Vat

The Aftermath

 

After the event 102 people had to be accommodated and fed on an island with only one proper dwelling house. Women and the cabin passengers and some of the crew were accommodated in Vatersay house, the rest in a farm steading, primitive black houses, stables and pigsty. With some of the survivors being told to mind the pigs. Most of the locals could only speak Gaelic so communications were difficult and food was scarce. Hospitality initially was grudging as the tenant of the farm a Mr Donald Mclellan was away and his brother was in charge. No organized return to civilisation either with the passengers having to make their own way back to Glasgow and Liverpool the first group of 30 leaving Castlebay in Barra on the third of October.

Extract taken from. The Wreck of the Annie Jane.

Donald Fraser, a Joiner from Inverness steerage passenger on the ship              “We had nothing to eat, and on the 29th we went to a field to dig potatoes, but were stopped by Mclellan’s grieve. (1) We then went to the brother of Mr Mclellan who told us there were plenty of potatoes and to go dig them. The grieve again interfered, when the brother came and scolded him, and we were never troubled afterwards. When Mr Maclellan came home, he consented to our digging a field that was threatened with disease.

(1) Scottish term; meaning farm manager.