From Moriston Matters, Issue 16, December 1979.
ANGLERS' MEMORIAL, FASACH, INVERMORISTON
This memorial may be found on a steep bank, overlooking Loch Ness about a mile past the Allt Saigh Youth Hostel (on the Invermoriston side). Although clearly visible from a boat on the loch, it is not easily found from the road (the A82 Inverness/Fort William road) since it is situated some 30 yards below it and screened from it by a dense undergrowth of bracken, bramble and hazel.
The simplest way to find the memorial - a red granite cross about 3 feet high set in a boulder of local stone - is to continue past Allt Saigh until you come to Fasach, which is a green field guarded by a large iron gate. You must then retrace your steps eastwards along the grass verge to the first milestone; thereupon, turn and walk 84 paces to the West. At this point you must walk resolutely down the bank towards the loch where you will find the memorial.
It bears the following inscription in white lettering of remarkable clarity considering that over 70 years have passed since its erection.
The tragedy occurred on Saturday 18th February 1905, during a fishing trip which went drastically wrong.
For a few days the weather had been unpleasant with high Northerly winds and flurries of snow which had affected not only Loch Ness-side but many parts of the Central Highlands. This did not, however, deter Mr John Hinshelwood, a Glaswegian staying on holiday at the Invermoriston Hotel, who had decided that despite the inclement weather he would troll around the mouth of the river Moriston and up the bank as far as Fasach. This had been his practice - unsuccessfully - for a number of days previously.
Hinshelwood, a 48 year old bachelor whose father was a substantial Glasgow business man owning a large fleet of omnibuses, was a typical sporting gent of the era. Head of the Atlas Express Parcel Co. and a fine golfer, he was also a devotee of field sports and it was his custom to arrive in Invermoriston at various times each year to avail himself of the fishing.
That Saturday, in a virtual gale, Hinshelwood, Duncan Macdonell, his boatman, and his ghillie, Donald Macdonald, a native of Innis-Ewen in Invermoriston, set out. The boat had not gone far when the wind which Hinshelwood had speculated might be falling actually began to increase. They were fine as long as they kept close to the shore but, in order to round Fasach Point, they had to head out towards the middle of the loch. There at a spot 50 yards from the shore they were struck by a fierce gust of wind which heeled them into the path of a large wave. The combination caused the boat to capsize.
The three men were tossed out of the boat, whereupon Hinshelwood, a strong swimmer, struck out for the shore. For a time he appeared to be doing well but he was hampered by a heavy overcoat and boots as well as the heavy waves and he soon sank from view.
The two boatmen, more astutely, clung to the keel of the over-turned boat and in this manner were carried quite a distance from the spot where they originally capsized.
They were growing weaker in the high waves, however, and presently Macdonell was washed away by one of them. His companion, Macdonald, turned round in time to see him lose his grip and slip beneath the surface leaving only his cap floating. Macdonell was thirty and unmarried. An experienced boatman used to estate work all his days, he had served for a number of years in the Lovat Scouts.
Donald Macdonald continued to cling to the keel and was eventually washed ashore in an exhausted condition about half a mile from the point where the incident occurred.
In an extremely weak condition he crawled up the steep bank to the public road where he was found in a semi-conscious state and taken to a nearby house, where, upon recovering, he raised the alarm. Search parties were sent out later on Saturday and all day Sunday but attempts to recover the bodies with grappling irons proved fruitless. All that was recovered were two fishing rods belonging to Hinshelwood found at a spot near to where the boat capsized. A further attempt to recover the remains was made by a diver later in the week but that too was in vain although a fishing basket which was identified by Macdonald as being in the boat was found floating on the surface near the shore at Fasach.
True to the traditions of Loch Ness, the bodies never were recovered, hence the text from Revelation oin the memorial.
H. Fraser MacKenzie