Bob Mackay

Robert Lindsay Mackay

Robert Lindsay Mackay

WW1 Diary of Robert Lindsay Mackay

My grandfather, Robert Lindsay Mackay, kept a diary throughout his time at the front during the First World War (1916-18). It covers his experiences at the Somme, Arras, Ypres and Soissons.

His position as a junior officer gave him no great overview of the war as a whole, but the diary gives an amazing insight into the day-to-day life of a soldier, the hell of actual fighting and the misery of life in the trenches. He includes a nice introduction and an epilogue in the form of a review from his own perspective, fifty years later!

The diary itself is one of very few on the internet and, as such, it has attracted considerable attention. I have received comments and questions from around the world, both from those searching for relatives in his regiment (The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) and from those interested in the battlefields in Northern France where these events took place. The text has been used as required reading for school and university courses and was featured in the final examinations for Australian children!

Copies of the diary are to be found at:

The University of Edinburgh also kindly provided the files in PDF format: