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Isle of Lewis War Memorial, Stornoway
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CSMMo



Joined: 20 Dec 2006
Posts: 35
Location: Oceanside, California, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:35 am    Post subject: Isle of Lewis War Memorial, Stornoway Reply with quote

**Moderator Note** This quote is the first post about this memorial on the forum.
Originally posted by Jim McGinlay on 2nd January 2007 in another thread. I felt is was better here in a combined Isle of Lewis memorial thread which has had several replies since January - Adam


jamiemcginlay wrote:
The Isle of Lewis memorial. Like many other fishing communities and ports the memorial at Stornoway is a massive tower standing on a hill above the harbour which provides a useful bearing point to guide boats home.
The population of Lewis at the outset of WWI was under 30,000 and yet it provided 6,172 servicemen of which 1,151 were killed.
The memorial was designed by architect I.H.Gall of Inverness and lists names by school districts. It was unveiled just before September 18th 1924.
My daughter is sitting on the stone bench set into the wall at the base of the tower in this photograph which gives an idea of scale.



An appropriately impressive memorial.





Looking from the memorial toward Stornoway, the regimental tablets, which were first arranged in the tower to be viewed as one walked up the interior steps, were placed on these stones resembling standing stones, when water eroded the iron stairway and jeopardized the tablets. It provides a nice contemplative setting with (as you can see) a spectacular view.



This beautiful structure is just outside the town of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis and can be seen from just about anywhere near Stornoway. It was dedicated in 1927 by General Sir Ian Hamilton (the local Territorial Mountain Battery, the Ross & Cromarty Mountain Battery had been under his overall command at Gallipoli and had put the first guns ashore there).


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DerekR
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VERY impressive - I had never previously seen this memorial at all and am amazed at the size of it.
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jamiemcginlay



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cracking photographs! Very Happy
It can be difficult photographing a big monument and getting a picture that does it justice, but those are excellent...I think you had better weather too!

The community numbered under 30,000 and produced 6,172 servicemenr of whom 1,151 died.
The memorial was designed by I.H. Gall of Inverness and the men are listed by School District.
The monument was unveiled just before September 18th 1924.
References The Stornoway Gazzette:
5th March 1920, page 6
14th June 1923 - Illustration of model
Opened September 1924


Last edited by jamiemcginlay on Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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CSMMo



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your comments Jamiemcginlay and DerekR. It was a beautiful day in October and I was with another descendant of the 4th Highland Mountain Brigade who was a Lewisman and who had done some excellent research on the Ross Battery, so I had a great tour. I think that the monument can be seen from anywhere in the city.
Mike Morrison
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David McNay
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there a list of names for this memorial?
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CSMMo



Joined: 20 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David, I have been told that the Isle of Lewis suffered the highest percentage of losses to population of the entire British Empire in that war. There are numerous panels which I have been told were originally placed individually inside the monument, each in it's own place aside the circular stairway that wound to the top of the monument. That way you saw them one at a time as you ascended the stairway. It was a very impressive and respectful presentation, but the dripping rainwater through the roof of the monument placed the staircase and the panels in jeopardy, so they were removed and placed in a manner similar to the Calanaish Stones that are fairly near there. Photographing the panels would be a good project. Front me the airfare (from California!) and I'm there! Wink
Mike Morrison
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Malcolm



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 2:52 pm    Post subject: Names (Iolaire men) Reply with quote

Malcolm Macdonald and colleagues of Stornoway Historical Society have produced the following.

http://www.adb422006.com/iolaire.html

Aye
Malcolm (F)
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Adam Brown
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deatils from "Loyal Lewis" have been posted on the following website:

http://www.adb422006.com/

You can search for names by the following villages:

Achmore

Adabrock

Aignish

Aird (Point)

