action.”

Writing to his parents at Nitshill, Glasgow, on September 27, 1918, Lt. Gordon Dickson, Seaforths, says: “I was in command of the Company at the time he met his death. We, every one of us (the old lads), miss him terribly, and would infinitely rather have had him with us than the honour that he has brought to his parents and the regiment. As soon [obliterated] order that his V.C. [obliterated].

For more details about Sergeant John Meikle V.C., M.M. visit our Dingwall folk page and the John Meikle Dingwall Memorial

Photo: #6060

Milton John, Pte, Dingwall

Private John Milton

Date of Paper: 05.10.1917
Surname: Milton
First Name(s): John
Rank: Private
Regiment: Seaforths B.E.F
Home Address: 5 Gladstone Avenue, Dingwall

Above is a photograph of Private John Milton, 21474, Seaforths, B.E.F., who has been missing since the 22nd August last. He left Cromarty on the 22nd July for France. He was a keen sportsman, and was well-known in Dingwall as footballer and cricketer. He was also representative for the Aberdeen Hide and Tallow Co. (Dingwall Branch), and was well known in Huntly, he being with the same Company there previous to coming to Dingwall.

He is the son of Mr and Mrs Milton, Saphock Place, Inverurie, and son-in-law of Mr and Mrs Campbell, Alma Cottage, Dingwall. The latter, it may be mentioned, have three sons serving in France, and one was killed at the battle of Verdun.

Any information regarding Private Milton will be gratefully received by his wife, who resides at 5 Gladstone, Avenue, Dingwall.

[Handwritten note: “Prisoner of War – died in Germany 26.4.18”]

Photo: #6080

Munro Alexander, Sapper, Dingwal

Sapper Alexander Munro

Date of Paper: 24.01.1919
Surname: Munro
First Name(s): Alexander
Rank: Sapper
Regiment: Royal Engineers
Home Address: Inverness / Dingwall

TWO DINGWALL SOLDIERS

A MILITARY MEDALLIST

The winner of the Military Medal, more than once specially mentioned, once gassed and once wounded, Corpl. John Munro, 1/4th Seaforths, is now with the Seaforths at Cromarty. His brother, Sapper Alexander Munro, Royal Engineers, is serving in Belgium. They are sons of the late Mr Munro, 5 Lorne Place, Dingwall, and Mrs Munro, 2 Railway Terrace, Inverness, brothers of Mrs Stewart, West End Cottage, Invergordon, and nephews of Mr John Munro, photo artist, Dingwall.

Both soldiers were born in Dingwall. Corpl. Munro, who is 32 years of age, served his apprenticeship with Messrs. Wm. Low & Co., grocers, Dingwall, and was subsequently in the employment of Mr D. A. M. Ross, Invergordon, and Gillanders Stores, Inverness. He joined the 4th Seaforths in 1915, and was two years and nine months in France. He saw much service in these years, taking part in many of those great struggles in which the 51st Division earned fame. He came through the March offensive, in Flanders, safely, and when the 51st Division was spirited suddenly from one end of the line to another about the 15th July, astonishing the Germans by appearing on the Southern side of the Rheims salient, he was with his unit. It was on the 24th July 1918 that Corpl. Munro won the Military Medal for conspicuous gallantry in leading his platoon safely through heavy machine gun and shell fire, recapturing four machine guns which had been lost. Soon after this he was gassed. Subsequently he returned to the 1/4th Seaforths, and was fighting with them in the latter stages of the war, when in October he was hit in the toes and foot by machine gun fire; a blighty one. A fine type of soldier, he has “done his bit”.

Sapper Alex. Munro is 34 years of age. He served his apprenticeship with Mr A. C. Mellis, plumber, Dingwall. He joined up in 1915, and has been 2 years on the Western front and in the thick of it.
Photos of both soldiers appear today.

