It was one of the biggest maritime disasters ever to happen in Scotland.
Even now, 100 years later, the tragedy still casts a long shadow over many families.
And now, a photographic exhibition of the construction of a striking memorial to HMY Iolaire has opened in Stornoway.
Many thousands of people have been captivated by the tribute of the installation, on nearby South Beach, which was erected last year to commemorate the centenary of the sinking of the naval yacht outside Stornoway harbour on January 1, 1919, which resulted in no less than 201 fatalities.
Images, drone photos and poetry inspired by the sculpture have now gone on display in Stornoway ferry terminal, showing the work involved in preparing the beach site to the eventual completion of the dramatic, visual tribute.
Wooden posts – which were hewn from timber from the Lews Castle grounds – and depicted the outline of the ship’s hull have been driven into the foreshore by the Iolaire’s berth at number one pier, where families had gathered to welcome their loved ones home, only for all their hopes to be dashed.
White painted markers represent the number of known survivors while 201 have been left plain to highlight the losses.
The sculpture – which changes its appearance slowly every few hours due to the natural ebb and flow of the tide – shows the true size of the vessel – 189 feet from stem to stern, with a 27 foot beam. Each pole is lit up blue at night, except for 79 illuminated in red to depict a survivor.
One mile southward are the Beasts of Holm which the overcrowded naval yacht struck in one of the worst peacetime maritime disasters in UK waters.
All on board were men – some employed as crew while the majority were service personnel from Lewis and Harris who were granted a short spell of New Year leave from the Royal Navy after the end of the conflict.
The memorial on South Beach was commissioned by Stornoway Port Authority to mark the 100th anniversary of the tragedy. The concept is by Torcuil Crichton and Malcolm Maclean.