Hugh Mackay was born in Tongue, one of twin sons of the late James Mackay and widow Christina Mackay of Lotts, Skerray. They were married in Thurso in 1889. He enlisted into the Army in Tongue, once he had completed his military training he was sent to the 2 Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders serving with the 10 Brigade, 4 Division in France.
His story is exactly the same as Corporal David Newlands from Modsary; Hugh Mackay was killed in action during the attack on Rainy and Dewdrop Trenches on the 14 of October 1916, at the age of 19 years. His brother John served in the 4 Seaforth Highlanders and was severely wounded during the Battle of the Somme by a shell landing beside him; he survived the war and returned home to his family in Skerray.