31 August 1917
Donald Macdonald, Warrant Officer, RN, whose home was in Sheerness, lost his life in the destroyer recently reported as mined in the North Sea. He was born in Portnaguran about 40 years ago, and was the second of four sons who, in early childhood, lost both father and mother. Their father was one of the crew of a fishing boat which foundered with all on board during a gale. Their mother never recovered from the shock and passed away a few months thereafter. The boys, reared by near relatives, grew up to sturdy, handsome manhood.
Donald joined the Royal Navy as a boy and by steady perseverance and strict attention to duty hee rose to the rank of Warrant Officer. He had specialised in torpedo work and was chief gunnery officer in charge of torpedoes on his ship. His ship paid a flying visit to Stornoway in the early stages of the war. He was greatly esteemed and respected by the people of Point, who were proud of the young man who had risen to such a high position in the Royal Navy, and the sorrow for his untimely fate is deep and sincere. He continued to take a lively interest in the people and affairs of his native district. On the occasion of King George's Coronation he sent his old teacher £5 to provide a treat to the pupils of his old school. The occasion will never be forgotten by the four hundred pupils who, marching in procession with flags flying and headed by a piper, proceeded to a picturesque spot near the sea where they held their sports. The late officer was married to an English lady who and their infant son now mourn the husband and father who died at the post of duty in the service of King and country.
Murdo, the older brother, and ex-Life Guardsman, who had seen action in South Africa, volunteered at the outbreak of war and joined the Royal Bucks Hussars. He was so seriously wounded about two years ago that he has not yet recovered his wonted health and strength.
The third brother, Roderick, saw service as a Seaforth Highlander in Egypt and South Africa. He is now serving as a seaman on one of HM ships. The fourth brother, Donald (jnr) is a carpenter in one of the royal dockyards.
6 September 1917
Donald Macdonald, Warrant Officer, RN, a native of Portnaguran, was killed on board a destroyer recently reported as mined in the North Sea. We cull the following particulars regarding his career from the columns of the "Guardian", Sheerness where he had his home.
Mr Macdonald, RN, who was killed a fortnight ago when serving his country at sea was well known in the Nore command. He was appointed ot the Actaeon, torpedo school ship, on 6 April 1912, for service in the special service vessel Biter, which was under his command. Mr Macdonald, who held a navigation certificate as well as being a torpedo gunner, was held in the highest esteem by all who were associated with him on the Actaeon and her tenders. He had previously don duty in the Nore command in the year 1911 when he had been stationed at Chatham in the light cruiser Hyacinth, then out of commission. After leaving the Biter, he was appointed to command Torpedo-boat 027, which at the time was serving at Portsmouth as tender to the Racer, the sloop employed on duties in connection with the Royal Naval College at Osborne. He joined No 027 on 20 May 1914, and was in command of her when war was declared. The last Navy List published with information concerning ships showed him to be serving on the destroyer Milne, to which he was appointed on 9 November 1914 before her delivery from the works of Messrs J. Brown and Co Ltd, Clydebank. He left that vessel to take up an appointment in another of HM vessels some time before his death. All through his career, Mr Macdonald had been recognised as a serious and hardworking officer, and the letters of sympathy which his widow has received from officers of the vessel on whose books he was borned when he met his death indicate their high appreciation of him personally and of his services. The Navy has lost another valuable warrant officer by his death.
From the Roll of Honour
Was in command of Torpedo Boat 027 at outbreak of war, afterwards served on the destroyer Milne. Shortly before his death was appointed to another destroyer, which was mined and sunk in the North Sea