A set of military medals due to go under the hammer at the end of the month record the heroism of an island piper more than 100 years ago.
Auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb (DNW) of Mayfair in London have a miniature dress set of ten medals won by Gordon Highlanders piper Kenneth Macleod of Arnol, who died at home in 1938.
The medals include a Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) presented in 1900 after heroic service in South Africa during the Boer War, at the Battle of Elandslaagte in October 1899.
The citation says: “‘Corporal MacLeod, shot through the arm, stood up in the hottest of fire and blew like mad and his men advanced.’ His bagpipes were replaced by silver-mounted pipes by his Colonel.
Also among the medals is the Order of the Red Eagle, presented to the piper in 1911 by the Crown Prince of Germany, after he had played for him in India.
Contemporary reports said that, when the Great War broke out in 1914, Macleod ‘gravely removed the order from his breast.”
After retirement in 1912, Macleod rejoined his old regiment and served as Pipe-Major with the 9th (Service) Battalion.
He was later posted to recruiting duties at Stornoway, and for his services during the Great War was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.
DNW, who will auction the set of 10 medals at their sale of orders, decorations, medals and miltaria on February 28th, have valued the set at between £300 and £400.
Malcom Macdonald of Stornoway Historical Society said: “The medals are minatures so they are not the original medals – they are less valuable as a result. Kenneth was known as ‘Am Piobair’ and/or ‘Coinneach Moigean’ and was the second of five sons.
“Many Lewismen served under the colours for King and Queen in the days following the Battle of Culloden. The Highland Regiments were raised shortly afterwards and eventually took on colourful names like the Gordons, Camerons, Black Watch and of course the Seaforths. Lewismen served as regular soldiers in India (Assaye), Sicily (Maida), Egypt, Belgium (Waterloo), Spain (Corunna) Java, Crimea, South Africa and many other countries prior to the First World War.”