Sunday, 16 November 2008


It is 4 years ago that I arrived in Lewis, and among the handful of activities that I have engaged in over that period of time is photography of wargraves and war memorials. I have so far located over 330 individual graves of war dead or gravestones linked to these casualties in the two dozen cemeteries in Lewis and Harris. The task is not complete, as I initially focused on the victims of the Iolaire Disaster, later of World War I and this year World War II.

Photographs and additional information can be accessed through this page on the Scottish War Graves Project website.

This is an example of a wargrave in the cemetery at Gravir, South Lochs.

Murdigan Aonghais Alasdair
Last address in Lewis: 10 Calbost
Son of Angus and Christina Finlayson, of Lochs.
Service: Merchant Navy
Date of death: 1 February 1944
Lost on SS Caleb Sprauge, when that ship was sunk at Newhaven by enemy action.
Had served in RNR for 2 years 9 months before war
Interred: Gravir Cemetery
Local memorial: Pairc, Kershader

Last month, I visited the island of Hoy in Orkney to take pictures of all the (named) wargraves in the Royal Naval Cemetery at Lyness. I have now completed the task of putting images and information on a different page of the Scottish War Graves Project. . In this cemetery lie buried the dead from all over the United Kingdom, as well as more than a dozen German service personnel.

1 comment:

  1. "Your efforts, along with others elsewhere, in photographically recording and then making these images available on the internet is a remarkable gesture that will undoubtedly be appreciated right round the world. "
    CR from England

    "As I have said before, this blog is always a pleasure to read, it is either a much appreciated history lesson, or comment on the life if an island. Thank you."
    Pat Egan from Blackpool

    "I have always found the war memorials in the UK very moving...thank you for going to the trouble to photograph and post these graves and memorials. I found the one on the Iolaire very interesting indeed (but can't remember if I commented on it or not)"
    thelovelyOutlander from over here

    "There are a couple of memorials in Ardroil Cemetery at Uig if you've not come across them as yet."
    John (x333xxx) from Achmore, Isle of Lewis

    "So long, Arnish. Don't forget to switch the light off."
    mjc from IN, USA

    "Who said I was going anywhere, MJC?"
    Arnish Lighthouse from Stornoway

    "The whole caboose is going, Arnish. See IBHQ."
    mjc from IN, USA