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Iolaire Memorial
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jamiemcginlay



Joined: 20 Dec 2006
Posts: 939
Location: Glasgow

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:46 pm    Post subject: Iolaire Memorial Reply with quote

Iolaire Memorial - Isle of Lewis
UKNIWM Ref: 44784

The Iolaire Memorial is a grey granite obelisk standing on a tapering pedestal which rests on two low steps. The obelisk has a recessed panel with an anchor and crown carved in relief on the face. The commemoration is in painted lettering on the face of the pedestal. The inscription reads:
ERECTED BY
THE PEOPLE OF LEWIS AND FRIENDS
IN GRATEFUL MEMORY OF THE
BRAVE MEN OF THE ROYAL NAVY
WHO LOST THEIR LIVES
IN THE "IOLAIRE" DISASTER AT THE
BLASTS OF HOLM
ON THE 1st OF JANUARY 1919
OF THE 205 PERSONS LOST
175 WERE NATIVES OF THE ISLAND
AND FOR THEM AND THEIR COMRADES
LEWIS STILL MOURNS.
WITH GRATITUDE FOR THEIR SERVICE
AND IN SORROW FOR THEIR LOSS.

"DO CHEUMA THA 'SAN DOIMHNEACHD MHOIN,
DO'SHLIGHE THA'S A'CHUAN.
AGH LUIRG DO CHOS CHA-N AITHNICH SIHN,
THA SUD AM FOLACH UAINN"
SAILM LXXVII 19,
(Apologies in advance for any mistakes in the above transcription, the lettering is weathered and I don't speak Gaelic. If anyone can help with corrections and translation it would be greatly appreciated.)
The monument stands overlooking the sea at Holm, near Stornoway.
The Iolaire was a Royal Navy yacht which was transporting servicemen home to the Island of Lewis in 1919. Having survived the war they were on the final approach to Stornoway harbour on New Year's morning, 1919, when the ship struck rocks and sunk within sight of home. The reason for the disaster is still the subject of debate.
The first photograph is taken from the road, the memorial is down on the left and it has to be approached by a clamber down over the moorland, perhaps a road has been put in now?



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Adam Brown
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there a cross on the rocks of the Beasts of Holm to commemorate this as well or am I confusing this with another shipwreck?

You can find out more about the tragic sinking of the Iolaire on the Scotsmanís web pages.

http://heritage.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=1377&id=40512005

Theyíve got a whole section devoted to the worst disasters to hit Scotland in War and Peace over the past 150 years. Relevant to this forum are the pages on The Gretna rail crash, The Clydebank blitz, the sinkings of the Royal Oak, Hampshire and Vanguard and the sinkings of two US troopships off Islay.

Not covered by this forum but on the webpages are also peacetime fires, sinkings, crashes etc which are all no doubt commemorated by memorials as well.

I didnít realise that the sinking of HMS Vanguard was Britainís worst loss of life in home waters. (Is the Lancastria the worst outside home waters)? That means Scotland has the dubious distinction of the UK's worst air crash (Lockerbie), train crash (Quintshill) and ship loss (HMS Vanguard).
Go here to get the full list. Note that there are two pages.

http://heritage.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=1377

Adam
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Adam Brown
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A quick search on the SNWM database for Navy losses on 1st January 1919 gives the following 180 names:


BARR , Walter , Cook , 821587
BEATON , Alex , Able Seaman , 968068
BUCHANAN , Peter , Seaman , 7700. A
CAMPBELL , Alexander John , Deck Hand , 11999 D.A
CAMPBELL , Alexander , Deck Hand , 13353 D.A
CAMPBELL , Alexander , Leading Seaman , 2999 C
CAMPBELL , Angus , Seaman , 3590 C
CAMPBELL , Donald , Seaman , 3356 B
CAMPBELL , Kenneth , Seaman , 4804 A
CAMPBELL , Murdo , Deck Hand , 20536 D.A
CRICHTON , Angus , Seaman , 2687 B
CRIGHTON , Donald , Seaman , 9066 A
FERGUSON , Murdo , Deck Hand , 258 S.D.
GILLIES , Angus , Seaman , 4502 A
GILLIES , Donald William , Seaman , 3309 A
MACASKILL , John , Deck Hand , 14567 D.A.
MACASKILL , John , Seaman , 3397 A
MACASKILL , John , Leading Deck Hand , 9635 D.A.
MACAULAY , Donald , Seaman, (Acting Deck Hand) , 2576 A
MACAULAY , Donald , Deck Hand , 2658 S.D.
MACAULAY , John , Seaman , 1567 C
MACAULAY , Murdo , Deck Hand , 4004 S.D.
MACDONALD , Angus , Seaman , 1830 D
MACDONALD , Angus , Deck Hand , 2597 S.D.
MACDONALD , Angus , Seaman , 4554 A
MACDONALD , Donald , Leading Deck Hand , 12453 D.A.
MACDONALD , Donald , Seaman , 2373 C
MACDONALD , Donald , Seaman , 5296 A
MACDONALD , Ewen , Deck Hand , 19896 D.A.
MACDONALD , John , Deck Hand , 19654 D.A.
MACDONALD , John , Deck Hand , 21078 D.A.
MACDONALD , John , Leading Seaman , 2554 C
MACDONALD , John , Seaman , 2558 A
MACDONALD , John , Seaman , 3339 B.
MACDONALD , Malcolm , Seaman , 1874 C
MACDONALD , Murdo , Deck Hand , 11997 D.A.
MACDONALD , Murdo , Deck Hand , 20516 D.A.
MACDONALD , Murdo , Seaman , 9534 A.
MACDONALD , William , Deck Hand , 14360 D.A.
MACKAY , Murdo , Deckhand , 16652 D.A.
MACKAY , Murdo , Seaman , 4511 B
MACLEOD , Norman , Trimmer Cook , 1186 T.C.
MACLEOD , Norman , Acting Leading Seaman , 4803 A.
MACLEOD , William , Deck Hand , 14603 D.A.
MARTIN , Malcolm , Deck Hand , 12067 D.A.
MARTIN , Norman , Seaman , 3397 C
MATHESON , Angus , Deck Hand , 18694 D.A.
MATHESON , Malcolm , Leading Deck Hand , 11907 D.A.
MONTGOMERY , Angus , Deck Hand , 1445 S.D.
MONTGOMERY , Norman , Seaman , 3391 C
MORRISON , Angus , Deck Hand , 12126 D.A.
MORRISON , Angus , Leading Deck Hand , 14310 D.A.
MORRISON , Donald , Deck Hand , 11859 D.A.
MORRISON , Farquhar , Seaman , 3161 B.
MORRISON , Finlay , Deck Hand , 4515 S.D.
MORRISON , George , Deck Hand , 3499 S.D.
MORRISON , John , Deck Hand , 21746 D.A.
MORRISON , John , Act. Leading Seaman , 3026 C.
MORRISON , John , Seaman , 4645 A.
MORRISON , John , Petty Officer , 5306 A.
MORRISON , Norman , Deck Hand , 12088 D.A.
MORRISON , Roderick , Seaman , 1750 C.
MURRAY , Donald , Deck Hand , 19804 D.A.
MURRAY , Donald , Petty Officer , 2811 B.
MURRAY , Evander , Seaman , 1829 D.
MURRAY , John , Seaman , 2061 C.
MURRAY , John , Deck Hand , 4689 S.D.
MURRAY , Roderick , Ordinary Seaman , J.86329.
MURRAY , William John , Deck Hand , 11935 D.A.
MURRAY , William , Seaman , 6772 A.
MacARTHUR , Donald , Deck Hand , 4443 S.D.
MacASKILL , Donald , Seaman , 7041 A
MacINNES , David , Deckhand , 19531 D.A.
MacIVER , Malcolm , Deckhand , 10235 D.A.
MacIVER , Malcolm , Seaman , 2778 A.
MacKAY , Angus , Second Hand , 2258 D
MacKAY , Donald , Deckhand , 12090
MacKAY , Malcolm , Seaman , 7699 A
MacKAY , Norman , Seaman , 9494 A
MacKAY , William , Signalman , Clyde Z/8218
MacKENZIE , Alexander , Deckhand , 12080 D.A.
MacKENZIE , Alexander , Seaman , 3360 C
MacKENZIE , John , Seaman , 2038 C
MacKENZIE , John , Seaman , 5937 A
MacKENZIE , Kenneth , Seaman , 3046 A
MacKENZIE , Murdo , Seaman , 2793 C
MacKENZIE , Norman , Deckhand , 20072 D.A
MacKILLOP , Norman , Seaman , 9522 A
MacKINNON , Murdo , Deck Hand , 21209 D.A.