See entry below for details of his brother John Munro

Photo: #6005

Munro John, Corp, Dingwall

Corporal John Munro

Date of Paper: 24.01.1919
Surname: Munro
First Name(s): John
Rank: Corporal
Regiment: 1/4th Seaforths
Home Address: Dingwall

TWO DINGWALL SOLDIERS

A MILITARY MEDALLIST

The winner of the Military Medal, more than once specially mentioned, once gassed and once wounded, Corpl. John Munro, 1/4th Seaforths, is now with the Seaforths at Cromarty. His brother, Sapper Alexander Munro, Royal Engineers, is serving in Belgium. They are sons of the late Mr Munro, 5 Lorne Place, Dingwall, and Mrs Munro, 2 Railway Terrace, Inverness, brothers of Mrs Stewart, West End Cottage, Invergordon, and nephews of Mr John Munro, photo artist, Dingwall.

Both soldiers were born in Dingwall. Corpl. Munro, who is 32 years of age, served his apprenticeship with Messrs. Wm. Low & Co., grocers, Dingwall, and was subsequently in the employment of Mr D. A. M. Ross, Invergordon, and Gillanders Stores, Inverness. He joined the 4th Seaforths in 1915, and was two years and nine months in France. He saw much service in these years, taking part in many of those great struggles in which the 51st Division earned fame. He came through the March offensive, in Flanders, safely, and when the 51st Division was spirited suddenly from one end of the line to another about the 15th July, astonishing the Germans by appearing on the Southern side of the Rheims salient, he was with his unit. It was on the 24th July 1918 that Corpl. Munro won the Military Medal for conspicuous gallantry in leading his platoon safely through heavy machine gun and shell fire, recapturing four machine guns which had been lost. Soon after this he was gassed. Subsequently he returned to the 1/4th Seaforths, and was fighting with them in the latter stages of the war, when in October he was hit in the toes and foot by machine gun fire; a blighty one. A fine type of soldier, he has “done his bit”.

Sapper Alex. Munro is 34 years of age. He served his apprenticeship with Mr A. C. Mellis, plumber, Dingwall. He joined up in 1915, and has been 2 years on the Western front and in the thick of it.
Photos of both soldiers appear today.

See entry above for details of his brother Alexander Munro

Photo: #6037

Munro D, Pte, Dingwall

Private D. Munro

Date of Paper: 31.01.19
Surname: Munro
First Name(s): D
Rank: Private
Regiment: Seaforths
Home Address: Gladstone Avenue, Dingwall

No text in Newspaper

Photo: #6038

Munro David, Pte, Dingwall

Private David Munro

Date of Paper: 15.09.1916
Surname: Munro
First Name(s): David
Rank: Private
Regiment: 4th Reserve Seaforths
Home Address: Lemlair, Dingwall

A LEMLAIR SEAFORTH

A portrait appears today of Pte. David Munro, son of Mr James Munro, gardener, Lemlair, and Mrs Munro. Pte. Munro joined up in August last year, and was trained in the 4th Reserve Seaforths in England. Proceeding to France, he was invalided, and is now in Northumberland convalescent, from which he hopes soon to be discharged for a brief rest at home, preparatory to returning for general service. Pte. Munro served his apprenticeship with Mr G Souter, bookseller, Dingwall, and was employed in Edinburgh when he attested.

Photo: #6026

Munro Donald, Lieut, Dingwall

Lieutenant Donald Munro

Date of Paper: 01.06.1917
Surname: Munro
First Name(s): Donald
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment: Seaforths
Home Address: Astor Cottage, Dingwall

LIEUT. D. MUNRO, SEAFORTHS

Lieut. Donald Munro, the popular Quartermaster of a Regular Battalion of Seaforths in France, is a son of the late Mr Donald Munro, and Mrs Munro, Knockgarty, Delny. About 36 years of age, Lieut. Munro was a clerk in Dingwall with the late Mr Paterson, coal merchant, when he enlisted in the Seaforths in the year 1898. His promotion in his regiment was rapid, and prior to the war he was quartermaster- sergeant . He was mobilised with his regiment in August 1914, and proceeded overseas, and in October of the same year he was gazetted Lieut. For his work with the Battalion he has been mentioned. In Ross-shire he is well-known for many kindly acts to men belonging to the county, and when trouble has visited Ross-shire homes, and enquiries were made with much anxiety, no one could be kinder and no one has spared himself less. Ten years ago he was married to Miss Ross, daughter of Mr M Ross, Hill Terrace, Dingwall, and his wife and three children now reside in Astor Cottage, Dingwall.

