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Hebrides News


Arthur Watson

A new sculpture is to commemorate the Iolaire disaster, Britain’s worst maritime peacetime tragedies.


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 came from.


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.





New memorial to commemorate Iolaire disaster

13 February 2018