Project Team: Museum nan Eilean, Lewis

Project Title: Lewis At War

Through "Lewis at War, 1939-1960", Museum nan Eilean, from October 2008 to May 2009, will work closely with the Comainn Eachdraidh on the island to explore the broad theme of military service in World War II and subsequent conflicts up to 1960. Students from the Nicolson Institute will be involved in all aspects of the programme from planning, collection and research to digitisation and publication of all the materials. Among the memories to be explored and recorded in both Gaelic and English will be service in India, Burma and Africa, bomb disposal on the front line, Lewis participation in major engagements in Europe, and of course the way the war was experienced here at home. The project also aims to compile a definitive collection of bàrdachd (Gaelic songs) from the time.

Exhibitions in this Project:


The Home Guard in Lewis

Finlay Maciver (b. 192x) was a young member of the Home Guard. His memories....view project


Tank Commander: Lewis to Belgium

Alexander Macdonald from Stornoway joined up as a young man in Glasgow and served in the Tank Corps in Belgium. More to follow.view project


Evacuated: London to Lewis

Calum Murdo Maclean (b. 193x) was living in London at the beginning of World War Two and was evacuated back to his grandparents on the Isle of Bernera, Lewis, in 1940.view project


Nursing in Lewis, WW2

(More general text about hospital services in Stornoway and patients). Marion (nee Smith) Macleod (b. 1915), from Earshader in Lewis served as a hospital nurse in Stornoway during the war.view project


When the War Came to Brenish

Brenish in West Uig, Isle of Lewis - the end of the road, 45 miles from Stornoway - was the site of an RAF camp. (cinema, electric) In 1943 a B17 "Flying Fortress" crash-landed in the moor on the edge of the village. Iain Macdonald was 16 at the time and remembers it vividly.view project


A Lewisman at Anzio Beach

Norman Smith from Lionel in Ness, Lewis, served with xxx at Anzio Beach. (also POW - separate vignette?)view project


The RAF in Lewis

Details of camps and personal reminiscencesview project


Lewis Girls in the Land Army

Personal reminiscences - East coast of Scotland farmsview project


Lewis men in the Merchant Navy

Personal reminiscences and photosview project


Rifle training in India

Iain G Macdonald teaching rifle drill and use in Indiaview project