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Margaret Fergusons Iolaire 100


The tragedy on the 1st January 1919 of the Iolaire disaster is etched in living history in the Isle of Lewis. Soldiers returning home to the Outer Hebrides after the First World War had ended, boarded the HMY Iolaire at Kyle of Lochalsh. It was a dark, stormy night and as the Iolaire was within touching distance of home, it hit the rocks at the Beasts if Holm and sank.

There were 283 men on board and 201 of those were lost. A third of those lost were never recovered.

The Iolaire disaster to this day touched everyone in the Outer Hebrides.




in 2015 Margaret Ferguson started to paint 100 portraits of soldiers lost in the disaster. With the aim of completing 100 paintings by 2019 - 1 portrait for each year of the centenary.


Margaret joined Neuro Hebrides at Cuppa and Catch up to tell us all about the Iolaire 100 project and to show is some of her amazing paintings.




Margarets paintings are truly remarkable. The paintings are so true to life, thought provoking and are a wonderful tribute to those lost in the tragedy and their families.

Margaret told us about each individual in the paintings to such detail, it is clear that these are much more than just paintings, Margaret put her heart and soul in to the Iolaire 100.


There are proposals for the development of an Iolaire centre, to tell the story of the tragedy. Margaret is painting a new portrait in anticipation of the opening of the Iolaire centre, and invited Neuro Heb members to each contribute to that painting - What an honour.



Thank you so much for your time Margaret, what you have achieved is truly inspiring and thought provoking.


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