Composition ‘When Tiree held the Key to D Day’ by John Robertson 2018, about the critical role of RAF 518 Squadron Meteorological Observers, which was based at Tiree during WWII. Originally compiled for the Highalnd Aviation Museum in Inverness.
Emailed information about the possible location of the wreck of the Taeping tea clipper on Ladd Reef in the China Sea. The ship sank when it ran aground on its way to New York from China in 1871. The Taeping was previously commanded by Captain Donald MacKinnon, Heanish, who won the Great China Tea Race of 1866.
Printed copy of a report ‘Argyll Islands Study Tour 2004’ by Jim Hill, Isle of Coll. Over the period 29th September to 3rd October, 2004, a group of volunteers from the islands of Lismore, Mull, Tiree, Coll, Jura, Islay, Colonsay and Oronsay, travelled through those islands visiting various local initiatives funded by the Nàdair Trust. The study tour was organised by Argyll & the Islands Enterprise in partnership with the Nadair Trust and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The purpose of the tour was to mark the end of the Nadair 1 project, Heritage Tourism Training, led by Argyll & the islands Enterprise and to visit the Nadair 1 completed projects for Tour members to bring back knowledge and lessons learned to their respective islands. Some visits were also arranged to the location of potential Nadair 2 projects. See page 5 for Tiree: Loch Bhasapol surfing/fishing/nature, Rural Centre, An Iodhlann.
Emailed information about the HF/DF Station at Kenovay. Built in the utmost secrecy during WWII, it was used to track aircraft and German U-boats, and was key to D-Day operations. After the war all traces of it were carefully removed.
“It was certainly in use on D-Day! Its exact location I cannot be sure of but its intended location was MKJM 06593073 using the Georef system which places it at latitude 56 30 43.8N longitude 006 53 24.6W and its role was vital in securing the return of Coastal Command weather recce aircraft. D-Day was to have been 4 June but Gp Capt Stagg advised General Eisenhower that the weather was a no-no but he had reports from a weather ship that indicated that rising pressure and temperature were likely to push the worst weather North. An elite crew from 518 Sqn on Tiree were tasked to probe into the weather patterns and establish whether or not this was true. They signalled back to the disbelief of the boffins at Dunstable who said “Rubbish!” but the Polish Met observer put them straight and after nine and a half hours the aircraft returned safely thanks to the brilliant crew and also the radio fixes from Tiree. The flight data was absolutely crucial to the D-Day plan. Well done 518 Sqn!!! It was a true team effort by a marvellous crew of eight, Stagg was right, Eisenhower trusted him and D-Day went ahead.”
Emailed information from the Archivist at Argyll Estates’ archives at Inveraray to Iain Knapman, Balephuil, regarding material relevant to the history of land settlement on Tiree. Includes printouts of the two attachments mentioned below.
Prior to the establishment of crofts, the land was worked by communal farming settlements of multiple tenant farmers, cottars and servants – the baile. Certainly the 5th Duke of Argyll was keen to improve his lands, and the surveys of the lands and of the people who worked the lands that he commissioned towards the end of the 18th century were intended to inform agricultural improvements and the selection of the best workers to carry them out.
Apart from references in the Instructions that you have read, we hold additional correspondence within the bundle series (see attached list for possibly relevant bundles) and there is also a portfolio of specifically Tiree related material, ref. PV65, which Eric Cregeen listed briefly and which I assume informed his publication of the Instructions. I attach a copy of this list as well.”
Commemorative composition about the life and death of John (Ian) Mackinnon, Vaul (1887-1916), by his great-niece Jilly Watson (née Mackinnon Johnstone), Canada, 2017. Includes a photograph and family tree.
Short composition ‘Memories of our evacuation to Tiree 1944-1945’, by Archie Johnstone, 2017. Archie, with his sister Margaret and brother Ian, were evacuated from Rochester in Kent to their Aunt Dorothy’s home in upper Vaul, while the German’s were bombing London during WWII.