Murdo Macdonald, 13 Swordale

Intimation has recently been received by Mrs Macrae, 13 Swordale, that her son Murdo Macdonald, who was a gunner on board the SS Hollington, lost his life when that vessel was sunk by an enemy submarine on 22nd June last. Murdo, who was 27 years of age, was a typical Highlander standing over six feet and of a strong build. He joined the Army when young but on the death of his stepfather he was discharged, as he was the only support of his widowed mother. Since the outbreak of war, he served on board HMS Kent and was at the Battle of the Falklands and at the sinking of the Dresden. In December 1916 he was sent over to England where he underwent a course of training in the Gunnery School, and passed through for the merchant service. He made several voyages between Liverpool and New Orleans without any mishap, and was afterwards transferred to the SS Hollington. In May last, the ship was sent to ----- with a cargo of munitions, and on the 2nd of JUne she was sunk by a torpedo at dusk, only two of the crew being rescued. Deceased was of a kindly disposition and an upright character, considerate and kind to his widowed mother, and of late years, his changed life gave distinct evidence of the true Christian character. Much sympathy is afforded to his mother and family in their sore bereavement.

The following letter was received by Mrs Macrae from the owner of the Hollington:
[address not fully legible] London, 13th August 1917
Dear Madam,
In reply to your letter of the 10th inst, the only information I have about the sad loss of my SS Holington is that given me by the Admiralty, viz, that the steamer was sunk by torpedo at dusk on the 2nd of June, and that only two of the crew, G Holroyd AB and R Milne, fireman, had been rescued and taken to hospital at Reykjavik, Iceland. I deeply sympathise with you in your great loss, and would myself have written you earlier but the Admiralty assured me they were themselves communicating with the relatives of the Naval ratings on board. Thi sis all the information given me by the authorities.
Yours faithfully, Francis Stanley Holland

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