Highlands & Islands

New show to tell shinty's World War I sacrifices

Dr John Cattanach
Image caption The show will feature shinty legend Dr John Cattanach

The sacrifices made by Scotland's shinty teams during World War I are to be explained in a new show featuring music and war-era photographs.

Organisers of Shinty's Heroes said it would be the first proper telling of the sport's war stories.

Skye Camanachd, Kyles and Beauly were among the hardest hit with many of their players killed in the conflict.

Another casualty was Dr John Cattanach, who was regarded as the best player of the time.

Shinty's Heroes will be shown at the Nevis Centre in Fort William on 13 September during the Blas Festival, an annual celebration of the Gaelic language and culture.

'Lost generations'

Dr Cattanach played for Newtonmore Camanachd and during the war served as a lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps.

He was capped for Scotland in hockey and sprinting and is the only shinty player to have been inducted into Scottish Sport's Hall of Fame.

The 30-year-old died of wounds suffered at Gallipoli in July 1915.

The show will also highlight the stories of the Kingussie's Missing Five - five players who never received their commemorative Camanachd Cup winning caps from 1914 because they were killed in battle in France.

The Lovat Scouts, a British Army sniper unit, will also feature. Shinty players among the snipers brought their camans, the sticks used to play shinty, with them to the front.

Show director Hugh Dan MacLennan said: "The impact shinty players had in the Great War and vice versa is a fascinating tale that deserves to be told.

"Not a lot of this stuff is known. Many shinty playing communities lost generations of men."

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