Organisers cry foul over find at war memorial

David Deacon, right,  presents the First World War roll of honour to Greg Sandilands, president of Ettrick Forrest Bowling Club, as part of the Selkirk Remembers project.
David Deacon, right, presents the First World War roll of honour to Greg Sandilands, president of Ettrick Forrest Bowling Club, as part of the Selkirk Remembers project.

Selkirk Remembers organiser David Deacon spoke of his disgust this week after the latest shocking incident of vandalism at the town’s war memorial.

Performing a litter-sweep as part of the centenary event’s preparations, Mr Deacon found that someone had defecated next to a bench behind the memorial in Ettrick Terrace.

He said: “It was certainly human faeces as there was some toilet paper next to it and flies everywhere.

“It appears that someone was caught short but failed to clean up after themselves.

“There is really no need. There are plenty of toilets around, and there are bins everywhere. I couldn’t really believe it, but I was more disappointed than anything else.”

He also had a pop at people for leaving rubbish at the memorial.

He said: “This is a place of quiet reflection, and if people want to take a few cans of beer to do this, then that’s fine as long as they tidy the place up.”

The incident follows two other incidents of vandalism at the memorial this year.

However, other preparations to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War are going well.

Last week, Mr Deacon made a presentation of a roll of honour to Ettrick Forest Bowling Club which had been lost for years.

He said: “It was found by the lady who runs the Border Studios stores.

“I asked if I could have it to frame and give to the club as part of Selkirk Remembers and they kindly said yes.

“It is a part of Selkirk’s history, showing those from the club who served and those who gave their lives in the conflict.”

Selkirk’s parish church will be the focal point for the town’s remembrance commemorations, and it will be hard to miss.

A cascade of poppies dropping from the belfry of the church is the main goal of Selkirk Remembers, with Souters knitting, crocheting or felting individual poppies.

If enough poppies are made, it’s hoped to do the same at the Pant Well in the Market Place.

Mr Deacon said: “This is going well, but a final push is needed. I have about 1,600 poppies in the house at the moment.

“This is becoming a real community project, with all ages and experience taking part, from the veteran knitter to the novice first-timer.

“Lochcarron has kindly donated wool, and patterns and wool are available at Selkirk Post Office, where completed poppies and donations of wool can be dropped off.”

The parish church is also putting on a floral tribute to the First World War next weekend, running alongside Scott’s Selkirk and Selkirk Sessions, which takes place next weekend.

Alongside the floral tribute will be several clear silhouettes of Tommys sitting on the pews, mirroring the one at the war memorial garden ... part of the poignant “There But Not There” movement.