Cash for Gattonside memorial

Gattonside War Memorial
Gattonside War Memorial

Gattonside war memorial is to benefit from a share in £33,000 of grant money being made available for essential restoration work.

Ten war memorials across Scotland will split the cash, which represents the latest round of awards from the Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund’s allocation of £1 million.

Gattonside War Memorial

Gattonside War Memorial

The fund is available to local communities throughout Scotland to help them restore their monuments in time to mark this year’s centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. The grants were announced recently as part of a special seminar on the repair and conservation of war memorials.

Frances Moreton, director of the War Memorials Trust, said the charity was delighted to be administering the scheme on behalf of Historic Scotland and the Scottish Government and wanted to encourage communities across Scotland to get in touch if they want to repair and conserve their war memorials.

He continued: “We hope this announcement will help spread the word about the scheme and ensure war memorials across Scotland benefit from this funding over the next few years as we all mark the centenary of the First World War.”

Announcing the grants, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said the immense sacrifice of the Scottish men and women who died during the First World War and other conflicts, should never be forgotten.

“These memorials, which serve not to celebrate war but to honour those who died, are a tangible reminder of our history and heritage, and every effort should be made to maintain them for future generations,” she said.

“Projects like the Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund, along with events like the repair and maintenance seminar, help the people of Scotland continue to pay their respects to those who fell during both world wars and other conflicts, and hopefully encourage more people to volunteer to maintain these monuments in future.”

As well as the Gattonside memorial, the others to benefit in this latest round of grants include those in North Uist, Orkney, the Highlands, Moray, South Lanarkshire, Aberdeenshire, Glasgow, and Dumfries and Galloway.

Gattonside Village Hall Committee, which owns the local war memorial, will receive a grant of £1,665, with the remaining quarter of the costs coming from hall funds.

Dave Lyal, a member of Gattonside Village Hall Committee, says a builder in Kelso has already agreed to undertake the renovation work and the hope is it will be carried out either later this month or during May.

“The memorial was put up in 1920 and it’s actually never been cleaned since then,” Mr Lyal told The Southern this week.

“It’s located under the avenue of lime trees and so has become covered in algae, The lettering all needs cleaned and repainted and the base needs repointing.

“We wanted to get it cleaned and restored ahead of this year’s anniversary of the start of the First World War,” said Mr Lyal, who himself has two uncles, killed during the conflict, named on the memorial.