Donald Nicholson, 26 Leurbost

Stornoway Gazette, 8 May 1942
You could say it was the first real spring day to touch our northern isles. The sun shone warmly from a cloudless sky and the larks formed an invisible, all-pervading choir. One felt as if some part of one's being, which had lain dormant through the dreary winter, had suddenly sprung to life again. How, one asked oneself, on this lovely spring morning, could anything exist save beauty and gladness and mirth?
The news of the death of Donald Nicholson exploded in our midst, shattering our fine illusions to leave us stunned and bewildered. News, especially bad news, travels with amazing rapidity through a village, like telepathy almost. One noticed suddenly that there was nobody on the crofts, that the glad sounds of the villagers at their spring work had died away. Only the birds sang on.
Donald Nicholson (Doddie, as we called him) was not yet 22 years of age when he was lost at sea. His many friends will grieve at his passing and sympathise with his father and mother, brother and sisters, in the loss of one who was so much esteemed. In an island where lads of good physique are the rul rather than the exception, one would still look twice at his broad shoulders and well moulded body. We shall miss him for his infectious chuckle, his loyalty, his modesty. We shall miss a footballer who was one of the finest natural players in the island.
The big cities may show their scars; our little village too has had its wounds though they may not be visible from without. Alex Morrison, John D. Macleod, Danny, Rodigean and now Dodda; none of you will ever come back. Brave lads, washed by the waters of distant seas, shall halting prose be your only requiem? How frail is even the lusty exuberance of youth in the grip of forces which poor humanity has unleashed on itself. May your supreme sacrifice not be forgotten and our present pain be the birth pangs of a brave new world.

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