The Banffshire Herald dated 12th May 1917

Death Notices

Adam – killed in action in Northern France on 9th April, James Adam, Canadian Contingent , elder surviving son of the late Alexander Adam, and Mrs Milne, 88 Mid Street, aged 31 years – dearly loved and deeply mourned.

Ewing- Killed in action on the 9/12th April, Private Robert Ewing, 7th Cameron Highlanders, youngest and dearly beloved son of Mr and Mrs Ewing, 36 Nelson Cottage, Inverness, aged 19.

Watt- killed in action on 23rd April, Private Robert Watt, Gordon Highlanders , aged 24 years, fourth and dearly beloved son of John and Mary Watt, Miller Place, Newmil- deeply mourned.

Northern Casualties


Private James Adam, son of Mrs. Milne, 88 Mid Street, was killed in action on the 9th of April. Private Adam was for a time in the employment of Mr John McWilliam, Royal Hotel Stables, as a postboy, and some six years ago emigrated to Canada, where he was in a lucrative situation. In June of last year he enrolled in the Canadian Contingent and after a couple of months in a training camp in this country he left for France in the following month of August. He was 31 years of age. The intimation of Private Adam’s death came from the War Office on Tuesday.

Information is to hand that Corporal Andrew Forsyth, sixth son of the late James Forsyth, 18 Land Street, Keith, has been killed in action on 25th April. Corporal Forsyth was apprenticed with the firm of Mr James Kemp, Mid Street, And after finishing he migrated to Glasgow, where he acted as a commercial traveller for a firm of wholesale drapers. While in Keith he was an enthusiastic member of C company 6th Gordons, and shortly after the outbreak of hostilities he rejoined his old regiment and had been 18 months in France at the time of his death, and had been three times wounded. He is survived by his widow who resides in Dundee.

Private R. Ewing, Camerons, youngest son of Mr and Mrs R.Ewing, formerly of Keith is reported killed on the 9/12th April. Private Ewing who was 19 years of age, was for a time a farm servant in the district, and was latterly in the service of the Highland Railway Company at Inverness as a cleaner. He went to France about a year ago.

Mrs. McLaren, 75 Union Street, has been informed that her son, Private J. McLaren, Gordons, was wounded on the head on the 23rd April. This is the second time Private McLaren has been wounded.  He was formerly in the employment of Messrs G. AndG. Kynoch, Mid Street.

Mr David Jamieson, 18 Land Street, Keith, received word that his grandson, John Bennett, Gordons, has been wounded in the thigh, and is now in hospital at Rochester, England.  Previous to enlistment, Private Benett was employed with Messrs G. And G. Kynoch, Mid Street.

Mrs Gray, Hillockhead, Muldearie, has just heard that her son, Private J. Gray, Highland Light Infantry, has been wounded and has been admitted to the 5th General Hospital, Rouen, on 25th April.  Private Gray is suffering from a gunshot wound and a compound fracture of the left arm.


Mrs Watt, The Square, Newmill, received word that her husband, Trooper John Watt, had been wounded and was in hospital in England.

Mr John Watt, Main Street , received intimation on Saturday that his youngest son, Private Robert Watt, Gordons, had been killed in action on 27th April. Private Watt joined the Gordons in September and went out to France with his regiment. He was with Messrs G.  Knock and Son, Mid Street,before he enlisted. He was through nearly all the engagements of the past two and a half years. He was wounded at Neuve Chapelle in March, in 1915, re-joining the battalion in June. Lieutenant Fortune in a note to Mr Watt states that his son was killed instantaneously on the 23rd April, whilst doing his duty like a true son of Scotland.  He was a brave and willing soldier and his loss was much felt by them all. 

Private George Watt, of the Scots Guards, an elder brother of private R.Watt, died of wounds in Boulogne, in 1916. Mrs Watt’s son-in-law, Sergeant R.Crichton, 8th Seaforths, was severely wounded at the Battle of Loos in September, 1915, and is still undergoing treatment. He is at present in hospital in Aberdeen. The deepest sympathy of the village is extended to Mr and Mrs Watt in their second bereavement.

Private James Ritchie who last week was reported dangerously wounded, is progressing satisfactorily. He is one of four brothers – sons of Mr and Mrs Ritchie, Main Street – who have taken a gallant part in the fighting and have all sustained very serious wounds. The eldest, private John Ritchie, who was an engineer, and when he joined the London Scottish in February, 1914, was employed at Woolwich Arsenal. After going to France he was accidentally wounded in July. On recovery he rejoined his regiment and was wounded in September by a bullet in the left arm which was fractured. Since then he has been in hospital at Swansea and is not yet convalescent.

In the same month as the eldest joint, the second brother, James, joined the Gordons. At that time he was booking clerk at Ballater Station. At the end of October he went to France and was wounded by a shell in November. After partial recovery he was attached as Clerk to a company of Engineers making a railway. Then on 23rd of April he was dangerously winded in both legs, right arm, and head. He was taken to an Australian hospital at Boulogne where he was visited by his parents. His right leg had to be amputated, but the latest reports is that he is progressing satisfactorily.

Corporal George Ritchie, the third brother, enlisted in November, 1914, in the Gordons, at Keith. Before joining he was a ticket inspector at Aberdeen Joint Station. He went through the actions of Festubert and Givenchy, and was seriously wounded at Loos. He was in hospital from September, 1915, to June, 1916. Now he is with his unit but has been pronounced unfit for service abroad as yet.

