Friday, 1 August 2014

Tipperton, South Uist

During my recent visit to South Uist, I came across a house called Tipperton (Tobar Tiobairt), near the Polochar Inn on the extreme southwestern point of the island. Searching the Internet revealed the Gaelic name, and the story of human remains found in a crouching position nearby. The 2005 hurricane caused severe coastal erosion in the area. Tipperton was the home of James and Margaret Morrison, both now deceased. James died in 1979, aged 85, and is pictured with a bottle of "Politician" whisky in this tweet from Struileag. His wife Margaret followed him out of this world in 1996, aged 93. The Hallan Cemetery website gives further information on the two people that lived at Tipperton.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

98 years ago today

98 years ago today saw the start of the Battle of the Somme, which was to last into the middle of November 1916. The death toll on both sides exceeded 1 million. Of those that died on the first day of the battle, 25 came from the island of Lewis, and this post remembers them.

Private Malcolm Campbell
Last address in Lewis: 26 Cross
Son of Donald and Catherine Campbell, of Cross
Service unit: 2nd Seaforth Highlanders
Service number: 3/7308
Killed in action on the Somme at the age of 22
Interred: Serre Road Cemetery no 2, grave I. K. 6.
Local memorial: North Lewis, Cross

Private Kenneth Graham
Last address in Lewis: Aird Dell
Son of Catherine Graham, of Aird, South Dell
Service unit: 2nd Seaforth Highlanders
Service number: 3/7457
Killed in action on the Somme at the age of 19
Memorial: Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 15C
Local memorial: North Lewis, Cross

Private Malcolm Gunn
Last address in Lewis: 15 Eorodale
Service unit: 2nd Seaforth Highlanders
Service number: 3/7267
Killed in action on the Somme at the age of
Memorial: Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 15C
Local memorial: North Lewis, Cross

Lance-Corporal Donald Macarthur
Last address in Lewis: 29 Breasclete
Son of Malcolm and Mary Macarthur
Service unit: 2nd Seaforth Highlanders
Service number: 3/7214
Died of wounds at the age of 19
Interred: Sucrerie Military Cemetery, Colincamps, grave I. H. 28.
Local memorial: East Loch Roag, Callanish

Private Allan Macdonald
Last address in Lewis: 18 Habost, Ness
Service unit: Seaforth Highlanders
Service number: 7216
Killed in action at the Somme at the age of 19
Interred: Euston Road Cemetery, Colincamps, Sp Mem A. 8
Local memorial: North Lewis, Cross

Company Sergeant-Major Murdo Macgregor
Last address in Lewis: 12C Tolsta Chaolais
Son of Duncan Macgregor; husband of Marion Macgregor, of 255, Cumberland St., South Side, Glasgow.
Service unit: 2nd Seaforth Highlanders
Service number: 9314
Killed in action on the Somme at Beaumont Hamel at the age of 30
Memorial: Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 15C
Local memorial: Tolsta Chaolais
Awarded Recommended for distinguished conduct in the Field, Oct., 1915
Went to France in August 1914, wounded in 1915

Private John Duncan Mackay
Last address in Lewis: 8 Kershader
Son of Duncan and Mary Mackay; family later moved to 3 Caverstay.
Service unit: 2nd Seaforth Highlanders
Service number: S/9777
Killed in action at the age of 19
Memorial: Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 15C
Local memorial: Park, Kershader; Nicolson Institute WW1, left panel
Was a junior student at the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway before joining up

Private William J Mackay
Last address in Lewis: 20 Adabrock
Son of Catherine MacKay
Service unit: 2nd Seaforth Highlanders
Service number: 3/7382
Killed in action in France at the age of 19
Interred: Redan Ridge Cemetery no 1, Beaumont-Hamel, grave C.8
Local memorial: North Lewis, Cross

Private Evander Mackenzie
Last address in Lewis: 5 Upper Garrabost
Service unit: 2nd Seaforth Highlanders
Service number: 3/7455
Killed in action on the Somme at the age of 19
Memorial: Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 15C
Local memorial: Point (Garrabost)

Private John Macrae Mackenzie
Last address in Lewis: 26 James Street, Stornoway
Son of Angus and Margaret Macrae MacKenzie
Service unit: 17th Highland Light Infantry, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce Battallion
Service number: 15999
Killed in action on the Somme at the age of 25
Interred: Lonsdale Cemetery, Authuile, grave III. F. 9.
Local memorial: Lewis War Memorial; Nicolson Institute WW1, middle panel

