Friday, 16 September 2011

The Emirau Incident - 3

The sinking of the Rangitane
Stornoway Gazette, 10 January 1941
It should be noted that Alex Macrae died in May 1941 upon returning home. More on his part in the story of the Rangitane in this earlier post on this blog.

It was learned in Stornoway on Monday that Mr Alex Macrae, Chief Freezing Engineer on the British merchantman Rangitane, was among the 500 people marooned on Emirau Island, Terr. of New Guinea, by a German raider and rescued by a British ship from Australia.
Great anxiety had been felt for Mr Macrae's safety for some weeks, after it became known that his ship had been sunk by an enemy raider in the Pacific. The news that he is safe has given great pleasure to many acquaintances in his native town.
Another well known Lewis seaman for whose safety anxiety has recently been felt is Capt Roderick Mackenzie of Sandwick, formerly of the Esperance Bay. Capt Mackenzie retired from the sea and settled down in Australia early in 1940, but the call of his old profession was irresistible. One day when he came home from the golf course he was informed that there was a vacancy and the Company would be delighted if he would take it. He accepted and returned to sea. Not long after the ship had sailed, it was intercepted and sunk by an enemy raider. The news that the ship had been sunk gave great anxiety to his relatives in Sandwick when they were informed, but a later letter brought the news that he was a prisoner of war. No further news has been received up to the time of writing, but his friends hope that he too may prove to be among those rescued from Emirau.

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