When I Heard the Bell: The Loss of the Iolaire (Paperback)
  • When I Heard the Bell: The Loss of the Iolaire (Paperback)
zoom

When I Heard the Bell: The Loss of the Iolaire (Paperback)

(author)
£9.99
Paperback 272 Pages / Published: 07/05/2010
  • In stock online

Usually dispatched within 24 hours

  • This item has been added to your basket
Your local Waterstones may have stock of this item. Please check by using Click & Collect
On 31 December 1918, hours from the first New Year of peace, hundreds of Royal Naval Reservists from the Isle of Lewis poured off successive trains onto the quayside at Kyle of Lochalsh. A chaotic Admiralty had made no adequate arrangements for their safe journey home. Corners were cut, an elderly and recently requisitioned steam-yacht was sent from Stornoway, and that evening HMY Iolaire sailed from Kyle of Lochalsh, grossly overloaded and with life-belts for less than a third of all on board. The Iolaire never made it. At two in the morning, in pitch-black and stormy conditions, she piled onto rocks only yards from the harbour entrance and just half a mile from Stornoway pier, where thronged friends and relatives eagerly awaited the return of their heroes. 205 men drowned, 188 of them natives of Lewis and Harris - men who had come through all the alarms and dangers of the First World War only to die on their own doorstep, at the mouth of a harbour many could themselves have navigated with ease, on a day precious to Highlanders for family, celebration and togetherness. The loss of the Iolaire remains the worst peacetime British disaster at sea since the sinking of the Titanic.Yet, beyond the Western Isles, few have ever heard of what is not only one of the cruellest events in our history but an extraordinary maritime mystery - a tale not only of bureaucrats in a hurry, unfathomable Naval incompetence and abiding, official contempt for the lives of Highlanders, but of individual heroism, astonishing escapes, heart-rending anecdote and the resilience and faith of a remarkable people.
In the first English account and on the ninetieth anniversary of the 'dark ship', John MacLeod tells the story of the Iolaire, the astonishing commitment of the people of Lewis to the war against the Kaiser, its sickening end, and the way of life the disaster effectively destroyed - a tipping-point, he argues, in the overthrow of an old human economy and which deprived the Isle of Lewis of an entire generation.

Publisher: Birlinn General
ISBN: 9781841588582
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 318 g
Dimensions: 200 x 150 x 20 mm

You may also be interested in...

The Last Grain Race
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Breverton's Nautical Curiosities
Added to basket
Last Man Off
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
In the Heart of the Sea
Added to basket
Merchant Adventurers
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
Ship Spotter's Guide
Added to basket
Warships from the Golden Age of Steam
Added to basket
Sextant
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Mutiny on Board HMS Bounty
Added to basket
The Lighthouse Stevensons
Added to basket
1421
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Cutty Sark
Added to basket
£20.00
Hardback
Titanic's Last Secrets
Added to basket
Elizabeth's Sea Dogs
Added to basket
When I Heard the Bell
Added to basket
1434
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback

Reviews

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.