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World War 1 survivals

3 October 2016
Most of you reading this blog will be familiar with the story of the Naval Gun being brought onto St Kilda on the 6th August 1918 in response to the shelling of the island on the 15th May, being finally made operational after all the works were completed on the 8th October.  Fuller details can be read in Ron Morris's book Defending St Kilda published by the Islands Book Trust in 2013.

Gun Sept 2016
However as well as remains of the wireless stations, we have other WW1 remains on the island.  These include the look-out post built on the top of Oiseval to look for Uboats cruising  for targets.  This is built differently from the surrounding cleits in having an interior of coursed small stones and was apparently roofed with a tarpaulin. It looks out to sea rather than sheltering from the wind.

Oiseval Lookout1Oiseval lookout2
Originally the watchers on Oiseval and also on Mullach Mor had to report back by semaphore - not ideal on these misty hills.  Telephone lines were laid to report back to the wireless station in the Factor's House and a couple of wooden pegs, as recorded by my predecessors in 2010, can still be seen in both Lag Aitimir and Oiseval that are thought to have held these wires.

Oiseval post
The angled ranging rod marks the second one of the two on Oiseval (it was a windy day and I didn't want to walk back up the hill to straighten it before returning to take the photo again......) as can be seen below.

Oiseval post 2
These posts may relate to the army occupation from the 1950s but it is more romantic to think they are rare survivals of St Kilda's role in the First World War.  Look out for them and the Watchers Post on Oiseval next time you visit.

Jonathan


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