This page is for heroes nominated by visitors, starting with Vice-Admiral Sir Roddy (Roderick Douglas) MacDonald  from Braes in Skye .  Born in 1921, he took part in the Fleet and Convoy operations of  the Atlantic, Norway, Mediterranean, Eastern Fleet, East Coast and Normandy during 1939-1945. He became Commander of Naval Forces and Joint Force Commander in Borneo in 1965.  From Captain of the Fleet in 1970, he went on to become Chief of Staff to Commander, Allied Naval Force Southern Europe, 1976-1979. In retirement he established a reputation as a notable painter and he died in 2001.

The father of the website administrator was a merchant seaman from the Western Isles who sailed in the hazardous waters of the Atlantic and North Sea in convoys. Torpedoed and sunk twice (not something he would talk about much),  it was probably due to the likes of Sir Roddy MacDonald of the Royal Navy that he and many other Islesmen managed to survive the Second World War.


3 responses to “Heroes

  1. Don MacFarlane

    July 31, 2013 at 12:07 am

    World War I Fallen from Trotternish Peninsula, Isle of Skye

    ‘Cha Lig Saoghal Air Dearmad
    An Treuntas Gu Sior
    Fhad’s Bhios Speis agus Mor-Mheas
    Air Saighdearachd Fhior’

    Bornisketaig – Allan MacKenzie, Malcolm MacLeod, Andrew MacNab, Evan MacNab (brothers and sons of local bard and schoolmaster, John MacNab)

    Kilvaxter – Angus MacMillan

    Totscore – Donald MacDonald (x2)

    Linicro – John Graham

    Monkstadt – Alex Campbell

    Balgown – Donald Beaton

    Hunglader – Alex MacKenzie, Malcolm Stewart

  2. Don MacFarlane

    February 6, 2012 at 1:08 am

    Duncan Johnstone, Eminent Piper

    With strong Barra and Benbecula connections, Duncan was first and foremost a musician, and this was clearly evident not only in his playing but also in his composing and teaching. In 1970 he began teaching in his home on the south side of Glasgow as well as being a principal instructor in the College of Piping. He thoroughly enjoyed his position there as full-time piping instructor and he was also popular with numerous summer schools in North America. Duncan was a prolific composer of bagpipe music and he composed over sixty tunes including Farewell to Nigg. An excellent exponent of the bagpipes, this was evidenced by besting his good friend, Pipe Major Donald MacLeod (himself the creme de la creme) in competition on different occasions.

  3. Don MacFarlane

    February 5, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Angus MacMillan of Glenbrittle in Skye
    Despite the cosy appearance of the photograph of MacMillan with the two aborigines, Jimmy Gabber to his right is said to have tried to murder him in his sleep.

    It continues to be a bone of contention as to the true nature of Angus MacMillan – to Australian Whites he is the heroic explorer and discoverer of Gippsland in Victoria; to Aborigines he is a mass-murderer who was accorded the ironic soubriquet, ‘Father of the Aborigines’. The Australian Dictionary of Biography has the following piece about him:

    ‘In 1864, near the Crooked River in March he and his his men discovered a rich gold deposit which they named the Pioneer. Over 220 miles of track were cut by the Alpine Expedition in the next twelve months, the work was arduous and at times McMillan blazed the route crawling on hands and knees through thick scrub. Early in 1865, the party was disbanded and McMillan set out alone to complete the last task: blazing a trail from Dargo to the Moroka River. One of his pack-horses fell and rolled on him causing severe internal injuries. He set out for Bairnsdale but reached only as far as Iguana Creek, where he died in Gilleo’s Hotel a few hours later’.


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