91825: Donald Murray

Donald (1895-1992) was the son of Kenneth Murray and Christina Maciver, of 37 North Tolsta.

Donald served in the Royal Naval Reserve during the First World War. He was part of the defence of Antwerp. During the war he fell over board and had to wait for the armed Liner, going at 17 knots, to turn and pick him up. On another occasion the boat he was in with nine other men capsized, and he saved two of his mates before pulling himself to safety.

In 1919 Donald was one of the few survivors of the Iolaire disaster. A detailed record of his experience can be found at the North Tolsta Historical Society website.

Donald married Margaret Macleod, of 20 North Tolsta, and the couple settled at 37 North Tolsta. They had seven children: six boys and one girl.

In 1943 their son, John, died while swimming off Traigh Mhor beach in Tolsta.

Donald was skipper of Comrade. The Comrade sank in Stornoway Harbour, on the 17th of September 1947, and this event, along with other details of Donald’s biography, was recorded in the Tolsta District News section of the Stornoway Gazette of the 3rd of October 1947. However the event was somewhat more dramatic than the Stornoway Gazette implies: oral history and the Canmore website record the Comrade exploding after a collision with the mail boat and debris being scattered over the Castle Grounds.

In 1976 Donald was widowed.

In due course 37 North Tolsta passed to his son, Donald.

Record Type:
Also Known As:
Dòmhnall Brus
Date Of Birth:
Date of Death:
3 May 1992
Brothers Keeper Reference:
CET 1089
Record Maintained by: