Tag Archives: sturdy


Photograph of nurses who helped at the HMS Sturdy wrecking in 1940

Black & white photograph of a group of six nurses at Shieldhall Fever Hospital, Glasgow, in 1937-1940. Two of them, Elizabeth `Bessie` Barr, Lanarkshire (back row, right) and `Big` Katie MacArthur,Tiree (back row, centre) were on holiday on Tiree when HMS Sturdy ran onto rocks at Sandaig during a storm in October 1940, with the loss of five lives. The two nurses attended the survivors and were given salvaged souvenirs from the ship as thank-you gifts (see spoon and badge 2012.94.2 & 3). Bessie Barr was the donor`s mother.



Photograph of nurses Elizabeth `Bessie` Barr with the MacArthur family on Tiree in 1939

Black & white photograph of the MacArthur family of Tiree, including `Big` Katie MacArthur and Archie MacArthur, sitting on rocks with Bessie Barr, Lanarkshire, in 1939. Bessie and Katie were both nurses at Shieldhall Fever Hospital, Glasgow, and Bessie regularly spent her holidays on Tiree. It was on one of these holidays, when the two nurses helped the crew of HMS Sturdy when it was wrecked on rocks at Sandaig in 1940.



Photograph of seaman Edward Birch, survivor of HMS Sturdy wreck

Black & white photograph of seaman Edward Lionel Francis Birch, M37092 – Engine Room Artificer First Class, who was aboard HMS Sturdy when it ran aground at Sandaig in 1940 with the loss of five lives. The boy in the photo is John Birch, his eldest son. Taken in about 1940. Printed email in filing cabinet 9 drawer 3.



Photograph of a war memorial to mariners who lost their lives in WWII

Colour photograph of a war memorial plaque listing the names of ships in which sailors lost their lives during the second world war. Includes HMS Sturdy which broke up on rocks at Sandaig in 1940 with the loss of five lives.



Wood cabinet containing a list of the crew of HMS Sturdy in 1940

Hand-made oak cabinet containing lists of the crew of the destroyer HMS Sturdy when is was wrecked on rocks at Sandaig in October 1940, and photographs of the grave stones of five members of the crew that were drowned. Brass plates on the lid are engraved with “HMS Sturdy” and “The Ships Company 1940”. Made by Lt. Cdr. Mike Gibson in 2011 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the disaster in Oct. 2010, and presented by Mrs Cooper and Mike Gibson to the people of Tiree in recognition of their assistance to the crew at the time.


Salvaged objects from the wreck of HMS Sturdy

Collection of 7 objects collected from the seabed at Sandaig, by divers Polly & Duncan “Ceabhar”, where the destroyer HMS Sturdy was wrecked on rocks on 30th October 1940. Objects include two brass taps, brass nut, two brass buckles, brass cap fitting, round brass and white ceramic object.


Letter & memorandum about naval service by Cmdr. Mike Gibson, 2011

Letter from Commander Michael Gibson to Dr John Holliday about survivors and relatives of HMS Sturdy that ran aground at Sandaig in October 1940, plus a personal account of his life of service in the Royal Navy. Cmdr Gibson organised the 70th anniversary memorial service and cairn on Tiree in Oct 2010.


Letter from AJ Gallier (survivor of HMS Sturdy) to An Iodlann, 2011.

Handwritten letter from Mr A.J. Gallier, Shropshire, to An Iodhlann dated 2/1/2011. A Gallier was one of the sailors who survived the wrecking of HMS Sturdy on rocks at Sandaig in 1940. His letter gives an account of the disaster and expresses his thanks to his rescuers and hosts on Tiree.



News article and letter about the HMS Sturdy tribute on Tiree in October 2010.

Navy News (Jan. 2011) article about the `Sturdy cairn` built at Sandaig in 2010 to commemorate the sailors who died and survived, and their rescuers, when the destroyer HMS Sturdy ran aground there in Oct. 1940. Also a letter from Dawn Springett, Australia, a relative of one of those who drowned, who sent in the article.