17 June 2015

James C. Forbes

Our thoughts today go to James C. Forbes, Pte 1226 Gordon Highlanders, who was 21 years of age when he lost his life near Ypres on 17th June 1915.  James was the son of William & Agnes Forbes, who farmed at Cowhythe, Portsoy.  He is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres, Belgium, as well as on the memorial at Portsoy School.


9 June 2015

In memory of Alexander Gray

On this day we remember the loss of Alexander Gray.  At the age of 18 Alexander was serving in the Royal Naval Reserve when, on 9th June 1915, he died of wounds sustained in action in the Dardanelles.  A gravestone is dedicated to him at Mudros in Greece and he is also commemorated on the family gravestone in Portsoy cemetery.  Alexander was the son of John and Maggie Gray who lived at Muir of Glassaugh, Fordyce.

Casualty Record Detail

4 June 2015

Remembering Hector Guthrie

One hundred years on, Portsoy remembers Hector M. Guthrie, Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers.  After graduating with 1st Class Honours from Aberdeen University, he was 22 years of age when he became a casualty of the Gallipoli campaign on 4th June 1915.  He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial as well as in Aberdeen University Roll of Honour.  Hector’s parents, James & Bella Guthrie, lived in Roseacre Street, Portsoy.

Casualty Record Detail

27 May 2015

Robert MacDonald

Today we reflect on the tragic event which claimed the life of Robert MacDonald, Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Navy.  Robert, aged 39, was one of hundreds of casualties following an explosion on board the minelayer “Princess Irene” on 27th May 1915 at Sheerness in Kent.  Although not named on the Portsoy town memorial, he is commemorated on the family gravestone in Portsoy cemetery, which identifies his parents as Robert MacDonald and Margaret Burgess.  Robert is also remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.


16 May 2015

In memory of James Grant Gray and Donald Stuart

One hundred years on, Portsoy war casualties James Grant Gray and Donald Stuart are present in our thoughts.  Both young men were on active service with the Gordon Highlanders when they lost their lives on 16th May 1915.  Both are commemorated on the LeTouret memorial in Pas de Calais, France. 

James Grant Gray, Pte 909, Gordon Highlanders was aged 23 at the time of his death.  His parents were William Ker Gray, Glenboyne, Portsoy, Banffshire, and Christina McKechnie Gray.


Donald Stuart, Pte 1470, 6th Battalion Gordon Highlanders was the son of James & Annie Stuart of Cultain, Fordyce and was only 17 when he was killed.  His name is absent from the Portsoy town memorial but he is commemorated on the family gravestone in Portsoy cemetery.  

10 May 2015

Forthcoming records on WW2 casualties

As a complement to the existing data on casualties of WW1, records of WW2 victims are shortly to be made available online from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.  These will be accessible free of charge and include details relating to individual gravestones and headstone inscriptions, which can often prove invaluable to the family members of those who fell.

To find out more, see this page on the CWGC site .

24 April 2015

William McCulloch, Portsoy

Today Portsoy remembers William A McCulloch, Pte 27289, serving in the Canadian Infantry 15th Battalion, who was killed in action near Ypres on 24th April 1915, at the age of 31.  His father, John McCulloch, was a draper at 13 Aird Street.  William is commemorated on the Menin Gate memorial at Ypres.