.......Chivalry in the 20th Century .......
Iain MacMillan MacAulay of Ardencaple, Commander of Clan MacAulay, has died at the age of 82 leaving, with his wife, two sons to continue his work of uniting all those of the MacAulay name into one clan.
The origins of the MacAulays lie in three areas ~ Dunbarton and the Lennox, the Isle of Lewis, and Sutherland and Ross. Those of Lewis and of Sutherland and Ross are probably related, possibly descended from Olaf the Black, King of Man (1223-1237). Those of Dunbarton and the Lennox are claimed to descend from a younger son of Alwin, Earl of the Lennox at the end of the 12th century. A century later Aulay (Olaf) MacAulay appears in the Ragman Roll. In the late 16th century Sir Aulay MacAulay of Ardencaple is listed as a principal vassal of the Earldom of Lennox.
The castle and lands of Ardencaple were sold in 1767 by the 12th Chief to the Duke of Argyll, since which time the clan has been chiefless. Iain MacAulay sought to rectify this and after creating clan associations in Scotland, North America and New Zealand he initiated the proceedings to be proclaimed as 13th Chief. With only one dissenting voice the Clan voted for his name to go forward to the Lord Lyon, but this led only to him being recognised as MacAulay of Ardencaple and as Commander of the Clan, not as the Chief. (The ruling on the chiefship will be reviewed by the Lord Lyon in 2011.)
That we have chosen to write of Iain MacAulay in our series on 20th century chivalry is because of the link between his war record and the current controversy in America fired by the display in Washington D.C. of the Enola Gay, the aircraft that dropped the first nuclear bomb on Japan. When the Japanese attacked Singapore he was serving with the Royal Air Force there, and with a small group he escaped in a lifeboat hoping to reach Australia. Unfortunately, when they landed for fresh water on the coast of Java they were betrayed and in consequence he spent the next three years in the hell of a Japanese PoW camp.
In common with so many prisoners, he was treated with inhumane ordeals inflicted solely for the pleasure they gave his torturers. On one occasion, standing at attention unprotected from the Equator sun for several hours, he fainted, whereupon the guards smashed his knees with their rifle butts, to the effect that he could never for the rest of his life negotiate stairs easily. He was tortured on many occasions and subjected to several fake executions ~ easily believed as real when so many prisoners were being regularly murdered in various imaginatively bestial ways.
At wars end he weighed 56 pounds (25 kgs) and was judged to have little chance of living long, but, thanks to Enola Gay and the bomb, he was alive. Without the atomic bomb the Japanese would have had no face-saving alternative to the plans they had in place. These envisaged a seaborne invasion of their homeland by the Americans, and a battle in which every member of the population would join. As part of the preparation, every surviving prisoner of war and all civilian internees were to be murdered by all available means. This order, issued by Field Marshal Terauchi, had been promulgated throughout Japan and the occupied lands of South-East Asia.
The price of an invasion of the Japanese homeland had been well illustrated at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Iwo Jima, an island three square miles in area, took four weeks to capture and cost the Americans over 25,000 casualties. Okinawa, a thin island sixteen miles long, took three months and killed over 50,000 Americans, and over 200,000 Japanese died. In Japan the women trained with bamboo spears and hand grenades, each woman being tasked with the killing of one American soldier. When President Truman asked General MacArthur to estimate how long it would take to defeat Japan, he was told that if Iwo Jima and Okinawa were repeated it would take ten years.
Japan had two million regular troops in position, another two million in transit from China, and 28 million under training. In addition they had the women and children. Field Marshal Hata had decreed that when the invasion began, every man, woman and child would be armed, and that a hundred million would be prepared to die for their Emperor. If the subsequent inescapable starvation that would have followed their fight to the finish is included, then that estimate might have been justified.
The argument against the exhibition of the Enola Gay appears to be based on a kind of intuitive conviction that the use of the atomic bomb was wrong, and that it should be written out of our history. No! The Enola Gay should be celebrated. The use of the bomb saved a million American lives, it saved millions of Japanese lives, and it saved the lives of all those many thousands of PoWs and civilian internees, the starved and tortured slave labourers, who, like Iain MacAulay of Ardencaple, had been sentenced to cruel deaths.