Letter from Reef, 1920

After the Reef Raiders were tried, briefly imprisoned and let home to a hero’s welcome in 1914, the Great War intervened before anything was done about the lotting of Reef. Even after the end of the war, it appeared that nothing was going to happen. The following is from the men of Kneep and Valtos, most of whom had taken a part in the raids of 1913.

To the Secretary
Board of Agriculture

30 Valtos

19th February 1920

Dear Sir,

Small Holdings – Farm of Reef

We are informed by the Secretary for Scotland that he has communicated with your Board with regard to our application for the farm of Reef for small holdings. we are demobilised soldiers and saiors unemployed since September and as Lord Leverhulme has discharged all persons from raiding districts from his work, and, in any case, as the work is only in Stornoway and 34 miles from us we are debarred from benefiting by it. We are therefore compelled to begin Spring work on the Reef Farm. If you will send the Commissioners of Small Holdings to us for the purpose of dividing the farm into crofts etc. and putting us into possession as we trust you will, we will delay operations to the 1st of March. If they are not here by that time we will under the necessity of beginning work as a means to our livelihood.

We were promised this farm 6 years ago and as there are now 8 years since we first lodged our application to your Board we now wait what communication we get from your Board before beginning operations.

We remain, Dear Sir,
Yours respectfully,

Murdo Mackay
Murdo Morrison
Allan Morrison
Norman Mackay
Donald Maclennan
Andrew Mackay
John Morrison
Donald Morrison
Malcolm Macritchie
Donald Matheson