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Tucked away on the west cost of Islay, near to the village of Kilchoman,  is a military cemetery with Seventy four  graves, Many of them not having the name of the Soldier or Seaman buried there as they are unknown. They are American and mostly from HMS Otranto which sunk on the 6th October 1918 due to an accident between two ships.

 

However, that is far from the complete story as earlier the same year, on the 5th February, the Tuscania carrying over 2 thousand American troops was  torpedoed by a German submarine.

 

Being further out to sea many of the troops were able to make land on Ireland. Even so, the total lost lives on Islay was, together, over 400, as can be seen in photo 4, which is the same cemetery as that seen in photo’s 1, ,2  and  3, present day.

 

In 1920 however, the bodies  were exhumed at the request of the American government and taken back to the US or to the American military cemetery at Brookwood, Surrey.

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Do, before leaving these pages, read Lord George Robertson’s comments about the time when the Otranto and Tuscania sank, and his grandfathers involvement in listing their names, as far as was possible, of those who died. For this, Click here .

 

Also, click here to see the large monument given by the American Red Cross

Photo 5 shows a march from Kilchomen church to the military cemetery for a service to commemorate the sinking of the Otranto 100 years previously.

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All pictures on the page can be clicked for a larger view.

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