The soldiers named below have a link to Tongue but do not appear on the War Memorial or the World War 1 Roll of Honour inside Tongue church
Donald Fraser was born in Tongue the son of Mr and Mrs Duncan Fraser from Strathmore Tongue, Sutherlandshire. Donald emigrated to New Zealand some time before the outbreak of the First World War; he enlisted into the New Zealand Armed forces in 1917 and was shipped to France to join the fight.
The area was well defended with bunkers and concrete pillboxes built in depth by the enemy over the previous two years. The enemy bunkers were well constructed with interlinked fields of fire, well suited to troops holding a defensive position.
The British casualties during the Third Battle of Ypres were horrendous, mainly caused by enemy machine gun and artillery fire as the attackers tried to reach the enemy on the ridges above. The soldiers were forced to attack over duckboards laid on the wet ground giving the enemy gunners easy slow moving targets.
The initial attacks were a success but failure by units on the flanks forced the New Zealanders to fall back to their original positions. More attacks on the 22, 26 and 30 of October only advanced the line by 300 yards in to the heavy mud, only on the 4 of November did exhausted Canadian troops take the remains of Passchendaele village.
Private Donald Fraser was severely wounded during the Third Battle of Ypres and evacuated to a casualty clearing station; he was then taken to a field hospital to recover from his wounds. Once he had recovered sufficiently he would have been taken back to New Zealand where he died as a result of his wounds on the 17 of October 1918.
SCOTTISH NATIONAL WAR MEMORIAL EDINBURGH CASTLE Fraser Donald Private.Wellington Regiment. New Zealand Expeditionary Force.
COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES COMMISSION Fraser Private, Donald.51033. Wellington Regiment N.Z.E.F. Died 17 October 1918. Son of Mr and Mrs Duncan Fraser of Strathmore Tongue, Sutherlandshire. Block A. Row 23.
Private Donald Fraser 51033 Wellington Regiment New Zealand Expeditionary Force is buried in war grave at DANNEVIRKE (MANGATERA) CEMETERY in NEW ZEALAND.
John Mackay was born in Tongue in 1864, son of William Oliver Mackay and Barbara Campbell of Tongue, Sutherlandshire. The family worked at Kinloch as shepherds, they are shown as being in Kinloch, Tongue on the 1841, 1851 and 1861 census records . By the census of 1871 William Mackay & Barbara Campbell, their young family and also William's elderly parents had moved to Scouthill Caithness (where
Barbara had been born).
John then moved to Aberdeen with his sister where he became a a pioneer of football in the Aberdeen area; for many years a player, captain and president of Orion F.C.; President Aberdeenshire F.A., 1888-89; Director of Aberdeen F.C. since the amalgamation of 1903.
John was unmarried he lived with his sister at West Cults and Trinity, at sometime John was employed as an agent for the North of Scotland & Town & County Bank in the Mile-end Branch.
John enlisted into the Royal Engineers in Aberdeen, once he had completed his military training he was sent to the 2/2 Highland Field Company in France.
The Highland Field Company was the 51 (Highland)Division, Engineering Company, responsible for all trench-digging and maintenance duties. The sappers also laid barbed wire fencing and dug tunnels under the enemy lines then blowing them up. The Engineering Companies were responsible for all technical duties and engineering work required by the Divisional Commander.
Sapper John Mackay was wounded in action, and died from those wounds in a casualty clearing station on the 21-4-16; aged 53 years.
Mackay J. (b) Tongue, Sutherlandshire. 197. Sapper. Died of wounds on the 21-4-16.
F &F. Royal Engineers, GHQ, 51 Highland Division.
Mackay Sapper John 197, 2/2 Field Company Royal Engineers. 21st April 1916.
Age 53. Son of William Oliver and Barbara Mackay of Tongue, Sutherlandshire.
Plot 1. Row E. Grave 12.
Sapper John Mackay 197 2/2 Field Company, Royal Engineers is buried in a war grave at BOISGUILLAUME COMMUNAL CEMETERY, FRANCE.
