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Alexander, born in 1895, was the eldest child of Donald MacDonald and Ann MacLeod of Scarista, where Alexander attended the local school. In 1907 the family moved to Backhill, Berneray and Alexander continued his education at Berneray School. When the 1911 census was taken he was living at 15 Ruisgarry (Trealigarry) with his maternal grandparents.
Alexander served as a soldier during the Great War, and apparently was considered by Major General Wimberley as 'the best soldier that ever stood in front of me'. Alexander later setted in Darlington.