Friday, 11 November 2011

Armistice Day 2011

It is the 11th hour on 11th day, of the 11th month, of the 11th year. 93 years ago today, the guns fell silent on the Western Front, bringing to an end more than four years of carnage in the trenches and on the high seas.

Of the 6,200 men who enlisted from the Isle of Lewis in the First World War, more than 1,300 never returned. More than 200 of those perished on 1 January 1919 in the sinking of HMY Iolaire, which was returning island servicemen home after the war.

I am not certain how many people from the Isle of Lewis joined up in the Second World War, but about 450 perished between 1939 and 1945. The majority served in the Merchant Navy and Royal Navy.

A listing of the Fallen from the Isle of Lewis can be viewed on these two links:

First World War
Second World War

Tributes have been transcribed from the Stornoway Gazette for the years 1917 and 1918, as well as for the years 1939-1945. Further links to my local history (and particularly military history) research can be found on this page.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

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