(The website would like to acknowledge the picture above as from his great- nephew, JOHN S. O. ROSS)
More information can be found about John Mackay at these websites
John McLeod Mackay was born in Talmine on 16 March 1887, son of Hector McLeod and Wilhelmina Mackay of Tongue, Sutherlandshire. In the 1901 census: he was aged 14, and is shown as a scholar, lodging with Hugh MacDonald at Skinnet Melness, (The school mistress was also lodging in this house.)
John married Mary Bannatyne MacDonald on 27 Jun 1914 in Kirk Lane Hall, Pollockshaws, He had moved away from Tongue sometime before the outbreak of the First World War to Glasgow. He then lived with his wife Mary at 47 Craigiehall Street, Plantation, Glasgow.
He enlisted into the Army in Glasgow, once he had completed his military training he was posted to the 6 Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders. The 6 Seaforths were a part of the 152 Brigade, 51 (Highland) Division which arrived in France on 12 May 1915, taking part in the Battle of Festubert, between 15th and 25th of May of that year. On the 20 of July 1916 the 51(Highland) Division fought at High Wood during the Battle of the Somme and then in November the division captured the village of Beaumont Hamel. The attack at Beaumont Hamel was a spectacular success, as the Highlanders attacked over no-mans land in fog and entered the enemy lines at Y-Ravine (See Alexander Mackay and James McDougall in the Skerray WarMemorial section of this book)
Beaumont Hamel was a sea of mud, as the Scottish Division took the village at bayonet point capturing over 7,000 prisoners of war. The casualties amongst the Scottish Brigades were heavy as they took the enemy line and held it against fierce counterattack.
The 6 Seaforth Highlanders next battle was fought at the Battle of Arms, when the British attacked the Hindenburg Line east of the town. Scotsmen performed many acts of gallantry in the Arras area as the British tried in vain to break the enemy lines and win the war. (See Donald Hugh Mackay and Angus Gunn Mackay in the Skerray War Memorial section ).
On the 31 of July 191 7,the 51 (Highland) Division was to the North West of Ypres in Belgium, to the East of Brielen on the enemy side of the Ypres-Yser Canal. This was the opening day of the 3 Battle of Ypres, as the British Army tried to break the enemy line in Flanders and breakout of the Ypres Salient. Heavy shelling had turned the battlefield in to a swamp and the soldiers were forced to attack in the most horrendous conditions of warfare ever seen (See also Hugh John Murray Tongue.)At zero hour (3:50 am) the 6 Seaforth Highlanders attacked heavily defended enemy pillboxes at Fyshe Farm and Britannia Farm, taking both these areas by an outflanking rather than frontal attack. The Seaforths took heavy casualties from enemy snipers and met heavy resistance from the German, 3 Reserve Guards Division.
All battalion objectives were taken, the battalion at one stage being helped by a tank named 'Gordon', as Pilkem Ridge and an enemy strongpoint named 'Ferdinand' were over run. The 51 (Highland) Division then dug in at the Steenbeck (a small stream) and beat off heavy enemy counterattacks.
Many acts of heroism took place that day and a Sergeant Edwards of ‘C’ Company; Seaforths was awarded the Victoria Cross. Casualties for 6 Seaforths in one days fighting on the 31 July 1917, were two officers dead, one dying and forty other ranks killed, whilst seven officers and one hundred and forty men were wounded. Sergeant John Mackay was one of those killed in action; he was 30 years of age.
SCOTTISHNATIONALWARMEMORIALEDINBURGHCASTLE Mackay John (b) Tongue Sutherlandshire. 9124. Sergeant. Killed in action. F & F. 31-7-17. 6 Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders.
COMMONWEALTHWARGRAVESCOMMISSION Mackay Sergeant J.M. 9124, 6 Battalion Seaforth Highlanders, 31 July 1917. Age 30.Son of Hector and Wilhelmina Mackay of Tongue, Sutherlandshire. Husband of MaryBannantyne, Macdonald of 47 Craigiehall St, Plantation, Glasgow.Plot 4. Row B. Grave 20.
