Memorial on the move

Plans have been submitted to the council for permission to move St Boswells’ war memorial closer to the centre of the village.

Should the planning permission be granted, the memorial will be moved, effectively stone-by-stone, onto new foundations on the Green, in front of the war veterans cottages in Buccleuch Gardens.

The application has been submitted by the community council, who have been in discussions with the local branch of the Royal British Legion about the proposal for some time.

The memorial was built on the current site, adjacent to the A68 at the Selkirk junction, to remember the 31 men of the parish lost in the First World War, with another five names added following the Second World War.

Submitted along with the plans, a design statement says: “Up until about 10 years ago, the remembrance service took place on the A68 in front of the memorial with the traffic being held up for about half an hour.

“The memorial plaques were then removed and relocated to the west side of the memorial, effectively turning the memorial through 180 degrees, and the services currently take place on the uneven grass area on the Selkirk side of the memorial, with traffic being held up briefly for the two minute’s silence.

“The current location is detached from the centre of the village and as there is no footpath alongside the increasingly busy A68 to the war memorial access to the memorial for the remembrance service is becoming more difficult and continued traffic on the adjacent A68 during the service is distracting.”

Speaking to The Southern, Dougie Oliver, chairman of St Boswells Community Council, said: “We are trying to plough on and get things done with this because of the anniversary of the First World War. We want the memorial moved prior to November.”

It is proposed that the memorial will sit within a larger area on the grassed area in front of Buccleuch Gardens, with more room for seating and planters.

Mr Oliver said: “The community council feels this is the obvious place – we own the ground and it is in the village, which is where it should be, and it integrates it into the community.”

St Boswells Primary School pupils will work with local historian JD Smith to find out more about the men from the village who are honoured on the memorial.

If given the go-ahead, a re-dedication service will be held after the memorial is moved.

Funding applications have been submitted to help cover the costs associated with the works.