Comhairle set to mark Great War centenary

Each year, we remember those from the Western Isles who served and fell in the many conflicts all over the world, their names remembered in perpetuity.

Throughout the islands services will be held at War Memorials and people will gather to pay their respects.

Although these services are always tinged with sadness, there is a special poignancy in remembering 100 years since the atrocities of World War I, and the many who left these islands never to return.

As part of the many remembrance events over the next three years, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar will look at the condition of the Lewis War memorial and look at proposals to improve the site.

A spokesperson for the local authority stated: “The Comhairle shares the community’s huge disappointment at the level of vandalism in that area where lights have been damaged and dog fouling has become a major issue.

“This seems to be a poor way to pay our respects to the many who lost their lives in defence of the nation.

“Consideration is now being given to installing CCTV cameras in the area to discourage such behaviour and offenders will be held accountable.

“Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has also set up a Working Group to look at ways of improving access to the Iolaire War Memorial.

“Over the next few years, plans are being developed to look at stock proofing the Iolaire War Memorial as well as redefining the script on the memorial itself.

The Comhairle will work with the community to arrange appropriate remembrance events in relation to 100 years since the loss of the HMY Iolaire, one of Britain’s worst maritime disasters in the 20th century.

“Services will take place throughout the Western Isles on Remembrance Sunday, which this year falls on 8th November, and is a day for the nation to remember and honour those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom.

“The Comhairle is delighted that many of the schools in the Western Isles will have pupil representation at the services, underlining the significance of the epitaph on many memorials: ‘When you go home, tell them of us and say, For your tomorrow, we gave our today’.”