Top award for city’s restored War Memorial
Representatives from the Royal British Legion Scotland visited Cavell Gardens War Memorial in Inverness yesterday (Wednesday 15 October) to officially hand over the 2014 top trophy award for the best Large War Memorial with Gardens category.
The War Memorial on Ness Bank commemorates the dead of the two World Wars. Standing 33 feet high, the red sandstone Celtic cross which was designed by John Hinton Gall and created by D & A Davidson Sculptors, was unveiled on 16 December 1922 in front of a crowd of 5000.
The Royal British Legion Scotland, in partnership with The Highland Council have over the last two years worked together to restore the memorial to as near as its original state as possible. Work started in July 2012 with £15k of funding coming from the Inverness Common Good Fund and £10k from The Highland Council’s Community Services budget.
Work, carried out by specialist contractors, Alastair Stewart Memorials of Inverness, DMH Blacksmiths, Murray MacIntyre and Ronald Robertson Ground Works included restoring the original stone work and signage on the stone memorial, erecting new metal fencing around the floral display beds, installing Victorian style exterior lighting to the pillars surrounding the memorial and restoring the war memorial bench. The area directly surrounding the memorial has also been refurbished with the Council’s Community Services upgrading the footpaths, including laying new slabs for disabled access, and refurbishing the waste bins and seats while the council’s team of gardeners re-planted all of the floral displays. The work was completed in July this year.
Yesterdays guests, including the Provost, local councillors, and representatives from the Inverness Branch of the Royal British Legion as well as Highland Council ground staff and others involved in the restoration works all gathered at the Memorial by the River Ness before walking to the Town House for the official presentation of the award.
During the presentation Provost of Inverness, Councillor Alex Graham praised everyone involved for their work to bring the gardens and memorial back to their former glory. He said: “War memorials are an integral part of the nation’s remembrance of people who have given up their lives for our country. The work done at Cavell Gardens ensures that it will continue to be a memorial of the highest standard which the Inverness can be proud of for many years to come.
“This success is the result of a co-ordinated approach and commitment by the team which has proven to be a winning formula. This prestigious award is a recognition of the dedication and hard work of everyone involved.”
The Council’s Armed Forces and Veterans Champion, Councillor Carolyn Caddick added: “Everyone has really backed and supported this project from the planning stages, right through to the final touches and I would particularly like to highlight special thanks to the British legion for their support and for submitting the application for the best war memorial.”
Ian Burnett from the Royal British Legion Scotland Inverness Branch who has been involved in the project from the beginning said: “Without the great team work we would not have won the large community with gardens Memorial trophy and with such a good team in place and the support of the Council, next year we hope to enter the Champions of Champions competition. On behalf of the Inverness Branch I would like to say a big thank you to everyone involved and we look forward to working together again next year.”