Friday, April 20, 2012

William & John MacGregor VC of Cawdor

We've had some interesting pictures in so far this week. If you have any pictures of Nairnshire past or present we would be delighted to publish them. We're putting the pictures of historical content into this Gurn flickr set. Anyway, some information now about the above picture. Dave Shillabear has sent the Gurn a fascinating image (larger version here). Dave has been campaigning for John MacGregor VC to receive the same recognition in the Country of his birth has he has received in his adopted country of Canda. Here's the notes Dave sent in an e-mail:

 Re your article on Old Nairn pictures I have a picture of Cawdor Young Farmers Association 1932-33. The farmers in the picture are identified as:-

B and W copy of a paper copy, fair. BACK ROW L to R, Duncan Dallas of Inchyettle, Peter Rose of Ballieknockan, James Clark of Lyne of Urchany, George Morrison of Budgate, John Urquhart of Balinrait, James Innes of Bog of Cawdor, Hugh Robertson of Newton of Cawdor, Alex MacPherson of Meikleburn, Lyle of Alnaha, Alea MacArthur of Achamore, William robertson of Tomlunquhart. MIDDLE ROW

L to R, John Brown (Blacksmith) Cawdor, David MacGregor of Whinhill, Simon Innes of Blairmore, Duncan MacPherson of Cawdor Home Farm, Archie Forbes of Rehiran, James Munro of Blackmill, William Fraser of Mid Urchany, Donald MacDonald of Tomloan, Bob MacPhee of Balculchaich. FRONT ROW L to R, James Innes of Meikle Urchany, Donald Johnston of Rait Castle, John Calder of Raitloan, John Gill of Cawdor Inn Farm, Charlie Smith of Auchindoune, George Innes of Achneim, Donald MacLean of Kirkton of Barevan, William MacGregor of The Ord, James MacGillivray of Milton of Balnnagown, Sam Fraser of Achagour.

You will note that the person third from the right on the front row is identified as William MacGregor of The Ord. He was the son of William and Hanna MacGregor. He was born on 27th July 1886 and died 16th April 1975 at Raigmore hospital in Inverness. As was the custom in the early days of the 20th century, when the father died the croft was handed to the eldest son. Williams brother John then decided to leave home and emigrate to Canada. He was to become Canada's most highly decorated soldier, still, winning the Distinguished Conduct Medal, the highest medal under the VC able to be awarded to soldiers under the rank of Warrant officer. He won the Military Cross TWICE, this being the highest decoration for junior officers under the VC and also the VC itself. I have attached a pdf file giving a précis of Johns life. I am campaigning to get John properly recognised in his home County as he is in Canada where he has roads, housing complexes and civic buildings named after him.

Dave Shillabeer.

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