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Places > Loyal Lewis roll of honour, 1914 and after

(21) Photograph - Aird School District

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(21) Photograph - Aird School District
THE rumours of war in the closing days of July, 1914,
were suddenly changed to its grim actualities when, on
4th August, Great Britain formally made her entry
into the greatest conflict in the world's history. Nearly all
the young men of the district belonged to the Royal Naval
E.eserve or the Militia. Consequently the news that we were
about to engage in mortal combat with
the greatest military nation in the world
was received with staggering amaze-
ment, quickly followed by calm resolu-
tion and determination to serve their
King and Country with all their powers
of brain and arm. From this district
there was an immediate response to the
Nation's cry — "To Arms!" — not only
by those who were in duty bound to go,
but also by those who had had no mili-
tary training. Many of these were
actually under military age, but being
big and sturdy, they pretended to be
older than they really were, and their
services were accepted. There was no
need for conscription here. The young
men who had gone to the Colonies were
just as eager to serve as those at home.
Many came over at their own expense ;
others came with the Colonial contin-
During the progress of the war the
people took a keen, intelligent interest
in *he swaying conflicts on the various
fronts, and followed the changing battle
lines with the aid of maps. Even in the
darkest days they were confident of the
final issue. When the war telegram
announced a retreat of the Allies, they comforted themselves
by believing it to be a strategic move that would ultimately
lead to victory. The children were not a whit behind their
seniors in their eagerness to help, and they collected close on
±100 for various war charities.
Aird Public School.
The signing of the Armistice on 11th November, 1918,
caused great joy, and many flags were hoisted. Now there
would be no more casualties, but, alas ! the tragic wreck of the
' Iolaire " on New Year's morning sent a thrill of horror and
sorrow, not only throughout the Island but also throughout
the whole Empire. In that tragedy this district alone lost 21
precious lives. Amongst the band of
heroes overwhelmed in that night of
terror, four stood pre-eminent in physi-
cal mould and Christian courage —
Alick Maciver, 12 Shader : Angus Mac-
kay, Hillside, Shader; Alick Macken-
zie, Lochside, Aird ; and Alick Mac-
kenzie, No. 1, Aird. Relying on Him
who rules the elements, they were cool
and fearless midst the raging breakers
and the crashing of the doomed ship.
Thinking not of self, they eagerly
helped others to a means of escape.
Thus they died as they had lived — ever
ready to lend a helping hand to a
brother in need.
The first from this district to fall in
the war was Duncan Campbell, No. 6
Broker, who was mortally wounded at
the Aisne in 1914. Donald Macleod,
10 Portnaguran, sustained the crush-
ing loss of four sons.
The names on the Roll of Honour
for the School District, which number
393, or whom 74 have fallen, includes
the following: — 1 Warrant Officer, 1
Captain, 3 Lieutenants; Naval Officers
—1 Warrant Officer, 1 Commander
(United States Navy). The Honours
List shows 1 D.C.M., 4 M.M., 3 Russian Decorations, 1
Italian Decoration, and quite a number of 1914 Stars. Details
will be found on the next page.
Schoolhouse, Aird.

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