A new sculpture is to commemorate the Iolaire disaster, Britain’s worst maritime
The Admiralty yacht HMY Iolaire crashed on the Beasts of Holm early on New Year’s
Day 1919 with the loss of 201 lives.
The vast majority of the dead came from Lewis. Seven belonged to Harris while 31
were crew members from different parts of the UK.
The design will feature two bronzes within a semi-circular stone enclosure placed
on a new path to the memorial at Holm.
Central to the sculpture is a bronze depiction of a coiled heaving-line.
This references the heroism of John Finlay Macleod who swam ashore with the rope
by which some 40 of the 79 survivors were saved.
The other bronze will be a wreath composed of maritime insignia.
The new £100,000 memorial will bear the names of those lost and the communities they
An Lanntair has commissioned artists Will Maclean, Marian Leven and Arthur Watson
to make the centenary sculpture which is scheduled to be unveiled on the morning
of the centenary of the disaster.
Funding has come from the Gael Force Group, Stornoway Port Authority, Arts & Business
Scotland as well as Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn, Horshader Community Trust, Point
and Sandwick Trust and Tolsta Community Development. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is
also a key partner and supporter.