Ross & Cromarty
War Memorials


Stornoway War Memorial

The Memorial is a Listed Building (Category B)
by British Listed Buildings - here is the Listing Text

Erected circa 1920, tall castellated tower, built on Cnoc nan Uan as a memorial to those lost in the First World War. The monument is related in concept to that at Dingwall to "Eachann nan Cath" (Field Marshall Hector MacDonald) designed by James Sandford Kay and dated 1907. (The 1859-69 National Wallace monument at Stirling by the Glasgow architect J T Rochead seems to be the prototype of this class of structure). Rubble-built, square-plan, with internal staircase, castellated parapet with cap-house. The Islesmen gave a disproportionately great contribution to the First World War, suffering enormous losses particularly (among the military) at places like Gallipolli and at the Somme. The sea-faring tradition led many into the navy, where losses were also high, while the tragic loss of the homecoming troops with the sinking of the "Iolair" on hogmanay 1918-1919 increased the losses even further (though it is said to be the parish of North Uist which lost the greatest number "per capita" in that war). So this monument also has considerable significance in terms of historic interest. Development Development II Development III



In WW2 when posted to a new Unit in my Regiment (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME)), we were not allowed out of camp for two weeks; my first posting was to 25 Command Workshops, Grantown-on-Spey.
The fortnight elapsed and I applied for a 48-hour pass. When the 'bosses' realised that I was in 'home' country, another rule kicked in, and I was posted, within days, to 20 Coastal Defence Maintenance Unit (20 CDMU), Leith. My job there was to look after the diesel-generators (Lister 22Kw and Ruston 50Kw) on the islands in the Firth of Forth and elsewhere. I would go down to Leith Docks, with my tool box and injectors, and ask to be taken anywhere between Montrose and the English Border, by RASC Launch.
There were about a dozen of us and our workshop had been a small garage in a quiet lane in Leith, opposite the back door of a bakery. I had an 6X6ft garden shed within the workshop where I operated on diesel injectors and pumps. I even had a certificate which allowed me to take the cover off a CAV pump! We did not have a barracks, did our own catering, and slept in Leith Fort, on straw palliases on the stone floor of a rather large room. We were not alone as various other Units slept there too.


The Boer Wars as 'game changers'
The Second Boer War became the first international conflict of the twentieth century. It saw the demise of 'aggressive imperialism' into which it had degraded. It also brought about significant change in the British and other armies. Up until this time British troops had worn red tunics with bright buttons. Boer sharpshooters (snipers), equipped with the excellent German Mauser rifle (of which 37,000 had been bought) took advantage of both of these with the result that khaki uniforms were introduced. Also notable was that the last 'cavalry charge' in a set war piece occurred in it.

Perhaps the most important consequence of all was the raising of the Lovat Scouts Regiment to improve reconnaissance, and intelligence-gathering, and to answer the Boer's accomplished tracking and sharpshooting record. The Scouts introduced the concept of 'Special Forces' into military strategy. They were drawn from gamekeepers and deer-stalkers on various Highland estates, starting with Lord Lovat's own. Apart from their normal duties of looking after game, an important activity was preventing poaching. Their contribution to 'Special Forces' training was well illustrated in a recent BBC TV programme called 'Manhunt'. In the programme a US Navy SEAL took on the challenge of getting from point A to point B in the remote Highlands, undetected, by a party of exactly the same kind of men who would have been Lovat Scouts. Perhaps for dramatic effect he only just made it, getting into an escape boat just about two yards ahead his pursuers. In the closing seconds of the programme he paid a gracious tribute to his pursuers, saying that he only got away because his training had included much from them - unfortunately, not saying it was the Lovat Scouts; understandable, perhaps.


Account of
St Ninian's Church, Port Bannantyne
Record of XIIth Submarine Flotilla
Active Service Awards - when found.


Korean War -

There is a lot of inconsistency in the Internet record of this conflict. Some say that the War ended in 1953 and another that it was 1954. Some say an armistice was signed, others say there is still no armistice or peace deal.

There are at least two figures for the total UK Forces in this conflict. Wikipedia says 14,240, whereas BBC ( here) says 63,000. The BBC report gives a larger figure of dead (1078) than the 686 I found. Perhaps that is because the fighting did not cease in 1953, but continued into 1954. BBC also has some othr interesting things to say. Also, see here for the other British countries which contributed forces.


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