Valamus is an abandoned settlement in the Eishken area of Lewis, cleared of permanent residents in the 1820s. The farmhouse has been in intermittent use since then, and was in fact the site of a birth back in 1891. Young James Mackenzie came into the world at 3 am on the morning of 6 December 1891. His birth was not registered at Keose until 2 January 1892. His father, John, was a gamekeeper, married to Henrietta nee Munro.
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By the time James enlisted with the New Zealand Machine Gun Corps, his parents had moved to Lairg in Sutherland. He himself signed up from Herbertville, Dannevirke in New Zealand and embarked on 16 October 1914 on either the Limerick or the Arawa for Suez in Egypt. At the time he was with the main body of the Wellington Infantry Battalion. He died of wounds on 25 June 1917 and lies buried at the Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck in French Flanders.