Rogart Heritage

Archaeology & Heritage

Hector George Sutherland

Private Hector George Sutherland died of wounds, 22May 1915, at Chatham Hospital having been wounded on 9 May 1915 at Bois de Biez. He was aged 27 years

The son of Donald Sutherland and Johanna née Macdonald of Milton Bank, Rogart, Hector was born 3 August 1887 in Rogart and enlisted at Golspie in the 1st Bn Seaforth Highlanders. His regimental number was 10125. Noted for his red hair, Hector had previously served in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He had joined up at the same time as Corporal William Sutherland, Balchlaggan, who died October 1914. Neither man ever returned home.

William Campbell noted in his diary on 22 May 1915: “I am very sorry indeed to hear of the death of Hector Sutherland Milton (1st Seaforth Highlanders). A wire came today that he died of wounds received in action near Neuve Chapelle on the 9th May. I feel it very much, as he was one of my scholars here. He was a very nice, quiet unassuming and well-behaved scholar and young man. He has died nobly and gloriously fighting for his country.”

The battle in which Hector Sutherland was fatally wounded was at Bois-de-Biez, near Neuve Chapelle. The 4th Seaforths (Ross-shire Territorials) were there, and at least 170 men and 8 officers were killed and wounded. Supporting shell fire had not destroyed the enemy’s trenches. The 1st Seaforths (in which Hector Sutherland was enlisted) were on the left of the 4th Seaforths, and got up to the enemy’s trenches, but could not stay there, and they came back with five officers and 370 men out of 1,000. Amongst these very heavy casualties was Hector Sutherland who was wounded, only to succumb to those wounds some days later.

Hector is buried at the Fort Pitt Military Cemetery, Kent and memorialised on the Rogart war memorial, the Seaforth Highlanders Roll of Honour and The Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle.