Dalmore Daytime

Dalmore Daytime
Sandy Beach

Monday, 18 February 2008

John Macleod. Soldier in the First World War.

John Macleod was the younger brother of Donald(RNR) who died in 1916 as an internee in Holland.John was born in Garenin in 1896 and attended Carloway School,and later the Nicolson Institute,Stornoway.He had just started his M.A.course at Glasgow University when,like many at that time,he was conscripted into the Army.He became a signaller with the Ross Mountain Battery attached to the Seaforth Highlanders and saw service in different war theatres during 1914-1918.He was at the Dardanelles Landings(Gallipoli) in April,1915 when the Turkish forces took a terrible toll on the lives of the Allies,especially the ANZAC troops.My Aunt Dolly had on show on one of the dressers in 5 Dalmore "the last shell fired at the Dardanelles",a highly polished Howitzer shell case.This costly exercise,like the Antwerp debacle,can be laid at the feet of Winston Churchill.
John had various spells when his tuberculosis flared up.In March,1916 when his brother died of pleurisy in Holland,John was hospitalised in England,later recovered and returned to the fray.In 1917 John was a signaller in General Allenby's army fighting in Palestine,again against the Turks.Allenby had promised the British people Jerusalem as their 1918 Christmas present.It was while they were making a push through Gaza at the town of Beersheba that John was cited for the award of the Distiguished Conduct Medal(D.C.M.)He had twice before been mentioned in dispatches.The award was announced in the London Gazette.
Distinguished Conduct Medal
301422 Bdr.J.Macleod.

10th Mtn.By.,R.G.A.,T.F.(Carloway)

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.When in charge of the signallers during the recent operations he has performed excellent work in frequently laying and mending wire under heavy shell fire.He has shown great devotion to duty.
The citation was signed "General E.H.H.Allenby" and dated 3rd April,1918,although the action itself occurred in 1917.John had already been promoted to lieutenant and saw out the war with the 13th Mountain Battery Corps until March,1919.At the war's end he resumed his studies at Glasgow University,and graduated M.A.(Honours).He later went to Canada for health reasons,settling in Regina (Sask),where he was a teacher and later an inspector of schools.
My uncle John Macleod told me this story in 1955 while over in the UK recruiting teachers for Saskatchewan Province.
One Sunday in Garenin,when Donald and John were young lads and the rest of the family had gone to church,Donald came running home to tell John that one of their sheep had slipped and was lodged some distance down a sea-cliff near Garenin.John followed him with a rope and together they rescued the sheep.Being a Sunday in a strictly sabbatarian community,Donald made John swear never to tell "a living soul" about this event,it being on the Sabbath.John assured me he never mentioned it again.
During John's return to Glasgow in the early 1920s,and at least five years after Donald's death in Holland,John was wandering up Bath Street and he noticed that he was standing outside a Spiritualist Church,and being "inquisitive"(his own word)he entered and sat watching proceedings from his seat at the rear of the church.After some time the medium announced that "there was an unbeliever in their midst". The church members turned around to look at John,but not in a threatening manner.The medium asked John to stand,saying that she had a message for him from his brother Donald.
"Do you remember the Sunday that you and I rescued the sheep from the cliff?".

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