Private William Mackenzie
Last address in Lewis: 1A Mid Borve
Son of Kenneth and Ann MacKenzie
Service unit: 2nd Seaforth Highlanders
Service number: 3/7371
Killed in action at the age of 19
Interred: Sucrerie Military Cemetery, Colincamps, grave I. H. 27
Local memorial: North Lewis, Borve
Had previously been wounded

Private Alex Macleod
Last address in Lewis: 30 Lower Garrabost
Son of Angus and Margaret Macleod
Service unit: 2nd Seaforth Highlanders
Service number: 3/6940
Killed in action on the Somme at the age of 23
Memorial: Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 15C
Local memorial: Point (Garrabost)

Lance-Corporal Angus Macleod
Aonghais MhicLeoid - Aonghas, Mac Thormoid Mhic Thormoid Mhoir
Last address in Lewis: 6 North Tolsta
Son of Norman and Christina MacLeod
Service unit: 2nd Gordon Highlanders
Service number: 3/6713
Killed in action on the Somme at the age of 24
Local memorial: North Tolsta
Mentioned on family gravestone in the cemetery at North Tolsta
Had been at the front since 1914.

Lance-Corporal John Macleod
Iain, Mac Aonghais Mhic Iain Saighdeir
Last address in Lewis: 20 North Tolsta
Son of Angus and Mary McLeod
Service unit: 2nd Gordon Highlanders
Service number: 3/5601
Killed in action on the Somme at the age of 22
Interred: Gordon Cemetery, Mametz, Sp. Mem. B. 53.
Mentioned on family gravestone in the cemetery at North Tolsta

Private John Macleod
Seoinaidh Dhanaidh - Iain, Mac Dhomhnaill Mhic Dhomhnaill Mhic Iain
Last address in Lewis: 1 Hill Street North Tolsta
Son of Donald Macleod
Service unit: 2nd Seaforth Highlanders
Service number: 3/7478
Killed in action on the Somme at the age of 18
Memorial: Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 15C
Local memorial: North Tolsta

Sergeant John Macleod
Last address in Lewis: 24 Tolsta Chaolais
Brother of K. Macleod, Esq., M.A., Rector, of Fortrose Academy, H. G. P. School, Fortrose, Ross-shire.
Service unit: 2nd Seaforth Highlanders
Service number: 3/8341
Killed in action on the Somme at the age of 24
Interred: Sucrerie Military Cemetery, Colincamps, grave I. H. 30
Local memorial: Tolsta Chaolais

Private Murdo Macleod
Last address in Lewis: 65 Back
Son of Duncan and Annie McLeod
Service unit: 2nd Seaforth Highlanders
Service number: 3/7191
Killed in action at the age of 21
Memorial: Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 15C
Local memorial: Back

Private Alex Morrison
Last address in Lewis: 14 Eorodale
Son of Kenneth and Catherine Morrison
Service unit: 2nd Seaforth Highlanders
Service number: 3/7429
Killed in action on the Somme at the age of 20
Memorial: Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 15C
Local memorial: North Lewis, Cross

Private John Morrison
Last address in Lewis: 16 Skigersta
Service unit: 2nd Seaforth Highlanders
Service number: 3/7358
Killed in action in France at the age of 18
Memorial: Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 15C
Local memorial: North Lewis, Cross
Mentioned on family gravestone in the cemetery at Habost (Ness)

Private Kenneth Smith
Last address in Lewis: 25 Leurbost
Service unit: 2nd Seaforth Highlanders
Service number: 9079
Killed in action on the Somme
Memorial: Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 15C
Local memorial: North Lochs, Crossbost
Was wounded twice previously

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Lewis Women in the Great War

Of the more than 6,000 people from the island who served during the First World War, 39 were women - according to the Roll of Honour.

Matron Allena Morrison
76 Keith Street, Stornoway
Daughter of William Morrison
Naval Hospital

Sister Annabella N. Macleod
5 Kershader
Territorial Forces Nursing Service
Awarded Royal Red Cross 1919, mentioned in despatches by Sir Douglas Haig
Went over early

Nurse Annie Buchanan
Marybank
Military Hospital
Awarded Royal Red Cross

Sister Annie Mackay
Knock, Carloway
Red Cross
Served in Egypt, Persian Gulf and India. Was Mrs Burns
Daughter of Murdo Mackenzie

Nurse Barbara Maclean
Uignish, Goathill Road, Stornoway

Writer Annie Rutland
42 Francis Street, Stornoway
Women's Royal Naval Service
Daughter of William Rutland, former Coastguard

Catherine Macaskill
46 Park Carloway
Sons and daughter of John Macaskill
Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps

Nurse Catherine Maciver
11 Laxay
Daughter of John Maciver
Served in military hospital, Wrest Park, Bedford, and afterwards in France in St. John's Brigade Ambulance Hospital. While at Wrest Park Nurse Maciver received a presentation from the staff and a testimonial from the late Lord Lucas for services rendered in getting patients removed when the hospital took fire.

