Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Mission Statement

My involvement with the First World War history of Lewis stems from a feeling that I, coming from one of the European countries occupied by Nazi Germany between 1940 and '45, owe a debt of gratitude towards British (and other) forces who were instrumental in lifting the yoke of national-socialism. I would like to think that digitising this aspect of Lewis history will serve to repay a minute portion of that debt.

I have no personal connection to the island, nor to any of the men whose story is told in these posts. Maybe this makes it easier for me to work through this history, as I am not emotionally involved. I can however empathise with the pain, felt by relatives and friends, who suffered bereavements in the Great War. But it is not possible to imagine what the aftermath of the Iolaire Disaster must have felt like, when more than 200 were lost at a stroke in the early hours of New Year's Day 1919.

My work, as displayed in my Internet output, is dedicated to the memory of the 1,300 men from the Isle of Lewis lost in the Great War of 1914-1919.

Repost from 2010, and from Facebook (today). 

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Black Watch memorial

A memorial statue to the Black Watch regiment, and the sacrifices made by its servicemen, is to be unveiled in Belgium. The Isle of Lewis lost 6 of its sons who served in that regiment during the Great War. These are their details.

Last address in Lewis: 8 Tong,
Service unit: 1st Black Watch
Service number: 5881
Date of death: 9 May 1915
Killed in action
Memorial: Le Touret, panel 24 to 26
Local memorial: Back
Wounded at Ypres

Last address in Lewis: 7 Kirivick,
Son of John Macleod
Service unit: 12th Black Watch (Royal Highlanders), Labour Corps transf. to (Serjt. 2404). 5th Coy.
Service number: 4274
Date of death: 2 June 1917
Killed in action in France
Interred: Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck; grave I. M. 11
Local memorial: Carloway

Last address in Lewis: 5 Broker,
Service unit: Black Watch
Date of death: 1918 at the age of 21
Killed in action in France
Local memorial: Point (Garrabost)

Last address in Lewis: 1 Upper Bayble,
Son of Malcolm Macdonald and Ann Mackenzie
Service unit: 6th Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)
Service number: S/24568
Date of death: 24 October 1918 at the age of 26
Killed in action
Interred: Cambrai East Military Cemetery, grave I. A. 23.
Local memorial: Point (Garrabost)

Last address in Lewis: 25 Newton Street, Stornoway
Son of John and Catherine Murray
Service unit: 1st / 7th Black Watch
Service number: 292771
Date of death: 25 April 1917 at the age of 28
Killed in action
Interred: Brown's Copse Cemetery, Roeux, grave II. C. 17
Local memorial: Lewis War Memorial

Last address in Lewis: 25 Newton Street, Stornoway
Son of John and Catherine Livingstone Murray, of 104 Kilbowie Road, Clydebank, Dumbartonshire.
Service unit: 2nd Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)
Service number: S/7278
Date of death: 17 June 1918 at the age of 33
Interred: Ramleh War Cemetery, Israel, grave K. 47
Enlisted at Clydebank.
Born at Partick, Glasgow