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mackay1964

Struma visit - what should I see?

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JulianR

If I have read Ashton's service record right then he was Court Martialed on 28 Jan 1919 and the relevant PRO file is WO/213/27, but do check for yourself.

 

Where did you get Donald's service record from especially the bit about the Court of Enquiry?

 

Julian

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mackay1964
6 hours ago, JulianR said:

Did he only have the one Christian name?  I have also found a reference to a Donald Ross MacKay who died the same day and has te same regimental number, and his mothers name is the same in the WW1 Pension Records

His full name was Donald Ross Mackay, so the pension record will be his. I was wondering if his Motber would have received apension.

 

Just to give you a bit of family background Donald was the eldest son in a family of nine. My granny was his youngest sister. I had never heard about the family (when I was 4 my Father died and by the time I was 18 his parents had also passed away, and with them being "Highland" they never spoke about the family history. Maybe they just thought a teenager wouldn't be that interested.) Anyway about 35 years ago I started to piece together my Mackay history initially by visiting Register House in Edinburgh with a pencil and a notebook! The level of access to information that the internet has brought is truly revolutionary. That's when I came across Donald Ross Mackay and I was immediately struck by the tradgedy of his death 2 weeks after the end of the war. It also struck me that no one would ever have visited his grave and so next week 100 years after his death I'm going to be in the cemetery at Kalokastro to pay respect for the brothers and sisters who would have liked to have done so themselves and also for his Mother who wrote to The War Office asking for a photo of her son's grave(I wonder if she ever got one) I am sure my granny had no knowledge of where her brother lay, she may have heard the names and looked at a map, but that would have been it.

 

About ten years ago on another web forum some one offered to look up his records on a visit to Kew and very kindly summarised them which gave me the info I had. But in the last couple of days with your help I now know much more detail of the circumstances of his demise and the culpability of Spr Ashton. It's quite astonishing. I'm sure he did not foresee the outcome of his actions (he pled guilty at least)but, as a railwayman before he joined up, I'm shocked at his lack of safety awareness. It's also quite ironic that he was back home receiving some kind of disability pension (and officers unsure as to whether he had comp!eted his sentence) while my Great grandmother is still trying to get her son's possesions back and get a photo of his grave.

 

Different times indeed and incredible that 100 years later it is possible to discover so much detail. I am undoubtedly more knowledgable about my great Uncle's death than his own Mother would have been.

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mackay1964

Here is a picture of Donald, taken in Inverness. I guess not long after he attested at Fort George. Also one of his Mother tending her chickens outside the family home in Stromeferry. Also a picture of the piece of stone I collected from the beach outside his house which I will take to him in Greece

CJ Mackay0001.jpg

Donald Mackay0001.jpg

DSC_0764.JPG

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JulianR

Thanks for the long message.  I am off to France today, so might not reply for a bit.  

 

I am probably nearer PRO than you, and am intending going up next week. Do you need me to look up the Court-Martial report?  if so, please check that you agree with my idea of which file.  Also is there a summary of the Court of Enquiry to be had?

 

Julian

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mackay1964

If you have time at tbe PRO I would be grateful for any new information you could track down (I've always said I'll go one day). As for a Court of Enquiry I'm not certain tbere was one other than the mention in the previous information I was given.

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JulianR

As for the Court of Enquiry, one should have been held before Ashton and the other man were put on Coy Commanders orders given the circumstances, I will check both 19 and 32 ROC War Diaries again to make sure I did not miss anything.  It is a pity that the previous researcher missed out the file reference, so you could go back to it if needs be. I would like to look at it, so we could get the whole story, there were about 6 witnesses who all gave evidence.

 

Have a good trip

 

Julian

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JulianR

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