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.
“I applied for jobs from Kirkwall to Cowdenbeath, but one summer’s day in 1969 two letters dropped on the doormat. One from the Stornoway Gazette and one from the Daily Record: one rejection, one interview offer. And not the way round you would think. Aye, the good people of Lewis have no idea how lucky they got.”
Bunabhainneadar Tennis Court on the road to Husinish, North Harris, has featured on a recent Jaguar advert. A visitor to Harris had driven past the court and tweeted a photo to Andy Murray, suggesting that it should feature on the ATP World Tour. Murray responded to her tweet with, “Is that even real?”
Stornoway Historical Society is an organisation, formed in 1992, who seek to advance the education of the public about the history, heritage and culture of both Stornoway and the wider Island.
Last year, I came across one of their lectures online, which was fascinating viewing. I was never interested in history in school, not that I was interested in much else, but on the back of the lecture, I decided it was about time I made my debut at one of their meetings.
I recently watched an enthralling Gaelic documentary (with subtitles) about my home town, focusing on the lives of those born and brought up in Stornoway in the 1950’s. For some, it will be a trip down memory lane, whereas for others of us, it is a fascinating look into the distant past and how the older generation lived their lives in their formative years.