ROYAL Navy personnel joined local and national politicians and community representatives at the final event in Argyll and Bute’s commemorations marking one hundred years since the First World War.

Conservative MSP Maurice Corry and the party’s Lomond North councillor Barbara Morgan – past and present ‘armed forces champions’ with Argyll and Bute Council – rubbed shoulders with royalty at events on Islay on Friday to remember the hundreds of men who lost their lives in two separate tragedies off the island’s shores in 1918.

Two hundred men died when the American troop ship SS Tuscania was torpedoed by a German U-boat one hundred years ago in February, and a further 400 died when another US troop carrier, the Otranto, collided with another ship and sank in Machir Bay off the island’s west coast.

The navies of the United States, France and Germany were all represented at Friday’s events, which were led by HRH Princess Anne and saw former Scottish Secretary George Robertson, now Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, cast a wreath into the sea near the site of the Otranto’s sinking.

The Islay commemoration was the last in a series of major First World War commemorations around Argyll and Bute, which also included a ceremony in Helensburgh in 2016 marking the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland.

Mr Corry, a former chairman of Argyll and Bute’s World War One commemoration steering group, said: “It was an excellent, and very poignant, event which demonstrated the enduring links between the residents of Islay and the Royal Navy and US Navy.

“The sinkings of the Otranto and Tuscania left a lasting mark on the history of Islay and I know there is enormous gratitude felt towards the people of the island for the way they dealt with two such catastrophic events

“Having been involved at the start of organising Argyll and Bute’s First World War commemorations more than four years ago I’d like to thank everyone who has helped organise events since then – particularly the staff of Argyll and Bute Council.”