MacLEAN , Donald , Seaman , 2820 B.
MacLEAN , Kenneth , Deck Hand , 20994 D.A.
MacLEAN , Malcolm , Able Seaman , 973832
MacLEOD , Alexander John , Deck Hand , 20422 D.A.
MacLEOD , Alexander , Deck Hand , 17041 D.A.
MacLEOD , Allan , Seaman , 4661 A.
MacLEOD , Donald , Seaman , 3329 A.
MacLEOD , Donald , Deck Hand , 3968 S.D.
MacLEOD , Donald , Deck Hand , 4125 S.D.
MacLEOD , Donald , Ordinary Seaman , Clyde Z/9964.
MacLEOD , John , Deck Hand , 19890 D.A.
MacLEOD , John , Seaman , 2736 B.
MacLEOD , John , Deck Hand , 4435 S.D.
MacLEOD , Malcolm , Deck Hand , 20774 D.A.
MacLEOD , Malcolm , Leading Deck Hand , 4793 S.D.
MacLEOD , Malcolm , Seaman , 5478 A.
MacLEOD , Malcolm , Ordinary Seaman , J.65508.
MacLEOD , Murdo , Able Seaman , J.76479
MacPHAIL , Kenneth , Seaman , 3320 A
MacPHAIL , Norman , Deck Hand , 14663 D.A.
MacRITCHIE , Donald , Deck Hand , 13258 D.A.
MacRITCHIE , Donald , Cooper 4th class , M.23885
McASKILL , Donald , Deckhand , 21143 D.A.
McAULAY , Donald Murdo , Deck Hand , 4363 S.D.
McAULAY , Donald , Seaman , 2065 C
McDONALD , Alexander , Leading Seaman , 2046 C
McDONALD , David , Signal Boy , 1256 S.B.
McDONALD , Donald , Deck Hand , 17809 D.A.
McDONALD , Donald , Leading Seaman , 2688 B
McDONALD , Donald , Leading Deck Hand , 3516 S.D.
McDONALD , Donald , Seaman , 5351 A
McDONALD , John , Seaman , 3074 A
McDONALD , John , Seaman , 4490 A
McDONALD , Roderick John , Seaman , 2966 A
McINNES , Malcolm , Seaman , 8896 A.
McIVER , Alexander , Leading Seaman , 1691 C.
McIVER , Angus , Seaman , 1855 C.
McIVER , Donald , Deckhand , 18720 D.A.
McIVER , John , Seaman (Acting Seaman). , 2496 A.
McIVER , John , Seaman , 2619 C.
McIVER , Murdo , Deckhand , 775 S.D.
McKAY , Malcolm , Seaman , 2613 C
McKENZIE , Alexander , Seaman , 1663 C
McKENZIE , Alexander , Seaman , 3892 B
McKENZIE , Donald , Deck Hand , 967820
McKENZIE , John , Seaman , 3274 A
McKENZIE , Murdo , Seaman , 3122 B
McKENZIE , Roderick , Second Hand , 7246 D.A
McKINNON , Angus , Deckhand , 2615 S.D
McLEAN , Malcolm , Seaman , 2679 C.
McLEAN , Malcolm , Seaman , 4280 B.
McLEAN , Murdo , Seaman , 1903 D.
McLEAN , Murdo , Deck Hand , 974252
McLEAY , Angus , Seaman , 3689 B.
McLENNAN , Finlay , Deckhand , 18771 D.A.
McLEOD , Alexander Angus , Deckhand , 3455 S.D.
McLEOD , Alexander , Seaman , 2745 A.
McLEOD , Angus , Deckhand , 19972 D.A.
McLEOD , Angus , Seaman , 2020 D.
McLEOD , Angus , Seaman , 2808 C.
McLEOD , Angus , Deckhand , 4548 S.D.
McLEOD , Angus , Deckhand , 973997
McLEOD , Donald , Deckhand , 10941 D.A.
McLEOD , Donald , Deckhand , 1427 S.D.
McLEOD , Donald , Seaman , 3553 B.
McLEOD , Donald , Deckhand , 4944 S.D.
McLEOD , John , Deck Hand , 15739 D.A.
McLEOD , John , Deck Hand , 3607 S.D.
McLEOD , John , Deckhand , 968097
McLEOD , John , Able Seaman , 974908
McLEOD , Malcolm , Deck Hand , 12081 D.A.
McLEOD , Malcolm , Deck Hand , 14384 D.A.
McLEOD , Murdo , Seaman , 4219 B.
McLEOD , Norman , Seaman , 3343 C.
McMILLAN , Malcolm , Seaman , 1848 D.
McPHAIL , Donald , Seaman , 2222 D
McRITCHIE , Angus , Deck Hand , 16522 D.A.
NICHOLSON , Donald , Deck Hand , 8955 D.A.
NICOLSON , Malcolm , Seaman , 5396 A.
NICOLSON , Murdo , Deck Hand , 4258 S.D.
NOBLE , Alexander , Trimmer , 1476 T.S.
PATERSON , Donald , Seaman , 9521 A.
RAMSAY , David , Seaman , 1350 D.
SMITH , Donald , Seaman , 2972 A.
SMITH , Donald , Acting Leading Seaman , 4173 A.
SMITH , John , Seaman , 3516.B.
SMITH , John , Seaman , 8055 A.
SMITH , Kenneth , Seaman , 1620 C.
SMITH , Kenneth , Seaman , 1958 D.
THOMSON , Malcolm , Seaman , 4557 A.
WILSON , William Kirk , Engine Rm Artificer 4th Class , M.14184


