War Memorials in the Isle of Lewis

The Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, has made a proportionately large sacrifice in the two World Wars of the 20th century. The losses suffered in the Great War of 1914-1919 stand at 1,300, which accounts for about 8% of the total population, one man out of every six. This war is held to have ended in 1919 in the island on account of the Iolaire Disaster, when more than 200 island sailors were drowned in the sinking of HMY Iolaire on 1 January 1919. It is frequently mentioned on the memorials in Lewis.

The Second World War number is about 450, reflecting the vastly different nature of that conflict.

The main memorial, just outside Stornoway, lists just over 1,500 names on 23 bronze plaques. It was erected in 1923, and inaugurated by the then landowner, Lord Leverhulme. The first memorial in rural Lewis was built in the township of Tolsta-Chaolais, a few miles south of Carloway or 20 miles west of Stornoway. Others were to follow during the 20th century. It should be noted that the villages of Barvas and Brue do not have a war memorial at this time (February 2011).

I have photographed all 15 memorials, and each will appear on a separate page, complete with transcription and details on location and access. This information was first published by me on the Scottish War Memorials Forum, and is reproduced here.

Further information on casualties can be obtained from my two tribute sites Faces from the Lewis War Memorial and Second World War Tribute for Lewis.
The full list of war memorials in Lewis: