C.S.M. William Ross

402 Company Sergeant Major William Ross was born in Portree about 1870 and lived there with his wife Mary Ann. He had been a Volunteer and Territorial for many years and held the Volunteer Long Service Medal. At the outbreak of the War in 1914 he, at the age of 44, along with all the other Territorials, volunteered for overseas service.

After being involved in the measles outbreak at Bedford the 4th Camerons landed in France in February 1915. They were held in reserve during the battle of Neuve Chapelle in March, and Aubers Ridge in May. The Camerons were in action again on 17 May at Festubert when they were asked to attack the German defences at night.

The death of C.S.M. Ross has entered into Portree legend as a result there are several versions as to how he died. The Regimental version is that died at the head of his men as they attacked the German defences, which were fronted by deep flooded trenches. Another version is that he was killed as he approached a group of Germans who apparently wished to surrender, and was shot and killed. For his actions on this day C.S.M. Ross was Mentioned in Sir John French's Despatch of 30 November 1915. William Ross's body was never found and he is commemorated on the Le Touquet Memorial in France.

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