On 31 December 1918, hours from the first New Year of peace, hundreds of Royal Naval Reservists from the Isle of Lewis poured off successive trains onto the quayside at Kyle of Lochalsh. A chaotic Admiralty had made no adequate arrangements for their safe journey home. Corners were cut, and that evening HMY Iolaire sailed from Kyle of Lochalsh, grossly overloaded and with life-belts for less than a third of all on board. It never made it. At two in the morning, in pitch-black and stormy conditions, she piled onto rocks only half a mile from Stornoway pier, where thronged friends and relatives eagerly awaited the return of their heroes. 205 men drowned, 188 of them natives of Lewis and Harris – men who had come through all the dangers of the War only to die on their own doorstep, at the mouth of a harbour many could themselves have navigated with ease, on a day precious to Highlanders for family, celebration and togetherness.