Two Ness lads

Stornoway Gazette, 29 May 1942
Once again, the grim cruelty of war has been brought home to two bereaved families in Ness. When news was given over the wireless of the Eastern Mediterranean battle in which our three destroyers, "Jackal", "Kipling" and "Lively" were sunk, there was much concern for the safety of two of our lads - Murdo Mackay, 11 Eoropie and Alexander Smith, 9 Port of Ness. The much dreaded information "Missing presumed killed" was received within three days, dashing to the ground the slender hopes which still lingered in the hearts of those who were in suspense.
Murdo was the youngest son of the late Mr Angus Mackay and of Mrs Mackay, 11 Eoropie. He had been in the Royal Naval Reserve since the outbreak of hostilities. For the past 12 months he had served on HMS Kipling in foreign waters and his sufferings and hardships sustained during that time will never be fully unfolded. Murdo, who was only 29 years of age, was of a quiet, gentle disposition, but his cheerful, ever-pleasant outward appearance made him one of the most popular youths of the district. To his widowed mother he was always dutiful and most unselfish in his consideration for her. Sincere sympathy is extended to her, to his two sisters, his brothers in Stornoway and in the RAF and his aunt, who was devoted to him, in their very sore bereavement.

It is with a great effort we make ourselves realise that we shall never see the ever-pleasant smile on Alasdair Iain Allan's face, or listen to his witty remarks. Alasdair was quiet and unassuming, but to his near acquaintances he endeared himself by his ardent spirit, and his daring and adventurous disposition. Previous to joining the Royal Naval Reserve, when war broke out, he had travelled to many parts in the Merchant Navy and had spent some years driving a bus at home. For the last few months he had been serving on HMS Lively, where he met his death at the early age of 29 years. He is the fourth of six sons, all of whom are on active service - Norman, in the Merchant Navy; Angus, Allan and Murdo in the Royal Naval Reserve; and John in the RASC. To them and to his bereaved widowed mother and his two sisters, we offer our heartfelt sympathy in the loss of a devoted and dutiful son and brother.

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