Path promoted to VC War Hero grave

James Munro VC path
Colin Souter, Development Manager Robertson Homes, Cllr Graham Ross and Provost Alex Graham inspect the new signage to the grave of Sgt J. Munro VC.

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Signage has been erected to help lead pedestrians to the grave of Victoria Cross recipient Colour Sergeant James Munro in Craig Dunain Hospital Cemetery , Inverness.

Over the last two years, works have been carried out by members of the Regimental Association related to the 93rd Regiment Sutherland Highlanders (which Sgt Munro was a member of) to weed and tidy the path leading up to the grave as well as clean the area around the memorial itself. As they felt that a stronger gesture should be made in Sgt Munro’s remembrance, the Inverness Branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland wrote to The Highland Council to request signage.

James Munro VC, born in Nigg 11 October 1826, joined the Armed Forces aged just 20. Aged 28, in 1854 he was serving as a sergeant during the Crimean War and by 1857 was promoted to Colour Sergeant in India during the Indian Mutiny. He was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1860 by Queen Victoria for devoted gallantry on 16 November 1857 in rescuing Captain E. Walsh while wounded and in danger of his life by carrying him to safety. Sgt Munro was then discharged due to illness caused by his wounds.

Sgt Munro’s Victoria Cross is displayed at the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum at Stirling Castle.

The Provost of Inverness and Ward Member of Inverness West, Alex Graham, said: “It is brilliant news that pedestrians can now follow designated signage to the grave of Colour Sergeant James Munro VC. It is so important that we not only remember those who have served in the Armed Forces, but help others to be able to remember them as well. Receiving the Victoria Cross is a great honour, and to be able to visit the memorial of someone who was awarded this prestigious military decoration is truly humbling.”

Armed Forces and Veterans’ Champion, Cllr Allan Duffy, said: “No matter how long ago the conflicts were, it is vital that we remember those who served in the Armed Forces. I feel that it is fitting that Sgt Munro’s bravery continues to be recognised today.”

Cllr Graham Ross, Inverness West Ward Member, added:  “I welcome the works to improve access to Sgt Munro’s memorial and would like to thank Robertson Homes for allowing the new signage to be installed on their land and the Council’s Access Officer for coordinating the project.”

The new signage has been erected in partnership with Robertson Homes which is developing the 200 acre Westercraigs site, of which the cemetery is a part. Respectful of the cemetery and its surroundings, Robertson Homes has been working with Highland Council and the Regimental Association to ensure the memorial is accessible to those wishing to visit.

John Murphy, Managing Director for Robertson Homes, said:  “We are truly honoured to help bring the history of Sergeant Munro and his regiment to the local community to ensure their actions are not forgotten.

“While we look to develop the Westercraigs area of Inverness, we will ensure his memorial is preserved and anybody wishing to visit and pay their respects can do so easily.”

20 Mar 2015
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