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.

18 March 2015

In memory of William Littlejohn, Portsoy

On this day we reflect on the sacrifice of William Littlejohn, Gunner 2014 in the Royal Garrison Artillery (34th), who died of his injuries on 18th March 1915 at the Royal Military Hospital, Isle of Wight.  He left behind a widowed wife, Jane Morrison, Chapel Street, Portsoy.  His grave can be found in Portsoy’s old burial ground.

13 March 2015

In memory of William Charles Bremner, 1898 - 1915


Charlie Bremner was brought up in Banff, the son of William Bremner and Mary Beaton.  He was already serving in the 6th Battalion Gordon Highlanders (a Territorial unit) when war was declared 1914.  Just after his 16th birthday he left Britain with his comrades, bound for France.  On 13th March 1915 the battalion went into action, attacking the strategic objective of Neuve Chapelle.  Over 300 casualties were sustained during this operation.  Charlie is commemorated, together with other casualties of this action, at the nearby Le Touret memorial.

James Williamson, Glassaugh, Fordyce

Today we remember James Williamson, Pte 1465, 6th Battalion Gordon Highlanders, a casualty of the battle of Neuve Chapelle.  James was the son of J. Williamson, gamekeeper at Glassaugh, Fordyce, and was aged just 19 when he died on 13th March 1915.  He is named on the memorial at Le Touret in Pas de Calais, France.


10 February 2015

John McWilliam & James Morrison

On this day we remember the sacrifice made by John McWilliam, Pte 906, 6th Battalion Gordon Highlanders and by James A. Morrison, L/Cpl 971, also 6th Battalion Gordon Highlanders.  Both were killed in action on 10th February 1915.

John McWilliam lived at Backgreen, Portsoy, and James Morrison lived at 3, Culbert Street, Portsoy.

They are both commemorated at the Rue Petillon cemetery , Fleurbaix, Pas de Calais, France.