Ivor Macleod Rees, Portvoller

The following from the "Hampstead and Highgate Express" is of deep interest in the Point district:

Sub-lieutenant Ivor Macleod Rees, RN, only son of Dr and Mrs Arthur Rees of Haverstock Hill, Hampstead, has lost his life while on active service. Ivor, who was 22 years of age, was educated at the Hill School, Hampstead, and at Merchant Taylor's School, and joined the Royal Navy as a midshipman in November 1938. In the following year he trained as a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm, obtaining his wings and passing out in the highest category. Since then he had taken part in operational flights from five different aircraft carriers, one of which has since been sunk. At the conclusion of each appointment his report stated that he had carried out his duties to the entire satisfaction of his commanding officer, which is the highest form of commendation in the Navy. Promoted to Sub-lieutenant in February 1940, nine months before such advancement was normally due, he later became Sub-Flight leader of his squadron, and was marked for further early promotion. He also acted as divisional officer to the squadron, an appointment connected with th eoversight of all the ratings, and which entailed a tremendous amount of work. this work he might easily have been excused in view of his flying duties.

Dr Rees, who is police divisional surgeon of Hampstead told the Express this week: "But he refused to give it up because he just loved his men. He was tremendously popular with his fellow officers and within all ranks and well thought of by his seniors."

Sub-lieutenant Macleod Rees was married only 4 months ago to Miss Helen Davidson, daughter of Mr and Mrs Alexander Davidson, of Sutton-Courtenay, Berks. Mr G. A. Walker, headmaster of the Hall School said:

"Good natured and always comes up smiling, was the verdict on him when he left the Hall. Whether he was boxing or playing football or in some scrape or toher, Ivor Rees had that welcome, slow smile of good humour. Modest, happy, straight, free of all complexes, he had never an enemy and kept smiling, I have no doubt, even when the end came."

Mrs Rees, nee Christina Macleod, daughter of the late Mr and Mrs Angus Macleod, Portvoller House, was during the last war matron of the Highland Casualty Clearing Station in France, and was mentioned in despatches for courage, efficiency and devotion to duty. Popular and esteemed, the news of her sad bereavement cast a gloom over the whole community, and thi sfeeling was enhanced by the fact that on his visits to the island, Ivor had endeared himself to all who met him. Cheerful and unassuming by nature, he possessed to a rare degree the quality of making friends wherever he went. Knowing his love and zest for life it is difficult to realise that for him it has all ended, its rich promise unfulfilled. His sojourn was short, but for all who knew him life has been enriched because he passed this way. A fact which makes the gragedy of his early death more pognant is his having been an only child. The deep sympathy of the entire community goes out to his bereaved father, mother and young widow.

Two cousins have also made the surpreme sacrifice. They were the sons of Dr and the late Mrs W Gilmour (Margaret Macleod, Portvoller), Auckland, New Zealand. The younger, Leading Aircraftsman Angus Victor Macleod Gilmour, was killed in an air accident in New Zealand early in the war. The elder, Captain W.M.L. Gilmour, was killed in action in Libya, while serving with the 1st New Zealand General Hospital. He had seen service in Greece and Crete. While on leave in this country he paid a visit to his relatives in the island. There were no other children. All three young men typified the very best in our manhood, and it is no exaggeration to state that their deaths mean a distinct loss to their generation.

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