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Thread: Islay

  1. #1

    Islay

    From the whisky threads that appear on here from time to time the fondness many of us have for Islays famous export is clear.

    Having visited the island a few times I'm always amazed at how one of the most remarkable stories of WWI is little known beyond the shores of Islay, those of you who have been will know the tale but it really deserves a wider audience and thankfully on the 100th anniversary it's getting it. BBC Alba and 2 have both shown excellent documentaries this week and I've included both the BBC and Smithsonian takes below:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-43948079

    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/hundred-year-old-handmade-american-flag-flies-home-scotland-180968008/

    Every time I go to Islay I make a point of visiting the monument, it's a stunning setting and it must have been a huge effort to build such a tribute. The military cemetry at Kilchoman where many of the British crew of the 2 ships lost are buried is also a beautiful and poignant setting.

    The idea that a small island with one Policeman and many of it's own men at war in France cpuld stage a huge search and rescue operation, care for the survivors and treat the dead with dignity never ceases to amaze me.

    It really is a remarkable story.


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  3. #2
    Coaching Staff hibsbollah's Avatar
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    It is indeed. We didn't know about the monument, we were walking across the Oa looking for golden eagles, there are usually breeding pairs nesting on the cliffs, and we just stumbled across it and read the plaque. It really is a beautiful spot.

    I wonder what it is about Islay and hibs.net? Another clique to complain about

  4. #3
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    The first time we were at Oa the fog was so thick we almost didn't see the monument until we literally stumbled on it.
    Seeing it from above on the TV tonight, I was amazed at how close we were to the edge of the cliff!

  5. #4
    @hibs.net private member Hibbyradge's Avatar
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    Good post, PB, and you're right, it's a story that needs telling.

    I've only been to Islay once, but when we went to see the monument, the weather was stunning and we were completely on our own. Quite blissful.
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  6. #5
    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    I must admit until tonight when I watched the programme on tv I had never heard of this story. Funnily enough when my daughter was born I was determined she would have a Scottish name and I picked Isla. We’re planning to go there in October this year, this thread has just made that trip more interesting for me.

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  7. #6
    Coaching Staff One Day Soon's Avatar
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    That's a remarkable story and I'd never heard of it before. It reminded me of the tragedy of the Iolaire off Lewis in 1919.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMY_Iolaire

  8. #7
    @hibs.net private member Hibbyradge's Avatar
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    Orkney's Scapa Flow has a terrible history of naval disasters.

    HMS Vanguard blew apart in 1917 at the cost of 840+ lives.

    In 1938 HMS Oak was attacked and sunk by a German U boat with a similar casualty count.

    The latter triggered the building of defences ordered by Winston Churchill, known as the Churchill Barriers. They took years to build and much of the labour was provided by Italian prisoners of war who had been captured in Africa. (Imagine how they felt. Captured, but nice and warm one day... 😂)

    The Italian Chapel, built by this POWs entirely from leftover and specially adapted materials, still stands. It's amazing and well worth a visit. It's amazing what faith can inspire.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_Chapel
    Last edited by Hibbyradge; 02-05-2018 at 10:00 AM.

  9. #8
    Testimonial Due ACLeith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
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    The Italian Chapel, built by this POWs entirely from leftover and specially adapted materials, still stands. It's amazing and well worth a visit. It's amazing what faith can inspire.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_Chapel
    I have visited the Italian Chapel many times, it is simply the most inspiring and awesome place I have ever seen. The main artist, Domenico Chiocchetti, should, I feel, be compared in the 20th century to famous Italians like Leonardo da Vinci and Michaelangelo, such is the genius of his artistry. On the 70th anniversary of its opening, the Pope sent a message that included this comment "that this chapel, built in time of war, may continue to be a sign of peace and reconciliation”.

    That's exactly what it is, if you're ever in Orkney, make time for a visit.

  10. #9
    @hibs.net private member Hibbyradge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACLeith View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I have visited the Italian Chapel many times, it is simply the most inspiring and awesome place I have ever seen. The main artist, Domenico Chiocchetti, should, I feel, be compared in the 20th century to famous Italians like Leonardo da Vinci and Michaelangelo, such is the genius of his artistry. On the 70th anniversary of its opening, the Pope sent a message that included this comment "that this chapel, built in time of war, may continue to be a sign of peace and reconciliation”.

    That's exactly what it is, if you're ever in Orkney, make time for a visit.
    I was there last year. I loved it. 👍
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