My father, John Macdonald, a young Gaelic speaker from a crofting community in Moidart, goes to war!
From mobilization in 1914 to the Armistice in 1918, he was at the sharp end of operations from Suvla Bay in Gallipoli to the Somme on the western front. In Gallipoli he was a battalion sniper with his unit 1st Lovat Scouts. On the western front he was a trained sniper and observer, having graduated from the elite Lovat Scouts Sharpshooter (L. S. S) course in Beauly in early 1917. This is his incredible story.
Over the years I collected and tabulated data in the form of letters, personal diary notes, detailed accounts by men who served with him in the battle zones of Gallipoli and the Somme, and reels of tapes detailing events orally recorded by himself.
In relation to the Somme battle zone where the L. S. S special sniper units operated, little is known as the building housing archives relating to this elite special operation's unit was totally destroyed during a Germanbombing raid on London in 1941 — a direct hit. This being the case, I took it upon myself with the help of my friend, Allan Henderson, to document this very important period of military history, as otherwise it would fade into historical oblivion. I couldn’t let this happen.
“I totally agree with the old cliché that music never stands still. Scottish music in particular has been in “fast-forward” gear for many years. The younger generation love it, but the older age group don't really know what to make of it!