As I was perusing the witnesses to the Napier Commission from Benbecula and South Uist, I came across the death record of a John Mcleod from Buailedhu, one of the Iochdar villages in South Uist. Below his entry on the record, I found one for a little girl, aged 3, who had died of whooping cough on 12 May 1916. She had been suffering from the ailment for 24 days. Her name was Ann Macdonald, of Stilligarry, South Uist. Her mother was called Mary (nee Macinnes), and it was she that had to report the death. The girl's father was Sergeant Donald Macdonald of the Cameron Highlanders, at that moment fighting at the Western Front.
A quick glance at the war casualties of South Uist confirms that Mary Macdonald suffered a second blow some three months later on 23 August 1916, when her husband Donald was killed in action .
Serjeant Donald Macdonald
Son of John and Catherine MacDonald, of South Uist; husband of Mary MacDonald, of Stillgary, Lochboisdale, South Uist.
Last known address in South Uist: Stilligarry
Military unit: 6th Cameron Highlanders
Service number: 3/3546
Date of death: 23 August 1916 at the age of 26
Interred: Millencourt Communal cemetery extension, F. 13
Local memorial: South Uist