John Martin, Hacklete, Great Bernera

Stornoway Gazette, 16 February 1940
Seaman John Martin is the first Bernera lad to die in this war while with HM Forces. John, who was the third son of Mrs Annie Martin, and the late Angus Martin, 17 Hacklete, was only 20 years of age. He was the first Bernera boy to be called up under the Military Training Act and was the last person so far to leave the island for service. He expressed a preference for the Royal Navy, and left Bernera for a naval depot on the 3rd December. Towards the end of December he took a chill and on New Year's night his mother received word by telegram that he was lying dangerously ill in a naval hospital. More reassuring news followed, and by the middle of January he had recovered sufficiently to be transferred to a convalescent hom. There was a relapse, however, and he passed away on Thursday, 25 January. John was well liked in Bernera, for he possessed pleasing qualities which endeared him to the hearts of all. His cheerful smile, quiet, good nature and his readilness to give a helping hand at any time, won him friends wherever he went. It is now hard to realise that Ian Iomhair, as he was affectionately called, is no more, but we shall cherish fond memories of him. On Saturday 27th January, his remains arrived in Stornoway, and after being conveyed to Ard a Chaolais by bus, were brought to his mother's home which he had left only seven weeks before to play his part in the defense of his country. The funeral service at the house on Monday, 29th January, was conducted by Mr Malcolm Maciver, 11 Hacklete. The long funeral procession to Bosta Cemetery was headed by a group of Bernera naval reservists home on leave. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Mrs Martin, her daughter and three sons, one of whom is on active service and another of whom is shortly to be called up.

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