For King and Country

Person Details



Name: Maidenhead St. Ives Road, Maidenhead
NIWM Ref: 7882
RBWM Ref: WM119
Name: Cookham School Lane, Cookham
NIWM Ref: 7925
RBWM Ref: WM151

Person Details

Date of birth: 08/05/1879
Place of birth: Kandy Castle, Ceylon
A.K.A: Hugh Mackay   COGHILL
Gender: Male
Date of death: 25/09/1915
Place of death: Givenchy (Loos), France
Manner of death: Missing in action - presumed killed
Age at death: 36
CWGC Ref: 730045
TWGPP Ref: 2501413
Address: Monaler Cookham Rise
Address: Rosebank New Road Cookham

Military details

Joined: Reservist or Territorial
Military Organisation: Army
Rank: Captain
Joined: Commissioned
Military Organisation: Army
Military Unit/Group: 4th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry
Rank: Lieutenant
Military Organisation: Army
Military Unit/Group: 4th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry
Rank: Captain
Joined: Commissioned
Military Organisation: Army
Military Unit/Group: 4th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant


Father James Davidson MACKAY-COGHILL MD CCS
Wife Margaret Kilmory SMURTHWAITE (nee CAMPBELL)
Brother James Davidson MACKAY-COGHILL

Additional information

Prior to the First World War Hugh was a regular soldier. At the age of 22, he gained a Commission with the 4th Highland Light Infantry as Lieutenant on the 16th October 1900 and was promoted to Captain on 16th May 1907. He served through the latter part of the South African War (1901-2), attached to the 3rd Scottish Rifles and took part in the Orange River Colony, April to July 1901 and May 1902; receiving the Queen's Medal with four clasps. Hugh passed through the School of Musketry at Hythe in September 1905 where he obtained a First and was subsequently Instructor of Musketry to his Battalion for 3 years. In 1911 he was seconded from his regiment in order to take up the post of Assistant Commissioner in Sierra Leone. He is likely to be the Coghill listed on board the SS Mendi (African Steamship Co.) arriving in Liverpool on 7th September 1913 from Calobar in Nigeria, also part of the British conctrolled West African colonies. He returned to Sierra Leone but resigned his post there at the outbreak of war, returning to join his Regiment in September 1914. They embarked for France and Hugh was attached to the 2nd Battalion, Highland Light Infantry. A year later he was commanding "A" Company of the Battalion on 25th September 1915 during the Battle of Loos, when he was reported wounded and missing presumed killed after the battalion's advance at Givenchy near Bethune. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial Panel 108 - 112.
Hugh was born at Kandy Castle, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) on 8th May 1879, the son of Dr. James Davidson and Mary Mackay Coghill. It is likely his father was a military doctor serving with British forces and stationed in Kandy, the second largest town in Ceylon at that time. The 1891 census has Hugh in Shrewsbury, England at 11 years old and attending Ludlow School. He had one brother, James Davidson Mackay Coghill who was born in 1897. In 1905 Hugh married Margaret Kilmory Campbell in Billericay, Essex and had a daughter, Joan, who was born on 22nd June 1907. The 1911 census shows Joan, aged three living at "Monalee" in Cookham with her mother Margaret so it seems the family were not living in Sierra Leone with Hugh. By the time of Hugh's death, his widow was living in "Rosebank", Cookham Rise (now pulled down) and in May 1917, she remarried at St. Nicholas Church, Hedsor, to a Captain Henry Smurthwaite of the Machine Gun Corps.


Find a Grave entry for Hugh Mackay-Coghill.
The obituary notice for Hugh Mackay-Coghill as featured in 'The Times Newspaper'.
Military career and biographical information on Hugh Mackay-Coghill.
A very brief profile of Hugh Mackay-Coghill.
The medals of Hugh Mackay-Coghill on sale at Christie's Auction House.
Hugh Mackay-Coghill becomes Lieutenant on the 29th March, 1905.
Hugh Mackay-Coghill becomes 2nd Lieutenant on the 21st February, 1900.


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