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Birsay War Memorial

From Marwick Head we travelled on up the west coast of mainland Orkney (though the road is not actually right by the sea) heading for Birsay which lies towards the northwestern tip.

Before we got there I spotted a War Memorial in what turned out to be Birsay Cemetery.

Birsay War Memorial

The inscription reads, “In memory of those natives of Birsay who died for us and truth in the nation’s service in the war 1914-19.”

The lower plaque towards the base reads, “Also those who died in the Second World War,” including Edith Carson, NAAFI.

Birsay War Memorial WW2 inscription

The other sides contain plaques for 1916:-

Birsay War Memorial (1916 names)

1917:-

Birsay War Memorial (1917 names)

and 1918:-

Birsay War Memorial (1918 names)

Two graves in the cemetery commemorate Great War deaths.

George Robertson, CEF, killed in action Oct 1916, aged 35:-

Memorial Stone at Birsay

L/Cpl William A D Flett, 5th Seaforth Highlanders, 51st Division, killed in action Cambrai, France, 21/3/1916, aged 21 years:-

Birsay Commemoration Stone

Marwick Head, Orkney

The cliffs at Marwick Head, the westernmost point of mainland Orkney, are stunning – at least on a sunny day.

The sea was a fantastic blue colour:-

Marwick Head, Orkney

Another cliff:-

Cliff and Sea at Marwick Head, Orkney

The southernmost headland had a standing stone on it. Seabirds circling:-

More Cliff at Marwick Head, Orkney

View South from Marwick Head, Orkney. Hoy in distance:-

View South from Marwick Head, Orkney

Looking north from the vantage point above. Marwick Head, Orkney, and Kitchener Memorial, standing stone in right foreground. The island off to the left is the Brough of Birsay:-

Marwick Head, Orkney, and Kitchener Memorial

Kitchener Memorial, Marwick Head, Orkney

We were motoring more or less up the west coast of mainland Orkney after visiting Skara Brae and Skaill House (of which more later) when I saw an imposing tower on a hill top overlooking the sea. Then I spotted a brown (site of interest) signpost saying “Kitchener Memorial” pointing off the road towards it. I immediately turned onto the one-track road indicated.

Kitchener made his name at the Battle of Omdurman – machine guns against spears; not an equal contest – during the punitive expedition against the Mahdi after his followers (Dad’s Army‘s “fuzzy-wuzzies”) killed General Gordon at Khartoum. He later took over the conduct of the South African War (the Second Boer War) instituting the measures that made sure the Boers could not live off the land, by taking their supporters/suppliers into the original concentration camps, before becoming head of the army and featuring on the famous Great War recruiting poster.

I knew Kitchener had been drowned at sea when the ship carrying him on a mission to Russia, HMS Hampshire, hit a mine recently laid by a German submarine but hadn’t realised it had been so close to Orkney. I also hadn’t known the memorial was there so this was a serendipitous discovery.

We managed to squeeze into a space at the very small car park and contemplated the long walk up to the memorial. I discovered later that the memorial lies on Marwick Head, the westernmost point of mainland Orkney. This Vickers pattern 31b Recoil Mk 2 gun salvaged from the deck of HMS Hampshire lay at the beginning of the path:-

Deck Gun from HMS Hampshire

Memorial from path at top of cliff:-

Kitchener Memorial, Orkney From Path

Memorial close:-

Kitchener Memorial

Kitchener Memorial Plaque:-

Kitchener Memorial Inscription

Much more recently a memorial wall to those who died on HMS Hampshire has been erected on the site. This shows its proximity to the Kitchener Memorial:-

HMS Hampshire Memorial Wall

Unfortunately the memorialised names do not stand out well in this photo:-

HMS Hampshire Memorial Wall

The HMS Hampshire memorial wall also commemorates the HM Drifter Laurel Crown lost off Marwick Head in June 1916:-

HMS Hampshire + HMS Laurel Crown Memorial

Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery, Hoy, Orkney (i)

Panorama from road:-

Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery, Hoy, Orkney

Entrance and Cross of Sacrifice from road:-

Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery, Hoy, Orkney

Graves (WW2):-

Graves at Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery, Hoy, Orkney

More WW2 graves:-

Graves at Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery, Hoy, Orkney

Johannes Thill. Despite the fact more German sailors and one soldier are buried elsewhere in the cemetery this grave stands in splendid isolation well away from all the others. It can be seen in the background to my photo of the HMS Vanguard Memorial (previous post):-

Johannes Thill, Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery, Hoy

A German Soldier. The other Germans in the cemetery were all sailors:-

A German Soldier, Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery, Hoy

A Norwegian Seaman (Norsk Sjømann) called Ivar Jacobsen, 1941:-

A Norwegian Sailor (Norsk Sjømann)

HMS Vanguard Memorial

One hundred years ago today, on 9th July, 1917, just before midnight, HMS Vanguard, a St Vincent class dreadnought, suddenly blew up while at anchor in Scapa Flow, Orkney. 843 of the 845 men on board died.

This memorial to the ship and those who died in the explosion lies in the Royal Naval Cemetery at Lyness on the island of Hoy, Orkney, which we visited on our recent visit there.

