Last address in Lewis: 21 Ballantrushal,
Son of Angus and Annie Macdonald, of 21, Ballantrushal.
Service unit: Royal Naval Reserve, SS Arabis
Service number: 3335A
Date of death: 16 September 1917 at the age of 24
Ship sunk by U-54, 210 miles W of Ushant en route from Sfax to Falmouth
Memorial: Chatham Naval Memorial, panel 26
Local memorial: North Lewis, Borve
Neil is shown in the 1901 census at 21 Ballantrushal, aged 10, at home with his parents Angus (42) and Ann (40) as well as his siblings Margaret (16), Mary (14), Chirsty (7), Angus (4) and John (1).
His brother Angus was killed in action in 1917, serving the Seaforths. John served in the Trawler section of the RNR and survived the war.
It is with deep regret that it was learned here last Friday (19 October 1917) that Neil Macdonald RNR, son of Angus Macdonald, 21 Ballantrushal, had lost his life at sea when his ship, the "Arabas", was lost on 16th September. Before being sent to sea as a gunner on a merchantman, Neil underwent a course of training in the gunnery school. Deceased was of a kindly disposition and spright character, a most dutiful son, and a general favourite with all his acquaintances. He will be greatly missed by a wide circle of friends. The sad intelligence was conveyed in a letter from Custom House, stating that Neil was missing from among the survivors of his veessel. This is the second severe blow that has fallen on Mr and Mrs Macdonald through the war, their son Angus having been killed in France last April. The youngest - and now only remaining - son is on patrol duty. Much sympathy is felt for Mr and Mrs Macdonald and other relatives, and the whole community mourns with them in their irrepairable loss.