Islay commemorates First World War sinking

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On Monday February 5 1918 a troopship carrying 2,000 US soldiers and 400 British crew was torpedoed off Islay by a U-boat.

Exactly one hundred years to the day, yesterday, a  centennial service of remembrance for the loss of the troopship SS Tuscania was held on the island.

Many were rescued,  but 126 bodies were swept onto Islay’s shores. The islanders took the survivors into their homes, cared for the living and buried the dead as though they were their own.

Islay’s RNLI volunteer crew,  was represented, with 100 people at the World War100 event which remembered these acts of kindness, bravery and humanity.

There were wreath-laying services at the American Monument on the Mull of Oa and at Kilnaughton Military Cemetery.

Coxswain David MacLellan laid a wreath along with representatives from all the other rescue services.

AN RNLI spokesperson said: ‘It was also a time to remember the selflessness of the island community at a time of great hardship and to be proud that so many of them to this day volunteer to be members of the lifeboat, the coastguard and the fire service.’