We reproduce a photograph of Lt. Munro today.

Photo: #6019

Munro William M, Gunner, Dingwall

Gunner William M. Munro

Date of Paper: 09.05.1919
Surname: Munro
First Name(s): William M.
Rank: Gunner
Regiment: R.G.A.
Home Address: 4 Mansfield, Dingwall

DINGWALL GUNNER IN FRANCE

Gunner Wm. M. Munro, R.G.A., son of Mr and Mrs Munro, 4 Mansfield, Dingwall. A banker by profession, Gunner Munro served his apprenticeship in the Bank of Scotland, Dingwall. He enlisted in July 1917, and proceeded to France the following year. He was through some very heavy fighting in the closing months of the war. He has been home on leave since the armistice, but has returned to France. He is 23 years of age.

Photo: #6047

Murdoch George, Pte, Dingwall

Private George Murdoch

Date of Paper: 10.11.1916
Surname: Murdoch
First Name(s): George
Rank: Private
Regiment: Camerons
Home Address: George Street, Dingwall

THE LATE PRIVATE G. MURDOCH, CAMERONS

Private George Murdoch, Camerons, husband of Mrs Murdoch, George Street, Dingwall, who has died in the East from heart failure. Prior to the war deceased was a reservist, and was called up at mobilisation. Serving in France, he was wounded at the battle of the Aisne, after which he had furlough, and was married in January 1915, leaving for France again in May 1915. Subsequently he was drafted to the East.

Deceased is survived by his widow and a child.

Photo: #6025

Nicol Alexander, Lieut, Dingwall

Lieutenant Alexander Nicol

Date of Paper: 30.11.1917
Surname: Nicol
First Name(s): Alexander
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment: Seaforths
Home Address: Struan House, Dingwall

Lieut. Alexander Nicol, Seaforths, son of the late Mr Nicol, and Mrs Nicol, Struan House, Dingwall, was wounded in the fighting in France on the 20th November. On Friday his mother received a private telegram from him, while on Saturday two official messages were received conveying the information that he was seriously ill, suffering from a bullet wound in the chest, and was in a general hospital in France. On Monday a letter, written by Lieut. Nicol himself, conveyed a reassuring message, and indicated that the bullet had gone “clean through” without hitting a vulnerable part in its course. In good spirits he held out hopes of an early return to Blighty.

Lt. Nicol is well known to Seaforths. Receiving a commission in 1915, he had his first taste of heavy fighting just a year ago at Beaumont Hamel. Subsequently he returned home with a severely sprained ankle, and for a time was with the Reserve Battalion in England, where he specialised in certain courses. Returning to the Western front some considerable time ago, he was posted to another Territorial battalion in which there is more than one Ross-shire officer, and he was in the thick of a historic and successful fight when he was hit.

Before joining up, Lt. Nicol carried on the business formerly conducted by his late father. Its wide connections in the Black Isle – the home of the family – and elsewhere made him widely known. Energetic and capable, obliging, and frank, and friendly, he was much respected and esteemed, and his many friends far and near will wish for him a speedy recovery.

Mrs Nicol has other sons on active service, and photographs of all three appear today.
Sapper John Nicol, of the New Zealand Field Force, the eldest son, went to New Zealand some thirteen years ago. At the outbreak of war he offered himself for service but was rejected. Determined to assist the home country, he made several unsuccessful attempts to enlist, but it was not until his fifth effort that he was accepted. He was placed in the tunnelling section of a pioneer battalion, and ultimately crossed to France, where he has been on active service for over a year. Prior to leaving Dingwall he was engaged in his deceased father’s business as a wine and spirit merchant.

The youngest son, Lance Corporal Charles Nicol, belongs to the Canadians, and he has seen over eighteen months service in France. A banker by profession, he was trained in the Dingwall branch of the Bank of Scotland (late Caledonian Bank) under the late Mr Ben Aird. Some years ago he received a banking appointment in Canada, and at the outbreak of war was serving in British Columbia. Lce.-Cpl. Nicol, who belongs to a machine gun section, has been through many engagements, through which he has come scathless. This year his work was recognised by those in command and he has received the Military Medal and the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery and devotion to duty. He was the first Canadian to gain both honours.

