Ewen MacAskill

Shared from Island Voices/Guthan nan Eilean.

macaskillEwen MacAskill from North Uist talks in Gaelic to Mary Morrison about the impact of the First World War on various family members and the wider community.

As with many Uist families there were members with direct experience of the war, and some who did not return – and those who did would often not speak about it.

The impacts on the community were brought into sharp focus through his mother’s position as Grimsay postmistress, and therefore deliverer of telegrams to other local families.

This short video was filmed by Laura Donkers for the “An fheadhainn tha laighe sàmhach” project, led by North Uist Historical Society.

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Donald MacCormick: Highland Soldiers

DonaldBooks

Shared from Island Voices/Guthan nan Eilean.

Donald MacCormick, the well-known book-collector, talks in Gaelic to Archie Campbell about the contributions and sacrifices made by Highland soldiers in the First World War, and the reputation they earned.

As the statistics he cites make clear, it came at a heavy price, especially amongst the pipers.

This is another short film, shot by Laura Donkers, made as part of the An fheadhainn tha laighe sàmhach project led by North Uist Historical Society, Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath, which is collecting some very distinctive “island voices” that have a special tale to tell.

Am Pàipear Report on Exhibition Opening

The December issue of our local Am Pàipear carries a comprehensive report on the opening of our exhibition, together with some lovely pictures of the event.

It really was a very special occasion, and we’re grateful for all the contributions across the generations.

You can read the Am Pàipear report here, or just click on the picture below.

 

Norman Maclean: Òran do Sgoilearan Chàirinis

Shared from Island Voices/Guthan nan Eilean

Norman Maclean’s grandfather (also Norman – Tormod Ailein) was lost at sea in the First World War, when Norman’s mother was still young.

In another contribution to the project, Mary Morrison arranged for Norman to visit Sgoil Chàirinis, where his mother was a pupil, to recite this specially composed Gaelic song, and help the children learn to sing it.

In the video clip below Norman gives a crystal clear rendition of the words.

With his kind agreement, a written version is also made available on Clilstore so you can listen and read at the same time. Click on this link – Unit 2307 – to go to the transcription.

Isa MacKillop: Companaich m’ Òige

Shared from Island Voices/Guthan nan Eilean

The latest addition to the project is a song, courtesy of Isa MacKillop, well-known throughout the community for her longstanding commitment to, and support for, the passing on of local Gaelic traditions and music. As she explains in her words of introduction, the song – “Companaich m’ òige” (companions of my youth) – was composed by her paternal uncle Iain Archie MacAskill, the “Bard of Berneray”. He returned from the war, while many of his comrades did not. He later moved to Australia, and composed this song there.

The song can be found in the collection “An ribheid chiùil”, edited by Alick Morrison, published in 1961. Copies are hard to come by these days – though here’s an interesting story from another Island Voices contributor on how at least one special copy found its way back to Berneray…

This recording was made by Mary Morrison.

Cathie Laing: Sgìths ‘s Cruadal

Shared from Island Voices/Guthan nan Eilean

Seo pìos a chaidh a chlàradh leis a’ phròiseict, a tha air a ruith le Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath.

An seo cluinnibh sibh Cathie Laing a’ bruidhinn mu na cuimhneachan a th’ aice air a seanair.

Tha dealbh aice dheth, agus tha i ag innse dhuinn mar a dh’fhuiling e sa chogadh, agus mu na buaidh a bh’ aig na thachair dha air a bheatha agus air a theaghlach.

Alec Macaulay and the Land Raids

Shared from Island Voices/Guthan nan Eilean Retired policeman Alec Macaulay talks in Gaelic to Archie Campbell about the land raids on the west side of North Uist that took place after the First World War, in which his own father was involved. A serious business, but not without some lighter moments, as Alec relates…

Alec was recorded for the project, “An fheadhainn tha laighe sàmhach”, run by Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Dòmhnall Ruadh Chorùna and the Great War

Shared from Island Voices/Guthan nan Eilean

This day, 4th August 2014, marks 100 years since Great Britain entered the First World War – An Cogadh Mòr.

Here, retired headteacher Willie Macdonald reads out extracts from the emotionally intense poetry of the North Uist bard Dòmhnall Ruadh Chorùna, and discusses them in Gaelic and English. The conversation moves on to focus on the impact on families, including Willie’s own, of the losses suffered in the First World War, and the land raids undertaken by returning soldiers hardened by conflict, and willing to face imprisonment in pursuit of their claims to decent crofting land.

Willie was recorded by Mary Morrison and Laura Donkers for the project, run by Comunn Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath. You can find the book of Dòmhnall Ruadh’s poetry, with full parallel English translations, via this link to the Gaelic Books Council.