one man on an island

Largo Parish Church Scotland has almost 20,000 kilometres of coastline and encompasses almost 800 islands, so naturally the Scots have a very special affinity to water and the sea. The sea has inspired some incredible stories of adventures, monsters and heroes. However, one of the best-known stories was told by an Englishman. Daniel Defoe wrote... Continue Reading →

and hand in hand we’ll go

Robert Burns has written many memorable poems and songs, some funny, some witty, many bawdy and a few very touching. John Anderson. My Jo is one of the latter, a song about growing old together, of love and companionship towards the end of your life. It is gentle and considerate even though it was formed... Continue Reading →

Garyvard cemetery, Isle of Lewis

Gearraidh means fertile land and Gearraidh a’ Bhàird (Garyvard) suggests it could be the fertile land of the bard. Whereas on the shore the place name is Gaelic in origin the sea loch isn’t. Loch Erisort is derived from the Old Norse Eiríksfjorðr (Eric's fjord). Just looking at the graveyard of the small settlement outside... Continue Reading →

until the break of day

The morning of the first day of the year 1919 dawned but despite the light the day was as dark as a day could be for the islanders. Lewis was in shock, the death toll after the tragic sinking of the HMY Iolaire slowly became apparent. She had taken 205 men to their death. Few... Continue Reading →

bodies on the beach

Sandwick cemetery, Isle of Lewis Signalman John Alex „Jack“ MacAskill died a few yards from home. He was only 19 years old. And he died a few yards from his grave in Sandwick cemetery. His parents were Hugh and Christina MacAskill. The family lived in 75 Keith Street in Stornoway, a modest grey building, like... Continue Reading →

one lucky man

Ness cemetery, Isle of lewis Norman MacKenzie was one lucky man. His family lived in Cross in the Ness district of the Isle of Lewis. Norman had seen the horrific battles of World War I and survived the ordeal. He was only 18 years old, when he was heading back home, the war was over... Continue Reading →

I saw the body of my son

Valtos cemetery Uigen in the Parish of Uig lost two young men in the Iolaire disaster. John MacLeod was 22, Angus Matheson was 19. Both were buried at Valtos (Bhaltos), neighbours in death as in life. Weeks had went past and the body of young Angus had not turned up. His parents, Malcolm (Càlum Càm)... Continue Reading →

the mutineers‘ end

Tolsta marks the end of an unhappy journey. Francois Gautiez an French cook and the English mate Peter Heaman were on board of the ship Jane, commanded by Thomas Johnson. The Jane of Gibraltar was heading for Bahia de Brazil and among the many things she was carrying were also Spanish silver Dollars, a considerable... Continue Reading →

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