View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Sunday 12 December

A quiet day, with hardly a breath of wind. That's the benefit of sitting directly under the centre of an area of high pressure. It will shift west later this week, leaving us with another northerly blast, snow and ice. Astronomically, winter is still nine days away, but weatherwise, it started two weeks ago.

I have been busy this afternoon adding tributes to the WW1 tribute site, and by the end of today the total for today will be close to 30, and the overall total at 200. I have gone through copies of the Stornoway Gazette from January 1917 to November 1918, as far as the edition of 15 November '18, which announced without much ado that war was over. The paper, published weekly, was only 4 pages due to paper shortages, so could not really go to town on the Armistice. And, by then, close on 1000 islanders had lost their lives in the war. Unbeknown to contemporary readers in 1918, another 200 were to be lost as they returned home on board their transport Iolaire, which sank outside Stornoway Harbour on New Year's Day 1919.

You've heard of the Titanic. Unless you have followed my output over the past 4 or 5 years, you are unlikely to have heard of the Iolaire. And even less likely to have heard of the loss of the Norge, in 1904.