Skip to comments.The Scottish island that buried America's dead
Posted on 05/04/2018 5:14:19 AM PDT by Winniesboy
It is the whisky-making Scottish island, world famous for its peaty single malts and warm hospitality.
But the isle of Islay, in the Inner Hebrides, is now being recognised for an almost forgotten example of huge courage and humanity.
A hundred years ago, Islay was on the frontline in the battle at sea during World War One.
The island coped with mass casualties from two major troopship disasters just eight months apart. ...
Between them, the sinkings of the SS Tuscania in February and HMS Otranto in October, claimed the lives of about 700 men in the last year of the war...
. The civil authority on this almost crime-free island was a police sergeant on a bicycle, called Malcolm MacNeill. Sgt MacNeill and his three constables had to recover, identify and bury the remains of almost 200....
Despite their trauma, the islanders worked tirelessly to bury the dead with dignity
. They did not have an American flag for the funerals, so a small group of locals hand-stitched one from the materials they had - working late into the night. That flag has been preserved by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, which is sending it home on loan to Islay for the centenary. ...
Many of the victims were from the US state of Georgia, which is planning its own commemorations later this year...
In 1918, the Tuscania disaster represented the biggest single loss of US military lives since the American civil war...
On Friday 4 May, Princess Anne will lead commemorations on Islay to mark the centenary of these twin tragedies... These events will honour those who lost their lives and honour what the people of Islay did for those in peril on their shores a hundred years ago...
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
Many contemporary photos at the link
Wonderful historical account. Thanks for posting it.
Very moving. Underscores just what was lost forever between 1914-1945. The world lost the best of its genetic stock. Sorry but it is no a surprise that Western civilization is devolving into hedonistic debauchery and committing cultural suicide. The best never procreated.
What an inspiring story. Thanks for posting this.
Pretty sure the House of Habsburg wasn’t the best of our genetic stock. Nor the other inbred royal houses displaced in the time period you describe. Pretty much the opposite in fact.
If only it were the House of Habsburg and other decadents that were lost.
Gonna have to pick up a nice scotch from the Kilchoman area, where most bodies washed up and were buried, for a proper salute, of course!:
In 1942, a navigational error put two US destroyers and a troop transport aground on Canada's Newfoundland icy shoreline. Small fishing communities assisted with the rescue, although nearly 200 died.
Written by a Canadian, the book was not permitted to appear in the US. (But I've read it). ;)
https://foresthistory.org/digital-collections/world-war-10th-20th-forestry-engineers/ has more about the lost ships. Many photos of the unit and times.
My own grand-father, Emil, a first-generation American, survived the vicious anti-German propaganda put out by the Wilson administration to join the US Army.
Rebuffed by the Infantry - he was told they "already had too many GD Krauts already", he walked done the street and joined the Forestry Engineers (the 20th)
He survive the Spanish Flu, being shot at by some of his own first cousins and everything that goes with a war zone.
He was a "Waggoneer" that is - a truck driver.
I'm here to day thanks to him. And the many others that did not make it home.
*another related ping*
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