PRIVATE DONALD STEWART
16TH OCTOBER 1914 AGE 25
BURIED: BOULOGNE EASTERN CEMETERY, FRANCE
This inscription conflates two verse from Psalm 16.
Verse 8: I have set the Lord always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Verse 11: Thou wilt show me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.
Donald Stewart was a reservist. Having served with the Seaforth Highlanders in India for six years, he was called up on the outbreak of war. The 2nd Battalion crossed to France on 23 August 1914 as part of the original Expeditionary Force. The battalion fought at Le Cateau, Nery, the Marne, the Aisne and Messines. Stewart died of wounds in a base hospital at Etaples on 16 October but it's not possible to tell when he was wounded.
His inscription speaks of his father's absolute belief in God. Father, Murdo Stewart, a carter, had at one time been a missionary at Arivruach, a small community in the centre of the Isle of Lewis no more than 15 miles from Stornoway where the family lived. A missionary? Yes, for the Free Church of Scotland, the part that had remained outside the 1900 union with the United Presbyterian of Scotland, formed.
Murdo needed his faith. His wife and a daughter died before the First World War in which two sons, Donald and James, both died, and his youngest son, Neil, died whilst serving with the Merchant Navy in the Second. Murdo himself died in 1949.