Tongue War Memorial
Tongue War Memorial lists the names of 25 men killed in World War 1 and one man killed in World War 2.
Tongue War Memorial was unveiled on Saturday the 8 of October 1921, in the presence of the Duke of Sutherland. Mr William Matheson and the Reverend Lundie led the gathering, psalms were sung and prayers were said for those from the Tongue area who did not return home from the First World War.
The Duke of Sutherland extended his sympathy to all those who had lost sons in the Great War as the Memorial was unveiled by Mr Alexander Mackay who had lost three sons, Mrs Robert Mackay and Mrs Burr who had both lost two. The proceedings were brought to a close with the singing of the National Anthem.
The Memorial was built by Mr Brock of the Inland Revenue and taken to the site by Mr Mitchell from Ribigill. The site of the memorial is almost the same now as it was then, the memorial wall was moved slightly in the seventies when the road was widened.
Tongue Village, during the First World War was not as large as it is now; the outlying areas of Braetongue and Scullomie were much larger then. The Roll of Honour, inside Tongue church shows a very small percentage of men joining the Forces from the village, but a much larger amount from the outlying areas.
On the 23 of July 1915, one year into the war, the population of Tongue was 519 men, women and children of which 42 men had volunteered to fight, 8% of the population. This number would rise to 75 men by the end of the war and the introduction of conscription in 1916.
Men from Tongue joined the forces and served in all the famous Regiments or on ships of the Royal Navy. They fought in every theatre of war and were involved in all the famous battles on the Western Front in France, fighting at Mons, the Marne, Ypres, the Battle of the Somme, Arras and Passchendaele. Many men fought further afield in the Middle East, on the Gallipoli Peninsula and Palestine against the fierce Turkish Army. Those battlefields now live on in history and are remembered on the Regimental Colours as days of glory. The soldiers all lie on those battlefields among legions of white headstones which are engraved with the immortal words “their name liveth for evermore”.
Who were those men who left Tongue full of hope for the future to do their duty for King and Country? They were all someone’s son, father or brother but are now just faceless names on the war memorial, where we place our poppy once a year and stand for our minute’s silence.
A whole generation of men left Tongue to fight in the Great War between 1914 and 1918 and not a family was left untouched by the legacy of war and the folly of man. Even those left behind were not immune from the war, when on 7 May 1915 a German U-boat was sighted in the Kyle of Tongue, resting before attacking convoys in theAtlantic.
In World War Two many men from Tongue fought Nazi Germany, only one did not return as Britain held firm in face of terrible odds. Many men from Tongue were members of the famous Lovat Scouts; others served in the front line through out the war and returned home unscathed
The war came to Tongue on the 25 of May 1942 when a Handley-Page Hampden bomber from 1406 (Meteorological) Flight in Wick flew into Ben Loyal killing all the crew except one. The wireless operator / air gunner Cecil ‘Guy’ Faulks was found barely alive lying next to the blazing aircraft by rescuers led by Mr E Campbell a shepherd from Ribigill.The injured man was strapped to a piece of the aircraft and carried down the mountain for treatment by the local Doctor Y F McHendrick. He was then taken to Golspie hospital by horse and cart for medical treatment; he was severely injured but survived to return to flying duties later in the war.