12 October 201715979 Rifleman Thomas Sinclair Sclater
Today is the centenary of the deaths of five Orcadian soldiers during the Battle of Passchendaele. Heavy autumn rain had turned the battlefield to mud and William Croy of Stronsay, George Johnston of Kirkwall, Thomas Sclater of Firth, John Spence of Birsay and Isaac Stout of Walls all died on 12th October 1917 for an insignificant gain of ground. Thomas Sclater had emigrated to Canterbury in New Zealand and died serving in 1st Rifle Battalion of the New Zealand Division. He was not forgotten by his family home in Orkney and Gordon Ritchie of Isles View, Sunnybank, Kirkwall provided the coloured photo in the biography that can be downloaded from the Firth section of the website, or directly using the link below.