Ciara in the running for Legion prize

BY LISA FALCONER

A Skye schoolgirl has been shortlisted in a Legion Scotland competition looking at the impact of World War One on communities.

The nationwide competition invited schools to investigate how the outbreak of World War One impacted on families in their local communities and the effect that it had on the day-to-day lives around them.

Kilmuir Primary School Gaelic-medium pupil Ciara MacKenzie’s investigation has been named in the top 10, with the overall winner to be decided by public vote. The winning entry will receive a unique VIP experience for 10 pupils at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

As part of the competition P7 Ciara and her fellow pupils studied the lives of those commemorated on the Kilmuir War Memorial and visited the Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre.

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The names on the local war memorial highlight the impact that World War I had on Kilmuir

Among those researched were Alick Mackenzie of Hungladder — who enlisted with the Cameron Highlanders in Kilmuir in November 1914 aged 19 and was killed at the Battle of Loos the following year — and brothers Andrew and Ewen MacNab of Kilmuir.

Andrew was one of 43 crew lost when the SS ‘Minnehoma’ was torpedoed while Ewen was killed in the trenches of Tilloy in 1918.

Eleven-year-old Ciara also reported on Harrapool man William Macdonald, who fought in all the main battles of 1915 and 1916 and was wounded at the third battle of Ypres, later dying of his injuries.

In her report, Ciara writes: “The First World War had a big impact on people here in Skye because lots of the men were away fighting and there was no-one left to work the crofts and then the women and children had to do it. This meant that they missed out on school. The lack of men working on the crofts also meant that there were food shortages.”

Kilmuir head teacher Jenny Kiss said Ciara was “very excited” to be shortlisted, adding: “It is really nice she has done so well.”

To vote for Ciara see legionscotland .org.uk/schools/school-competition-vote. Voting closes on Monday 11th May.