TARBAT WAR MEMORIAL
SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS 4TH BATTALION
DATE OF DEATH 9TH AUGUST 1940
John MacKay, known as Jackie, was from Inver, a carpenter to trade, was a member of the 4TH BattaIion Seaforth Highlanders, a Territorial Battalion, which was sent in January 1940 to France to reinforce the Maginot Line, a defensive position on the France/ Germany border.
When the Germans avoided the Maginot Line and attacked through Belgium, behind the defensive line, the British and French forces were in retreat.
The 51ST Highland Division, including 4TH Seaforth, were used to delay the German advance so the main British Expeditionary Force could be evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk.
These part time soldiers held the German advance at Abbeville, the River Bethune, Dieppe and finally at St Valery-en-Caux, where, 8 days after the last ship left the Dunkirk beaches, out of ammunition and food they were ordered to surrender on the 12TH June 1940.
With the rest of the 51ST Highland Division Jackie was marched back through France to Prisoner of War camps in Germany and Poland, the supply of food and water was minimal on this 3-week march and soldiers were forced through thirst in the height of summer to drink from ditches.
was taken ill and died in Lengen hospital on the
9TH August 1940 of
Jackie was the youngest son of Donald and Catherine MacKay and hushand of Jessie MacKay of Inver and is buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery, Berlin, Germany.
© Willie McRae - Tarbat Discovery Centre