A Powerful Image
The Great War (1914-1918) had a profound impact on mankind. There were over 17 million deaths during the course of the conflict. It has been said that the First World War had a greater effect on world history than any other four year period in the history of mankind. There were over six million British men mobilised, and over 700,000 of them were killed in battle. It is estimated that 150,000 Scots lost their lives, accounting for over a fifth of Britain’s war dead.
Unbeknown to many, the Western Isles of Scotland lost more men per head of population than any other part of the UK. Records state that out of a total population of 29,603, 6,712 men served and 1,151 of them were killed in service. The Island lost twice the rate of men as the rest of the British Isles.
The second World War (1939-1945) would yet claim a further 376 Islander lives. A local Stornoway based photographer, posted this photo online a few years ago, powerfully displaying the men of Lewis about to head to war again to gain the freedom we know today. The photo was taken where the War Memorial now stands at the highest point in Stornoway.