Titanic’s Predecessor: SS Norge – An Atlantic Catastrophe

11-16 May 2021

An exhibition by The Western Isles Community Society tells the story of Russians and Finns fleeing Tsarist oppression, and Norwegians and Danes seeking a new life in America. Of the 800 or so who boarded the Norge, bound for New York, that June 1904, nearly half were children.

At 7.45 on 28th June the ship hit Helen’s Reef close to Rockall. Only 160 survived. After drifting in the Atlantic for up to eight days in open lifeboats the last, with a one year old child, was found over 400 miles from Rockall close to the Faroes.

More than 100 survivors were treated at the old Lewis Hospital in Stornoway. Of these, eight children and one adult died and are buried at Lower Sandwick.

The exhibition takes the viewer through the sequence of events, including the return of some descendants to Stornoway in 2004. It is supported by the Western Isles Development Trust and the local lottery.