A Shawbost correspondent writes:
The sad news has just arrived that Malcolm Macdonald (RMLI), a son of Murdo Macdonald, 13 New Shawbost, perished in the ill-fated Dreadnought "Vanguard", recently blown up at anchor.
A faint hope was for some time entertained that he should appear among the list of survivors, but the Admiralty's notification to his wife at Chatham, telegraphed to his father at the above address and to his brother at Balallan Schoolhouse, dispelled this one ray of hope.
Malcolm, who had put in 12 years' service in the Royal Marines, left the Navy in 1905 and held a good appointment at Glasgow until 1909, when he rejoined the service with a view to obtaining his pension. He had just completed his 21 years' services (in January 1917), but this cruel war claimed him a victim when his well-earned pension would seem to be within his grasp. He was in his 48th year.
The family has already contributed five members to the active service list in this great European war (including two grandsons brought up in the family - they having been left fatherless when quite young), three of these having made the supreme sacrifice viz:
Two sons (John, ex-soldier, Camerons, who acted for some time as Army Schoolmaster, killed in action in France on the night of 21st-22nd December 1914. Malcolm perished in HMS Vanguard, as already stated).
One grandson (Malcolm, Seaforths, Special Reserve, killed in action in France on the same date as his uncle John, vide above).
Another son, Murdo, who held a good appointment in London, joined under the Derby Scheme and is at present "Somewhere in France", while the remaining grandson, Duncan, is gunner on the SS City of Lucknow.
Much genuine sympathy is extended to the frail and aged father, to his widowed daughter (who is herself in very delicate health) and to the other relations for their repeated and irrepairable losses.
It is worthy of note that of the same family, four sons saw foreigh service during the late South African War.
In a separate tribute the following was written regarding Malcolm Macdonald:
Mr Murdo Macdonald, Park Shawbost, has had the painful information that his son Malcolm has been killed. He was on board the ill-fated "Vanguard". This is the third member of his household to fall in the war, two sons and one grandson having made the supreme sacrifice. Much sympathy is felt for the sorrowstricken man in his declining years as well as for the other members of the family.