Alexander Macmillan, 1 Shulishader

Stornoway Gazette, 11 April 1941
It is with very deep regret we announce the death, by accident, of Alexander Macmillan, seaman, RNR, 1 Shader Point, at an English port on the 1st of April. Alexander, who was best known to his friends as Sandy Beag, was of a quiet, unassuming disposition. He was just a little over 20 years of age when he met his end. Before the outbreak of war he was serving on HM destroyer Wren, having joined her for the Royal Review at Spithead. On the outbreak of war his ship was commissioned for convoy duty, and he served with her until she was bombed, set on fire and sunk. The crew were machine-gunned in the water, but Sandy succeeded in swimming to a rescue ship nearby, and got aboard although hampered by fuel oil in which he had been immersed. After a few days at home on survivor's leave he returned to a naval depot and was drafted for duty as an anti-submarine torpedo boat. On board the Wren he was keenly interested in his Asdic duties and later he was selected for a course of instruction in the latest anti-submarine devices. He was expected home on leave after passing his final examination when the sad news of his death came through. Intelligent and efficient, never boisterous or boatsful, Sandy Beag had those rare qualities which go to the formation of an exemplary character. Clean-living and healthy minded, he feared God and served and died for his country. He was buried in an English cemetery with full naval honours. To his sorrowing mother and grandmother we extend our heartfelt sympathy, as to the other members of the family. Till the Day Breaks.

Stornoway Gazette, 25 April 1941
Last week we intimated the tragic death by accident of Seaman Alex Macmillan, Shader, Point. His mother has since received this tribute to her son from his Commanding Officer. "It grieves me that I should be writing of the passing of your son. In the short two months I commanded [---], I grew to know Alexander well. He was a true sailor steady, cheerful, quick and intelligent. As the weeks passed I placed more and more trust upon his shoulders with confidence. He never failed his country nor his ship. Most of all, I should like to say - Alexander was a good messmate. I say "most of all" because a good messmate is a good Christian. To be a good messmate you must be honest, courageous, clean-living and dutiful. You must help and love your neighbour. This is not always an easy task, for in small boats you live too close to your fellow men. However, Alexander Macmillan had all these virtues. You must not covet, blaspheme or shirk - your son did none of these. At Easter time, we are all of us, reminded that this existence on earth is but a stormy prelude to a gentle and peaceful life which Christ has prepared for us. In your hour of grief may I offer this consolation. Your son lived a good life here. He did not die. He merely passed on to a better world, without suffering. He has but gone before you and me, to God's realm, where we shall join him when God wills it. We are the losers for we have lost his companionship for a while. I do not grieve for him for he is safe. I grieve because you have lost a good son's company. If ever I can be of any help to you, will you please honour me by asking it. May God bless you and comfort you".

No comments:

Post a Comment