Murdo Mackenzie, Porter's Lodge

Also quoted at 49 Balallan

Lance-Corporal Murdo Mackenzie, Seaforth Highlanders, only son of Mr and Mrs Mackenzie, Porter's Lodge, Stornoway, was killed in action in France on 4th October 1917. Lance-Corpl Mackenzie was in the Regular Army and some months before the outbreak of war had been "bought out" by his parents. He returned home and for a couple of years was on the Police Force in Stornoway. He enrolled under the Derby Scheme, but was rejected on medical grounds. In December 1915, he left Lewis and went to Glasgow, where he got married. In November 1914, he was called up, and drafted into the Argyll & Sutherland Highlaanders, but was afterwards transferred to his old regiment, the Seaforths. He was a crack shot, and at Ripon was presented with a souvenir by his Commanding Officer for putting up the best score registered in the musketry practice carried on there since the war started. He was also an enthusiastic piper, and was a great favourite with all his companions. For his sorrowing parents, widow and child, sincere sympathy is felt. The Captain of his Company, writing to Mrs Mackenzie says:

"I am writing to give you the few details I knew about your husband who was killed on 4th October, 1917. The Battalion attacked in the morning of the 4th and gained all their objectives. Your husband was all right until the afternoon, when a German sniper saw him and shot him through the head. Death was instantaneous. He never moved again. I cannot say with absolute certainty where he was buried as the Battalion came out that night, and had only time to get the wounded back, but since then we have gained more ground and the spot where your husband fell is now well behind the firing line, so his body must have been recovered and buried by some other unit. It was just south of Poelskapelle, which itself is NE of Ypres. I cannot tell you how sorry I was to hear about your husband. He was such a good soldier and an extra-ordinarily charming man. His section worshipped him and would have done anything for him. I can understand only too well how deep your grief wmust be, for I knew what he was to his friends, and how much more he must have been to his wife. I am afraid there is very little I can say or do to help you in your great grief, but I feel sure that the thought that he died in the way that he himself would have chosen will in some small part soften the blow."

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