It was with deep and widespread regret it became known in the community on Thursday last that Pte Matthew Macgregor, Scottish Rifles, son of Mrs Macgregor, Cairndhu, Matheson Road, had been killed in action. Only a week ago, his widowed mother and sisters learned with pride that he had been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry and devotion to duty in action; now they were plunged into grief by the news of his death, and the sincere sympathy of all classes was extended to them in their sore bereavement. The first intimation that he had fallen was contained in a letter by his sister, Miss Annie Macgregor, from a young Harris soldier, a chum of Matthew's who wrote:
"I am very sorry to have to write these few lines to let you know that your brother M Macgregor was killed in action on the night of 22nd July. He and four others were buried by a shell. They were dug out all right, but Matthew died shortly afterwards. Every man in the Company was sorry to learn of his death, he was such a nice, quiet fellow that would harm nobody. I was speaking to him ten minutes before this sad affair happened. I am pleased to say that he was taken down the line and buried in a British cemetery. He was a brave soldier and died as he had lived, with a smile on his face. I am in the same Company, 15th Platoon, and he was in the 16th Platoon and we met each other regularly. I am very sorry indeed and in great sympathy with you in your sad and sore troubles, which occur here daily with somebody. Now, Miss Macgregor, I will have to close this sorrowing note, hoping this will find you in the best of health or as well as can be expected in these trying times".
Lieut J.R. Macleod, Scottish Rifles, written:
"I would like to extend to you the sympathy of myself and members of my Platoon in your sad bereavement. Your son has been with us for quite a long time in and out of the trenches. He was one of my best men and much respected and beloved by us all. He has invariably displayed great coolness and fearlessness throughout all the actions in which we have taken part together."
The deceased, who was 29 years of age, served his apprenticeship as a baker with his brother in law, Mr Alex Macleod, formerly of North Beach, Stornoway. After working for a short time as a journeyman he moved to Glasgow, where he was employed when he joined up voluntarily in 1915. He want to France almost as soon as his training was completed, and has been in the fighting since, except for short leaves ever since. Of a quiet and unassuming disposition, Matthew was not of the kind with a natural bent for soldiering, but the decoration conferred on him shows how bravely and gallantly he bore himself under conditions that must have been uncongenial to his gentle spirit. His relatives mourn him with mingled pride and tears, and a wide circle of friends share the same feelings and sympathise with them in their hour of sorrow.