Thursday, 16 April 2009

Bragar Cemetery

One of men buried there, Duncan Macleod, died in 1943 whilst held in a POW camp in Burma. He himself is interred near the camp on the infamous Burma railway, where so many Allied POWs perished. His name is mentioned on one of the private gravestones at Bragar, and as I had him on record for the World War II memorial for Lewis, I looked into it further. I had little information on him, save that he came from Lochcroistean, a schoolhouse in the Uig district of Lewis.

His father was one of the school's headmasters, Norman Macleod, who held sway there until 1923. He died 20 January 1938 at the age of 75. He was married to Bell Ann Mackay, who died 8 December 1944 at the age of 69.

The website for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission interestingly state that they came from Tighnabruaich in Argyll. They had four children, two of whom (Iain and Chirsty Mary) died in infancy. Jessie died in May 1980 at the age of 73; their son Duncan died on 19 September 1943 at the age of 42.

Lochcroistean is located in a remote part of the island, but was itself a central school (of sorts). It acted as a hub for several side-schools, in places like Morsgail, Luachar and Ardbeag. The latter two places no longer exist. Luachar lies by the head of Loch Reasort, some 10 miles from Lochcroistean to the south; Ardbeag is even further away, by my estimation at least 15 miles to the southwest.

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