Sergeant John M Mackay 9124, 6 Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders is buried in a war grave at ARTILLERY WOOD CEMETERY, BOESINGHE, BELGIUM.
Alexander Manson was born in Dalcharn,Tongue in November 1885, the son of Angus Manson and Sophia Stewart. Angus and Sophia married in Melness in January 1885.They lived in the last house in Dalcharn. The family moved before the war to live in Edinburgh. In the 1911 census they are living in Drumdyan Street Edinburgh. Alexander then emigrated to Australia.He enlisted into the Australian Army at the outbreak of the First World War, joining the 3 Battalion Australian Infantry in the 2 Brigade, 1st Australian Division. The Division was under the command of Brigadier General Harry Chauval of the 1 Light Horse Brigade.
The 1 Australian Division left Australia in November 1914 for Egypt and commenced training in Cairo in January 1915. The Australians were also to garrison Egypt against Turkish invasion or an attempt by the Turks to seize the Suez Canal.
On the 25 of April 1915, the Australian Infantry Force and the New Zealand Army Corps (A.N.Z.A.C.) landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula Turkey, at Anzac Cove. The troops faced sheer cliffs as they landed, with the attacking waves soon becoming confused and mixed up. Junior officers rallied the men and six companies eventually managed to climb out from the beachhead.
The Turks were pushed back two miles by nightfall and the Australians dug in, ready to meet the expected Turkish counterattack. The attack when it came was savage, with the Turks launching wave after wave of infantry against the A.N.Z.A.C. lines, fierce hand to hand fighting was required to hold the enemy. Turkish Generals launched attacks for three days almost non-stop but failed to penetrate the Australian lines, the cost to both sides was heavy.
In May, 42,000 Turks attacked the 12,500 defenders at Anzac Cove in a massive attack, the Australians killed thousands of their enemies in the first hour. The attack was a slaughter as by midday the Turks had lost 10,000 men, over 5,000 of them lay in no-mans lands dead or wounded.
The Australian Commanders had to rush reinforcements into the frontline trenches, some of these reinforcements actually offered to pay for a place on the parapet, some men later paid five pounds for a place in a bayonet charge. The conditions in the line were horrendous, the intense heat and flies made the conditions very unhealthy for the troops of both sides. With the number of dead and wounded that lay around a number of cease-fires had to be agreed between the opposing Generals, to clear the battlefield before the killing continued.
In August 1915,the fighting in the southern sector of Anzac Cove at Lone Pine, was some of the worst seen in the Gallipoli Campaign. Six Australian Battalions lost a total of 80 officers and 2,l97 men between them, whole units were wiped out as the Australian troops attacked the heart of the Turkish lines. The Turks again put up fanatical resistance to hold on to their line as the Australians bombed their way forward in an effort to take and hold the positions on Lone Pine Ridge. (Seealso Donald Mackay A.N.Z.A.C. Tongue).
Private Alexander Manson was killed in action on Lone Pine Ridge between the 7 and 12 of August 1915, aged 30 years. His body was not found when the battlefield was cleared in 1919 and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemeteries were established. Alexander's name does not appear on Tongue War Memorial or on the Roll of Honour behind the pulpit in Tongue Church, however his name is on the Roll of Honour (Number 61) in a small side room of the church. This Roll of Honour is reproduced at the end of this section.
SCOTTISHNATIONALWARMEMORIALEDINBURGHCASTLE Manson Alexander. 2170. Private. 3 Battalion, AustralianInfantry.
COMMONWEALTHWARGRAVESCOMMISSION Manson Private Alexander. 2170A. 3 Battalion, Australian Infantry, Australian Infantry Force. Killed in Action between 7 and 12 of August 1915. Age 30. Son of Angus and Sophia Manson, of Drumdryan St, Edinburgh, Scotland. Native of Dalcharn, Tongue, Lairg.Panel 20.
Private Alexander Manson 2170A, 3 Battalion Australian Infantry Force, has no known grave and is remembered on the LONE PINE MEMORIAL, TURKEY.