The Death of Hector Maclean

Hector Maclean, who wrote to his sister Annie (Nurse Ruadh) from the Transvaal in 1902, died of enteric fever five months later.  From the Highland News (?), 1903:

Sad Death of a Young Man.  Information has been received at Crowlista, Uig, from Heidleberg, South Africa, of the death from enteric fever of Hector Maclean, a native of the parish.  Deceased, who was a promising young man, was for some years employed in Edinburgh with Mr D Stewart’s well-known firm.  About three years ago he offered his services on the formation of Baden Powell’s Police Force, and was accepted.  Mr Maclean served in this force with much acceptance to his officers, until last March.  He left Baden Powell’s Force at that time to start business on his own account, along with an Edinburgh gentleman.  Hector was on his way to Edinburgh when he caught enteric feer, and died, as already stated, at Heidleberg.  Much sympathy is felt for his widowed mother and family, who are well known and highly respected in the district of Crowlista, Uig.

There is a slight discrepancy here as he appears to have taken ill in February and died while still serving in the SAC.  The following is from his colleague Cpl D Morrison to his mother; we don’t know if Cpl Morrison was also a Lewis lad, though it seems likely.

South African Constabulary
Klep River Station
Transvaal, South Africa

Dear Madam,

I am sorry I have again to address you on this occasion.  In case you did not receive my last letter dated 9 April.  First of all I hope and trust that you are all well in health.  Although I know perfectly well that you are sore hearted.  For your dear & beloved son, Hector, this sad news which I am sure you have had long ago.  And indeed it is a very sad news.  For a brighter and kinder and most respectable fellow in all his manners and doings could not be seen & I must say that he was well liked by all who knew him in this country.  Therefore it makes us miss him more.  But one thing let us hope that all his sorrows and troubles are ended and he is now resting where he will have no more troubles.  But always in Glory on the right hand of our Saviour, Dear Madam.  Poor Hector took sick in the middle of February and was attended to in the SAC Hospital during that time.  I went to see him twice and he was getting on Emmensely.  He was always able to get out of bed and walk around the Hospital.  The last time I seen him was on the 17th March.  He had then emproved so that he told me he was to get out of hospital on the 22nd & would call on me on his way back to the troop.  But to our sorrow he apparently got Enteric Fever and brought us this sad and painful news.  Dear Madam you can not believe by my sayso how much he was respected by all his fellow mates in the troup which he belonged.  And as for Dear Hector and I we were like brothers since we came to this country.  Therefore the news is very very sad to me & for ever my love is on his dust.  I am deeply in sympathy with you Madam who must feel the blow most severe.  As space & time will not permit me to say any more at present, again accept my greatest sympathy in your sad Bereavement.

I remain, yours faithfully

972 Corpl D Morrison
SAC Klep River Station
Transvaal South Africa

I will be very pleased to hear from you at any time.