Tag Archives: world war ii

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Bound composition titled ‘A Visit to Coll’ by Catriona Smyth, 2002. Contains photographs of gravestones in the old and new graveyards on Coll, and a transcription of their inscriptions. Names include Lightbody, MacDougall, Ferguson, Fainges, Taylor, MacKinnon, MacCalum, MacFadyen and McPadyen. War graves include a Royal Marine of the ‘Viknor’, Harvey or Gibson of the ‘Racoon’, Pontus of the ‘Arandor Star’, and several unamed sailors of the  Merchant Navy.


Photocopies of three airmail letters between brothers Angus (Gus) and Alasdair (Ali) McLellan, and to their mother Mrs R McLellan, Linlithgow, dated March 1943 and December 1944. Angus served with RAF Ceylon, while Ali served with the Hussars. The letter dated 20/3/1943 from Ali to his mother mentions Charles MacLean of Cornaig, who went missing in action: “Has Mrs MacLean heard any more news about Charles or is he still missing? She must be very upset over it all. How is his father taking the news?” The letters were found by the Findlaters in the old School House in Scarinish.

Click here to view 2017.8.4


Softback book ‘No Shame in Fear’ by Alex C. MacLean, 2016. Alex C. Maclean was born on the Isle of Tiree in 1923, and lived there until the age of fourteen, when he went to sea. This is a first-hand account of the WW2 Atlantic convoys and the devastation of war. Stalked by German U-boats, cast adrift in a lifeboat, it also tells of the difficulties of the post-war period, in building a decent family life and coming to terms with his own history back on Tiree. Foreword by Donald S. Murray.


Metal dessert spoon engraved with ‘NAAFI’ on the handle and encrusted with dark substance. Found in the ground in a stackyard in Barrapol in 2016, it would originally have been part of the cutlery stock of one of the RAF NAAFIs on Tiree (probably Hough) during WWII, but has since been used for mixing paint/varnish/glue on the croft.


WWII mine installed at An Iodhlann

mine at an iodhlannA sea mine recently discovered under gravel on the Sandaig shore, is now on display outside An Iodhlann. When a Bomb Disposal Team dug up the mine on the 3rd of August, it was found to be empty of explosive, safe and reasonably intact. We have positioned it so that its innards are visible, as well as the locations of detonation horns and the hole where a time-sensitive self-destruct mechanism was installed. Hundreds of pebbles and shells are fused onto its surface. Tens of thousands of similar mines were laid around the Hebrides and the North Sea during the first and second world wars.


One of the ceramic red poppies from the display of 888,246 from the Tower of London in 2014 commemorating the centenary of the outbreak of the first world war. Each represented one British or colonial life lost. Bought and donated by Greta Travers who was posted to Tiree as a WAAF in 1945, during the second world war. The poppy was placed in the ground in front of the RAF Halifax memorial at Tiree’s airport for a while during 2015. See also 2017.12.2



Efficiency Medal bearing the head of King George VI on one side and on the other the words “For Efficient Service”. Instituted in 1908, the Efficiency Medal was awarded to members of the Territorial Army (UK), Colonial Auxiliary Forces and Indian Volunteer Forces, with more than 12 years service. This version of the medal was issued during 1949-1952 and includes the word “INDIAE”.  The recipient’s name is engraved on the rim: 544938 CPL W MACLACHLAN AYR YEO. The ribbon would have been dark green with yellow borders. Found in a garden in Scarinish.

2015.29.12015.29.1 back


Softback book ‘Eilean Uaine Thiriodh’ by Margaret Bennett and Eric Rose, 2014. ‘The Green Isle of Tiree’ is a biography of Ethel MacCallum who, in 1942, was evacuated from an orphanage in Glasgow to the Island of Tiree. She became fluent in Gaelic and, with her natural gift for music and song, was encouraged to write her own compositions. The book includes some of her original work on a CD.

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