It was a catastrophe of almost incomprehensible and unimaginable loss. In the early hours of 1st January 1919, 280 servicemen made their final approach towards the safety of home and their loved ones, having survived the perils of the First World War. Carrying the gallant men towards Stornoway in heavy weather, was HMY Iolaire and just twenty yards from the shore and less than a mile away from the safety of Harbour she hit the infamous rocks “The Beasts of Holm” and sank. 201 out of the 280 men perished just yards from safety. Among the tragedy, incredible heroism helped save the lives of 79 of the men aboard. The unimaginable grief that the island suffered as a consequence of the tragedy has had a profound and lasting, though largely unspoken of, impact on every aspect of our island life and culture, our population and our island economy.
The Iolaire Centre Charity is now moving forward with a project to build “The Iolaire Centre”. “The vision for this project is to create a world-class centre which tells the story of the Iolaire tragedy, including the context of the time and the consequences which flowed from it, and how it touched every area and family in the island.” We are proud of the project and how we tell the story. We are proud of those who were lost and who survived. More information about the project can be found on this website.
About the Charity / Fios mun Charthannas
Iolaire Centre Limited is a private limited company registered in Scotland with company number SC591764. It is also a registered charity in Scotland with charity number SC048240.
Our registered office is:
Isle Of Lewis
Trustees of the Charity are Stewart Graham and Malcolm Macdonald.