Arivruaich

Arnol

Back

Balallan

Ballantrushal

Barvas

Lower Bayble

Upper Bayble

Benside

Borrowston

Borve

Mid Borve

North Bragar

South Bragar

Branahuie

Breasclete

Brenish

Broker

Brue

Calbost

Callanish

Carishader

Carloway

Caversta

Coll

Coulregrein

Cromore

Cross

Crossbost

Crowlista

Crulivig

Aird Dell

North Dell

South Dell

Dun Carloway

Earshader

Enaclete

Eorodale

Eoropie

Fivepenny

Flesherin

Garenin

Lower Garrabost

Upper Garrabost

Garynahine

Garyvard

Gelir

Geshader

Gravir

Great Bernera

Grimshader

Guershader

Habost (Ness)

Habost (Lochs)

Holm

Islivig

Keose

Kershader

Kirivick

Kneep

Knock [Carloway]

Knock [Point]

Knockaird

Laxay

Laxdale

Lemreway

Leurbost

Lionel

Lundale

Mangersta

Marvig

Melbost

Newvalley

North Tolsta

Park Carloway

Port of Ness

Portnaguran

Portvoller

Ranish

Sandwick

Lower Sandwick

Lower Shader

Upper Shader

New Shawbost

North Shawbost

South Shawbost

Sheshader

Shulishader

Skigersta

Stenish

Stornoway, includes those without traceable address

Swainbost

Swordale

Tolsta Chaolais

Tong

Aird Tong

Aird Uig

Uigen

Valtos

Vatisker


Last edited by Adam Brown on Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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alexmaclennan



Joined: 24 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:42 pm    Post subject: Memorial Plaques outside the Lewis WM Reply with quote

These will take a long time to upload















































alex
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dhubthaigh
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The amount of names is outrageous - stats please!
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alexmaclennan



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:35 am    Post subject: Press Release from the local Council about the Plaques Reply with quote

A new home for Lewis War Memorial plaques. 12 November 2002

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has completed work on a new home for the Lewis war memorial plaques.
The 23 plaques in memory of those who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars were housed in the Stornoway War Memorial where they were mounted inside in four chambers allotted to each parish. Over the years gradual erosion of the fabric of the stone and wrought iron staircase meant the memorial was closed to the public in 1975 for safety reasons. Restoration work took place in 1982 but water still managed to cause deterioration to the building.
The plaques were taken out of the memorial and sent to the mainland to be cleaned and plans were formulated to have these plaques mounted externally. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Technical Services : Consultancy was commissioned to design an area for the 23 plaques to be seen. The design has now been implemented with the 23 plaques mounted on stones from Marybank quarry with six stones from Bonawe Quarry north of Oban. The stones are placed in a circle for ease of viewing of the plaques with two benches positioned for rest and contemplation made from elm grown locally on the island. The plaques are placed in order of the parishes; Uig, Lochs, Barvas and Stornoway for the 16 First World War plaques and 7 Second World War plaques mounted on the right as you enter the area. There are 1151 names of those who lost their lives in the 1st World War and 376 names of those who gave their lives for the country during World War II.
Vice-Convener Roddy Murray said:
“The area is a simple but significant tribute to those who lost their lives in the two World Wars.
Special thanks are due to Stornoway Trust for leasing the area to the Comhairle, to the Contractor, Aggregate Industries, for their skill and dedication and also a thank you to the landscape Contractor, Silver Birch Tree Services.
The public display of the plaques will serve as a poignant reminder to future generations of Islanders of the supreme sacrifice made by those who fell in two World Wars in order that we might enjoy our freedom".

There is a stone at the entrance to the circle onto which the Stornoway Historical Society will mount a plaque giving a brief history of the War Memorial and the plaques.
Local Councillor Angus Nicolson said:

“I am glad that there is now a special area dedicated to the names of those who gave their lives in the two World Wars and for all who remember them”.

http://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/press/archive/021112a.htm

alex
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:39 am    Post subject: Stornoway Historical Society website info on Lewis WM Reply with quote

Lewis War Memorial
Following the Great War and the tragedy of the Iolaire disaster, a public meeting was held in Stornoway in January 1920 with the aim of preserving the memory of the 1,151 Lewismen known to made the supreme sacrifice for their country. An Appeals Committee was established with Lord Leverhulme, the Proprietor of the island, elected as Chairman, George Macleod and Colin J. Maciver as Joint Secretaries and Kenneth Mackenzie and John MacRitchie Morrison as Honorary Treasurers.

