Permanent link to this item
THE PIETY OF RESERVISTS, Issue 15697, 11 January 1915
THE PIETY OF RESERVISTS
The .story of the engagement fought by the f'.irmania and the Cap Trafalgar ia known to all. The Cai> Trafalgar was thn very latest, thing in well-equipped passenger liners, and. her guns were modern and of long range. "Well done" was the Admiralty's message of congratulation to the Carmania after she had sunk her enemy. The congratulation was well deserved.' Ah ! hut there was more than n, battered ship. Lives had been lost. Men were wounded. One of these latter was Donald Macleay. 1 saw him first on the, day after the Carmania. came into port with" battered sides and with decks ripped and gashed. Already he had h»e:i brought into hospital. To heal those wounds torn opeVt by bursting shell thera was now the expert skill of eminent surgeons and the gentle ministry of nursing sisters. To comfort his spirit there were, available for hirn the spiritual services of a minister of his church. One arm had been amputated, and otherwise he was terribly injured ; but he was perfectly calm, and did not. appear to be suffering great pain. After inquiries as to his personal comfort, and finding that it would n'ot strain his powers unduly to speak to me, I inquired what exactly had happened to him. —Carrying a Shell.— " f was carrying a shell in my iwrj arms to No. 2 gun on the. port side, when one of the German shells came and struck it on the point, and the, .shell hurst and scattered about me. 1 don's know how I was not in hits. I "' No, T did not lose consciousness, but | my blood was running and running, for ! they could not discover all my wounds, anil soon I grew very faint." I was informed that if he had not been one of the strongest of men and in perfect health of, body he could not have survived. But his bones had been grown under bracing skies; lie was a native of the parish of Barvas, Stornoway. A fisherman by vocation, he had spent hi. 1 ? years in the. pursuit of that calling, now around the Hebrides, now off Fraserburgh, and once a year as far south as Lowestoft and Yarmouth. This year"* fishing was the poorest that he could remember. He was one of the hired hands, and ''not one of us got a. pound to ourselves." His boat was in Fraserburgh waters when he and the other Reservists were callod up. It was on &• Sabbath that the summons came to them. There wes no time for them to take their clin:..-->-. They entrained forthwith, and travelled direct to Portsmouth. Two day/- in nav..l barracks, a week in Whale IsTiiyi for gunnery training, and they to n k train, some hundreds of then:, t-i Liverpool, where they joined the converted liner Carmania. She steamed out at. niuht. ---Thought He Wonid Die.~Donnld continued : " 1 was that si,id when we came, north to < dhraitar. Them places, were too hot for -i.e. They mole off my arm, and took the photo of my lag, and then got out four hits of she!!. I thought that 1 nas <■■> di". and I was that thankful that 1 was to have some* time to prepare. The oilier fellows had no time at all." " Hut. Pona'd. thanks to your splendid constitution. y<>i: are now to be spared for many yenr*, and even without your arm. yours may yet be a more useful lite than before." " And ha*vicr. Aye. I'm thinking th.it 1 will be happier. I'm thinking that I'm nearer to God than 1 was; and that i may be s'-atvering to others what Go-i has done for me." Taking up his Gaelic New TesMm '.it, I remarked : " T am sorry that i cannot read it to you in Gaelic.' 'Ay. it's a' (iaelic that we ai-? speaking when we. arc at home. No. that is not my name that is on it. It was other fellows that wrote in it. When th"y would get it. they would he writing ttc.inames in it. Ay. they like tc write their nam"s in the book of life." Reservists' Piety. Several of the Carmania's officers had spoken to me of the excellent personal characters of the Reservists that they had got from the Lewis, and how thcr genuine piety was spoken of throughout the ship. Accordingly T inquired of Donald : "' Have all the re.-«rvr- men front your part, been diligent students of th< Scriptures like yourself*"' " Ay. we rend in it morning and even. ins. At the fishing, nlipti there -,vas nn minister or missionary, we would hav» a meetin,': by ourselves." At this point a veil-built. R.N.IT sr-s----msn of the. same ship came into too nurd and advanced to the bed. A pi/lure n pale features of'the invalid. '• This is Donald, my brother. Ay. hft, too. is Donald. It i,s the. fashion in our place for brothers to have the same name. Donald. T want to give hirn a bit. o' .the she!'." The invalid made as though he wou:d open a drawer in the. small table beside Ids bed. Alas! he. realised that the hand that would Siave performed th" office was jrone. '• Pull out the drawer. Donald." —Gruesome Mementoes.---Donald pulled out the drawer, and produced two pieces of the shell that had wreaked its vengeance on his brother's body. The pieces wore part of the ror« and' part of the exterior. " Give them to him, Donald." I carried them home, and they lie, on mv desk as I write —two hideous symbolr of that 'blood and iron" school of Germans, who are in these days spilling ths life blood of hundreds of the choice young men of the United Kingdom, from Lsnd's End to John o' Groats, and from Kent to Stornoway. But of all the young men that, have, fallen or may yet" fall, 1 doubt if any shall have a nonler nature, less sophisticated disposition, or more grateful heart for all the goodness of his God than Donald Macleay of Barvas, this strong son of the North, this loyal servant or his country, this faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. I* have seen him every day, and can say the. fragrance of the true believer is felt' as you enter his presence. J believe that "of many here it 'an he said truly, and of mo also, that wc are nearer Uf Uod eiuee we met him.->=~J.B.ii.
THE PIETY OF RESERVISTS, Issue 15697, 11 January 1915
Use these buttons to limit your searches to particular dates, titles, and more.
Print, save, zoom in and more.