The Society has published two books which are currrently available

1. Gravestones and Memorials

The Strachur and District Local History Society was formed in 2007. It  launched its first publication, "Gravestones and Memorials", in 2010 which proved to be of particular interest to members of the Clan Maclachlan Society but also relevant to anyone whose family roots are in Strachur and the district. Families from Australia, New Zealand and U.S.A have all found it helpful in their genealogical research. The second (revised) edition is now in print and offered for sale.

The Strathlachlan section starts off with an historical background written by Vice Chairman Donald MacLauchlan. It begins with the battle of Culloden's impact on the Clan; the 17th Chief was killed there. It gives a potted history of the old Kilmorie church and its replacement, which was erected at the end of the 18th century. The successful consolidation plan for Kilmorie which was carried out by the Lachlan Trust is mentioned. There is a photo of the entrance and the new gates.

The core of the book, as the title implies, is a listing of the MI (monumental inscriptions) for both Strathlachlan and Strachur graveyards. To assist in locating individual graves the old section of the former is divided into octants plus Kilmorie Chapel. The latter contains the memorial tablets of the Clan Chiefs starting with George who died in 1877.

Unfortunately it has not been possible to list all the MI. With the passage of time, some of the inscriptions have deteriorated to the extent that they are not all legible. For example, on stone #20 in the SW octant (Duncan McLachlan and family), some key words and dates appear to have crumbled in the third millennium. Another problem is that the graveyard is surrounded by a ring of trees, many of which are over 200 years old. A few have already fallen and other trees have dropped major limbs. This has resulted in several gravestones being broken and others knocked down, some face up and others face down. If any clan member can assist the society by providing some of the missing information, we would be most grateful. If the descendants of the ancestors whose gravestones have fallen wish to have them re-erected, we can put them in touch with local monumental masons who can provide this service.

The book also records war memorials in the area. Of particular interest to Clan Maclachlan members are the flags flown by the battleship HMS Royal Oak at the battle of Jutland in 1916 and at the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet in 1918. The Captain of the Royal Oak at that time was Crawford Maclachlan, the present Chief's Grand-uncle. The flags were  mounted on the west wall of Strathlachlan church but have now been returned to the custody of the Maclachlan family.. The war memorial in Strachur Bay bears the names of two men from the district who died in the Boer War, one from the castle (Capt Donald Maclachlan), and one from a croft in the strath (Pte Neil Crawford) related to a member of the society who still lives locally.

Miscellaneous memorials include the ones to Sir Harry Lauder's son and the family of the Macleans of Strachur. Sir Fitzroy Maclean is widely thought to have been the model for Ian Fleming's hero, James Bond.

For easy reference the names of all the individuals mentioned in the book are listed in the index.

If you would like to order a copy of the book to be sent to you by mail please follow the link on the left.

 

 

2. Return to Loch Fyne, by Eoin McArthur

Eoin McArthur and his family spent their summer holidays at St. Catherine's on the eastern shore of upper Loch Fyne for many years in the 1920s and 1930s; it was the home of his father's parents. In 1962 he purchased a house at St. Catherine’s to be used as a holiday home, and in 1984 moved permanently to this house on retirement.

When he retired to live on the shores of Loch Fyne his interest grew in the surrounding area and in the wider history of the McArthur Clan and Argyll generally. He gathered information from many sources and recorded it , so that what emerged out of these notes was a kind of scrapbook of the district. Eoin acknowledged his debt to the authors of the many books he read, as well as all the people he listened to over the years who had a personal knowledge of the district.

But it was Eoin's gift of narrative that wove his collection of historical fact and whimsical anecdote into a coat of many colours. Each turn of the page, like a twist of the kaleidoscope, displays some new gem for our amusement and delight.

Many rural communities in times gone by had a local history composed of colourful individuals and spirited interactions between them - but not every place had a bard to capture that history as Eoin did for the cradle of his youth and the armchair of his retirement. He is remembered with affection; his passing is mourned by his many friends and this wee book, his legacy to us all, ensures that he will not soon be forgotten.

If you would like to order a copy of the book to be sent to you by mail please follow the link on the left.