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By office volunteer, Annette Gaykema.

Another remote memorial is that of the Elliot brothers, William and Alistair, which is located by the shores of Loch Glencoul in Sutherland, Northern Scotland. Since the nearest public road is approximately 8 miles away, this memorial is only accessible by foot or by boat.

Photo courtesy of Mick Garratt

The Elliot brothers memorial

The story behind it is an interesting one. The memorial itself is on a hill overlooking an isolated house. This two-storey stone house was built around 1880, by the Duke of Westminster for his estate keepers. The Elliot family were working on the estate and living at Glencoul House when the brothers enlisted for the First World War.

Photo courtesy of the Elliot family

Glencoul House with the cross just visible on the hill to the left

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A new grants scheme is being launched today by Historic Scotland and War Memorials Trust.  Funding will be available to ensure that freestanding memorials across Scotland are preserved in recognition of the contribution service men and women have made for their country.

Historic Scotland will provide £30,000 annually to War Memorials Trust who will provide additional funds and be responsible for distributing the grants.  War memorials eligible for conservation grants are freestanding monuments such as obelisks, crosses and statues. 

The scheme can grant aid up to 75% of the total eligible cost of the works to a maximum of £7,500 per project.  See the press release for further information about the launch of the scheme.

Anyone interested in applying for a grant in Scotland (or elsewhere in the UK) is advised to visit the WMT Small Grants Scheme information page to learn more about the available funding or to contact the Conservation Officer on 020 7881 0862 or conservation@warmemorials.org or the Trust Manager or Administrator on 020 7259 0403 or info@warmemorials.org.

The funeral of Stevie Fullarton, the last Scottish veteran of the Spanish Civil War, is taking place today. Read more from BBC News

Between 1936 and 1939, many volunteers from around the world travelled to Spain to join the Loyalists fighting against the right-wing forces of General Franco.  These volunteers were known as the International Brigade.  However, Franco –  supported by troops from Germany and Italy – was eventually successful and Spain became a Fascist country. 

A memorial from Stevie Fullarton’s home town of Glasgow records the following.

BETTER TO DIE ON YOUR FEET THAN TO LIVE FOREVER ON YOUR KNEES/ THE/ CITY OF GLASGOW/ AND THE BRITISH/ LABOUR MOVEMENT/ PAY TRIBUTE TO THE/ COURAGE OF THOSE/ MEN AND WOMEN/ WHO WENT TO SPAIN/ TO FIGHT FASCISM/ 1936 – 1939/ 2,100 VOLUNTEERS WENT FROM BRITAIN/ 534 WERE KILLED/ 53 OF WHOM WERE FROM GLASGOW

There are at least 44 memorials to the Spanish Civil War in the UK.  Click here to see the full list

THE BASQUE CHILDREN'S REFUGEE CAMPS AT STONEHAM AND DYMCHURCH, ENGLAND DURING THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR

Over 700,000 people were killed during the Spanish Civil War, mostly Spanish civilians. 

This photo shows a refugee camp at Stoneham, Hampshire, for Basque children.  It is estimated that around 4,000 Basque children were evacuated to Britain during the civil war.

Hatton War MemorialLt Commander Locker Madden, RN (ret.), a member of a well-known naval family and descendant of Captain William Locker, Nelson’s first captain, has recently become interested in the UKNIWM and has been energetically photographing war memorials in the north of Scotland.  A published poet, he was moved to write ‘The Talking Wall’ after recording the war memorial in Cruden West Parish Church.

Our thanks for permission to reproduce the poem. 

The Talking Wall 

I was reading the dead: their names
‘In affectionate remembrance’
when the wall spoke, “William Fraser,
George Johnstone”, killed by blind chance
of war; “John Leslie, George Minty.”
I was unprepared to make reply
to the stone tones, “Duncan McLeish”
it continued. I wondered why
the wall (“Adam Rollo” it recited and
“David Sangster”) should talk the terror
of these deaths from one Great War;
“Doctor William Smith”. It underlay the horror
which each one of those families had felt,
“James Spence, Alexander Thomson”, no solace
that I had read for myself the final name:
the heroic resonance of “William Wallace.”
That’s bad enough; a tiny community
unmanned. I asked the wall
where were the next war’s names
and silence fell. There were no dead at all
and I remember an old woman saying “There wisnae loons tae coort.*”
after that First War and therefore no new
generation which could have loved and fought.

*There were no young men to court

Barbara, a polar bear at the Royal Navy's zoo at Whale Island, greeting old shipmatesThere are calls for a memorial to Voytek, an Iranian bear that fought for the Polish against the Germans and ended up in a Scottish zoo.  Voytek was adopted by Polish forces after being discovered in Iran in 1943.

He was trained to carry heavy mortar rounds and saw action in Monte Cassino, Italy, before being stationed in Scotland with 3,000 Polish troops.  After the war, Voytek became a popular resident of Edinburgh zoo until his death in 1963.

Read more from BBC News

This photo is actually Barbara, a polar bear at the Royal Navy’s zoo at Whale Island, greeting old shipmates.  Rescued as a cub from drifting ice off Greenland, Barbara was for some time the ship’s mascot during the Second World War, until she became too large for the mess decks of a light cruiser and was moved to a new home on Whale Island.

While there are currently no war memorials to bears (although there are memorials to horses, donkeys, dogs, pigeons, a monkey, a cat, camels and a thrush, among others) there is one memorial that features a life-size sculpture of a polar bear.  This is the 49th Infantry Division memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffordshire.  The Polar Bear became the emblem of the division, chosen when they were stationed in Iceland during the Second World War.

A play park in Aberdeen, dedicated to a young serviceman killed by a sniper in Iraq last year, has been vandalised for the second time in just three months. 

In the first incident £4,000 of damage was caused and a 9 year old boy was charged with the offence. Police are appealing for witnesses to the latest damage.

Read more from BBC News

Lance Corporal Allan Douglas had played on the land as a child and the park was officially named in his honour in September 2007.

See UKNIWM record for Allan Douglas Park

Glenrothes in Scotland, a town that was established in 1948, will shortly be unveiling its first war memorial.

Read more from BBC NEWS

Having been founded after the Second World War, it is perhaps not suprising that the town did not have a war memorial.  However, the deaths in Iraq in 2004 of two Black Watch soldiers from the community led to a campaign to erect a town memorial. 

While the memorial features the names of the two Black Watch servicemen, it also now provides a place of remembrance for ex-service personnel and those who have lost loved ones in previous conflicts.