For the healing of the nations: Sermon for Remembrance Sunday 2017

Scripture Readings: Revelation 22.1-5

Matthew 5.38-48

In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

In 2013, a few weeks before Remembrance Sunday, we were contacted by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. They had a project to put a sign on the gates of every graveyard containing one of their graves. We hadn’t realised it, but there is a World War One War Grave within the Old High Churchyard. That’s unusual, because most of those graves are, of course, near the battlefields where the soldiers died. Angus Fairrie of the Cameron Highlanders Association kindly provided some information about the young man who lies in our graveyard:

James Finlay McCulloch was born at 58 Shore Street, Inverness on 15 October 1894, the son of Finlay McCulloch and his wife Flora Smith. Finlay McCulloch worked as a fitter at the nearby foundry.

By 1911 Finlay McCulloch had moved with his family to Foyers where he worked as a fitter for the British Aluminium Company… His [then] 16 year old son James McCulloch had a job as a luggage carter at the Foyers Hotel.

In early 1915… James McCulloch volunteered for military service… Between March and July 1916, while serving with the 1st Battalion of the Cameron Highlanders, James McCulloch was badly wounded and was evacuated to the UK. He died of his wounds in the University War Hospital in Southampton on 21 July 1916.[1]

James McCulloch, baggage carter of Foyers, was 21 years old when he died. He is buried next to his parents and other members of his family in the Old High Kirkyard. Continue reading