This website lists the names and further details of the men from the Isle of Lewis who lost their lives in the Second World War.This article is dedicated to their memory, and is there to remember their sacrifice.
1.1 Please note
The information on this site is shared free of charge, and can be used freely. An attribution by name or link would be appreciated. A "Donate" button is provided in the sidebar for those who would like to show their appreciation by monetary means - like the work done to compile this website, entirely voluntary.
2. World War II casualties
2.1 Sources of information
2.1.1 Rolls of Honour
Ness to Bernera,
North Tolsta and
Gress to Upper Coll.
Please note that the villages of Aird Tong and Tong appear not to have their own Roll of Honour for World War II.
Further information was obtained from the websites for Hebridean Connections and the Commonwealth War Graves commission. Information about shipping lost between 1939 and 1945 was taken from uboat.net.
Portraits for men from the Parishes of Lochs and Uig are displayed with permission from the relevant Historical Societies; others were sourced from the Stornoway Gazettes of 1939 and 1940.
Whilst every care was taken to transcribe the information accurately, no claim to error-free representation of this information is made.
2.1.2 War Memorials
The Lewis War Memorial, which rises prominently above the town of Stornoway, consists of the tower, with the 23 memorial plaques outside. They were moved outside, after water ingress caused structural damage to the tower, which rendered access unsafe. The plaques list about 450 names of people who lost their lives as a result of the Second World War.
There are another fifteen local memorials scattered across the landmass of Lewis. The amount of information on war casualties presented on these memorials varies from location to location. All the island memorials have been photographed and transcribed by myself, with the result on display on the Scottish War Memorials Project.
I have visited all of the 22 cemeteries in Lewis. In the first instance, I looked for the distinctive Commonwealth War Graves Commission gravestones. Latterly, I also checked for private gravestones which refer to family members being lost due to war service. The total number of gravestones in Lewis and Harris stands at around 450 – that excludes those that are marked as Known unto God. Photographs of all war-related gravestones that I found in all cemeteries, including those in Barra and Uist, are on display on the Scottish War Graves Forum.
2.1.4 Commonwealth War Grave Commission
The CWGC website is an invaluable tool in gathering information on the casualties whose names were found using the above sources. Many of the entries relating to the First World War quote an address of next-of-kin, which makes it very easy to link it to an island address. The greatest problem is often the lack of information provided and the limited number of first and second names. Looking for a Donald Macleod (e.g.) is like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. Errors in the Roll of Honour make it difficult to track some of the casualties. However, there are a number of names that genuinely do not feature in the CWGC files.
2.1.5 Historical Societies
There are roughly a dozen historical societies in the Isle of Lewis, and one in Harris. Some, like Back and Point, are dormant; others, like Uig and Stornoway are very active. The main problem appears to be monetary and human resources. Through personal contact, I have gathered additional details from the Carloway, East Loch Roag and Lochs areas. I am much endebted to the societies for the assistance they were able to give. There is nothing like local knowledge.
2.1.6 Hebridean Connections
The Hebridean Connections project, aimed at digitising Hebridean ancestry, culture and history, has proven to be a very useful resource for looking up individuals from Lochs, Uig and Bernera. The site aims to encompass the whole of the Hebrides, but a funding cut has delayed that indefinitely. I’ll go so far as to criticise those in charge of funding the project for withdrawing their financial support.
2.1.7 Overseas Internet resources
The Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders have excellent on-line resources for tracking down casualties who enlisted in their respective expeditionary forces. Veteran Affairs Canada show facsimile copies of attestation papers; the New Zealand Archives have a summary of the enrolment papers with quite a lot of information on public display. Australian Archives have a similar look-up facility.
World War II Tribute for Lewis is presented on the forum of Internet blogging site http://www.blogger.com. This allows to present the casualties from each village or town to be presented on its own blogpost, its own page, and makes it easy to enter additions and amendments. There are 100 pages, one for each village, and one for the town of Stornoway. The sequence on each village’s page is by croft- or house number.