Fellow who lived like Bronze Age man dies


The last inhabitant of remote yachting destination, St Kilda, has died aged 88. Norman John Gillies left the 1,000 foot Atlantic rock in 1930 when the government evacuated the 36 residents aboard HMS Harebell. They could no longer exist in conditions which had not changed radically since the Bronze Age.

Mr Gillies’ mother served a diet of gannet’s eggs, toasted puffin sandwiches and oatcakes. Clothing was hand-woven wool and people went barefoot.

Babies died of infantile tetanus caused by treating the umbilical stump with infected fulmar oil, and Mr Gillies’ mother died from appendicitis flagged up too late to catch one of the few boats which passed, reports The Economist.

Mr Gillies arrived in Argyll and saw his first tree and first motor-car but was young enough to adapt and and became the manager of a builder’s merchants near Ipswich, Suffolk, naming his red-bricked house, St Kilda.