Chrissie Macdonald
21 Newton Street, Stornoway
Women's Legion

Chrissie Macleod
Free Church Manse, Park, Carloway
Daughter of Rev D Macleod
Women's Legion

Nurse Christina Macaulay
3 Keith Street, Stornoway
Daughter of Murdo Macaulay, cooper
Volunteered her services and was sent to Italy, where she worked until Armistice

Christina Macdonald
Habost, Ness
Daughter of John Macdonald, shoemaker
Women's Auxiliary Army Corps

Matron Christina Macleod
16 Portvoller
Daughter of Angus Macleod
Highland Casualty Clearing Station
Medal: Awarded Royal Red Cross, decorated by HM the King

Chauffeuse Jessie A. Macleod
16 Portvoller
Daughter of Angus Macleod
Red Cross

Nurse Christina Montgomery
39 Keith Street
Daughter of Donald Montgomery

D.D.D. C.D. Margaret M. Macleod
77 Kenneth Street
Women's Land Army
Daughters and son of Kenneth Macleod

Nurse Ella Morison
3 Bayhead Street, Stornoway
Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Reserve
Son and daughters of J.M. Morison

Emily Smith
2 Maciver’s Buildings, Stornoway
Voluntary Aid Detachment
Daughter of Alexander Smith

Nurse Kate Macgregor
Cairn Dhu, Matheson Road, Stornoway
Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Reserve
Daughter of Donald Macgregor, teacher (Lionel, Ness)

Sister Kate A. Macleod
22 Carloway
Daughter of Malcolm Macleod
Canadian Red Cross

Lily Morrison
United Free Church Manse, Knock, Carloway
Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps
Daughter of Rev Neil M. Morrison, United Free Church Manse

Sister Marion Macarthur
12 Plantation Road, Stornoway
Daughter of Norman Macarthur, tailor and clothier
Territorial Force Nursing Service
Served in Scottish General Hospital, Stobhill, Glasgow

Nurse Tina Macarthur
12 Plantation Road, Stornoway
Daughter of Norman Macarthur, tailor and clothier
Northumberland War Hospital, Gosforth

Marion Mackenzie
Doune Cottage, Dun Carloway
Daughter of Alex Mackenzie
Women's Legion

Nurse Mary Graham
47 Kenneth Street, Stornoway

Writer Mary Maciver
20 Newton Street, Stornoway
Daughter of William Maciver
Women's Royal Naval Service

Writer Mary Smith
4 Maciver’s Buildings, Stornoway
Women's Royal Naval Service

Matron Mary A. Macrae
Barvas Lodge, Church Street, Stornoway
Daughter of Dr Charles M. Macrae
Military Hospital, Harrogate

Nurse C. M. Macrae
Barvas Lodge, Church Street, Stornoway
Daughter of Dr Charles M. Macrae
Military Hospital

Sister Mary B. Martin
72 Murray’s Court, Stornoway
Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Reserve
Mentioned in General Milne's despatch from Salonica, dated 25th April, 1917. "for distinguished services during the last six months." Afterwards awarded the Royal Red Cross Decoration (2nd Class).

Clerkess Peggie Macleod
27 Laxay
Daughter of John Macleod
Women's Auxiliary Army Corps

Rachel Morrison
23 North Dell
Women's Auxiliary Army Corps

Susan Craig
45 Bayhead Street, Stornoway
Daughter of Allan Craig
Women's Royal Air Force

Tottie Russell
Mount Pleasant, Matheson Road, Stornoway
Voluntary Aid Detachment

Nurse Winifred Matheson
Lews Castle, Stornoway
Military Hospital
Awarded 1914 Star


X-ray Operator Helen Macdougall
37 Lionel
Scottish Women's Hospital, Serbia

Jessie Macleod
60 South Bragar
No regiment listed

Nurse Nellie Maccallum
29 Kenneth Street, Stornoway
Territorial Force Nursing Service
Daughter of Neil Maccallum

Friday, 4 April 2014

Coll or Callanish?


Private DONALD MACLEAN
Last address in Lewis: 7 Coll
Son of Murdo and Isabella Maclean
Service unit: Seaforth Highlanders
Date of death: 22 May 1916 at the age of 21
Died after 1½ years suffering of phthisis
Local memorial: Back
His brothers Kenneth and Murdo served in the RNR, but survived the war.