I haven't checked them to make sure they are all from the loss of the Iolaire. If they are that would leave 25 names missing from this list.

Adam
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Adam Brown
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See also here:

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

For Guido Blokland of Stornoway's webpages on this disaster and also a list of those who died

http://www.adb422006.com/Iolairelist.htm

Adam
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adb41



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
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Location: Stornoway

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:33 am    Post subject: Iolaire Memorial Reply with quote

The plaque at the top of the path leading to the memorial explains what happened.


This picture was taken from the location where the Iolaire went down.


This is the memorial, with the cairn alongside. People visiting the monument will pick up a stone and leave it on the heap of stones.


The text on the memorial reads as follows:
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adb41



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
Posts: 169
Location: Stornoway

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:49 pm    Post subject: Associated memorial Reply with quote


At the Battery in Stornoway (behind the powerstation) stands a small memorial plaque between two guns. It commemorates the establishment of the UK's largest RNR training and depot base. Its name, Iolaire, was given to the yacht Amalthea when it was drafted into service. HMY Iolaire sank on 1 January 1919, taking 205 sailors' lives. In the hours after the disaster, it was at this point that the bodies of the dead were brought ashore.

The text reads:
THIS PLAQUE IS ERECTED ON THE SITE AT INACLETE POINT TO COMMEMORATE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE LARGEST RNR BATTERY AND TRAINING DEPOT IN GREAT BRITAIN. DURING THE 43 YEARS OF ITS EXISTENCE MANY THOUSANDS OF MEN FROM LEWIS, HARRIS AND WESTER ROSS RECEIVED THEIR TRAINING FOR SERVICE IN THE ROYAL NAVY. THE BATTERY WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1876 AND DECOMMISSIONED IN 1919.

ON 1ST JANUARY 1919 IT WAS FROM THIS DEPOT THAT THE COASTGUARD LIFESAVING APPARATUS WAS DESPATCHED TO THE SCENE TO THE WRECK OF THE "IOLAIRE" ON THE "BEASTS OF HOLM" 2000 METRES SOUTHEAST OF THIS PLAQUE. TWO HUNDRED AND FIVE LIVES WERE LOST. MANY OF THE ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY EIGHT BODIES RECOVERED WERE LAID OUT HERE FOR IDENTIFICATION BY THEIR RELATIVES WHO HAD TRAVELLED FROM ALL PARTS OF LEWIS AND HARRIS.

IN SUBSEQUENT YEARS THE SITE WAS USED BY HM COASTGUARD AS A LOOK OUT STATION AND THE ASSOCIATED BUILDINGS WERE IN SUCCESSION OCCUPIED BY

THE LEWIS DISTRICT EMPLOYMENT EXCHANGE 1922-1936
THE "OKEY DOKEY" CLUB 1942-1945

AND FROM 1943 TO THE PRESENT TIME BY THE HYDRO BOARD, NOW HYDRO ELECTRIC, BY WHOM THIS COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUE WAS ERECTED IN 1993.
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adb41



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
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Location: Stornoway

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:08 pm    Post subject: Access to Iolaire Memorial Reply with quote

The memorial is signposted from the A866 road, which runs from Stornoway to the Airport. The access road can be found just east of Sandwick village, opposite Sandwickhill primary school. Please be careful, as the turn-off is located on a bad bend with reduced visibility. Proceed down the road to Holm Farm - beware of unmarked speedhumps. Where the road appears to terminate, turn right and park in the carpark left of the gate, where the road ends.

