Iolaire Commemoration Exhibition 2 October 2018 – 4 May 2019

An exhibition commemorating the centenary of the loss of HMY lolaire on 1 January 1919 is open at Museum nan Eilean Lews Castle.

The Iolaire was carrying hundreds of Royal Naval Reserve members who had been granted leave to visit their loved ones on Lewis, Harris and Berneray. The vessel foundered on rocks close to Stornoway harbour resulting in the deaths of 201 of the 280 men on board.

The new exhibition ‘An Iolaire – The Iolaire’ examines the circumstances of the disaster, its immediate impact and the long-term effects on the people of the Outer Hebrides.

Objects on show include a life preserver belonging to the youngest survivor, Donald Maciver of North Tolsta, medals awarded to John Finlay Macleod of Ness whose bravery in carrying a heaving line ashore saved dozens of lives, and a panel from the Great Tapestry of Scotland commemorating those lost.

Documents from Tasglann nan Eilean collections are also on display, showing the donations which came in from around the world, how they were disbursed to those in need, and the ongoing suffering of the local population.

The exhibition will be open on Mondays, Tuesday, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Hours are 1pm until 4pm until 31 March 2019 and 10am until 5pm from 1 April 2019 until 4 May 2019.