Lewis pupils create Iolaire memorial for Stornoway

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Stones have been collected from the home village of each of the 201 sailors lost on the Iolaire and will be incorporated into a unique memorial in Stornoway town centre to be unveiled later this month.

Stornoway Amenity Trust, in partnership with the Nicolson Institute, and supported by Stornoway Historical Society, has been working on the Iolaire Memorial Project (Pròiseact Carragh-Cuimhne na h-Iolaire) to create a memorial to mark the centenary of the sinking of the Iolaire on New Year’s Day in 1919 – the worst peacetime maritime disaster in British waters.

Stones have been collected from the villages of those lost on the Iolaire.
Stones have been collected from the villages of those lost on the Iolaire.

The memorial will be situated in Carn Gardens, close to the town hall and will consist of a slate engraving on a wall and a stone cairn which will include stones to represent each man lost.

A bench donated by Stornoway Port Authority will also be put in place nearby.

The plan to include stones from the home village or town of all victims was devised by pupils of the Nicolson Institute who have spent the past few months working on those collections.

Stones have now been collected in villages all over Lewis, Harris, Berneray (North Uist) and also from the home towns of the 20 victims who were not from the Isles – a project which has involved communities across the UK.

The memorial is currently under construction and will be unveiled at 11am on March 23 by descendants of some of those lost in the Iolaire.

A procession of 201 pupils from the Nicolson Institute will walk to Carn Gardens where the cairn, the engraving and the bench will be unveiled. All are welcome to attend this event.

Stornoway Amenity Trust would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery and Stornoway Port Authority for providing funds for the project.