Scotland’s war memorials will be cleaned and restored in readiness for the anniversary of the First World War, through a new fund being made available to communities across the country.
The additional £1million for the Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund, announced by First Minister Alex Salmond this week, will pay for the upgrade and maintenance of memorials in villages, towns and cities in Scotland that honour those who gave their lives during both world wars and other conflicts.
Speaking during a visit to the Fyvie war memorial in Aberdeenshire, the First Minister said the new fund would help people to continue to pay their respects to those who fell during conflict through the upkeep of war memorials.
First Minister Alex Salmond said: “The events in 2014 to mark the anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War will not be a celebration in Scotland, but a commemoration of the servicemen and women who paid the ultimate price in defence of our country.
“Scotland’s war memorials – from the magnificent to the more modest – pay tribute to those fallen and will be an important part of the commemorations in communities the length and breadth of Scotland during 2014.
“The Aberdeenshire village of Fyvie, for example, lost 67 men from that parish on the battlefields of Europe – a figure that represented a devastating blow to such a small community. The Fyvie memorial is maintained beautifully, but there are some in Scotland in need of upgrade to get them up to standard for the commemorations.
“That is why I am delighted to announce the launch of the Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund, which will offer grants to those who care for these important monuments for works to be carried out.”
In September last year, two war memorials in the Scottish Borders won first prizes in the Royal British Legion’s Best Kept War Memorial Competition 2012. The Chambers Institute War Memorial in Peebles won the Large Community With Gardens category, while the Foulden Green War Memorial received the award in the Satellite War Memorial Without Gardens class. Other Border war memorials in Hawick (Wilton Lodge Park), Jedburgh (Abbey) and Kelso (Abbey) were also highly commended in the Champion of Champions category.
Mr Salmond added: “Each memorial in Scotland reminds us of the sacrifice made by those who died during the Great War, the Second World War and other conflicts. They remind us of the futility of war and the necessity that we never forget the sacrifice made by those who fell in conflict.”
Any enquiries about grants should be sent to Historic Scotland Investment Team at Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Edinburgh EH 9 ASH. Contact 0131 668 8801 or firstname.lastname@example.org