From January to July 1920, the pages of the Stornoway Gazette carried advertisements appealing for subscriptions towards the building costs of a suitable memorial that would cost at least £10,000 and more probably £20,000. The response was overwhelming. As a spur to generous donations, it was announced that an anonymous resident was willing to double the amount subscribed to £5,000 - this resident was later discovered to be Lord Leverhulme himself.

A competition for the design of the memorial was held and the winning entrant was chosen as Mr J.H.Gall of Inverness. The contract was soon awarded and, by June 1924, the masonry work was complete, forming a very striking and prominent landmark on the 300-feet high Cnoc nan Uan. The internal work, not including the mounting of 16 bronze plaques representing the four parishes of Lewis, was completed by August 1924.


Lewis War Memorial - A lasting tribute to those 1526 Leodhasaich who gave their lives - for their island and their country - in two world wars.


The memorial takes the form of a Scottish Baronial Tower rising to a height of over 85 feet. Internally, the tower is divided into an arched entrance chamber 20 feet high, and four upper chambers accessed by square and circular steel stairs and by granite turnpike stairs to the turret. A separate chamber was allotted to each of the four parishes of Lewis and in each, bronze plaques were mounted, bearing the inscriptions of every one of the fallen. The stairs allowed visitors to access the view of the Parishes from whence the dead had come. The dressed work is of fine axed Aberdeenshire granite, the walls are of native Gneiss and the floors of reinforced concrete.

The Contractors were: Messrs P & B Mitchell of Huntly, Builders; Mr Angus Macleod of Stornoway, Masons; Messrs Kerr & Macfarlane of Stornoway, Concrete and Carpenter Work; Messrs Macdonald & Son, Stornoway, Smith Work. At a the total cost of £4,000, the project transpired to be much more modest than the Appeal for Funds had first expected.

On Friday 24 September 1924, in perfect weather, over two thousand witnessed the unveiling of the Memorial by Lord Leverhulme. Contrary to the sure belief of all those attending, the 1914-1918 was not the war-to-end-all-wars. During the Festival of Britain in 1951, there were talks in progress to erect a further memorial of some kind to commemorate those from the island who lost their lives in the Second World War. The Ross & Cromarty County Council, The Stornoway Town Council, The Lewis Remembrance Thanksgiving Fund with the Lewis Branch of the Royal British Legion took up the idea and Charles Henshaw & Sons Ltd, of Edinburgh, were commissioned to produce additional bronze plaques. On 13 September 1958, General Sir Richard O'Connor, the Lord Lieutenant of Ross & Cromarty and commander of many Lewismen during that war, unveiled the seven new plaques representing the Divisions of Lewis.

Sadly, the Memorial was closed to the general public in 1975 as a direct consequence of the gradual erosion of the fabric of the stone walls and the wrought iron internal staircase. The restraints on expenditure by public bodies made it difficult for the money to be found for restoration and in 1978 a Joint Appeal Committee was set up with Members of the Western Isles Council and the Royal British Legion (Lewis Branch). The Committee, known as the Lewis War Memorial Restoration Appeal Fund Committee, set a target to raise £35,000 to restore the Memorial. In 1981, extensive internal work was undertaken and in 1982, a silicone based waterproof coating was applied to the external walls at a cost of £5,759.

Despite these remedial works, the ingress of water to the building continued to cause deterioration. The Royal British Legion (Lewis Branch) with significant financial assistance from the Western Isles Council commissioned repointing works to the exterior which were carried out in 1990 by Scott & Brown, Builders, Edinburgh, at a cost of £59,800. These works were not successful in keeping out the heavy Lewis rain.

With the building still unfit for public use, the refurbished plaques were mounted outside the tower, on granite stones. A viewing path and seating area was also provided. This last project was completed in time for Armistice Day 2002.

