Alness War Memorial Re-dedication Ceremony
Restoration work to the War Memorial in Alness has been completed and on Saturday (10 September) the community will come together to take part in a special re-dedication ceremony.
War Memorials stand at the heart of almost every community throughout the Highlands, where the numbers lost were often disproportionate to most of the rest of the United Kingdom. Large numbers of Highland and Island communities were devastated as a result of WW1 and WW2, particularly during WW1, as the strong tradition of military service amongst Scots left many towns and villages with few adult males. Many of those who travelled overseas never returned.
After the great losses of WW1, the Alness War Memorial was erected with public subscription and unveiled in 1921 to commemorate those from Alness and Wester Rosskeen who had been lost.
In 1949, following a public subscription, the names of those who died in WW2 were added and the memorial re-dedicated. Sadly, more recent conflicts continue to add to the memorial. In total it lists 114 local people who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country - 85 in WW1, 28 in WW2 and 1 in the Northern Ireland conflict.
Sadly, the highland weather had taken its toll on the Alness War Memorial, leaving the carved names of the fallen, difficult to read due to weathering and algae. The whole structure needed careful cleaning, all the joints re-pointed and other much needed restoration work.
Many War Memorials are sadly neglected and vandalised or left to suffer the ravages of time. Not so, the Alness War Memorial – the local community has demonstrated that their War Memorial and what it stands for is still important to them and worthy of maintaining to a good standard.
Driven and inspired by the Alness Community Association, donations (some small, large and some personal) were soon secured from enthusiastic locals, ex pats, Highland Council and other various sources, allowing work to go ahead.
The local community also acknowledges the valuable guidance, support and encouragement offered by SSE through its sub contractors (BAM Nuttall and Siemens), who are working nearby at Fyrish.
Restoration work was completed earlier this summer, largely by conservation stonemason John McLean from Dingwall, who worked carefully and meticulously.
This has been a good example of partnership working and the community should be very proud that their community spirit and efforts have restored their war memorial to its former glory, a powerful reminder of the ultimate price paid by so many of their own people to ensure future generations had freedom.
The re-dedication ceremony will take place on Sat 10 September at 2pm with afternoon tea following in the adjacent Heritage Garden.
Note to editors: You are invited to send along your photographers to the ceremony and representatives from the community will be available for interview.