The declaration of war against Germany on 4 August 1914 saw the Territorials of the 6th (Morayshire) Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders, mobilised for the first time in their history. After crossing to France in May 1915 the battalion fought with great distinction as part of the famous 51st (Highland) Division in the major battles of 1916, 1917 and 1918. Of the 4, 888 men who served with the Morayshire battalion during the Great War, 1,163 were killed. All died of wounds or illness: their names are found today on headstones or on memorials to the missing at more than 130 in France and Belgium and on war memorials at home. That the survivors of the earlier battles overcame all the difficulties and heavy losses to lead the young reinforcements to victory in November 1918 makes their story all the more remarkable.
The result of many years of research, this book is compiled from official and unofficial documents, newspaper and privately held accounts, and is illustrated with more than 175 photographs, drawings and maps. It tells the story of ordinary men who performed extraordinary deeds fighting a skilful and determined enemy in the trenches of the Western Front.
Since first visiting the battlefields in 1981, Derek Bird has researched many aspects of the Great War, and after moving to Moray in 1985, the story of the 6th Seaforth Highlanders soon attracted his attention. SInce 1998, he has been Chairman of the Scotland (North) Branch of the Western Front Association and organises meetings in Elgin open to anyone with an interest in the Great War.