Edited by Adrian Harvey & Susan Kruse
Inverness Local History Forum, 2020. £9.99
ISBN 978-0-9548206-4-0 A4, 120pp
Far North Express readers will already know that the US Navy had a large presence in Inverness and the Invergordon area at the end of WWI for the laying of the Northern Barrage between Orkney and Norway. This was a massive project and needed complex facilities and a large number of personnel.
This book gathers together a large number of contemporary photos, both of the military mine production and laying. The 'social' aspect of so many people suddenly being drafted in to a relatively quiet area is also beautifully shown. Many lives were changed as romances blossomed; around 80 local women got married to US servicemen and went to America once the war was over.
The railway aspect of the operations in Inverness and Dalmore is well covered. This reviewer enjoys the fact that a small batch of locomotives requisitioned from the 'Far South' were designed by William Stroudley, who had previously worked for the Highland Railway in Inverness.
The Northern Barrage gives readers a wonderful opportunity to explore a very particular aspect of local history. It also features FoFNL member Dr Stewart Campbell on P41!