Obituaries (1981)

Major General J.F.M. Macdonald of Heiskeir and Skaebost CB DSO OBE.

The death took place, on 29th May 1979, at the age of 71, of Major General John Frederick Matheson MacDonald, late King’s Own Scottish Borderers, of The Grange, Elmswell, Suffolk. He was in command of the 28th British Commonwealth Brigade in Korea in 1951-52 and was awarded the DSO for his coolness in directing operations which led to the capture by storm of the Kowang San summit. General MacDonald was the representative of the Sleat cadet family of Heisker and Skaebost (Clan Domhnaill Hearaich) and became a life member of the Clan Donald Society of Edinburgh in 1959 when stationed at Edinburgh Castle. He is survived by his wife, son and stepdaughter. 

Colonel John (Jock) Macdonald OBE TD. 

We regret the passing on 1st June, 1980 of Colonel John (Jock) MacKinnon MacDonald, of Viewfield, Portree, Skye, in his ninetieth year. Well known and respected throughout the Highlands and Islands, Colonel Jock, who was educated at Portree School and Fettes College, Edinburgh, won several Scottish rugby caps while playing for Edinburgh Wanderers prior to the First World War. During the First World War he was seconded from the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders to the Persian Rifles with the rank of Colonel and was ordered to pursue and capture the then Shah who was a German ally. Although unsuccessful in capturing his quarry, Colonel Jock, succeeded in saving the life of the Shah’s son who later became the Shah whose overthrow and death has had such a profound affect on recent world events. He was one of a group of five officers in St Petersburg, in transit from Persia, when the Russian Revolution broke out in 1917. In the Second World War he served with the Indian Army and commanded a construction unit on the Burma Road. He was awarded the OBE, the Territorial Decoration and the Order of St Stanislov. After his return to his native Skye, he constantly wore the kilt and became a leading figure in piping, shinty, local and national Gaelic Mods. He formed the Isle of Skye Pipe Band and in his honour the pipes wear the red and green MacDonald of the Isles tartan and the drummers, the 79th Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders’ tartan, that of his old regiment. Colonel Jock was a cousin of the late Major General Harry Macdonald, both of whom claimed to be descended from the Keppoch branch of the Clan. Shortly before his death his portrait was painted by his fellow Sgitheanach, Vice-Admiral Sir Roderick Macdonald, KBE and the painting was exhibited for a week in the Richard Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh. He is survived by his wife and grandchildren.

John (Jake) A. MacDonald. 

Gaeldom lost one of its leading personalities and scholars with the death of John (Jake) Alexander MacDonald, Camastianavaig, near Portree, Skye, as the result of a railway accident in Glasgow on Tuesday 8th January 1980 while on his way to visit a sick friend. Mr MacDonald, who was 60, had recently retired from the post of head of the Gaelic Department at Jordanhill College of Education in Glasgow which he had held since 1976. He joined the college in 1958 and was active in promoting the Gaelic language and culture throughout his career, particularly learners’ courses and was joint compiler of a recently published Gaelic/English, English/Gaelic dictionary. Jake was a Director of Sabhal Mor Ostaig, the Gaelic College in Skye and a member of the Glasgow Clan Donald Society. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.

William F. Macdonald.

It is with deep regret that we have to intimate the death in Nelson, New Zealand, on 1st July 1980, of Mr William Farquhar Macdonald, a founder member and first Vice-President of the Clan Donald Society of New Zealand. He was made a Life Member on 6th March, 1962 and appointed Patron of the Society at the same time, a position which he held until 1970. We offer our sympathy to this widow and to the Clan Donald Society of New Zealand.

Don Allen Gallamore.

We regret the passing, on 20th January 1981 of Don Allen Gallamore, Southeast Regional Deputy Commissioner Emeritus, Clan Donald USA, at the age of 51. Don Gallamore assisted Donald F. MacDonald and Agnes MacRae Morton in founding the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games 25 years ago. He became a member of Clan Donald, USA in 1955 and a life member of the Clan Donald Society of Edinburgh in 1980. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth, four sons and a daughter to whom we offer our sympathy.