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 →

sudden death oddly brought on

Here lies alas! poor Roger Norton, Whose sudden death was odly brought on! Trying one day his corns to mow off, The razor slipped and cut his toe off! The toe, or rather what it grew to, The part then took to mortifying. Which was the cause of Roger's dying. From a Churchyard near Greenock... Continue Reading →

death on the beach

Luskentyre (Losgaintir in Gaelic) is probably the most famous beach in the whole of the Western Isles; it certainly is one of the most spectacular ones with a haunting beauty, endless white sand and sparkling emerald water. What a place to bury the dead! Burying near a beach is standard practice on the Island of... Continue Reading →

at the end of the road

Harris and Lewis are connected by one long major road, the backbone of the Longisle, really. Any time you detour from it, be it towards the West or towards the East, you are bound to discover things. Heading north from Tarbert, the first junction takes you to the western most point of Harris – Hushinish... Continue Reading →

a captain’s sense of romance

Here we lie in a horizontal position like a Ship laid up, stripped of her sails and rigging. St Andrews Cathedral Churchyard On a Ship's Captain and his Wife Raymond Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Chambers, Edinburgh,1990

from Sea God to Saint

Barvas cemetery Cladh Mhuire, Isle of Lewis Lewis differs in so many things from the rest of Scotland but the most obvious to visitors is faith. Religion plays a very prominent role on the island and the church certainly has more influence on life and death than anywhere else in Scotland. Even the smallest of... Continue Reading →

men only – burials on the Isle of Lewis

On the Isle of Lewis the graves seem shallow and sandy. The cemeteries are often situated close to the sea and sand seems to be more common than earth for a funeral plot. There are regulations of course, coffins are obligatory and once interred they must be covered by at least 3 feet (91cm) of... Continue Reading →

the disemboweled judge

The clan Morrison was strong on the Isle of Lewis, mainly in the area around Ness and Barvas. They held the hereditary office of brieve, meaning they were the judges in the area; a station of absolute power but not always absolute integrity. One John Morrison, brieve of Lewis, had come to the conclusion that... Continue Reading →

death by pownie

Here lies a man o' micht, His name was Donald Downie: He lost his life ae market nicht By fa'in aff his pownie. Aged 37 years Cullen Graveyard, Banffshire   Raymond Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Chambers, Edinburgh,1990

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