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Hoy, Walls, Lyness, Naval Cemetery, War Memorial And Gate

Cemetery (20th Century), Gate (20th Century), War Memorial(S) (20th Century)

Site Name Hoy, Walls, Lyness, Naval Cemetery, War Memorial And Gate

Classification Cemetery (20th Century), Gate (20th Century), War Memorial(S) (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Lyness Cemetery; Hms Vanguard; Hms Hampshire; Cwgc Cross Of Sacrifice

Canmore ID 107261

Site Number ND39SW 53

NGR ND 30229 94612

NGR Description Centred ND 30229 94612

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2021.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Orkney Islands
  • Parish Walls And Flotta
  • Former Region Orkney Islands Area
  • Former District Orkney
  • Former County Orkney

Archaeology Notes

ND39SW 53 centred 30229 94612

Location formerly cited as ND 301 946.

See also ND39NE 8045.

This cemetery houses the remains of officers and men from the wreck of HMS Vanguard (ND39NE 8045). There is a memorial.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 14 November 2002.


Publication Account (1996)

Lyness was the major naval base for Scapa Flow during both World Wars, and it was used by the Royal Navy until 1956. The original oil-pumping station has been renovated and used as an interpretation centre for the story of wartime Scapa Flow. The station was built in 1917 to house the steam-driven pumps that brought oil from tankers moored at the the piers into storage tanks. One of the four tanks survives, designed to hold 12,000tons of oil. The gleaming pumps were originally powered by coal, but they were converted to oil in 1936, when another twelve storage tanks were built. The displays include artefacts recovered from HMS Hampshire and from ships of the scuttled German fleet.

By 1940 there were more than twelve thousand military and civilian personnel at Lyness, and one of the great red sheds built around 1918 was converted into the largest cinema in Europe. Even more striking is the cinema built around 1942 south of Lyness (NO 307922). A huge Nissen hut was transformed by a facade built in art deco style, with its brickwork painted black and bands of white linking the windows (see p.35). The Nissen hut has been demolished and the facade is now a guesthouse.

On the hillside above Lyness are the naval cemetery and a good example of a pillbox, a small defensive look-out post so-called from its squat circular shape.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Orkney’, (1996).

Project (February 2014 - July 2014)

A data upgrade project to record war memorials.

Oic_project (1 January 2014 - 14 May 2015)

A project undertaken during 2014 and early 2015 to catalogue and describe all of Orkney's war memorials.

Field Visit (29 May 2014)

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, which includes a number of naval war memorials.

Cross of Sacrifice: Type B Cross of Sacrifice, designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

Roman Catholic Memorial: Grey granite Celtic cross with knot motif in relief. Lead lettering affixed to base and painted black (except on lowest level).

Vanguard Memorial: Grey granite Celtic cross with vine and ball motif carved in relief. Pink granite base with inset bronze lettering and sculpture.

HMS Hampshire Memorial: Grey granite Celtic cross with knot pattern carved in relief. Lead lettering painted black and affixed to base.

HMS Barham Memorial: Sandstone headstone with engraved lettering and semi-circular ivy pattern carved in relief.

HMS Malaya Memorial: Small grey granite Celtic cross, with lettering engraved and painted black. Floral design carved in relief.


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