Okain Cameron Shaw was born in Tongue, the son of Alexander Shaw of Tongue Mains Tongue and Jessie Cameron. They were married in 1886 at Glen Urquhart, Inverness. Mr Shaw was the head gardener at Tongue House. Okain Cameron Shaw emigrated to Canada, some time before the war and gained employment with the Ford Motor Company.
He enlisted into the Canadian Army at the outbreak of war, joining the 4 Canadian Mounted Rifles; the unit came to France as a part of the 8 Brigade, 3 Canadian Division. In October 1916, the 3 Canadian Division was involved in the Battle of the Somme, when the Allies tried to break through the German lines at terrible cost.
Sunday the 1of October1916, was a warm sunny when the 4 Canadian Mounted Rifles, fighting as infantry, attacked at zero hour. German artillery and machine-gun fire held the Canadians up as they crossed no-mans land, to the North of Courcelette. Uncut barbed wire was also found to be a problem as they approached the enemy front line trenches.
The Canadians eventually reached Regina Trench and began a bombing fight; they then stayed in this position until 2:am, when they were forced to retire. Any further attacks on this area were postponed until October the 8, because of bad weather. (See also Donald Rankine, Melness.)
Private Okain Cameron Shaw was killed in action attacking Regina Trench during The Battle of the Somme. He was involved in some of the heaviest fighting seen on the Somme battlefield, as the British tried in vain to break the German lines and end the war.
Okain Cameron Shaw had two brothers who also served in the First World War; Alex served in the Cameron Highlanders and William who served in the Labour Company. They both survived the war and returned home to Tongue.