William, the fourth brother, was only 16 when he joined the Gordons in February, 1915. In June of the following year he crossed to France with a draft and was seriously wounded in August. On leaving hospital in December he rejoined his regiment at Ripon. He, too, owing to wounds, is unfit for any but home service. 

Mr and Mrs Ritchie are to be congratulated on such gallant sons. Their only other son is not yet near military age.

Word reached Newmill on Tuesday that Private John Burgess, son of Mrs Thomas Reid, Hill Street, and grandson of Peter McDonald, Newton Brae, Newmill, has been killed in action. He was brought up at Newton Brae, and the deepest sympathy is felt for his relatives.

Mr and Mrs Henderson, Woodhead, Grange were informed last week that their son, Private George Henderson, had died on 1st inst. in No.1 Casualty Clearing Station in France of wounds received in action. Private Henderson volunteered for service during the early stage of the war, and enlisted in the Gordons. He made a supreme sacrifice for his country at the age of 22 years. Before enlisting he was a farm servant and employed in the district. He had been in France constantly since September last, and saw a good deal of heavy fighting. Private John Henderson, brother of deceased, enlisted also in January 1915, and both the young soldiers kept together until the fateful day when both were wounded. John is meantime in hospital in Paisley. Deepest sympathy and expressed to Mr and Mrs Henderson for the loss of their fine young son George.

Mrs Pirie, Burn of Aultmore, has been notified that her son, Lance Corporal William McPherson, has been seriously wounded on the head and right arm on the 15th April, and has been admitted into the 1st Canadian General Hospital, Etaples. He is improving steadily. Previous to enlistment he came home from Canada and joined the Gordons at Keith. He was lately  transferred to the Seaforths.


Mr and Mra Milne, Craigton, Cairnie, have been notified that their son, Private George Milne, has been wounded rather severely on both thighs. Before Private Milne joined the colours he was employed in the service of the Great North Railway Company and for some time acted on the staff at Grange station.


Mr and Mrs Mitchell, Bellevue, Huntly, received official information on Monday that their eldest son, Private Peter Mitchell, had been wounded. Private Mitchell is attached to the Gordons, and is one of a family of six sons who have served since the war began. Before the war he was employed with his father in Huntly as a builder. Mr and Mrs Mitchell had lately one son killed in the war and previously one wounded at Neuve Chapelle.

Private William Stuart, Gordons, has been wounded, and is now in hospital at Birmingham. Private Stuart is a son of Mrs Stuart, 37 Gordon Street, Huntly, and has been two years in the army. Before enlisting he was engaged on the farm at Bruntstane, Huntly.

Private George Robson, Gartly, Gordons, has been wounded and is now in hospital. Private Robson is thus wounded for the second time, his last wound having been inflicted seven months ago. He is a son of Mr and Mrs Robson, Bogardy.


Private Dow, wounded, is a son of Mr Robert Dow, Lowrie, Glass.

Private George Smith, Highland Light Infantry, wounded, is a son of Mr George Smith, Edinglassie, Glass.


Corporal William Watt, missing, is a son of Mr and Mrs William Watt, Whitehouse, Aberlour, and was a joiner at Craigellachie.

Information was received at Knockando, that Private Thomas Morrison, Seaforths, had been wounded. He was mobilised at the outbreak of war. In civil life he was a farm servant at Mains of Corgyle.


Private James Chisholm, Seaforth, killed, belonged to Glenlivet.


Mrs Burgess,  1 Cathcart Street, Buckie, has received official intimation of the death in action of her husband, Private John Burgess, Kings Own Scottish Borderers, who was prior to the war employed with Messrs W. And J. Cruickshank, aerated water manufacturers.

Private Alexander Hepburn, Gordons, son of Mr Hepburn, postman, has been killed in action. He was previously a carpenter with Messrs Gray and McBain, Buckie.


Private Peter Harold, Seaforths, killed, was a son of Mr Harold, woodcutter contractor to Mr Jones, and was a native of Elgin.

Private John G. Smith, killed, was a son of Mr and Mrs Smith, Castle Street, and was a gardener near Maud.


Mr Hugh Paterson, Green Street, Rothes, has received intimation that his son, Private Alexander Paterson, Seaforths, was killed in action on 24th April.  Before enlisting he was a farm servant.

Mr Donald Macqueen, New Street, Rothes has received information that his son, Sergeant Alexander Macqueen, Seaforths, Machine Gun Corp, is missing, believed to be taking prisoner.  Before mobilisation on the outbreak of war, Sergeant Macqueen was employed at Glen Grant Gardens.

Private Frank Grant, wounded, is a son of Bailie Grant, Rothes, and was a coach painter in Aberdeen.

Private James Scott, shellshock, is a brother of Miss Jeannie Scott, Burnside Street, Rothes.


Private Sinclair McKay, Gordons, killed, was a grandson of Mr John McKay, Errol Street, Portgordon.


Intimation has been received by ex-Provost Addison, Portknockie, that his son, corporal Joseph Addison, Gordons, was killed in action on 23rd April. Previous to being called up at the beginning of the war Corporal Addison assisted his father in his business.


Mr and Mrs Robertson, 13 Schoolhendry Street, Portsoy, have received word that their son, Sergeant Alexander Robertson, Canadians, has been wounded in action. This is the second time he has been wounded.


Engineer George W. Innes, Seatown, has been lost at sea. He had seen service at the Dardanelles, and previous to enlisting was employed as engineer on a local boat.

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