Book Review: These Men Are Worth Your Tears

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These Men Are Worth Your Tears. Stuart Graham, 2018. Available from the author at

In common with so many areas of the country, the islands of Islay and Jura made special efforts in the centenary years to honour and record the stories of those who gave their lives in the First World War. This updated version of the 2015 original book chronicles the details of the over 200 men from the region who died in the conflict.

As records from the time were often spare or non-existent, the author relied heavily on the files of the Oban Times for the stories and illustrations in the book.

After the original publication, many came forward with additional information and while the author says that there will not be a further updated version, the great interest in family history will ensure that more details will emerge in future. There are now only nine men remaining form the islands for whom details of this deaths have not been found. Anything turned up in future will hopefully find its way to the Museum of Islay Life, to which the proceeds of the book will go.

The major centenary commemorative events of World War One are now over and Islay held a major one to honour its own war dead and those from the troopship Tuscania and naval vessel Otranto, wrecked on the island shores and the scene of much local heroism in the rescue attempts.

However, the stories and memories of the dead will endure and in this excellent publication all involved have provided a fitting tribute and cornerstone for future research.

Eric Macintyre