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 →

no space by her husband’s grave

St John’s chapel lies in ruins. The 15th century chapel in the Bragar cemetery stands on a much older site of which nothing can be seen any longer, it was a prehistoric settlement mount. This cemetery has a peculiar atmosphere, the many marker stones give it an overcrowded feel, and it certainly is that, crowded.... Continue Reading →

the aftermath

Crosbost cemetery, Isle of Lewis 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 sinking of the HMY Iolaire slowly became apparent. She had taken 205 men... Continue Reading →

graves of a lost generation

The HMY Iolaire disasterHow can tragedy be grasped and described in all its horror? It is war and that affects people in all areas of their lives. The men are away fighting, none are left on the island of Lewis but the old and the young. Women struggle, they wait and they fear. Then it's... Continue Reading →

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