25 August 1944
The funeral of LAC Roderick Macaskill, RAF, second son of Mr AJ Macaskill, Francis Street, Stornoway took place from Martin's Memorial Church on Thursday of last week.
LAC Macaskill, better known in Stornoway as Roddy Jack, joined the RAF about three years ago. In February 1942, he went out to Kenya, where he contracted a serious illness, which necessitated his transfer to Johannesburg for a very delicate operation. Largely as a result of his own courage and determination to see his native Lewis again, a determination which expressed itself in many letters home, he rallied sufficiently to face the long sea journey. Friends in Stornoway were glad to welcome him when he arrived on leave, and it was hoped that, after a period of convalescence, his strength would be fully restored. He returned to an RAF hospital and was treated there for a time, before going to stay at his brother's manse in Inverkeillour. He suddenly fell ill again on Sunday 13th August, when preparing to go to church and his death occurred that day at Arbroath Infirmary.
One of the best footballers which Stornoway ever produced, Roddy Jack was known throughout the island and was popular everywhere. His prowess as a left-back will not soon be forgotten, and, whenever football is discussed in Lewis, those who knew him well will recall his famous sliding tackle, the tremendous of this clearances, the deceptive speed with which he could cover up and the penalty kicks which it would have been a goalkeeper's misfortune to attempt to save. And wherever he is recalled it will be as a good friend and a cheerful companion. He was 35 years of age.
At the funeral service, Rev Ian Carmichael was assisted by Group Captain the Rev Murdo Kennedy Macleod, RAF, Deputy Assisstant General, who travelled specially to Lewis to attend. Rev R Morrison, High Church, and Rev Lachlan Macleod, St Columba's. Bearer parties of the RAF were in attendance, both at the mail steamer and at the funeral service, and there were many wreaths from the family and friends on the flag draped coffin. The principal mourners were his father, Mr AJ Macaskill, and his elder brother, Squadron Leader, the Rev Angus Macaskill, RAF. He is also survived by his widow, who at the time of their marriage was on the staff of Lewis Hospital, by a sister (Mrs Fraser) and by his younger brother, Flying Officer Alex Macaskill, who is stationed in Ceylon. To them all the deep sympathy of the community is extended.
In the Sheriff Court on Friday, Sheriff Smart extended the sympathy of the court to their bar officer, Mr Macaskill, in the death of his son, which was all the grievous, he said, in that hopes had been entertained of his recovery. In Martin's Memorial on Sunday morning, Rev Ian Carmichael referred to the loss which had been sustained by the death of their church officer's son. In the last circumstances and event of his life, said Mr Carmichael, there was a distinct pattern as if an unseen hand were arranging with loving care and wisdom the ultimate affairs and relationships of his earthly existence.