Les Wilson at the Words of War Book Festival


The First World War comes to Islay

In February 1918 the troopship Tuscania was sunk by a German U-boat off Islay, causing the first major US military casualties of WW1. Eight months later HMS Otranto collided with another troopship, the losses were enormous. Men, dead and alive were washed ashore on Islay – war had come to the Hebrides.

Les Wilson and Lord Robertson of Port Ellen will discuss Les’s vivid and sympathetic account of how a small island community coped with both tragedies. In his moving preface to The Drowned and the Saved, which won the Saltire Society’s History Book of the Year Award, former Cabinet Minister and Secretary General of NATO, George Robertson writes of how his grandfather, the police sergeant on Islay in 1918, managed the unfolding events with none of the modern communications or emergency services we take for granted today.

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Saturday 21 Sep 2019
Words of War Festival, Black Watch Museum, Perth. Scotland