Dornoch Historylinks Image Library

'B' Company 5th Seaforth Highlanders
'B' Company 5th Seaforth Highlanders

Monochrome group photograph of 'B'Company 5th Seaforth Highlanders assembled on tiered benches in front of a pavilion. Lt W A MacDonald is on the left of the officers sitted in front.
Picture added on 31 May 2009
Regretfully I cannot identify any of the men in the photograph, but the officers are from R. Lt MacDonald as stated above, Lt George Murray from Golspie, Capt James Menzies from Rogart, Maj Donald Sinclair from Caithness and Lt Arthur Pitman from Edinburgh.

Many thanks for your comment, we will add the names to the Museum catalogue - Administrator
Added by Gus Mackay on 16 April 2012
This photograph was taken on the playing fields of Bedford School (Bedford Grammar School up to 1919) and the men are assembled on the terraced seating of the school's cricket pavilion. This building features as a backdrop to many photographs of the Highland Division during its time in Bedford (August 1914 - May 1915), particularly group photos of Seaforth units. The School was HQ for the 1/4 & 2/4 Seaforth and was central to the Seaforth & Cameron Brigade's billeting area at the edge of Bedford town centre. The pavilion steps were also used as a vantage point by photographers capturing images of the soldiers on the school playing fields. This pavilion was damaged by fire between the wars and replaced with a more contemporary (for the day) 'art-deco' design which stands to this day having just been renovated and extended. The Grammar School fields were used by the Seaforth as a training ground and also provided the venue for the Divisional Highland Games which were held on Easter Monday 1915. A full programme of events associated with Highland Games was offered and there were 1500 entries from 1000 participants. It's reckoned that 9,000 soldiers and over 4,000 Bedfordians spectated.

Many thanks for the identification of the location and your additional information - Administrator
Added by Richard Galley on 23 June 2012
I have a copy of this photograph, along with many others, passed on to me by my mother on the death of my grandfather who is one of the soldiers shown. My grandfather's name is Joseph James Kinnaird and he is standing on the penultimate row of the group, seventh from the left. Miraculously, he survived the war and remained immensely proud of his association with the Seaforths, a regiment that he considered to have no equal. I believe he joined up the day war was declared, travelling from his home town of Lancaster, Lancashire all the way to Fort George.

In addition to this photograph, I have quite a collection showing him, and others, in various poses both during training at Bedford and later whilst in France. When questioning one photograph in particular, showing my grandfather on a rather fine-looking pony, my mother told me that he was riding one of the polo ponies that had been taken to France by one of the officers. I am hoping, in the near future, to do some walking in France, following in the footsteps of the 51st; it was research that led me to this site.

Many thanks for your comment and the identification of your grandfather - Administrator
Added by Sue Smith on 20 August 2012
Re: Sue Smith's comment (20/8/12): The Zamindars of Madras presented the British Army with 100 polo ponies shortly after the war began and they were duly shipped from India to England. It appears that other units were a bit 'sniffy' about accepting these animals as remounts. All except the canny Highlanders who appreciated the quality of the animals and as a result, it is said, sent their company commanders and staff officers to France better mounted than any others in the Army at that time.

Many thanks for your comment - Administrator
Added by Richard Galley on 21 August 2012
This picture is taken outside the sports pavilion at Bedford Grammar School in late 1914/early 1915 when the battalion together with other battalions in the 51st Highland Division trained in the town before leaving for the front.

Many thanks for your comment - Administrator
Added by Richard Everett on 09 December 2014
Please add your comments about this picture using the form below.


Your Name

Your email address - this will be shown on the page and will allow the system to notify you of further comments added to this picture.


William Jappy in the Army WW1WW1 German field gun breech mechanismWW1 German field gun Witch's Pool'Double Drawing' at HistorylinksWilliam Jappy aged 16WW1 photograph William JappyWW1 hospital photograph Wm. JappySilk embroidered postcard WW1Dornoch War Memorial Service of RemembranceRecording of Dornoch Cathedral Armistice Day