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In Pictures: Moving tribute to WW1 soldiers lost at sea off Islay

The SS Tuscania and HMS Otranto sunk off the coast of Islay within eight months of each other in 1918, with almost 700 people dying.

(PA Jane Barlow)

A service has been held at sea to remember around 700 First World War soldiers who lost their lives in the sinking of two US ships off the coast of a small Scottish island.

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Lord George Robertson holds a wreath prior to throwing it in the sea close to the wreck of SS Tuscania (Jane Barlow/PA)

Lord George Robertson holds a wreath prior to throwing it in the sea close to the wreck of SS Tuscania (Jane Barlow/PA)

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Lord George Robertson holds a wreath prior to throwing it in the sea close to the wreck of SS Tuscania (Jane Barlow/PA)

The SS Tuscania and HMS Otranto sunk off the coast of Islay within eight months of each other in 1918.

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Nick Hide lays a cross at the grave of his grandfather, Captain Ernest Davidson (Jane Barlow/PA)

Nick Hide lays a cross at the grave of his grandfather, Captain Ernest Davidson (Jane Barlow/PA)

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Nick Hide lays a cross at the grave of his grandfather, Captain Ernest Davidson (Jane Barlow/PA)

Almost a century on, the British, US, French and Germany navies paid their respects to the dead in a ceremony above the wreck of the Tuscania.

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USS Ross at sea close to the wreck of SS Tuscania (Jane Barlow/PA)

USS Ross at sea close to the wreck of SS Tuscania (Jane Barlow/PA)

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USS Ross at sea close to the wreck of SS Tuscania (Jane Barlow/PA)

Aboard HMS Raider on Thursday, Rev Dr Karen Campbell, national chaplain of the Royal British Legion Scotland, led a service while a wreath was laid at sea by Lord George Robertson of Port Ellen, whose grandfather was the police sergeant on Islay and dealt with the aftermath of the sinkings.

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Royal Marines bugler Steven Booth and Reverend Dr Karen Campbell, on board HMS Raider (Jane Barlow/PA)

Royal Marines bugler Steven Booth and Reverend Dr Karen Campbell, on board HMS Raider (Jane Barlow/PA)

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Royal Marines bugler Steven Booth and Reverend Dr Karen Campbell, on board HMS Raider (Jane Barlow/PA)

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Lord George Robertson waits to throw a wreath into the sea (Jane Barlow/PA)

Lord George Robertson waits to throw a wreath into the sea (Jane Barlow/PA)

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Lord George Robertson waits to throw a wreath into the sea (Jane Barlow/PA)

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Nick Hide, Lynne Vandertie, John Roberts, Morvern McPhee and Mark Jabbusch, direct descendants of the crew and survivors from the HMS Otranto disaster (Jane Barlow/PA)

Nick Hide, Lynne Vandertie, John Roberts, Morvern McPhee and Mark Jabbusch, direct descendants of the crew and survivors from the HMS Otranto disaster (Jane Barlow/PA)

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Nick Hide, Lynne Vandertie, John Roberts, Morvern McPhee and Mark Jabbusch, direct descendants of the crew and survivors from the HMS Otranto disaster (Jane Barlow/PA)

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Nick Hide in the graveyard where his grandfather Captain Ernest Davidson, who died in the HMS Otranto disaster which sank off the coast of Islay in 1918, is buried (Jane Barlow/PA)

Nick Hide in the graveyard where his grandfather Captain Ernest Davidson, who died in the HMS Otranto disaster which sank off the coast of Islay in 1918, is buried (Jane Barlow/PA)

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Nick Hide in the graveyard where his grandfather Captain Ernest Davidson, who died in the HMS Otranto disaster which sank off the coast of Islay in 1918, is buried (Jane Barlow/PA)

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Jenni Minto, from the Museum of Islay Life (left) and Jennifer Jones from the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC alongside the flag made 100 years ago on the island of Islay for the US crew members who lost their lives in the SS Tuscania disaster (Jane Barlow/PA)

Jenni Minto, from the Museum of Islay Life (left) and Jennifer Jones from the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC alongside the flag made 100 years ago on the island of Islay for the US crew members who lost their lives in the SS Tuscania disaster (Jane Barlow/PA)

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Jenni Minto, from the Museum of Islay Life (left) and Jennifer Jones from the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC alongside the flag made 100 years ago on the island of Islay for the US crew members who lost their lives in the SS Tuscania disaster (Jane Barlow/PA)

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Jennifer Jones alongside part of the display in the Museum of Islay Life (Jane Barlow/PA)

Jennifer Jones alongside part of the display in the Museum of Islay Life (Jane Barlow/PA)

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Jennifer Jones alongside part of the display in the Museum of Islay Life (Jane Barlow/PA)

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Nick Hide, in the graveyard alongside Kilchoman beach (Jane Barlow/PA)

Nick Hide, in the graveyard alongside Kilchoman beach (Jane Barlow/PA)

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Nick Hide, in the graveyard alongside Kilchoman beach (Jane Barlow/PA)

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The Princess Royal, with her husband Sir Timothy Laurance (left) and Lord Lieutenant of Argyll and Bute Patrick Stewart (right), during a commemoration service at the War Memorial (Jane Barlow/PA)

The Princess Royal, with her husband Sir Timothy Laurance (left) and Lord Lieutenant of Argyll and Bute Patrick Stewart (right), during a commemoration service at the War Memorial (Jane Barlow/PA)

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The Princess Royal, with her husband Sir Timothy Laurance (left) and Lord Lieutenant of Argyll and Bute Patrick Stewart (right), during a commemoration service at the War Memorial (Jane Barlow/PA)

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At the War Memorial in Port Ellen (Jane Barlow/PA)

At the War Memorial in Port Ellen (Jane Barlow/PA)

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At the War Memorial in Port Ellen (Jane Barlow/PA)

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Standard bearers during the commemoration service (Jane Barlow/PA)

Standard bearers during the commemoration service (Jane Barlow/PA)

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Standard bearers during the commemoration service (Jane Barlow/PA)

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Pipe major Neil MacTaggart, from the Islay Community band, plays during the service (Jane Barlow/PA)

Pipe major Neil MacTaggart, from the Islay Community band, plays during the service (Jane Barlow/PA)

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Pipe major Neil MacTaggart, from the Islay Community band, plays during the service (Jane Barlow/PA)

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The American Moment at the Mull of Oa on Islay (Jane Barlow/PA)

The American Moment at the Mull of Oa on Islay (Jane Barlow/PA)

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The American Moment at the Mull of Oa on Islay (Jane Barlow/PA)

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