OHS News

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04 May 2016New Book: HMS Hampshire: a Century of Myths and Mysteries Unravelled

The Orkney Heritage Society has pleasure in announcing

the forthcoming publication of a book to commemorate

the centenary of the loss of HMS Hampshire:

HMS Hampshire:  a Century of Myths and Mysteries Unravelled

by James Irvine, Brian Budge, Jude Callister, Kevin Heath, Andrew Hollinrake, Issy Grieve, Keith Johnson, Neil Kermode, Michael Lowrey, Tom Muir, Emily Turton and Ben Wade


The book assembles hitherto unused contemporary evidence to explore the causes and circumstances of the loss of HMS Hampshire on 5 June 1916 and to the associated myths and mysteries.  It will include the new Roll of Honour, accounts of Hampshire, Lord Kitchener and the mission to Russia, the rescue efforts and associated rumours and outrage, the conspiracy theories, the minelaying and minesweeping operations, the loss of HM Drifter Laurel Crown, the Kitchener Memorial, the diving expeditions on the wreck, the artefacts, and the Centenary Events, and notes on the survivors and many of the men who lost their lives (brief contributions still welcomed). 

This A4 120 page illustrated case-bound book will be launched on 30th August 2016 and retail at £25 plus postage & packing.  All proceeds, including authors’ royalties, will go to the Orkney Heritage Society for the Kitchener Memorial Refurbishment Project.

Two pre-launch offers are available for orders placed before 30th June:


Copies may be ordered for £25 with free UK postage and packing
(plus £5 supplement for Europe, £10 supplement for rest of world);


Copies may be ordered for £20, i.e. 20% off, for personal collection in exchange for receipt at the Launch on 30th August, or thereafter from Lucy Gibbon at The Orkney Archive, Junction Road, Kirkwall.


Payment for the above pre-launch offers may be by:

Either:  cheque payable to “Orkney Heritage Society” and sent to the OHS Treasurer, PO Box 6220, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 9AD.  Please enclose name, email address (for receipt), and (for postal option) delivery address;

Or:  cash or cheque at the Birsay Community Hall on June 3rd - 5th, 11am - 5pm and evenings.

Queries to jamesmirvine@hotmail.co.uk

20 March 2016Orkney Heritage Society: Eynhallow Annual Trip

21 November 2015Talk: Saints & Sinners, the Memorials of St Magnus Cathedral & OHS AGM

Spencer Rosie will talk about his new book 'Saints and Sinners, the Memorials of St Magnus Cathedral' after the Orkney Heritage Society Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 24th November, at 7.30pm in the St Magnus Centre, and will be available to sell and sign books after the talk.  All welcome.  Free entry.


Papers for the meeting can be downloaded from here.

03 September 2015Orientation of Kitchener Memorial

In the many visits made to the Kitchener Memorial by members of the Orkney Heritage Society, something surprising came to light recently.  The doorway - blocked up many years ago - exactly faces the wreck of the HMS Hampshire.  This means that the whole orientation of the Memorial was decided this way, and is why it faces the direction it does.

One of the plans for the Memorial Wall to be erected around the Memorial itself was to incorporate a slim marker stone pointing in the direction of the wreck, so it was discovered quite by accident.

If you are interested in reading more about the work of the Society in refurbishing and enhancing the Memorial, click on the Society's blog about the project - https://kitchenerhampshire.wordpress.com/.


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