There is an evocative website concerning Wartime in Uist, including an item about Howmore: Robbie MacLeod reminisced, at an event in Kildonan Museum, about few if any households in the Uists having coal during the war. The military had their supplies taken by ‘puffer’ to Lochboisdale. A convoy of army trucks would then transport this across the newly built bridge to the base at Benbecula.
On one occasion a driver was passing Howmore road end, when he noticed a local he knew. He stopped and asked him if he would like some coal. “Indeed and I would,” came the reply “and very grateful I’d be for it.” The driver turned off the main road to deliver the coal to the crofter’s house.
Unbeknown to him, all the other lorries followed and dumped their contents onto the Howmore machair! I’m sure there were many homes in Howmore and the surrounding villages with much warmer fire-sides after that- and much dismay in the barracks when the lorries returned empty!