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Neil Macdonald

Neil Macdonald

Neil (1894-1918) was a son of Murdo Macdonald and Catherine Morrison, 14 Balallan.

Neil obtained a bursary to attend the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway. He served with the Ross Mountain Battery throughout the Galipoli Campaign and was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 263rd Siege Battery Royal Garrrison Artillery (Special Reserve) during the First World War. Neil was killed in action in France aged 23.

The Roll of Honour records:
"He was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty, when Forward Observation Officer for his battery. Finding his observation obstructed by long grass, he advanced about 200 yards into No Mans Land, moving from shell hole to shell hole until he got a good view. He then returned for his wire and laid it out by himself, observing for his battery for three hours during which he was constantly sniped at and in great danger from his own shells."

The Stornoway Gazette of 17th May 1918 records:
"It is our painful duty to record the death in action of 2/Lieut Neil Macdonald, son of Mr Murdo Macdonald, 14 Balallan. The news that this gallant Lewisman had made the supreme sacrifice for King and Country plunged his native village into deepest gloom, as it weighted the hearts of a wider circle of friends who learned the sad intelligence through our columns.
Lieut Macdonald was a most promising student at the Nicolson Institute when war broke out in August 1914. He was at the time attached to the Ross Mountain Battery, went into training with them at Bedford, and thereafter served throughout the Gallipoli Campaign both at Cape Helles and Suvla Bay. His tact, daring and skill early marked him out for promotion and he was eventually gazetted 2/Lieut. Latterly he was transferred to the RGA and saw much fighting with the 263 Siege Battery in France.
In July 1917 he won the Military Cross for conspicuous bravery in the field and at the time of his death (caused by a shell on April 25th) he was on the eve of receiving promotion to 1st Lieut.'s rank. His superior officers and friends predicted a brilliant future for this young hero, and it is sad indeed to think that so promising a career has been prematurely closed."

Neil was interred at La Clytte Military Cemetery (grave V. A. 22). He is commemorated by the Kinloch War Memorial and the left panel of the Nicolson Institute World War One memorial.

The Lewismen lost in the Great War website provides further details of tributes to Neil.



Title: Neil Macdonald
Record Type: People
Date of Birth: 27-10-1894
Date of Death: 26-04-1918
Sex: Male
Bk Reference: CECL 1908
Record Maintained By: CECL
Subject Id: 40289