The Drowned and the Saved

When War Came to the Hebrides

Les Wilson

 
Date Published :
January 2018
Publisher :
Birlinn
Contributor(s) :
George Robertson, George Robertson
Language:
English
Illustration :
8pp b/w plates
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Paperback
ISBN : 9781780275437
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 7.7 X 5.1 inches
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In stock
$14.95

Overview
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WINNER OF THE SALTIRE SOCIETY HISTORY BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018Next morning at about 6 o’clock my mother wakened us to say there had been a shipwreck and bodies were being washed ashore. My father had gone with others to look for survivors ... I don’t think any survivors came in at Port Ellen but bodies did.The loss of two British ships crammed with American soldiers bound for the trenches of the First World War brought the devastation of war directly to the shores of the Scottish island of Islay.The sinking of the troopship Tuscania by a German U-Boat on 5 February 1918 was the first major loss of US troops in in the war. Eight months after the people of Islay had buried more than 200 Tuscania dead, the armed merchant cruiser Otranto collided with another troopship during a terrible storm. Despite a valiant rescue attempt by HMS Mounsay, the Otranto drifted towards Islay, hit a reef, throwing 600 men into the water. Just 19 survived; the rest were drowned or crushed by the wreckage.Based on the harrowing personal recollection of survivors and rescuers, newspaper reports and original research, Les Wilson tells the story of these terrible events, painting a vivid picture which also pays tribute to the astonishing bravery of the islanders, who risked their lives pulling men from the sea, caring for survivors and burying the dead.

About The Author
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Les Wilson is a writer and an award-winning documentary maker who specializes in Scottish historical subjects. Among his film credits is the 30-part series "Scotland’s War," an oral history of World War Two, and the 13-part series "The Real Tartan Army," a TV history of the Scottish regiments. He is the co-editor of Islay Voices (Birlinn, 2016) and lives on the island of Islay.

George Robertson Was Born In 1946 On Islay And Educated At Dunoon Grammar School And The University Of Dundee. He Has Had A Distinguished Political Career, Starting Out As Parliamentary Private Secretary To The Secretary Of State For Social Services, And Taking On Various Roles Including Defence Secretary Of The United Kingdom, Secretary General Of Nato And A Member Of Her Majesty's Privy Council.

George Robertson Was Born In 1946 On Islay And Educated At Dunoon Grammar School And The University Of Dundee. He Has Had A Distinguished Political Career, Starting Out As Parliamentary Private Secretary To The Secretary Of State For Social Services, And Taking On Various Roles Including Defence Secretary Of The United Kingdom, Secretary General Of Nato And A Member Of Her Majesty's Privy Council.

REVIEWS
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A well-researched account of loss and tragedy'

- Oban Times

"a model publication… Scottish history at its best, making a local episode visible in its national and international dimensions’"

- Professor Chris Whatley, Chair of the Judging panel, Saltire Society

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