E Alan Mackintosh as newly commissioned Second Lieutenant of the 1/5th Seaforth Highlanders.
Brighton-born poet E Alan Mackintosh (EAM) enlisted in the Seaforth Highlanders in the First World War. Called “Tosh” or “Splosh” by his by his comrades, he served on the Somme and on Vimy Ridge in 1915 and 1916 and was killed in the Battle of Cambrai, on 21 November 1917. Mackintosh had strong family ties with the Alness area, where his father had lived. He learned both to play the bagpipes and to speak Gaelic. He wrote poetry at school and at university, and when war broke out he became an officer in 5th Seaforth Highlanders. Convalescing in England in 1916 he published his poems in “A Highland Regiment” and after his death, with the 4th Seaforth Highlanders, his remaining works were published in “War – The Liberator”. Some of his poems echo the anger and bitterness of Wilfred Owen’s. Mackintosh’s poetry featured a wide range of themes, such as courage, fear, exhilaration, patriotism, loyalty, sacrifice, loss, comradeship, duty, post traumatic stress disorder, guilt, love, broken relationships, parody and so on. These themes are as vivid and compelling today as they were 100 years ago. His work deserves to be more widely celebrated, and this is what our project is all about.
About the project: celebrating his life and work
This website hosts the E Alan Mackintosh Commemorative Project, which is a collaboration between author and Mackintosh co-biographer Colin Campbell and singer Linn Phipps. Marking the centenary of his death, the project aims to create a series of local and national commemorative events in honour of Mackintosh, to bring his work to a wider audience, and to create a website bringing together his poetry, life and military service. It will feature downloadable trail guides to the locations in the UK and France associated with his life and work, so that individuals and groups of all ages can make personal and community links with the locations and themes associated with his work.
The project aims to:
bring the work of EAM to new and wider audiences across Scotland, including young people
create a series of commemorative events with opportunities for artistic performances
create opportunities to commission, create and perform new artistic work, e.g. a new commemorative piping tune
enable links between places and communities within Scotland, and beyond Scotland with England and France, associated with his life and death
provide a wide-ranging website resource about his life, work, and locations associated with these, so that audiences can learn about EAM and his work and times, and which can be sustained into the future as part of a lasting legacy
commemorate the 100th anniversary of E Alan Mackintosh's death.