Black & white photograph of seaman Ralph Frederick Smith (right) who was rescued by Tiree residents when his ship, the SS Laristan, ran aground on rocks at Craignish, Hough on January 19th 1942. Ironically, having survived the wrecking of the Laristan, Ralph Smith died at sea three months later when his next ship, the Empire Dryden, was torpedoed off the USA coast. Ralph’s Seaman’s Card with details of his death can be viewed here.
Scanned copy of a Royal Canadian Air Force Pilot’s Flying Log Book belonging to Fred B Green, AFC, who was a pilot with 518 Squadron based at RAF Tiree from February 1943 to May 1945. The log book shows that he flew missions on 1, 2, 5 and 6 June 1944, all in Halifax LL294, including a stint of 9 hours 50 minutes on 2 June. That flight was diverted to Stornoway, presumably on account of weather conditions.
Copies of the Royal Navy service record, death certificate and list of medals awarded to John Barnard Norton (Bunty) Whyte (1909-1942), son of Balephuil/Oban artists Duncan MacGregor Whyte and Mary Barnard Whyte, who was killed during an air raid on Southampton during WW2. The material includes correspondence from Navy Command to the donor.
Transcriptions of personal letters from Wilfred Lancaster (1909-1988) to his wife Elizabeth (Betty) when he was stationed at Kilkenneth, RAF Tiree during WW2. They provide an interesting insight into life at the airbase during that time. Includes photographs of Wildfred and two other airmen, Reggie Burton and George Parker.
Copy of a page from An Tirisdeach 679 about a visit to Tiree by the Free Czechoslovak Air Force Associates, an organisation dedicated to remembering the Czech men and women who served in the RAF during WW2. Includes a detailed biography of Flying Officer Leonard Revilliod (1922-1944) who died in a mid-air collision over Island House in 1944.
Scanned copy of a telegram sent by Captain John Brown (1902-1986), Balevullin, to his parents in Cornaig, after being shipwrecked on Tuskar Rock off the east coast of Ireland in 1927. Includes a page of background information. John Brown was 25 years old at the time and could not swim.
He met his future wife when his ship, the Baron Belhaven, was being repaired in Barry Docks (west of Cardiff) in 1941. A bomb had dropped down the funnel when sailing in convoy out of Liverpool during WW2.
Hardback book ‘Forecast for Overlord’, by J M Stagg, 1971. A first-hand account of the weather forecasting that allowed the D-Day operations to be carried out on June 6, 1944. Written by General Eisenhower’s chief weatherman. Airmen at RAF Tiree collected the weather data that was used to forecast D-Day.
Lapel or cap badge of RAF 518 Squadron found on a sports field in South Island, New Zealand, in 2019 (32 x 20 mm). Made in Birmingham by HW Miller – medal, badge and button manufacturers since the 1930s. 518 Squadron – Meteorological Observers was stationed on Tiree during WWII. Only a handful of New Zealand men served at RAF Tiree, and it is presumed that the badge belonged to one of them and was dropped on his returned to New Zealand. The badge depicts a hand holding a key with the inscription ‘Tha an Iuchair againn-ne / We hold the key’.
Local news: Skerryvore perform in China and win A&B’s Young Entrepeneur of the Year; Alan Reid MP visits Tiree; An Iodhlann’s ‘Sheaves from the Stackyard’ – Tiree at war; Lunch Club remembers 1930s Tiree; new social worker for Tigh a’ Rudha; report of Strathclyde fire chief’s visit; policing Tiree Wave Classic; Tiree-Islay exchange; report of SWRI meeting; forthcoming visit by Tobermory lifeboat; school news – fundraising for Mod trip, healthy eating week, new rugby club; letters to the editor – damage to machair at Caoles; volunteers needed for Meals on Wheels; community Powerdown project – solar hot water; poem about wind power by Nik Rawson; sheep sale results; forthcoming boat restoration course.