In memory of


Alastair Livingstone of Bachuil

Baron of the Bachuil

Chief of the Highland Clan Maclea




It was with great sadness that islanders heard of the death of Alistair Livingstone who died at his  home on 29 February 2008. Alistair was a much loved figure on Lismore having retired here in 1973 with his wife Valerie and their 5 children.




William Jervis Alastair Livingstone was born in Blantyre, Nyasaland  (now Malawi ) on 1st September 1914.  His father had been in Nyasaland from 1893 as Manager of the Magomero Estates and in 1908 married Kitty MacLachlan from Port Appin, Argyll.  Tragically his father was killed in The Nyasaland uprising of 1915 and his mother returned home to Port Appin with Alastair and his four year old sister Nyasa.


Alastair went to the village school in Port Appin and then to Ardvreck, Crieff and on to Loretto near Edinburgh.   In 1932 he went to Edinburgh University where he graduated MA, LLB.  He was accepted into the Sudan Political Service and went to Clare College Cambridge to study Arabic.


From 1938 -40 he served in Sudan as Assistant District Commissioner.  With the outbreak of World War II, in Khartoum, Sudan, he was commissioned into the 2nd West Yorkshire Regiment and became their Brigade Intelligence Officer.  In 1943, after fighting in campaigns in Eritrea and the Western Desert, he was released from the Army to join the Palestinian Government serving for four years as Assistant District Commissioner in charge of Northern Galilee.


In 1948 he joined the Iraq Petroleum Company as Employment Liaison Officer firstly in Musol and then Basra. Later he was responsible for day to day relations with Government Authorities and had postings in Lebanon, Homs (Syria), Doha, (Qatar) and Damascus (Syria).    In 1966 Alastair was transferred to the Head Office of I.P.C. in London until he retired to Bachuil, the family home, on his beloved island of Lismore in Argyll on the west coast of Scotland in 1973.


In retirement Alastair and his wife Valerie, turned their hands to farming and getting to know the island people.  He took a great interest in local events. In 1976 with about 10 other islanders they formed a Ferry Committee and fought hard to bring the car ferry to the north end of the island.  He was the first Chairman of the newly formed Community Council .  For ten years he was Registrar for Births and Deaths for Lismore. A keen Jacobite he was for ten years Chairman of the 1745 Association and was joint editor of The Muster Roll of the 1745.


As Baron na Bachuil he was a member of the Convention of the Baronage of Scotland and recently,  as the recognised Chief of the Highland Clan MacLea, a member of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs.  The family were formerly known by various names MacDunslave, MacOnlea, MacInlea and Macleay before it was changed in the late 1600,s to Livingstone.  The family are co-arbs of Saint Moluag and today still have the ancient pastoral staff of that saint in safe keeping at Bachuil.


A generous host he loved nothing more than to have his family around him and to entertain friends.


He married Valerie Collins in 1952 and is survived by his wife and five children, Niall, Deirdre, Catriona, Morag and Sandy and six grandchildren.

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