Last week we were looking for information about an old photograph of 24 young men in uniform. Although captioned “Edinburgh City Police”, the men were WWI-era Lovat Scouts.
We wondered how the framed photograph ended up in a Rogart crofter’s possession. The answer lay at the bottom of an old biscuit tin.
Amongst the wedding invitations, old letters and newspaper reports of Land League successes, we discovered some notes that also linked with an earlier piece about Corporal David Alexander Ingram Sutherland, who died in France in 1918.
Two small hand-written sheets of paper summarised the military service of four young men.
* Donald: from February 1917, with 5th Gordon Highlanders in France. From 21 March 1918 until 16 December 1918, he was held prisoner in Germany, where he had been treated well.
* Billie: Also one of Lord Lovat’s Scouts, from June 1915 to February 1919. Served in Salonica, had malarial fever several times. Afterwards went back to work in Edinburgh.
* Hugh: Lovat Scout June 1915–February 1919, discharged back to Edinburgh Police on Tuesday 11 February 1919. He had had no wounds but had episodes of malaria. His service was in Salonica and France; and
* David: from 4 August 1915 until his death on 9 April 1918. He served with 5th Seaforths, “one of the famous 51st,” and gained five wound stripes. In his photo, we counted three.
We know that David (born 1896), in Backies, had older brothers, Donald (born 1889) and Hugh (born 1892). We also found a photograph of a young man in a Lovat uniform titled “Hugh”. Comparing the portrait with the group photo, we think Hugh is the last man on the right in the middle row.