Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

First World War - Commemorative Cultural Programme

Cover image from the Commemorative Cultural ProgrammeIntroduction (This page is for reference only as the events have now passed)

During the centenary of the First World War, 2016 represents a special moment for Orkney to reflect and remember those that lost their lives during the conflict. This year we are privileged to be hosting the UK commemoration of The Battle of Jutland, followed shortly by events to mark the loss of HMS Hampshire. During the course of the year, a wide range of exhibitions and events are taking place that have a particular emphasis on the war at sea and the great sacrifice made by both the Navy and civilian maritime communities.

The core of this activity is focused during a commemorative week running 28 May to 5 June.

You can find more information about the commemorations in the World War One section of this website. For details of the other events, please use the contact information provided below.

Tuesday 31 May

10:30 - 11:30: Ceremonial March, Kirkwall Harbour to St Magnus Cathedral via Junction Road. General public viewing along the route.

11:30 - 12:20: Battle of Jutland Service, St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall.

14:00 - 15:00: Battle of Jutland Service, Lyness Naval Cemetery, Hoy.

Both services are by invitation only.

If you wish to view the services and do not have an invitation, the Pickaquoy Centre will have large screens where members of the public can watch both events live. The centre will also host a number of small exhibitions and displays.Tickets are free but booking is essential, contact the Pickaquoy Centre to book.

There will also be large screens available for public viewing on Broad Street in Kirkwall.

Wednesday 1 June

Royal Marines Band and the Federal German Navy Band charity concert. Pickaquoy Centre, Kirkwall. Tickets are free but booking is essential. Contact the Pickaquoy Centre on 01856879900 to book.

Royal Navy public engagement - several smaller P2000 class vessels will be visiting the outer isles.

19:30: Illustrated Talk ‘Remembering the Hampshire’, presented by the Archaeology Institute of the University of the Highlands and Islands.
Birsay Hall. Free event.

Thursday 2 June

Royal Navy public engagement - several smaller P2000 class vessels will be visiting the outer isles.

19:00: Angus Konstam talk in aid of the Sea Cadets. Sailing Club, Kirkwall. Donations to the Sea Cadets welcome.

19:00: The Royal Navy Presentation Team, Warehouse Buildings, Stromness, 2 June. Free event.

Friday 3 June

11:00 - 17:00: Remembering the Hampshire exhibition and Vintage Cream Teas, Birsay Hall.

18:30 and 20:30: HMS Hampshire Foy. Birsay Hall. Tickets from OIC Customer Services, Kirkwall, Warehouse Buildings, Stromness, Dounby Post Office and Palace Stores, Birsay. For more information telephone 01856721202.

19:30: ‘War at Sea: Scotland’s Story’, Film show, Sanday Community School.

Saturday 4 June

10:00 - 16:00: Royal Navy ships open to the public at Hatston Pier, Kirkwall,

Full day of events on Sanday including walks, talks and exhibition.

11:00 - 17:00: Remembering the Hampshire exhibition and Vintage Cream Teas, Birsay Hall.

15:00: ‘The Battle of Coronel and Falkland Islands’, film show, Birsay Hall.

19:30: HMS Hampshire Foy with supporting artists performing WW1 themed entertainment, Birsay Hall. Tickets from OIC Customer Services, Kirkwall, Warehouse Buildings, Stromness, Dounby Post Office and Palace Stores, Birsay. For more information telephone 01856721202.

20:00: Commemorative Concert and Dance, Royal British Legion, Kirkwall.

Sunday, 5 June

11:15: Sunday Service will include HMS Hampshire content. St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall.

20:00: HMS Hampshire Commemorative Service, Kitchener Memorial, Birsay.

Other Events and Exhibitions

The Northern Isles Festival Tattoo

Pickaquoy Centre, Kirkwall, Saturday 28 May at 19:30.

Jutland Book Event and Talk by Angus Konstam

Orcadian Bookshop, Kirkwall, Monday 30 May, 19:00. Free - 01856878000.

Battle of Coronal and Falkland Islands

Gable End Theatre, Hoy. Monday 30 May, 20:00.

Veteran’s Battle of Jutland lunch

Royal British Legion, Kirkwall, Tuesday 31 May.

The Orkney Amateur Radio Club

Broadcasts from Kitchener Memorial across the weekend, Friday 3 June - Sunday 5 June.

B-98 and U-70 Exhibition

Sanday Heritage Centre. Opens 31 May and runs through the summer. Open daily 09.30 - 17:00.

New WWI display including Battle of Jutland and HMS Hampshire

Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum, Lyness, Hoy. Open daily 10:00 - 16:30.

Summer exhibition focusing on Orkney’s involvement in the war at sea

Orkney Museum, Kirkwall. From 2 May onwards. Open daily 10:30 - 17:00.

Summer exhibition - HMS Hampshire and the death of Lord Kitchener

Stromness Museum. Open daily 11:00 - 17:00.