25 April 2018Gunner James Sutherland of Flotta
Today is the centenary of the death in Flanders of James T Sutherland of Flotta. James was a gunner in an artillery battery supporting French troops driven off Mont Kemmel that day. On 25th April 1918 James was one of the last three, of a total of 22, Orcadians killed stopping the German Lys Offensive. A week earlier his friend James Flett, of The Bu, Flotta had died in the fighting. The biographies of both soldiers can be downloaded as pdfs from the Flotta section of the website, while that of James Sutherland can be downloaded direct using the link below.
25 April 2018Anzac Day 2018
On Anzac Day, 25th April, in 2009 a four man delegation from Kirkwall Royal British Legion visited St Olaf's Cemetery. They laid crosses provided by the National Army Museum at Waiouru in New Zealand on the graves of four Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve pilots buried there. Since 2013 the cemetery visit on Anzac Day has been an annual event for a delegation from the Legion and Orkney Royal Naval Association, also Greg Miller from Perth, Australia. Greg's wife represented him at today's commemoration, while Sue Carter from Melbourne made her second visit and a New Zealander, Hamish Guthrie whose wife is a radiologist at the Balfour Hospital, his first. Photos and a report of today's visit can be seen using the link below.
24 April 2018Able Seaman Alfred Taylor of Finstown
Today is the centenary of the death from wounds in Chatham Naval Hospital of Alfred Taylor of Finstown. He was fatally wounded in the daring attempt to block the use of Zeebrugge harbour by U-boats on St George's Day 1918. Alfred had joined the Royal Navy in February 1914 and served on board the battleship HMS Benbow at the Battle of Jutland. The story of his war service can be downloaded as a pdf from the Firth section of the website, or directly using the link below.