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Otterswick, Yell, The White Lady Of Queyon

Figurehead (19th Century)

Site Name Otterswick, Yell, The White Lady Of Queyon

Classification Figurehead (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Sv Bohus; The White Wife; Otter's Wick; East Yell; Point Of Hatt

Canmore ID 282504

Site Number HU58NW 30

NGR HU 5290 8519

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Shetland Islands
  • Parish Yell
  • Former Region Shetland Islands Area
  • Former District Shetland
  • Former County Shetland

Archaeology Notes

HU58NW 30 5290 8519

The White Lady of Queyon [NAT] (at HU 5290 8519)

OS 1:10,000 map, 1972.

White Wife [NAT]

(No location indicated: centre of annotation at HU 52922 85298)

OS (GIS) AIB, September 2006.

For wreck of the SV Bohus (HU c. 537 853), see HU58NW 8002.

'The Figurehead of the "Bohus" "The White Wife"

On 23rd of April, 1924 the German barque "Bohus" set sail for Taltal, Chile. She was an iron hulled 3-masted barque of 1487 registered tons and was built in Alloa in 1892. Three days out of Gothenburg, the Captain made a navigational error. This resulted in the "Bohus" being 60 miles off course by the 26th of April. In a thick haze, the ship was dashed broadside on to the rocky spur at the Point of Hatt and was grounded. Within half an hour most of the ship had broken up. Four of the thirty nine people on board were killed or drowned, Including Cadet "Tom" Eberth who saved four of his shipmates before being swept away. Many of those who were rescued owe their lives to the prompt action of the Yell men who rushed to their assistance when they saw the ship was in distress.

The ship's figurehead came ashore in September 1924. It was fittingly erected by the people of East Yell within sight of where the ship foundered. Restoration work by Shetland Amenity Trust commenced in 1986 and on 22nd April, 1989 the refurbished "White Wife" was officially unveiled.

Some of those who lost their lives were buried in Mid Yell. A black marble slab commemorates Cadet "Tom" Eberth. The marble slab is set into a stone which comes from nearby Hascosay. Mementoes from the "Bohus" can be seen in Shetland Museum, Lerwick and at the Old Haa Mueum, Burravoe. The book "Wrestlers with the Troubled Sea" 1994 by Louis Johnston tells the story of the wreck.

This information board was prepared by Shetland Amenity Trust with support from the E.C.LEADER1 programme.'

[Information on board mounted adjacent to the figurehead].

Visited by RCAHMS (RJCM), 6 August 2006.

Point of Hatt is not noted as such on the 1987 edition of the OS 1:50,000 map.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 5 September 2006.


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