See entries below for details of his brothers Charles, John & Thomas Nicol

Photo: #6024

Nicol Charles, Lance Corp, Dingwall

Lance Corporal Charles Nicol

Date of Paper: 10.11.1917
Surname: Nicol
First Name(s): Charles
Rank: L/Corpl.
Regiment: Canadian Seaforths
Home Address: Canada (formerly Struan House, Dingwall)

Lieut. Alexander Nicol, Seaforths, son of the late Mr Nicol, and Mrs Nicol, Struan House, Dingwall, was wounded in the fighting in France on the 20th November. On Friday his mother received a private telegram from him, while on Saturday two official messages were received conveying the information that he was seriously ill, suffering from a bullet wound in the chest, and was in a general hospital in France. On Monday a letter, written by Lieut. Nicol himself, conveyed a reassuring message, and indicated that the bullet had gone “clean through” without hitting a vulnerable part in its course. In good spirits he held out hopes of an early return to Blighty.

Lt. Nicol is well known to Seaforths. Receiving a commission in 1915, he had his first taste of heavy fighting just a year ago at Beaumont Hamel. Subsequently he returned home with a severely sprained ankle, and for a time was with the Reserve Battalion in England, where he specialised in certain courses. Returning to the Western front some considerable time ago, he was posted to another Territorial battalion in which there is more than one Ross-shire officer, and he was in the thick of a historic and successful fight when he was hit.

Before joining up, Lt. Nicol carried on the business formerly conducted by his late father. Its wide connections in the Black Isle – the home of the family – and elsewhere made him widely known. Energetic and capable, obliging, and frank, and friendly, he was much respected and esteemed, and his many friends far and near will wish for him a speedy recovery.

Mrs Nicol has other sons on active service, and photographs of all three appear today.
Sapper John Nicol, of the New Zealand Field Force, the eldest son, went to New Zealand some thirteen years ago. At the outbreak of war he offered himself for service but was rejected. Determined to assist the home country, he made several unsuccessful attempts to enlist, but it was not until his fifth effort that he was accepted. He was placed in the tunnelling section of a pioneer battalion, and ultimately crossed to France, where he has been on active service for over a year. Prior to leaving Dingwall he was engaged in his deceased father’s business as a wine and spirit merchant.

The youngest son, Lance Corporal Charles Nicol, belongs to the Canadians, and he has seen over eighteen months service in France. A banker by profession, he was trained in the Dingwall branch of the Bank of Scotland (late Caledonian Bank) under the late Mr Ben Aird. Some years ago he received a banking appointment in Canada, and at the outbreak of war was serving in British Columbia. Lce.-Cpl. Nicol, who belongs to a machine gun section, has been through many engagements, through which he has come scathless. This year his work was recognised by those in command and he has received the Military Medal and the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery and devotion to duty. He was the first Canadian to gain both honours.

DINGWALL CANADIAN OFFICER MISSING, BELIEVED KILLED

Date of Paper: 11.10.1918

Mrs Nicol, Struan House, Dingwall, received information from the Canadian Records at the end of the week that her youngest son, 2/Lt. Chas. Nicol, Canadian Seaforths, has been missing, believed killed, since the 29th September. A post card of that date had already been received from Lt. Nicol, which was taken to indicate that he had returned up the line. The Canadians, it will be recalled, have taken a prominent part in the tremendous struggle which has been raging in the Cambrai sector. More particular information as to the circumstances under which Lieut. Nicol was lost to his unit has not yet come to hand. The hope will be general, however, ominous as the message received may be, that some chance remains that at worst he has been made prisoner of war.

