Fàilte! (Welcome!)

Fàilte! (Welcome!)
This blog is the result of my ongoing research into the people, places and events that have shaped the Western Isles of Scotland and, in particular, the 'Siamese-twins' of Harris and Lewis.
My interest stems from the fact that my Grandfather was a Stornowegian and, until about four years ago, that was the sum total of my knowledge, both of him and of the land of his birth.
I cannot guarantee the accuracy of everything that I have written (not least because parts are, perhaps, pioneering) but I have done my best to check for any errors.
My family mainly lived along the shore of the Sound of Harris, from An-t-Ob and Srannda to Roghadal, but one family 'moved' to Direcleit in the Baighs...

©Copyright 2011 Peter Kerr All rights reserved

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Lewis War Memorial - Concrete & Carpenter Work

As can be seen in this article from the Stornoway Historical Society , when the Lewis War Memorial was constructed the Concrete and Carpenter work was performed by
'Messrs Kerr and Macfarlane of Stornoway'.
The manner in which this is recorded suggests that Kerr and Macfarlane were business partners in the building trade and this raises the question as to precisely who they were.
Neither name is very common on the island - in 1901 there were 13 male Macfarlane's and 7 men called Kerr in Stornoway - hence if the contractors of the early 1920s were sons of the town then there's a good chance that they are to be found amongst these twenty individuals. The census provides little assistance in terms of occupations and so the Macfarlane side will be left for now. Amongst the Kerr men we have the three sons of Alexander John (who were born in 1884, 1897 and 1904) and the three sons of Malcolm (who were born in 1897, 1901 and 1902).
From these six, the one that seems the most likely to me is Donald who was born in 1884, who's trade was that of a Carpenter, who survived WWI having served with the CORCC, and who died in Stornoway in 1935. He would have been in his mid-thirties at the time of the construction (the others at most in their early-to-mid-twenties) and his death in 1935 meant he wasn't around to tell the story to his nieces and nephews.

I could be totally wrong (and unless I can find the records of the Memorial's construction that remains a strong possibility!) but IF Messrs Kerr and Macfarlane of Stornoway included a Stornoway-born Kerr then Donald's definitely in the running.

Update: Donald's death certificate show that he was a 'Building Contractor' living at 10 Bayhead Street, Stornoway as of the 14th December 1935. This supports the hypothesis that it was indeed he who helped provide the 'Concrete and Carpenter Work'.

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