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The Evacuation of St Kilda (clip 3)

Amateur doc about the last people to leave Britain's most remote island

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"The preparations and Evacuation of the island of St. Kilda in 1930 which lies 50 miles off the Western Isles. Dated 27th August 1930. The motor boat seen towing rowing boat and being hoisted on board ""Dunara Castle"" was collected at Tarbert, Harris, on the outward voyage, to assist with the Evacuation, there being no motorised boat on St. Kilda. "

Questions & Activities


  • Why did they take the boat with them?
  • Who do you think took charge of the island after the St Kildans left?
  • How many islands make up the St Kilda archipelago?
  • How were the islands formed?
  • What is the most western part of the British Isles?


English / Creative writing: Having viewed this and other clips from the collection about St Kilda. Write a story from the perspective of one of the islanders as they say goodbye to their home and prepare for their new life on the mainland. You should focus on their sense of loss and their hopes and fears for the future.

Geography / Social History / Rivers and Coasts: Research life on St Kilda and how society was organised and how many families lived there. Discuss what it must have been like to receive a news report once a year.

History: Research the history of St Kilda Post Office and why a postmark was so treasured.

Social History: Research what happened to the people after they left and what are the plans for St Kilda in the future.

History / Media Studies: Use this clip, the other clips of films about St Kilda in the Scotland on Screen collection, and any photographic evidence you can find on the internet to create your own historical documentary about the history of St Kilda and the reasons the island had to be evacuated. You may also want to look at the island's status as a World Heritage Site and how the island has been managed since the evacuation. Use the record function on your editing software to add your own narration, then add appropriate music to complete the film. All school computers should have Moviemaker (PC) or iMovie (Mac) software bundled on the system. If you can't find it ask your ICT manager to locate the programme.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-131-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 0793
Date 1930
Genre Documentary, Amateur
School Subject Geography, Religious and Moral Education, Social History
Subject Matter Rivers and Coasts
Who John P. Ritchie (director)
Where St Kilda
Event Evacuation of St Kilda
Attributes Black and White, Silent
Clip Length 0:44
Film Length 11:00
References NLS. In: 1930 - Evacuation of St Kilda.  St Kilda - National Trust for Scotland.