Highlands & Islands

Iolaire disaster to be recalled in new book

Memorial and cairn to the Iolaire disaster Image copyright Colin Smith/Geograph
Image caption A memorial and cairn on Lewis recalling the Iolaire disaster

The stories of all 281 men, including 205 World War One servicemen, who died when their boat sank off the Western Isles, are to be told in a new book.

The publication, which will be available in English and Gaelic, will form part of a new project recalling the Iolaire disaster.

Iolaire, a Royal Navy yacht, was wrecked on a reef called the Beasts of Holm off Lewis on 1 January 1919.

There were 79 survivors of the sinking, which came after the end of WW1.

Every village in Lewis and Harris had a connection with those involved in the disaster.

Arts organisation An Lanntair, Western Isles publisher Acair Books and the new Museum nan Eilean at Lews Castle in Stornoway, Lewis, are working on the commemoration project.

As well as the book, there will be exhibitions and other events taking place in 2018 and 2019 - the year of the 100th anniversary of the sinking.

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