There are many Scottish families who were wiped out as a result of the two world wars and whose harrowing plight has never been recorded (your report, 15 August).
One of those families is that of Marion MacLeod, Balallan, Isle of Lewis, a blind widow who was left alone in her croft house after her four sons were conscripted.
Three of her sons were killed in the First World War, along with her 15-year-old grandson who had been in action in the front line at the astonishingly young age of 14 – Donald MacLeod Snaddon, Royal Scots Fusiliers, killed in January 1916.
He is the youngest soldier interred at Lussenthoek Military Cemetery in Belgium.
Mrs MacLeod’s two remaining grandsons were lost at sea in the Second World War – Donald MacLeod was working in Peru in 1939 but paid his passage back to the UK to join the merchant navy.
He was lost in January 1943, when SS St Sunniva (Aberdeen), a convoy rescue ship, was lost with all hands off Sable Island, Canada.
His brother Angus John MacLeod, Royal Navy, was lost in January 1944, when the naval tug, HMS Adherent, sank in foul weather in the North Atlantic.
The brothers were drowned within a year of each other.
Donald J MacLeod
Bridge of Don