Saddler Philip Macleod (Steinish) of the Royal Field Artillery was the first Lewis soldier to fall at the Battle of Mons in August 1914, dying in No-Mans-Land. His name is recorded here with 1,150 others from the First World War and 376 from the Second World War. The majority of those lost in 1914-18, died in the entrenched warfare of France. The casualties of the 1939-45 war, were mostly at sea but included members of the Royal Air Force and several servicewomen.

Though the new century draws on, the names of battles such as Ypres, Somme, Gallipoli, Jutland, El Alamein, Monte Cassino and the Atlantic remain in the memories of all Lewis folk. The exact figure of those serving in WW1 forces was recorded as 6,712, seventeen per cent of whom gave their lives for the cause. If the ratio of those killed to the total population (29,603 - 1911 Census) is taken into account, it can be seen that this island paid dear, losing twice the rate of men as the rest of the British Isles. Recognition of that fact was given due notice in the House of Commons by the late Lord Shinwell, but it was but small comfort to an island robbed of a generation and so cruelly made to mourn again when 174 Lewismen were among those lost at the Beasts of Holm as 1919 dawned.

No exact figure of those serving in the Second World War has ever been officially recorded, but from the Rolls of Honour compiled by the various historical societies in the island, a figure in excess of 5,500 can be confidently extrapolated. The population figures of 25,205 for 1931 reveal that the level of service given in the Second World War was every bit as loyal as that committed in the First.

There are other memorials and plaques dedicated to the wars in the vicinity of Stornoway. Perhaps the most poignant edifice is the one overlooking the Beasts of Holm, commemorating the tragedy of New Year's Day 1919 when 181 island sailors were lost with several of the crew of HMY Iolaire when the yacht grounded there at 1.55am and sank shortly after with only 79 souls rescued. The familiar cairn outside the Drill Hall remembers those of the Ross Battery who fell in action, while the Seaforth Highlanders plaque on the side of the old Clock School tower was unveiled in 1923. The Nicolson Institute has two plaques dedicated to the memory of former pupils who fell in the wars. Both the High Church and Martins Memorial Church, have recognised those from their congregations who laid down their lives while St Peter's Church has a plaque to one of the congregation lost on the Iolaire and on the boundary wall is a plaque to those who had been members of the Sea Cadets. More recently, a war memorial was erected by the communities of Melbost and Branahuie and is situated opposite the former gates to Stornoway Airport. All over the islands, statues and stones mark the courage and commitment shown by the islands' armed forces.

Malcolm Macdonald

http://www.stornowayhistoricalsociety.org.uk/features/warmem/

This link also contains a number of photos of the memorial, both new and old.

alex
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alexmaclennan



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:51 am    Post subject: Stornoway & District Roll of Honour WW2 Reply with quote

For information. This comes from the publications section of the Stornoway Historical Society website


Stornoway & District Roll of Honour Second World War - Malcolm Macdonald. (2004).
Price: £12.50 each plus £3.00 postage per copy. (£10.00 each plus £3.00 postage per copy to members). ISBN 0 9531274 4 3. 160 pages. Illustrated. An meticulously researched record of the 1,200 or so SY servicemen and women who served their country between 1939-45. Over 300 photographs featured

http://www.stornowayhistoricalsociety.org.uk/pubs/

alex
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Adam Brown
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have combined all our threads on this memorial into one now and moved the others to the admin section of the forum.

It's given me an opportunity to have a good look at all the photographs again. It looks like there is an information panel on a boulder near the memorial plaques which it would be good to get an image of.
I would be interested to see a photograph of the cross outside the front of the tower as well.

Regards

Adam
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David McNay
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Stornoway & District Roll of Honour WW2 Reply with quote

alexmaclennan wrote:
For information. This comes from the publications section of the Stornoway Historical Society website


Stornoway & District Roll of Honour Second World War - Malcolm Macdonald. (2004).
Price: £12.50 each plus £3.00 postage per copy. (£10.00 each plus £3.00 postage per copy to members). ISBN 0 9531274 4 3. 160 pages. Illustrated. An meticulously researched record of the 1,200 or so SY servicemen and women who served their country between 1939-45. Over 300 photographs featured

http://www.stornowayhistoricalsociety.org.uk/pubs/

alex


An excellent book, worth picking up.
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