Along the Pentland Road, 25 May 2017

Saturday, 28 July 2012

The Danish connection

This evening, I found a comment, made on one of my local history sites by a Danish man who had visited the Outer Hebrides. Upon crossing North Uist, he visited the cemetery of Clachan Sands, about 6 miles west of Lochmaddy on the road to Berneray. I visited that graveyard in July 2009 and photographed the gravestone of Ewen Nicholson, who was lost during the First World War. An image of the actual gravestone in the Railway Dugouts Cemetery can be viewed on this link.



My Danish correspondent researched the fate of Ewen, displaying some very graphic and gruesome images of conditions on the frontline. I have looked into Ewen Nicholson's information and came out with the following:

Ewen Nicholson
Born: Grimsay, North Uist
Date of birth: 29 May 1892
Trade / calling: Labourer
Married: No
Volunteered at Valcartier on 23 September 1914
Age upon enlistment: 22 years 4 months
Height: 5 ft 10¼ in
Complexion: fresh
Eyes: light brown
Hair: brown
Religious denomination: presbyterian

Son of Alexander and Ann Nicholson, of Grimsay, Lochmaddy, North Uist.
Last known address in North Uist: 4 Aird nan Sruban Grimsay
Military unit: 7th Canadian Infantry (British Columbia Regiment)
Service number: 21065
Date of death: 3 June 1916 at the age of 24
Interred: Railway Dugouts Burial Ground, Sp Mem G. 29

In 1901, Ewen was 8 years old. His father Alexander was a crofter, 41 years of age, married to Ann. There were four other children in the family: Mary (12), John Archie (10), Alexander (5) and Andrew John Macalpine, age 1 month.

Five days after his 24th birthday, Ewen lost his life in fierce battles near Ypres. He was buried in one of the many cemeteries around the town.

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