Two Leurbost lads

Stornoway Gazette, 19 June 1942
It would seem that much truth attaches to the saying that misfortune never comes singly. It was only a few eeks ago that we had bad news of some of the village lads on active service. Kenneth Mackinnon, wounded on the Dorsetshire, Donald Macdonald missing on the Prince of Wales, Donald Nicolson, drowned at sea. And now two more have made the supreme sacrifice - Donald John Macleod and Kenneth Maciver of 43 and 26 Leurbost, respectively. Donald John, who was only 19, went to Glasgow about a year ago to take up work under a training scheme with an engineering firm. No one at home was very surprised when, after a few weeks, he threw up his job and joined the Merchant Navy. Exchanging a "safe" ashore job for the hazards of life at sea was characteristic of him. In taking this step, he showed the usual high-spirited daring and utter disregard for the dangers he would have to face. But, alas, the Nazi torpedoes found their mark, the eyes from which the mischevious glint of laughter could never be entirely absent are closed; the voice that could mimic with such amusing and pleasant "malice" is silent for ever.
The inner compulsion which urges so many Lewis lads to take up a seafaring career was also felt by Kenneth Maciver and he joined the Merchant Navy over a year ago when he was only 19. When his ship was torpedoed he was in the water for many hours. As a result of shock and exposure he contracted pneumonia, from which he did not recover. Kenneth was, on the surface, of a quiet and placid disposition, but beneath this he had a very lively sense of humour and a delight in participating in the escapades of high-spirited youth. To the two bereaved families, we can only offer our sympathy to console them in their loss. Let us hope that their grief will be eased by the realisation that the sacrifice was not in vain.

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