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The Army Invade St Kilda

15 June 2006

Exercise Kentigern Kilda 18–24 May 2006


Running for the hills and taking cover in the cleits wasn’t going to save us this time – the Army was back.  The guys landed in force on Saturday May 20th prepared for anything.

Led by the intrepid Maj Robbie Weir, life on St Kilda was going to be different for the next 4 days.  Lt Col Tom Scott, Maj Matt Stear, Maj Scott Robinson, Capt Paul Andrews, and Sqn Ldr Wian Van Niekerk set to work clearing the landing point (scrubbing down the winter’s build up of slippery seaweed and sand on the jetty). The raging sea proved no adversary for these men (many an ordinary man would retreat from the challenge of wading waist deep in his only set of dry clothes). In a matter of moments the jetty was made safe for visitors to step ashore. 

 Army cleaning jetty



Next the guys were out securing the island – no cleit was left unchecked.  No cliff face was too steep, no hill too high, no enemy too daunting (perhaps, with the exception of the awesome Great Skua as it swooped down from the sky intent on placing fear into these men).  Cleits were inspected thoroughly, inside and out.  The Cleit Intelligence was then gathered and reported back (and formed part of our annual cleit monitoring programme to assess the rate and nature of cleit collapse on St Kilda).

Army inspecting cleits

Cleit inspection


Mission complete.


Many many many thanks to the guys for all their efforts and for the contribution made to the conservation of St Kilda, and a personal thanks for all the energy and enthusiasm they put into the daunting task of monitoring the cleits in every corner of the island. Army group photo

 Sam, Matt, Wian, Scott, Tom, Paul, Robbie, and Sarah




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