NR2163 : The entrance to The American Cemetery

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

The entrance to The American Cemetery
The entrance to The American Cemetery
Officially the Kilchoman Military Cemetery, and a memorial to WWI&II. The site of centenary commemorations two weeks before my visit.
Kilchoman Church (ruin)

The stark ruins of Kilchoman church are set in a dramatic location at the end of a lane through the village with the towering rocks of Creag Mhr ("Big Crag") of Turnaichaidh behind it.
The church has been unused since 1977 and has been slowly deteriorating ever since. In its churchyard are numerous stones dating from the C15th and including a notable cross (see images). The church seen today dates from 1825, but replaces an ancient chapel of St. Comman constructed "on [an] exposed position on [a] hill" according to Historic Scotland.

Not surprisingly, this building is considered officially a "Building at Risk" and this website LinkExternal link gives details of its decline since 1993, for example detailing that the roof totally collapsed due to gales in November 2010.
The Canmore site LinkExternal link gives extensive details about the graveyard stones and the cross, with plans, photographs and aerial views.

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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NR2163, 93 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 15 May, 2018   (more nearby)
Monday, 21 May, 2018
Geographical Context
Coastal  Historic sites and artefacts  Islands  People, Events  Burial ground, Crematorium  Defence, Military 
Near (from Tags)
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NR 2129 6307 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:46.8216N 6:26.8033W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NR 2130 6307
View Direction
West-southwest (about 247 degrees)
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Other Tags
Commonwealth War Graves Commission  War Memorial  Argyll and Bute  Isle of Islay 

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