Angus Macdonald, 30 Lower Shader

Stornoway Gazette, 19 December 1941
News has been received from Germany of the death of Seaman Angus Macdonald, 30 Lower Shader, Barvas.

When HMS Vandyck was sunk more than a year ago, Angus, along with several other members of the crew, including the ship's captain, was first a prisoner of war in German-occupied Norway, and later in a prison camp in Germany. Up to the time of his entry into a German hospital his letters to his lonely mother and sister were always bright and cheery and invariably referred to the Great Day of Peace and longer for homecoming, with great optimism and courage. We cannot therefore but realise how great was his mother's grief on receipt of the following letter from his ship's Captain, after a period of nien weeks' suspense of wearying news of him.

Dear Mrs Macdonald,
It is with deep regret that I write to tell you of the sad death of your son, Angus, who died in hospital from tuberculosis of the throat. He received all possible care but he passed away on Saturday, October 4th.

He was buried today with naval honours and a party of thirty officers and men, including all those from Stornoway, attended the funeral. Many beautiful wreaths were sent, including one from his old shipmates on HMS Vandyck and one from the officers and men of the German Naval Command. He lies, with others, at peace, in a little country graveyard with pine trees around. The service was performed by the British chaplain. I hope I may be able to send you some photographs later.

I know how deeply you will mourn his loss, but you must take comfort in the thought that he died in the service of his King and Country and no man can have a finer end to his life on earth.

With much sympathy,
Yours very truly,
G.F.W. Wilson, Captain, RN
(late HMS Vandyck)

The letter surely contains sad news of a loved one, one who took care that he would spare those near and dear to him the painful knowledge that he was thus suffering in a strange land wehre they could not even visit him. It has, however, a comforting though, and with the sender we all extend our deepest sympathy to his mother and sister, relatives and friends.

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