Please note
Donald Maclean's date of death on the Back War Memorial is quoted as January 1916. However, his death certificate states that he died on 22 May 1916, aged 21, of phthisis of which he had suffered for 18 months. No reference to any military service could be found.

Donald Maclean, 21 Callanish, died on 7 January 1916 in Mesopotamia. The entry on CWGC refers to Donald being the son of Finlay Maclean, which tallies with the information from the Roll of Honour, which lists an identical date of death, although it erroneously lists his location of death as La Bassee.

Private DONALD MACLEAN
Last address in Lewis: 21 Callanish,
Son of Finlay and Annie Maclean.
Service unit: 1st Seaforth Highlanders
Service number: 3/7031
Enlisted at Stornoway
Date of death: 7 January 1916 at the age of 22
Killed in action at Persian Gulf
Memorial: Basra Memorial, Iraq, Panel 37 and 64
Local memorial: East Loch Roag, Callanish

Saturday, 15 March 2014

A Stornoway WW1 casualty: Ernest L. Gillanders

Private ERNEST LEWIS GILLANDERS
Last address in Lewis: 34 Francis Street, Stornoway
Service unit: 1st Scots Guards
Service number: 14042
Enlisted at Dundee
Date of death: 11 October 1918
Interred: Delsaux Farm Cemetery, Beugny, grave I. F. 23

Ernest is shown in the 1891 census at 34 Francis Street, Stornoway, aged 1, the son of William  and Jemima Gillanders, and brother of Wm Mackay (9), Rose (6), MacKenzie (3) and Everard Francis (1). His father William (41) was born at Nigg, and was an Acct & District Comlter Clerk [Accountant]. His mother Jemima (34, nee Mackenzie) was born at Stornoway. The couple are shown, without children, in the 1881 census at 18 Francis Street. They were married at Helensburgh on 24 March 1881, just ten days before the 1881 census.

Ernest Lewis was one of twins, the other being Everard Francis. They were born at 10.20 am at 18 Francis Street on 4 November 1889.  Their father reported the birth on 26 November.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

A Stornoway WW1 casualty, Frederick Charles

Private FREDERICK CHARLES
Last address in Lewis: 32 Keith Street, Stornoway
Service unit: 4th Royal Irish Fusiliers
Service number: 18635
Date of death: 9 September 1915 at the age of 45
Died of drowning in the River Clyde
Interred: Glasgow Eastern Necropolis, grave 12. 2057.

Frederick Charles was born at 32 Keith Street on 28 August 1869 at 5 am. He was the son of Frederick Charles, seaman, and Margaret nee Macleod; they were married on 11 March 1864 at Stornoway.   Margaret's mother Margaret Macleod reported the birth at the Stornoway registry office on 10 September 1869. She affirmed the registration with a cross in the register.

Frederick is shown in the 1881 census of Stornoway, aged 11, living at 32 Keith Street, Back Court. He is a scholar, the son of Margaret (32) and  Frederick (a seaman, not present at census time) and brother of Johanna (13).

In 1891, Frederick appears in the census at 6 Blackburn Street, Govan, Glasgow, aged 21. He is a baker, living with his mother Margaret (46) and siblings Johanna (23) and Donald (14).

By 1901, Frederick (31) is married to Isabella Charles (27), and has a baby son, Kenneth, aged 9 months. They live at 136 Nelson Street, Govan; Frederick is a journeyman baker.

At 8 o'clock in the morning of 9th September 1915, Frederick drowned in the River Clyde opposite berth no 12, Broomielaw, Glasgow. He is quoted as living at 89 Oran Street. It is mentioned he was a private in the 4th Royal Irish Fusiliers. At the time of his death, both his parents were deceased.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The missing link

Searching for the keyword Stornoway on the military databases on Ancestry has yielded 445 names, and checking name #2 immediately presented a puzzle.

Robert Bruce, 9th Highland Light Infantry 330122, was killed in action on 20 May 1917 at the age of 22. His place of birth is quoted as Stornoway, Caithness. That is already an oddity, as Stornoway used to be in Ross-shire. Looking at the census returns from 1901, I find a Robert Simon Bruce, aged 6, who lives at 34 Bayhead Street, Stornoway, living with his parents John and Jessie (aged 60 and 50 respectively) and several siblings.

However, the military records do not show any confirmed connection with Stornoway. The service returns, showing warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men, only say that this man came from Scotland.

So, although the evidence is strong, it is not strong enough for Robert Bruce, 330122 HLI, to be included in the listings for the Isle of Lewis.