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Nicolson brothers from Brogaig, Staffin

Alistair Nicolson (1898-1918) pictured standing in the image on the left, with an unidentified soldier, and Norman Nicolson (1897-1918) pictured in the image on the right.

Norman  and Alistair Nicolson were sons of John Nicolson, Brogaig, and Catherine (nèe Campbell), originally from South Uist.  They had an older sister Jane who was born in 1895 and died at the young age of 24.  Their eldest brother Alexander was born in 1892 and emigrated to New Zealand, where his descendants still live today.  Their father, John, died in a drowning accident near Lerwick, Shetland, in July 1899, aged only 37. Following John’s death Catherine (known as Kate) and the children moved in with her father, Alexander Campbell, at Garafad.

During the First World War Alistair served with the Cameron Highlanders from 1916, although he later transferred to the 4th Seaforth Highlanders.  He died on 28 March 1918 after being wounded at the attack on the Beaumetz-Morchies Line.  He was buried in Wimereux Communal Cemetery in France and is commemorated on the Staffin War Memorial.

Norman Nicolson served with the 1st/5th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders during the First World War.  He died on 2 August 1918 after being wounded during the Battle of the Marne.  He was buried in Senlis French National Cemetery in Oise, France and is also commemorated on the Staffin War Memorial.

Alistair and Norman Nicolson feature in our current exhibition, An Cogadh Mòr, exploring the impact of the First World War in Skye and Lochalsh.  The exhibition runs in the Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre, Portree, until the end of February 2019.