/ Iolaire

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jess13 10 Jun 2019

Returning from Stornoway I picked up 'When I Heard The Bell' by John MacLeod. Its the story of HMY Iolaire which foundered on the Beasts of Holm at the entrance to Stornoway harbour on 31st December 1918 with loss of over 200 men mainly from small communities on the Isle of Lewis, heartbeakingly they were coming home on leave after  the cessation of hostilities of the Great War. It was the greatest loss of life in one incident around our shores in peacetime in the 20th century. A tale of incompetence ,bravery and tragic loss. An angry book perhaps understandably as the effects are even visible today with many abandoned ruined crofts. Parts of the isle of Lewis were depressed and  abandoned in the 1920s never to recover. Some of the poetry of wives,sweethearts,mothers and children who were expecting their menfolk home for new year is extremely moving. An incident in our history which I  didn't know until I read this book- recommended.

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gavmac 10 Jun 2019
In reply to jess13:

An incredibly tragic story. The Scottish band Skippinish have a moving song relating to this. 

An example of how little coverage an event gets when it takes place in the Highlands as opposed to the big cities. 

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elsewhere 11 Jun 2019
In reply to gavmac

Strange you missed the wide coverage, I certainly saw it on TV and possibly in the newspapers.

According to Google it was on or in BBC Scotland, BBC Alba, BBC radio, STV, Herald, Scotsman and the Evening Times. 

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gavmac 11 Jun 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

Oh I agree the anniversary gained a reasonable amount of attention. But before that, it had certainly failed to receive the coverage that would have been given to a more ‘urban’ tragedy. 

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