The Times/1917/Obituary/Ewart Alan Mackintosh
Roll of Honour,
143 casualties to officers
a new heroic poet
Writing of Lieutenant Ewart Alan Mackintosh, M.C., Seaforth Highlanders, a correspondent signing himself "C. D." says:—"When a few months ago 'A Highland Regiment' was published by the Bodley Head, literary men on both sides of the Atlantic were quick to recognize that the war had created a new heroic poet. His poem 'Cha Till Maccruimein,' written on the departure of a battalion of the Camerons, is amongst the most valuable contributions to Scottish literature of the past 50 years. It has in it all the stern tenderness of the Gaelic folksong, plus the mighty exaltation of the Flanders front, where men march out to die without external glory, cheerfully, wearily, muddles to the eyes, smiling to the last moment, became the thing that they purchase with their death has become so immensely worth while. What Lieutenant E. A. Mackintosh sang about in his poems he has at last accomplished. The war created him; the war has taken him away. He was killed on November 21. Details are not yet to hand as to how he encountered death. Poems still keep arriving, scribbled on mud-smeared bits of paper in the trenches. One of these, his last, is certainly his greatest. It is one called 'War, the Liberator,' and is prophetic as though already in that handful of moments preceding zero hour he felt the shadow of the approaching of the end he coveted.
In his death we have lost a poet—how fine we shall never know, for he died like a thrush in his first April. He was 24 years of age, the only son of the late Alexander and Mrs. Mackintosh, of 16, Sussex-square, Brighton. His mother was the daughter of the famous preacher, Guinness Rogers, who was an intimate friend of Mr. Gladstone, from whom he got his first name, Ewart. Educated at Brighton College, and St. Paul's School, he won a scholarship at Christ Church, Oxford, and was in the middle of his "Greats" course when the war broke out. He immediately tried to join the Army, but was at first rejected on the score of his eyesight. Finally, he got a commission in the Seaforth Highlanders, and was in France from July, 1915, to August 1916, when he returned to England, having been wounded at High Wood. For eight months following his recovery he was at Cambridge, training cadets. In September last he returned to the front, where report says he was killed while observing enemy movements under heavy fire. His M.C. was earned in May, 1916, for organizing and conducting a successful raid on enemy trenches and for carrying out the wounded under fire. Many of the men who served under him were New Zealanders. He learnt to love them, and had planned to make his home in their country had he survived the war. Through his death he survives in a different way. There are among his poems some that will live for always, while he sleeps unbrokenly among the English gentleman of France.