When I Heard the Bell: The Loss of the Iolaire Paperback – 2 Jun 2015
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'evocative and wholly magnificent' --Roger Hutchinson, The Scotsman
About the Author
John MacLeod was born in Lochaber in 1966. After graduating from Edinburgh University, he began his career at BBC Highland in Inverness and quickly established himself as a freelance writer. He won Scottish Journalist of the Year in 1991 and contributed regularly to The Scotsman and The Herald. He is presently a columnist with the Scottish Daily Mail and is the author of several books. He lives on a croft on the west side of Lewis with a small, elderly dog, two melodeons, a 4-oven Aga and far too many chickens. He is the author of Banner in the West, also published by Birlinn.
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Top Customer Reviews
It was an incident, too, that had a cataclysmic effect on the people of the islands of Lewis and Harris, robbing many rural communities of the young men on whom their future depended.
The power of this book is the way it not only tells the story, but also the manner in which it places the tragedy in context, both local and 'international' and shows how it influenced the later history of these islands.
The author John Macleod deserves praise for the way he has mastered - what must have been - harrowing and gruelling information, and fashioned into a masterpiece of fluent and fascinating prose. As a native of that island, I am in his debt for the way he has done this. So, too, are many others who were brought up in a landscape scarred - even today - by this terrible event. At long last, he has removed the tight gap of both time and place and allowed its victims to speak.
I found the detail both compelling and fascinating. More so, having recently discovered close immediate family connections to a number of 'names' so in all probability, relatives were involved. That aside, it's a no holds barred account and a important social record and testament to all involved. Thank you Mr MacLeod.
Although its a tragic story, the author keeps you interested and unable to put the book down. The hardships faced by the families before & after the disaster will long live with me. I bemoan the way people today endlessly complain about how hard they find their life, how little they know of hardship.
Buy the book, read & re read, then tell others to do the same.
What can one say about this book other than excellent?
I first heard of this tragedy well over forty years ago when as a young student I was in the company of a number of Lewis folk and one lady told me all she knew about it and how it tore the heart out of Lewis people especially as it happened on their own doorstep and after four years of the first world war.
Last year I visited the site while I was on holiday and saw the actual "beasts" that claimed so many lives on a night that in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland people would normally let their hair down and have a good time with music merriment and laughter.
Sadly this was not to be on the 1st January 1919 in Lewis.
This book is a wonderful story explaining everything in detail and the author "John Macleod" has made an excellent job of it.
Finally take it from me, a visit to the site is well worth it as you will see for yourselves just how close to the shore "the beasts" are and just how close to Stornoway the accident happened.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found it very moving and well documented. I was particularly interested as it was the first time I had heard what actually happened to my Uncle, who was nineteen at the time,... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Another well researched book from this author. The names of the drowned navy men in their special layout is heartrending.Published 7 months ago by Julie
What a wretchedly sad event. Excellent story, well told at last.Published 16 months ago by Patten44
This is the tragic story of His Majestys Yacht Iolaire(Eagle) that sank on December 31,1918 after hitting the Biastan Holm rocks at the entrance to Stornoway harbour on a voyage... Read morePublished 17 months ago by G.I.Forbes
An engaging story recounting not just the tragedy at the time, but how it's impact continues to be felt to the present day. Engaging from start to finish. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Skyemac64
What a great read .The author has done himself proud. Many thanks GwenPublished 22 months ago by Gwen Hunter