This picture was taken at the time of the Paris Olympics 1924 and the laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. The piper standing closest to the then Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII and even later the Duke of Windsor) is Angus Mackenzie of Maryburgh.
The British Olympic team in the background is the team that many years later inspired the famous film Chariots of Fire.
Mrs Margaret Mackay
Margaret Mackay was born on 3 October 1914 and brought up in Lochinver where she had her primary education prior to attending Golspie High School. When the Second World War broke out, Margaret joined the WRNS, being stationed at first at Evanton. Later, as an officer, she served at Admiralty Headquarters and also at Machrihanish.
Following war service, Margaret married William Mackay, who was a railway employee and finally station master at Conon Bridge until the station closed in 1960. Then Margaret and William lived in Invergordon for a time but moved to Maryburgh where Margaret took an active part in village life, being a regular attender at Maryburgh Free Church. She lived an independent life into her 90s, including daily visits to the local shop and helping with the annual checking of Blythswood shoeboxes in the Free Church hall. Unfortunately, in January 2014 she suffered a fall, had a spell in hospital and then moved to residential care in Wyvis House.
Good genes are obviously in Margaret’s family because her grandfather, a crofter near Lochinver, lived to 103 years!
Mary Gordon Ross (later Menzies)
FIRST MEMBER OF THE A.T.S. TO ENTER GERMANY
The first member of the A.T.S. to enter Germany, was Junior Commander Mary Gordon Ross, of Culbokie, Ross-shire, who, since February, has been Catering Adviser to a British General Hospital of the Rhone.
She arrived at the hospital only 24 hours after it opened with 300 beds, she heard guns not many miles away. Within the first week 1,400 new patients were admitted, but this Scots girl, who was trained at a London catering establishment before the war, was not flustered, and both wounded men and staff got all the food they needed.
Junior Commander Ross started her A.T.S. career as a cook, and worked her way through the ranks to sergeant major before being commissioned. She later ran an A.T.S. cookery school in the West of England and was also messing for a time to a unit of the Seaforth Highlanders. She still wears her skirt of Seaforth Tartan with her uniform when off duty.
Now that the war in Europe is over, she continues to cater for anything from 500 to 1,500 people of all nationalities, including allied wounded, German prisoners of war and hundreds of “displaced persons” as well as the hospital staff.
She wants to stay on in the A.T.S., but her chief ambition is to do the same sort of job for a military hospital in the Far East.
Please visit the photo album below to see more photographs of Mary and the official documents showing her commendation.