Thursday, 28 July 2011

A tale of two brothers

Today, I have transcribed several tributes to men from Lewis who fell during the first four months of the Second World War. The greatest losses were incurred on 23 November 1939, when the armed merchant vessel Rawalpindi took on the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. I shall devote a separate blogpost to the tributes related to that event. One casualty, however, John Mackenzie of 21 Swordale, lost his brother only twenty days beforehand. Murdo drowned off Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 3 November 1939 at the age of 29.

Murdo Mackenzie was a very popular fellow in the island in the late 1930s, as he was a bus driver at Swordale and involved with the local football teams. Apart from the tribute I have transcribed, there were several more to Murd in later editions of the Gazette.

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