NR2558 : The story of the Tuscania Flag

taken 3 years ago, near to Port Charlotte, Argyll And Bute, Great Britain

The story of the Tuscania Flag
The story of the Tuscania Flag
In the Museum of Islay Life.
The Great War Centenary Commemoration on Islay 2018

The first week of May 2018 saw Islay remembering the centenary of two events in which the Island and Islanders were greatly involved the shipwrecks of the British ships SS Tuscania and HMS Otranto carrying American soldiers to the Western Front.
On 5 February the SS Tuscania was torpedoed by a German submarine. 2000 men were rescued, but 220 died. The survivors were helped by the islanders, and the bodies of the dead were recovered and buried with honour. The day before the mass interment of 126 bodies it was realised that there was no American flag to fly at the burial. The housekeeper of Islay House, with three helpers, worked overnight to make a flag, with material from a local shop and a plan from an encyclopaedia, to fly at the burial. The flag was later presented to President Woodrow Wilson who, in turn, gave it to the Smithsonian Institute of American History in Washington D.C. That flag is now displayed, on loan, in the Port Charlotte Museum of Islay Life, together with many other artefacts relating to the two incidents, as well as Islay life in general.
On 6 October HMS Otranto collided with another ship in her convoy during a storm. More than 600 American soldiers and British crewmen were rescued by HMS Mounsey, but 500 men were still aboard when the HMS Otranto hit the reef off Kilchoman. Only 19 survived.
The contribution of the Islay people was commemorated by the laying of wreaths at the American Cemetery at Kilchoman, the American Monument on the Mull of Oa, and the war memorial at Port Ellen.

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NR2558, 110 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Sunday, 13 May, 2018   (more nearby)
Sunday, 20 May, 2018
Geographical Context
Educational sites  Islands  People, Events 
Near (from Tags)
Port Charlotte 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NR 2527 5859 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:44.5501N 6:22.7367W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NR 2527 5859
View Direction
Northwest (about 315 degrees)
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Other Tags
Museum  SS Tuscania  WW1  Argyll and Bute  Isle of Islay  Information Panel 

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