Angus Smith, 40 Callanish

27 April 1945
On Saturday 14 April, the peace and happiness of Callanish was torn asunder when the Smith family of No 40 got word from the War Office that their son, Angus, had died of wounds. Not long ago, Alister Anna, the name by which the father is so familiarly known) had the brightest letter of all from Angus, stating that he had made another safe landing and adding cheerily, "Now, Dad, I have got myself a pram to carry my equipment". The letter was dated the day before the War Office reported that he had died of wounds, which at least leaves the consoling through that his suffering from the wounds could not have been for many hours. Of a very cheerful, affectionate nature, making new friends, but ever mindful of the old, it is doubtful if any soldier became more popular than Angus during his few short visits to his native Callanish and the Lews since 1943. In the spring of 1933, as a young lad of 17, he enlisted in the County Regiment, the Seaforths. He saw service with his Battalion in many parts of the world. He was with the last few of his Battalion to leave the station in China where the Battalion was doing garrison duty when the Japs attacked in 1935. From China he went to the Malay States and then to North Africa, where he served in many of the hard fought battles in which the Seaforths took part until the last German was captured or chased out. when Britain first decided to form an airborne army and the call for volunteers was sounded, "Bridain", as he was familiarly known, was one of the first to respond. Another journey and soon he was undergoing training in this country with the Airborne Troops after which he was granted his first leave home since 1934. As recently reported in the Gazette, he dropped into France before 1 am on D Day, and wherever the services of the Paratroops were urgently needed (including Arnhem), "Bridain" was there, until he made his last trip with an airborne division beyond the Rhine and well into Germany. After each major operation, he was granted a short period at home, periods which he, his family and associates, enjoyed to the full. The horrors of war were not the substance of his conversation. He left that all behind in France, Italy and North Africa, and his cheerful mind found plenty humorous things that happened in these countries to talk and laugh about. Pte Angus Smith, of the Seaforths and Airborne Troops, who was only 29 years of age, is survived by his grandmother on his mother's side (Callum Iain Ruaigh, a nonagenarian who came in recent years from Balallan to live at Callanish), his father and mother, four brothers and one sister on active service, one sister at home and another sister, Mary, married in Tong. They mourn they loss of a charming son and brother. Callanish and Breasclete, in fact all of East Uig, as well as Brue and Balallan, are sincere in their thoughts and constantly with the family in this heavy blow. Angus lived his life, enjoyed every hour of it, indeed saw daylight in the darkest scene. So long, Bridain, rest until dawn and the final roll call.

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