Ian Macdonald, the C.E.’s son, was in to-night saying good-bye. He reports at Dingwall to-morrow. Murdo Montgomery of the present Sixth goes off next week. I had a long letter from Mr. Tait this week. He is with the R.G.A. at Spike Island in Cork Harbour. He had been examined again by another Medical Board and placed in a lower category – C1. We are trying to get him back again. Nothing more has yet been done about Mr. Ewen and Mr. Maciver… Stornoway, 17th October. 1917

Extract from letter from Mr Gibson to Jean Gibson 17 October 1917

In Mr Gibson’s letter to Jean this week, he has news on a couple of local men currently serving in the war, as well as another couple of lads who are leaving soon to serve. This letter also sees the first mention by the Gibsons’ of Lord Leverhulme’s interest in buying the Island. Mr Gibson’s comment regarding ‘Port Sunlight’ refers to the model village Lord Leverhulme built for his soap factory workers in Liverpool. The next in our series of letters from the W.J. Gibson collection held by Museum nan Eilean. Please get in touch if you have any comments: archives@cne-siar.gov.uk

Jean dear,

Mrs. Morison was down to-night seeing Mamma, and said that when Maud wrote, you had had a sore throat.  We hope it has not been bad, and that it is better.  Poor She-ann – that is a hard way of having to start a session.  We’ll be waiting to hear on Saturday morning what your report of yourself is.

The week has been quiet.  Lawrence Bain has been home on leave and also Roderick Macleod (”Roddy Hen”).  The latter had been wounded a second time (I had not heard of this) and had just got out after two months in an English hospital.  He had been wounded within three days after rejoining when convalescent from his former wound.  On Wednesday forenoon when I came in I found a figure with a black veil on at one the beehives.  This turned out to be Mr. Anderson back from Aberdeen to see how his stocks had been getting on.  On Wed. evening Mr. Anderson and Lawrence were in to tea & during the evening Mr. Clark, Laxdale, came in and stayed for a bit.  We had a long ceilidh round the fire on things in general, and the war, and bees.  L. goes away again to-night.  They don’t have long at home.

Ian Macdonald, the C.E.’s son, was in to-night saying good-bye.  He reports at Dingwall to-morrow.  Murdo Montgomery of the present Sixth goes off next week.  I had a long letter from Mr. Tait this week.  He is with the R.G.A. at Spike Island in Cork Harbour.  He had been examined again by another Medical Board and placed in a lower category – C1.  We are trying to get him back again.   Nothing more has yet been done about Mr. Ewen and Mr. Maciver.

Mr. Clark had been south at an E.I.S. meeting and had seen Bessie.  The present intention is for her to take the two classes she failed in over again and Anatomy, but she was to seek the advice of the Profs. on the matter.

Mr. W.J. Clarke has gone through to Aberdeen with Bessie, meaning to leave her there for a holiday to see if that will brighten her up.  I hope it will, poor lassie!

I am sure Prof. Thomson’s class will prove interesting, and with only eight students you will get even more than “a wee grain special attention.”  By this time I suppose the English and Natural are under weigh [sic].  We’ll hear your impressions in due course. 

Lord Leverhulme (Sunlight Soap) crossed the Minch at the same time as Mr. Anderson.  It is being said in Stornoway that he is a possible purchaser for the Island.  Have you visions of Stornoway being converted into Port Sunlight and Lewis breaking out into an eruption of garden cities?

Barrie has been off colour this day or two and has had no appetite.  Mamma had to visit the butcher to-night and get him a wee bit steak, which he took much comfort in.  The “little Nipper” has been doing great execution in the washhouse – a bag of six (mice?) I think within the week.  Had the plumber in at the week-end to the heating system.  Horrid mess, and many bayonets forgotten!

Our best love, and hopes that you are all right again. 

Papa.

Ref: 1992.50.64ii/L3

Transcribed by Barry Shelby, Museum Visitor Assistant

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