HMS Vanguard Memorial, Lyness, Hoy

Crawford

Crawford is a village in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. We passed through on a trip with the good lady’s blog friend, Peggy, last summer.

Its War Memorial is in the form of a Celtic Cross with embossed sword. Its front bears names from the Great War, “In grateful memory of those who gave their lives in the war for civilisation”:-

Crawford War Memorial

On the side are listed names for World War 2, “Brave young men who died for their country 1939-45”:-

Crawford War Memorial Side View

Eyemouth

Eyemouth, in the Scottish Borders Region, just a few miles north of the border and of Berwick, is the town where my mother spent most of her childhood before her family then moved to Dumbarton.

It’s a typical Scottish fishing village/town where a river (the River Eye) flows into the North Sea via a harbour.

I’ve been there several times before, as a child with my mother, and later as an adult but it was many years ago now. When the good lady’s blog friend, Peggy, was here last summer we took the opportunity to visit as she wanted to see it.

I hadn’t remembered this decoish set of windows:-

Art Deco Style in Eyemouth

The statue in front of the shop is of William Spears who in the 19th century led a revolt against the tithes on fish levied by the Church of Scotland.

This is the War Memorial, “Sacred to the memory of officers, NCOs and men of Eyemouth who fell in the Great War”:-

Eyemouth War Memorial

The reverse names the second war’s dead and the column’s inscription reads, “Sacred to the memory of officers, NCOs and men of Eyemouth who gave their lives in the Great War II, 1939-45.” Note also Merchant Navy, Fishermen plus Egypt 1952 and Iraq 2005:-

Eyemouth War Memorial

The original Jack Deighton, my grandfather, was the minister at the local Episcopal Church, St Ebba’s, named after a local saint, the Abbess of Coldingham. The Lifeboat at Eyemouth was also named for her as this lifebelt in the museum attests:-

Eyemouth St Ebba Lifebelt

Honfleur War Memorial

From over the street:-

Honfleur War Memorial

Honfleur is a relatively small town. Just look at all those names. “To her children of the armies of the land and sea killed for the homeland 1914-1918.” A measure of what France lost between 1914 and 1918:-

Honfleur, War Memorial Close

World War 2 names are at the base of memorial. In front is a stone poilu’s helmet above crossed swords with the inscription, “Gloire au Soldats Francaise”.

Honfleur, War Memorial Detail

Off to one side was this plaque to Albert Manuel, “heros de la résistance, croix de guerre”:-

Honfleur, War Memorial, Resistance Plaque

This plaque commemorates “The veterans of Indo-China in Normandy. To their lost and disappeared 1945-54.”

Honfleur War Memorial, Indo-China

Another notes “19th March 1962. End of the war in Algeria.”

Honfleur, War Memorial, Algeria Plaque

Porto War Memorial

Porto’s War Memorial is an imposing structure with a statue of a soldier reminiscent of many British War Memorials, set in a large square with a lovely pavemented approach:-

Porto War Memorial

Porto War Memorial Close

Plaque to those fallen in subsequent conficts:-

Porto War Memorial Plaque

Plaque to commemorate 100 years since the start of World War 1:-

Porto War Memorial Anniversary Plaque

The base of the Memorial pedestal is decorated with representations of artillery shells:-

Porto War Memorial Detail

Sadly there was some grafitti on the base of the Memorial, a piece of which can just be seen to the right above.

Dedication to those who died in defence of overseas provinces. (If my deciphering of the Portuguese is correct):-

Porto War Memorial Further Dedication

There are three cartouches on the Memorial, to the sides and rear. This one commemorates Angola, Naulila, Inhoga, Mongua, Ngiva:-

Porto War Memorial Cartouche

As best as I can make out this one says Franca, La Lys, Laventie, La Couture:-

Porto War Memorial Second Cartouche

And this one Mozambica (Mozambique,) Necomano? Sirra Micula? Namacourra?

Porto War Memorial Third Cartouche

Portugal and the Great War

It is one of the less remembered aspects of the Great War that Portugal was one of the Allies and sent troops to fight on the Western Front.

Germany declared war on Portugal on 9/3/1916 though before that there had been tensions over sea trade embargoes and border clashes in Africa. 12,000 Portuguese troops died and 82,000 civilians due to food shortages.

In São Bento Railway Station in Porto we found a commemorative display of photographs of Portuguese involvement in the war.

Grande Guerra (the Great War):-

WW1 1 Display in Porto Railway Station

Declaração de guerra (Declaration of war):-

The Great War:  Portuguese Involvement

A caminho das trincheiras (Portuguese trenches?):-

The Great War, Portuguese Trenches

A retaguarda (Training?):-

Portuguese Great War Photos

A vida nas trincheiras (Life in the trenches):-

Life in theTrenches

Destruição e desoleção (Destruction and desolation?):-

WW1 Destruction and Desolation

Campos de prisoneiros (POW Camps):-

WW1 POW Camps

O desfile da vitoria (Victory parade?):-

WW1 Portuguese Victory Parade

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