Two New Books Tell Of Shetland's Part In WW1

by Alastair Hamilton -

Shetland Library, in partnership with Shetland Museum and Archives, is publishing two new books about the history of the First World War in Shetland.

"Safely Wounded" is a collection of Shetland wartime letters edited by Archives Assistant Angus Johnson and volunteer Isabel Sinclair. As Angus explains, it's a view of the war as seen by ordinary people caught up in it. “They're communicating, above all, that they're still alive and coping, trying to reassure and inform the folk at home”.

"Blockade 1914-1918" is by Museum Curator Ian Tait and includes the images and text from last year's exhibition on Shetland's strategic role during the war, as well as a new foreword by Ian. Dr Tait explained that “Curiously, the sea war is forgotten today: most people think of the First World War as trench warfare, but 70% of Shetlanders on war service were sailors or seamen. Britain's biggest asset was her colossal navy, and the greatest challenge Germany faced was our ability to cut off trade. Shetland was vital to the Allied strategy because the blockade force operated right here”.

Karen Fraser, Executive Manager of Shetland Library said: “We are keen to make these valuable new local history resources widely accessible. They will be supplied to our schools, colleges and libraries as well as being available to buy at an affordable price. We will also have some large format copies that readers can borrow from the Library.”

The books are being launched on 16 April and will be available for sale from the Museum, Library or Shetland Times Bookshop for £5 each.

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