Canon Fodder

Stories of Service

Shamus McPhee has shared his personal stories and tells of how three family members served during the First World War.

Private Stewart McPhee, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders - S/18726

Stewart McPhee, the artist’s paternal grandfather, is believed to have fought in the Somme, at Ypres and Flanders. He reported being surrounded by so many corpses in the Somme that angels were seen to appear to the afflicted. He earned the nickname ‘Ow’ Baldy’ upon removing his helmet at the end of the battle and shedding his entire head of hair in the process.

This was believed to have been a stress-related condition triggered by months of digging in and incessant warfare. He was a recipient of the Victory Medal: G/105 1313968, and the British War Medal. He spent time in Perthshire (once pulling a cart from Logierait to Kenmore with a harness on, there being no horse available) before returning to Wick, Caithness where he died in 1972.

Creative Scotland Pit Lochry Festival Theatre Perth Kinross Council MECOPP