View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Friday, 19 December 2008

Remembering Today

19 December

On this day during the First World War, the following two men from the Isle of Lewis lost their lives:

Lieutenant Colonel DAVID MACLEOD
Son of the late W. MacLeod, of Arnol, Isle of Lewis; husband of Helen MacLeod, of 15, Marina Court, Bexhill-on-Sea.
Last address in Lewis: 12 Arnol
Service, unit: 8th Battallion Gordon Highlanders
Date of death: 19 December 1917 at the age of 47
Died of pneumonia in France
Interred: Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, V. D. 49.
Local memorial: West Side, Bragar

Medal: DSO for gallantry at the taking of the Hohenzollern Redoubt in September 1915. He was the Commanding Officer of the 8th Battallion.
Other medals: DCM Egypt 1878 and 1915 Star

Son of Donald and Christina Matheson, of 36, Lower Barvas, Stornoway, Lewis.
Last address in Lewis: 36 Lower Barvas
Service, unit: Seaforth Highlanders, 2nd
Service number: 3/6708
Date of death: 19 December 1914 at the age of 32
Killed in action
Interred: Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Guinchy, grave V. A. 4.

Windy nook

Wind continues to blow a full gale, 45 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph. Went out to the Coastguard Station (5 minutes' walk away), but timed it perfectly to coincide with a lull in proceedings, whilst the wind veered from south to west. If anyone is interested, you can take a look at live weather readings from Eoropie (pronounce: Yoropee), near the Butt of Lewis, 25 miles north of Stornoway. Extremely exposed, it has already gone through a 96mph gust. Outpost North Rona, 45 miles northeast of the Butt, reported force 10 winds (52 knots), with gusts at hurricane force (71 knots).

Still on matters meteorological, Australia is having its first tropical cyclone. Billy is currently in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, southwest of Darwin, at tropical storm force - with winds similar to what we're experiencing in the Hebrides today.

Yesterday, I ordered the first copy of my own private listing of all those from the Isle of Lewis who were lost in the First World War: Faces from the Lewis War Memorial. I produced it through an on-demand publisher for a grand total of just over £8. I am not intending to place it on the open market, as I'm absolutely not certain that it is faultless. There may also be issues surrounding copyright here and there. Nonetheless, I'm quietly proud of this achievement.

Friday 19 December

Downright filthy day out here in the Hebrides, with winds already touching force 9 on the Beaufort scale, and forecast to go right up to force 11. Rain lashing down; it's binday, so the emptied bins were at one time blocking the road. No ferry today, it is tied up in Ullapool until 10.30 tomorrow morning when, weather permitting, it will return to Stornoway. Quite a few ferry services disrupted in western Scotland - have a look here.