Lieut. Nicol has had two and half years of service with the colours, and has greatly distinguished himself in the Canadian Army. He holds the Distinguished Conduct Medal and the Military Medal. Individual acts of bravery to merit attention in the Canadians have a characteristic all their own, and it adds to the worth of the decorations which he won that Lieut. Nicol should have been the first soldier in the whole Canadian Army to be awarded both these medals. He was a ranker in those days. This year he returned home, and, passing through the cadet course with distinction, received his commission in the Canadian Seaforths, the unit he selected, as a Ross-shire man, on joining up. His course was completed some time ago. In August last Mrs Nicol had the pleasure of having three soldier sons at home together on leave. After serving an apprenticeship in the Tulloch Street branch of the Bank of Scotland, then the Caledonian Bank, some years ago, Lt. Nicol went to Canada, and held an important position in the banking profession in British Columbia. His eldest brother, Pte. John Nicol, New Zealanders, has been on active service for a long time;

Lieut. Alexander Nicol, another brother, was severely wounded in the battle of Cambrai last year, and is at present on duty with a Seaforth battalion in this country. Pte. Thomas Nicol, Canadians, the third son, went to France this year.

All are sons of the late Bailie Nicol, Dingwall, whose memory continues to be held in the highest respect.

See entry above for details of his brother Alexander and entries below for details of his brothers John & Thomas Nicol

Photo: #6081

Nicol John, Sapper, Dingwall

Sapper John Nicol

Date of Paper: 10.11.1917
Surname: Nicol
First Name(s): John
Rank: Sapper
Regiment: New Zealand Engineers Tunnelling Company
Home Address: New Zealand (formerly Struan House, Dingwall)

Lieut. Alexander Nicol, Seaforths, son of the late Mr Nicol, and Mrs Nicol, Struan House, Dingwall, was wounded in the fighting in France on the 20th November. On Friday his mother received a private telegram from him, while on Saturday two official messages were received conveying the information that he was seriously ill, suffering from a bullet wound in the chest, and was in a general hospital in France. On Monday a letter, written by Lieut. Nicol himself, conveyed a reassuring message, and indicated that the bullet had gone “clean through” without hitting a vulnerable part in its course. In good spirits he held out hopes of an early return to Blighty.

Lt. Nicol is well known to Seaforths. Receiving a commission in 1915, he had his first taste of heavy fighting just a year ago at Beaumont Hamel. Subsequently he returned home with a severely sprained ankle, and for a time was with the Reserve Battalion in England, where he specialised in certain courses. Returning to the Western front some considerable time ago, he was posted to another Territorial battalion in which there is more than one Ross-shire officer, and he was in the thick of a historic and successful fight when he was hit.

Before joining up, Lt. Nicol carried on the business formerly conducted by his late father. Its wide connections in the Black Isle – the home of the family – and elsewhere made him widely known. Energetic and capable, obliging, and frank, and friendly, he was much respected and esteemed, and his many friends far and near will wish for him a speedy recovery.

Mrs Nicol has other sons on active service, and photographs of all three appear today.
Sapper John Nicol, of the New Zealand Field Force, the eldest son, went to New Zealand some thirteen years ago. At the outbreak of war he offered himself for service but was rejected. Determined to assist the home country, he made several unsuccessful attempts to enlist, but it was not until his fifth effort that he was accepted. He was placed in the tunnelling section of a pioneer battalion, and ultimately crossed to France, where he has been on active service for over a year. Prior to leaving Dingwall he was engaged in his deceased father’s business as a wine and spirit merchant.

The youngest son, Lance Corporal Charles Nicol, belongs to the Canadians, and he has seen over eighteen months service in France. A banker by profession, he was trained in the Dingwall branch of the Bank of Scotland (late Caledonian Bank) under the late Mr Ben Aird. Some years ago he received a banking appointment in Canada, and at the outbreak of war was serving in British Columbia. Lce.-Cpl. Nicol, who belongs to a machine gun section, has been through many engagements, through which he has come scathless. This year his work was recognised by those in command and he has received the Military Medal and the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery and devotion to duty. He was the first Canadian to gain both honours.

See entries above for details of his brothers Charles & Alexander and below for details of Thomas Nicol

New Zealand Engineers Tunnelling Company

At the end of May 2016 the Project Manager with the New Zealand Tunnelling Company contacted RCHS with information about Sapper John Nicol who served with the New Zealand Engineers Tunnelling during the Great War. A copy of Sapper Nicol’s military records was sent along with other information regarding the New Zealand Tunnellers.

