It is with deep regret we this week chronicle the death of another Stornoway boy, Pte William Mackenzie, Manchester Regiment (trench mortars) who was killed in action on 11 December 1917, aged 25. He was the third son of Norman Mackenzie, tailor, 66 Kenneth Street. He served his apprenticeship as a chemist with Messrs Tolmie & Co, Cromwell Street, and at outbreak of war was employed in Manchester. The deepest sympathy goes out to Mr and Mrs Mackenzie in this first break in their large family of eleven children a heavy bereavement made no easier to bear by the fact he was one of so many children.
18 January 1918
The following letter was received from his lieutenant:
"It is my sad duty to inform you that your son William met his death whilst in action about 2 pm on the 11th December 1917. He, along with a companion, was serving his gun, when the gunpit was wrecked by a direct hit. His death was instantaneous. He was a man on whom we could rely at all times, to accomplish thoroughly and conscientiously any task he was given. He had the friendship of all his comrades and the entire trust and liking of his officers. In losing him, we have lost one of the very best. Please accept my simple expression of sympathy to you and all his relations and friends to whom he must have been very dear"
His Captain, writing some days later, says:
"Please accept, on behalf of all officers and men in the Battery, our deepest sympathy in your irrepairable loss. I find it difficult to express on paper my true feelings, but can truly say that in your son's death I have lost one of my best men, who was loved and looked up to by all, especially by myself"
Mr Lockwood, MPS, Manchester writes:
"You have lost a good son and I a straightforward, honest and willing assistant and moreover a friend. Branch messengers, assistants, Mrs Lockwood and myself extend to you our deepest sympathy".