Centenary of Iolaire tragedy marked by new book

HMY Iolaire, which sank in 1919 resulting in the loss of 201 lives.

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A new book on the Iolaire tragedy, to be published next year to mark the centenary of the disaster, will tell the story of every single person on board for the first time.

The new book is being written by Malcolm Macdonald, chairman of Stornoway Historical Society, and Donald John Macleod, who have been researching material for almost 20 years.

HMY Iolaire hit the Beasts of Holm in the early hours of January 1 1919. She was bringing Lewis and Harris servicemen home after the war but hit the rocks in a rising gale and sank within sight of the lights of Stornoway, with the loss of 201 lives. There were 80 survivors.

The Iolaire book will be a hardback, with many photographs, pieces of writing and personal stories and will be published thanks to a £10,000 special donation from Point and Sandwick Trust.

The community wind farm charity gave the money to Acair to help with the costs of producing such a special book.

Point and Sandwick Trust chairman Angus McCormack said they were ‘delighted’ to be involved in this new book — the result of ‘significant new research’ by the authors.

HMS Iolaire, which sank in 1919 resulting in the loss of 201 lives. NO F48 Iolaire Book 02.