The Royal British Legion Scotland
Kirkwall Branch - Orkney Isles

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Giralda Commemoration

On a wintery Saturday 30th January this year, a delegation from Kirkwall Royal British Legion and nine family members from Shetland paid respects to 23 men who died 70 years before when the small steamship Giralda was sunk off Grimness, South Ronaldsay by German aircraft attack. The crew abandoned the blazing steamer, which was carrying coal from Ayr to Kirkwall, but their lifeboat capsized in the stormy sea and everyone on board was drowned. The bodies of the Captain and First Mate were returned to Edinburgh, the First Engineer to Aberdeen, the Bosun and a seaman to Whalsey, Shetland but the other eighteen crewmen are buried together in Kirkwall St. Olaf's Cemetery.



The 1940 tragedy was remembered on its 70th Anniversary by a strong delegation from Kirkwall Royal British Legion, which included Bob Presland who organised the event and whose son-in-law is the great great grandson of fireman James Black of Ayr. Pipe Major Raymond Peace of Kirkwall City Pipe Band played a lament, while Billy Stanger of the Salvation Army played the Last Post. Craig Taylor of Orkney Today took the photos shown here.



. . . .   AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN, AND IN THE MORNING . . . .