On foot, a rough walk through bog and briar from the road-end at Lower Sandwick past Stoneyfields Farm leads to the same point.

Walk up to the gate at the top of the carpark, where the first memorial plaque can be found. A gravel path leads down to the memorial itself. On approaching the memorial, a drainage ditch may flood across the path after a period of heavy rain.
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent. I love to see this level of information about how to get to a memorial (especially for the less accessible ones). I only hope I get the chance to visit.

\Paul
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MKMacdonald



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Location: Stornoway

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was the person responsible, as Secretary of the Stornoway Historical Society, for arranging the design and erection of the road directional signpost in Sandwick indicating the location of the Iolaire Memorial. My Grandfather, who I was named after, was lost on the Admiralty yacht and his body was not recovered. My father was aged 11 and could not recognise his own father among the six bodies not identified and never spoke about it to me - he just couldn't, as some of the bodies were mutilated by the jagged rocks and by the crabs that are in the deep water around the Beasts of Holm. He and his brother were brought up thereafter by relatives as their mother had predeceased the father.

I also compiled the list of 201 known victims that Guido Blokland uses on his website.

Continued research still cannot find any more than 201 victims despite a figure of 205 being listed. The total that I have compiled comprises of 174 sailors from Lewis, 7 from Harris (including 2 from the Isle of Berneray) and 20 crew. Historians keep referring to a total of 205 with the vessel sailing with a crew of 23. I have a list of 80 survivors including SEVEN crewmen.

My researches include Registration records, CWGC, Scottish National War Memorial, Local Historical Societies, Disaster Appeal applications, local and national newspapers, local cemeteries, etc.

The numbers were never authenticated and nobody seems to have come forward since Guido published the website, apart from the family of an additional survivor, to take the total to 80 from the original total of 79.

A sad story to the worst New Year ever for the Outer Hebrides!

Malcolm Macdonald
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adb41



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malcolm,

Thank you for outlining your role in compiling the list of names for the Iolaire, which I am more than happy to acknowledge and salute. As I explained on a previous occasion, I have taken it on myself to place this information on the Web.

I would be grateful if you could forward to me any additional information on the survivor that you discovered, as well as on the 7 survivors from the crew, in order that I can update the list on the website.

Guido
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Adam Brown
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From today's BBC Scotland News website. Note that at the bottom it says the BBC is launching an Iolaire webpage next week.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/highlands_and_islands/7806196.stm

Iolaire disaster recalled on isle

The 90th anniversary of the wrecking of a ship carrying hundreds of sailors home following the end of World War I is to be marked on the Western Isles.

Islanders are expected to gather at a memorial on Lewis dedicated to the Iolaire disaster to recall the deaths of 205 of the 280 passengers.

The yacht was wrecked on a reef called the Beasts of Holm off Lewis in the early hours of 1 January 1919.

Most of those killed were from Lewis and Harris.

The Iolaire, an Admiralty yacht, was carrying sailors of the Royal Naval Reserve.

The tragedy was discussed at a conference held on Lewis in August exploring claims that a disproportionate number of people from the Highlands and Islands fought, and died, serving in the UK armed forces.

Island Heroes - the Hebrides and UK Military History was organised by the Islands Book Trust.

To mark the anniversary, the BBC has produced a television documentary to be broadcast on BBC ALBA on New Year's Day.

A multi-media website, documenting in detail the events surrounding the tragedy, is to be launched at bbc.co.uk/iolaire on Wednesday.
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dhubthaigh
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See some video footage from North Tonight;

http://video.stv.tv/bc/news-headlines-nt-iolaire-090102/

Home at Last Parts 1 & 2 also available.
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Jim



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was an excellent BBC Alba programme on BBC 2 last night (Thurs 8 January 2009), in Gaelic with subtitles, about the loss of the Iolaire and the devasting effect it had on the community on Lewis.

I've not been able to find it on iplayer etc but it's worth keeping an eye open for if it repeats.
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David McNay
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Website is now live - can anyone translate for us non-gaelic speakers?
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spoons



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This article was published in the Sunday Post on 28 Dec 2008 under the heading "Hogmanay hell in the waters of the Minch".

I hope the scans are readable.

\Paul



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