View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Sunday, 1 December 2013

The power of the WWW

I am currently researching the WW2 casualties from North Uist, but one query left me puzzled.

The North Uist war memorial refers to F/Sgt Donald C Maclean, RAF, late of Lochmaddy, who was lost in WW2. However, when I pass his details through CWGC, it would appear that he was the son of John MacLean, and of Margaret MacLean, of Castlebay, Isle of Barra. The Barra & Vatersay war memorial at Nasg, however, does not mention him.

Last known address in North Uist: Lochmaddy
Son of John MacLean, and of Margaret MacLean, of Castlebay, Isle of Barra.
Service unit: 279 Sqdn, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service number: 1571094
Date of death: 7 November 1945 at the age of 21
Memorial: Runnymede Memorial
Local memorial: North Uist

Who will describe my delight when my posting on a Barra genealogy page yielded this reply from his niece Fiona:

He was my uncle although I never met my Uncle Donnie. The family lived in Lochmaddy, my grandfather John Maclean was from North Uist and he was the postmaster in Lochmaddy. My grandmother Margaret Maclean nee Macfadyen was from Barra. The family home was in Borve, my grandmother came back to Barra after my grandfather died which was about a year after Donnie went missing. I have the telegram (I think) the information my mother, Anne Maclean, gave me was the Lancaster bomber that Donnie was in went missing over the North Sea ( they flew from Teesside ) no wreckage or bodies were ever found, my grandfather died of a broken heart Mum used to say. My nanna is buried on Barra - John and Donnie are mentioned on her headstone.