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As the 106th anniversary of the Battle of Arras approaches next month, Tobar an Dualchais ~ Kist o Riches is flagging up the songwriting and poetry of Claddach Baleshare Great War veteran Donald Macdonald.

In a 1966 interview, the year before he died, Donald Macdonald vividly recalls the horror of war, the muddy trenches, and the sight of people dying around him.

He recites ‘Nam Bithinn mar Eun air Sgiathaibh’ a song he composed in 1917. Through the song’s lyrics, he says that if he were a bird and could fly, he would not stop from France until he reached North Uist.

Dr John MacInnes was the School of School of Scottish Studies fieldworker who captured the priceless interview.

Donald Macdonald was born in 1887 and was from Coruna, Claddach Baleshare. He began writing poetry at 13. His experiences on the Western Front greatly influenced his poetry.

You can hear the interview here.

Image credit: Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath