Monday, 5 December 2011

A distant corner

Checking information on naval personnel from Lewis who served (and died) in the First World War, I came across the entry for a Donald Gillies, born 17 February 1881 at Stoule, Inverness. This translates as Stoul, a hamlet along the shores of Loch Nevis, east of Mallaig in Lochaber. Stoul is now abandoned, but it most certainly was not in 1881. We find 1 month-old Donald at 1 Easter Stoule as the grandson of John and Catharine Gillies, and the son of Ewen and Catherine. They had two other infant children, namely Mary and Sarah. The hamlet is enumerated under the parish of Glenelg, and the registration district of North Morar.

Donald perished in the sinking of HMS Anchusa on 16 July 1918. He was 37 years of age, and among 78 crew lost on the sloop which went down off the north coast of Ireland. His mother Catherine, by then living at Bracara near Morar, about 3 miles from Stoule, was notified of his death. Donald's remains were never recovered.

Is this the house in which Donald was born?

Image courtesy Flickr user aogg

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