Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Royal Oak Roll of Honour Returns to Orkney

Royal Oak Roll of Honour Returns to Orkney
12 October 2018

The HMS Royal Oak Roll of Honour has gone back on display at St Magnus Cathedral after conservation work to repair damage to the book.

The Book of Remembrance, which records the names of the men lost in a U-boat attack on the battleship in 1939, was damaged during a break-in at the Cathedral.

Repair work was undertaken by Caroline Scharfenberg, at Book and Archive Conservation Services in Edinburgh.

The Roll of Honour was created in 1993 and has been re-installed in a glass cabinet in the Cathedral, beneath the bell from HMS Royal Oak.

Gareth Derbyshire, Chairman of the Royal Oak Association, said: “The HMS Royal Oak families are delighted and relieved that the Book of Remembrance has been restored to its rightful place in St Magnus Cathedral.

“The Book of Remembrance and the memorials at the Cathedral and the harbour at Scapa are the only tangible link that the families have to the men and boys who were lost.

“The Book of Remembrance has been an important focus point for families who have visited Orkney over the years. Its restoration will help to ensure that the sacrifices of those men and boys will be recognised by future generations. “

He added: “We are hugely grateful to all parties who helped in the restoration of the Book, particularly Caroline Scharfenberg who has done a superb job, and Orkney Islands Council.”

German torpedoes struck HMS Royal Oak at 12.58am on 14 October 1939. The battleship sank quickly with the loss of 834 lives. Today the wreck is a designated war grave.