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Remembrance

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 Shetlands’ War

Shetland is without a rich tradition of military memorial. No one seems to have thought of memorialising the Shetlanders who served in the Napoleonic wars, despite a considerable contribution there. Volunteers took part in the Empire wars following, but not in large numbers. There was a memorial to loss in Lerwick, but that was for civilian seafarers on the whaler Diana.


A few years after 1918 almost every part of Shetland had a memorial of some kind - plaques, monuments, and stained glass windows. The main memorial in Lerwick was a subject of some discussion and controversy. Some methods of fundraising were viewed as inappropriate, and a design featuring a Viking was rejected. It was opened in 1924, and has functioned as a focus for commemorating loss in conflict ever since.


Thomas Manson, editor and publisher of the Shetland News newspaper, created a special memorial of his own. The Shetland Roll of Honour and Roll of Service contained an entry for his own son, Karl, who was under age when he joined the army. It was a painstaking effort, collating the deaths and service of Shetland participants in the war. It remains an invaluable resource for researchers. It was published in 1920 and original volumes continue to be sought after today.


Remembrance was also done, perhaps most of all at an individual or household level. A cherished and carefully hung framed photograph, a recurring feeling or thought, or a woman who wore black for an extended time.


 Remembrance

The Shetland Roll of Honour.

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