A large number of our NZ Tunnellers had Scottish Next of Kin. One is recorded on the Scottish National War Memorial as well as two NZ memorials. Another is on the Roll of Honour at Mcrae Castle, Eilean Doan Kintail. His family grave in NZ records; ‘He gave his life for God his Country his King & Clan’.

A list of those tunnellers with Scottish connections are available on the link below:

Scotland was a favourite place for Tunnellers to visit when on leave. They also had a lot to do with Scottish regiments while on service. One Tunnelling Company story relates to their arrival on the WF;

‘The infantry then holding the Labyrinth were the 51st Division Highland Territorials, perhaps the most famous fighting division of the British Army. Splendid fellows they were, cheery, tactful, and very helpful to the Company so brand new to war; as when a tunneller, wandering along the trench, encountered a brawny Scot sitting on the firestep stripped to the buff and subjecting his shirt to a minute scrutiny and enquired the reason thereof. Jock regarded him with a long look of amazement not unmixed with pity, finally ejaculating ‘WHAT, have ye nae wee beasties yet?’ then solemnly holding out something between fingers and thumb, ‘Ah weel, here’s twa to make a stairt wi’

Further information is also on the New Zealand History website available at the link below:

Sapper John Nicol’s military records

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Private Thomas Nicol

Date of Paper: 10.11.1917
Surname: Nicol
First Name(s): Thomas
Rank: Private
Regiment: Canadian Seaforths
Home Address: Canada (formerly Struan House, Dingwall)

Lieut. Alexander Nicol, Seaforths, son of the late Mr Nicol, and Mrs Nicol, Struan House, Dingwall, was wounded in the fighting in France on the 20th November. On Friday his mother received a private telegram from him, while on Saturday two official messages were received conveying the information that he was seriously ill, suffering from a bullet wound in the chest, and was in a general hospital in France. On Monday a letter, written by Lieut. Nicol himself, conveyed a reassuring message, and indicated that the bullet had gone “clean through” without hitting a vulnerable part in its course. In good spirits he held out hopes of an early return to Blighty.

Lt. Nicol is well known to Seaforths. Receiving a commission in 1915, he had his first taste of heavy fighting just a year ago at Beaumont Hamel. Subsequently he returned home with a severely sprained ankle, and for a time was with the Reserve Battalion in England, where he specialised in certain courses. Returning to the Western front some considerable time ago, he was posted to another Territorial battalion in which there is more than one Ross-shire officer, and he was in the thick of a historic and successful fight when he was hit.

Before joining up, Lt. Nicol carried on the business formerly conducted by his late father. Its wide connections in the Black Isle – the home of the family – and elsewhere made him widely known. Energetic and capable, obliging, and frank, and friendly, he was much respected and esteemed, and his many friends far and near will wish for him a speedy recovery.

Mrs Nicol has other sons on active service, and photographs of all three appear today.
Sapper John Nicol, of the New Zealand Field Force, the eldest son, went to New Zealand some thirteen years ago. At the outbreak of war he offered himself for service but was rejected. Determined to assist the home country, he made several unsuccessful attempts to enlist, but it was not until his fifth effort that he was accepted. He was placed in the tunnelling section of a pioneer battalion, and ultimately crossed to France, where he has been on active service for over a year. Prior to leaving Dingwall he was engaged in his deceased father’s business as a wine and spirit merchant.

The youngest son, Lance Corporal Charles Nicol, belongs to the Canadians, and he has seen over eighteen months service in France. A banker by profession, he was trained in the Dingwall branch of the Bank of Scotland (late Caledonian Bank) under the late Mr Ben Aird. Some years ago he received a banking appointment in Canada, and at the outbreak of war was serving in British Columbia. Lce.-Cpl. Nicol, who belongs to a machine gun section, has been through many engagements, through which he has come scathless. This year his work was recognised by those in command and he has received the Military Medal and the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery and devotion to duty. He was the first Canadian to gain both honours.

See entries above for details of his brothers John, Charles & Alexander Nicol