WW100: Islay Commemoration Service HMS Otranto

I was honoured to attend the recent WW100 Islay Commemoration Service HMS Otranto.

100 years ago, on the 6th October 1918, the Troopship HMS Otranto sunk off Islay's west coast, half a mile from Machir Bay. In this terrible tragedy almost 400 servicemen lost their lives.

The commemoration Service was led by Minister Valerie Watson and was held at Kilchoman Military Cemetery to honour those who lost their lives, the survivors and those who helped in the aftermath. 

The services at Kilchoman Military Cemetery and Kilchoman Distillery were thoughtful and moving. The huge turnout from locals and visitors alike shows the immense respect we all have for the Otranto crew and efforts of Islay locals in helping rescuing the survivors of this tragedy 100 years ago. 

A huge thanks to all of the organisers and volunteers that made the memorial service possible, as well as the veterans and naval servicemen who attended and contributed to the event. 

As I and many others have said so many times before it is so important that we never forget the sacrifice of these young men who died so that we may continue to enjoy the freedoms we so often take for granted.

Cllr Alastair Redman