The Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme


Royal Naval Cemetery, Lyness, Hoy

The Royal Naval Cemetery at Lyness is just a short walk from the Scapa Flow Visitor Centre.

The cemetery was laid out by what was then the Imperial War Graves Commission in 1915, when Scapa Flow was the base for the British Grand Fleet.  The first graves date from December of that year. Lyness was once again used as a naval base in WWII, so the cemetery contains men from both wars.

Of the 528 burials, the majority are from WWI, including men from HMS Hampshire, sunk off Marwick Head in June 1916, HMS Vanguard who blew up on her moorings in July 1917, as well casualties from HMS Narborough and HMS Opal, lost on the rocks off South Ronaldsay in January 1918. The WWI graves also include 14 German sailors who died when they tried to leave their ships during the scuttling of the High Seas Fleet in 1919.

Of the WWII graves, the most prominent name is that of HMS Royal Oak, torpedoed by a German U-boat in October 1939. Of the 26 men buried here, eight are unidentified - 'Known Unto God'. Other notable WWII graves include that of a Norwegian sailor, and two Mercantile Marines marked 'A Parsee' and 'A Musalman' respectively.

The cemetery is looked after by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and has at its centre the familiar Cross of Sacrifice, designed by the British architect, Reginald Blomfield


Copyright 2011 Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme