Roll of Honour


Ian MacKinnon


Ian MacKinnon was born on the island of Tiree, Argyllshire, on the 26th February 1887, son of Archibald MacKinnon and Catherine MacKinnon. Ian was living with his family in Airdrie at the time he matriculated in the Faculty of Arts in the autumn of 1908. His studies progressed quite smoothly. In his first year he passed Latin and Mathematics. The following year, 1909-1910, he added Logic and English, completing his M.A. with passes in Education, Moral Philosophy and Higher English. He graduated in 1913, two years after having completed his Arts curriculum but having gone on to study Divinity at Trinity College in the interim. He left for Canada where he became a Presbyterian minister at a church in Winnipeg.

Image of Ian Mackinnon

When war began he joined the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders and trained at the Minto Street Barracks in Winnipeg. Known as the 43rd Bn. (Manitoba Regiment) Canadian Infantry it embarked for Europe and reached France by way of Britain in June 1915. Ian’s battalion fought at the Somme. It was part of a force at Ancre Heights, with orders to attack the Germans at Regina Trench. When the action began on the 8th October the Canadians discovered that the Allied artillery had not cut right through the barbed wire defences. Their immediate objective was on a reverse slope and the attempt was unsuccessful.

Losses were high that day among the Canadians. Only six officers and sixty-seven other ranks presented themselves at roll call the following day. Captain Ian MacKinnon was among the dead. General Douglas Haig mentioned his name in despatches to the War Office on the 2nd January 1917, posthumously honouring his ‘distinguished and gallant’ service. He was 29. His mother, widowed by that time, had moved to Pinwherry in rural Ayrshire. Her son is remembered at the Vimy Memorial to the 11,000 Canadians missing or presumed dead in France.