The words of Ewart Alan
Mackintosh are inscribed on one of Scotland's most prominent war memorials
but his name is largely unknown.
Aberdeen University lecturer Neil McLennan wants to put that right.
Mr McLennan, who has a personal connection to the Scottish poet, is a
leading scholar of one of the most celebrated poets of World War One,
Wilfred Owen - who wrote his most famous works while being treated for
shellshock in Edinburgh.
The lecturer says the poetry of Mackintosh, a young Seaforth Highlanders
officer who died exactly 100 years ago, is as "powerful" as Owen's and other
respected war poets such as Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves.
Mackintosh's poems convey a deep sympathy for the sufferings of all the men
at the Front and a sense of duty to his fellow soldiers.
Mr McLennan says there is a "real strong connection to humanity" in the
He cites the example of In No Man's Land, which ends with the line:
Oh, damn you, get back to your trench, you blighter,
I really can't shoot a man with a cold.
Mackintosh was born in Sussex but his father's roots were in Alness in
After studying classics at
Oxford, Mackintosh joined the famous Scottish battalion, the Seaforth
In May 1916, he led a successful raid on a German trench near Arras, during
which three of his men had arms or legs blown off.
Despite his struggles to carry them back in, they all died.
The action brought him the Military Cross, though he wrote that he would
"rather have the boys' lives".
One of them, David Sutherland, inspired his most famous poem "In Memoriam"
in which Mackintosh describes the heavy responsibility an officer feels for
Although only 23, Mackintosh regarded himself as a father to his men.
You were only David's father,
But I had fifty sons
When we went up in the evening
Under the arch of the guns
Mackintosh was himself wounded and gassed at High Wood in August 1916 and
sent back to Cambridge to train cadets.
He rejoined the 4th Seaforths near Bapaume at the beginning of October 1917.
A month later, Mackintosh was the officer in charge of the platoon looking
for targets in no-man's land during the Battle of Cambrai.
His eyesight was apparently poor and, lifting his head momentarily, he was
shot and killed.
The man standing next to him at the time was Neil McLennan's
Roderick McLennan was just 18 years old at the time but returned to Dingwall
and lived to be 90.
Later in life, he talked of the young officer and the poetry he had written.
His great-grandson says he hoped one day the poet would be remembered.
Mr McLennan says Wilfred Owen had "connections" that allowed his poems to be
published and widely circulated.
It was not until the 1960s that his legacy was finally cemented in the
The lecturer says the Scottish war poets seem to have been forgotten over
time, but interest has been resurrected recently.
"I certainly hope that Mackintosh becomes a significant figure," he says.
The poet's words are remembered on the The Scottish American Memorial in
West Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh, which was erected in 1927.
It shows a kilted infantryman looking towards Castle Rock.
Behind the main statue is a frieze showing queues of men answering the call
by following a kilted pipe band.
It contains lines from Mackintosh's poem 'A Creed'.
If it be life that waits I shall live for ever unconquered,
If death I shall die at last strong in my pride and free.
A Highland Regiment
By E. A. MacKintosh, M.C., Lt. Seaforth Highlanders Third Edition (1922)
Liberator, and Other Pieces
By E.A. MacKintosh, M.C. with a Memoir (1918)