Funding needed for Elsrickle’s ‘other’ war memorial

Paying respects...David Taylor and friends at the alternative war memorial in Elsrickle on Monday (Pic Lindsay Addison)
Paying respects...David Taylor and friends at the alternative war memorial in Elsrickle on Monday (Pic Lindsay Addison)
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A CRUEL injustice to Clydesdale’s war dead, dating back almost 100 years, could finally be put to rights next year.

On Monday morning, November 11, a humble but moving ceremony took place at a remote roadside shrine near the hamlet of Elsrickle, the annual tribute paid there to three men from the village who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

But, even in heroic death, they were deemed unworthy of having their names engraved on the village’s main, ‘official’ War Memorial.

The explanation for their exile to their own wee memorial just outside the village boundary seems almost unbelievably heartless to 2013 minds – these three war heroes were illegitimate.

Now David Taylor who came to retire to Elriskle 17 years ago and belatedly started an annual service there the day after Remembrance Sunday is campaigning for an upgrade at the village’s alternative memorial.

He said: “I think now that it would be better to leave the separate memorial to these three lads where it is. It is, in my opinion, at a spot with the best views of the village and I feel they deserve at least that.”

However, he feels that the rather careworn iron spiked fence surrounding it is too stark and potentially dangerous to those visiting.

So he has designed three alternatives for the memorial, ranging from a rather futuristic but eyecatching bollard to a very traditional drystane dyke. He hopes that funding to turn one of these designs into a reality will be found from the special fund the Scottish Government has set up to upgrade War Memorials for next year’s World War One centenary.

David is still awaiting responses to his proposals from both the local Blackmount Community Council and from South Lanarkshire Council.

For more on this story, don’t miss this week’s Carluke and Lanark Gazette which is in the shops now.