Syracuse War Cemetery is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission burial ground for the dead of World War II.
The site of the cemetery was selected in 1943 at an early stage in the operations for the capture of Sicily. In this cemetery most of the graves are those of men who lost their lives in the landings in Sicily on 10 July 1943, as part of the early stages of the campaign to capture the island (Operation Husky).
They include those of a considerable number who belonged to the airborne force that was landed immediately west of the town during the night 9–10 July. Graves were brought into Syracuse War Cemetery from as far north as Lentini. There is one grave for a casualty from World War I, a merchant seaman who was originally buried in the Marsala British Cemetery. In addition, three special memorials commemorate men known to have been originally buried in other cemeteries in the region, but whose graves could not be found on concentration.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.