Donald Macleod, 4 Lower Bayble

(An Appreciation of Late Sergt. D. Macleod by his Platoon Commander)

On a fine November morning, I had finished my tour of duty in the trenches and my men had begun to partake of breakfast after a strenuous night of watching for the subtle enemy that crawled in the grass outside our wire.He and I were talking of home and ouw ain folks - our minds far away in dear old Lewis. Five minutes afterwards, he was dead - killed outright by an aerial dart, and one more hero had given his all on the altar of patriotism. I could not believe that he was gone, that never more would I see his cheery face of watch the smile with which he always greeted me; but it was so - there, with the sun shining down upon the surface of the lagoon, Donald Macleod passed away to where heroes go. I never met a whiter man, a braver soldier, nor a more efficient NCO. We all loved him, his men admired him, and now that he is not with us, we all feel that Fate has dealt us a hard blow in taking him.

He did not love fighting for its own sake, but once he had put his hand to the plough, his was not the nature to look back and yearn for ease and comfort. To him, duty meant everything, and we all did our duty because he showed us how. He has now shown us how to die at the post of duty, "our brows bloody but unbound", and it behoves us to follow in the direction in which he went.

But there was another side to his nature, which only the very few who came in direct contact with him could see. Three months in his company revealed to me his real nobility. He loved Lewis and all that our island means to us exiles who stand and face the rigours of warfare in a foreign land. Everything and everybody from the shores of the Heathery Isle could look for a warm welcome from him, and his heart glowed with the pride at the deeds of the fast-increasing band of heroes who have fallen with their faces to the ice.

Personally, I mourn not my platoon sergeant but my personal friend and one who made my work easy and set such a glorious example of self-denial to all ranks who served under him.


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