Recognising injustice to Elsrickle war casualties

Ceremony...at Elsrickle War Memorial (Pic by Sarah Peters)
Ceremony...at Elsrickle War Memorial (Pic by Sarah Peters)
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ALMOST a century after men from a Clydesdale hamlet laid down their lives for their country, an injustice to them has been officially acknowledged by the Scottish Government.

The centenary of the start of World War One saw many tributes and events held throughout the land and added a special significance to the Armistice Day observances held in every city, town and village last week.

However, in tiny Elsrickle the presence of Clydesdale’s MSP Aileen Campbell at a wreath-laying ceremony had a unique meaning, this ritual taking place at the memorial to the two Great War casualities from the village born out of wedlock and excluded from the hamlet’s main ‘official’ War Memorial.

The third name on the stone was a casualty of the Second World War.

This ‘other’ memorial stone was eventually largely forgotten until, 17 years ago, a then-newcomer to the village, David Taylor, started Armistice Day wreath-layings there.

David sees the presence of the area’s MSP at last week’s ceremony as a vindication of all his years fighting for proper recognition of that a grave injustice.

The MSP laid the wreath on behalf of the Scottish Government, the first ‘official’ recognition of the trio of heroes since their deaths.

A delighted David Taylor commented: “Thankfully, after the war, the exclusion of these names from the main memorial was regarded by some villagers as a great dis-service to these men and they paid for the wee memorial themselves.

“The villagers recognised that the men deserved better. These men’s lives were not worth more or less than anyone else’s.”

Aileen echoed this, stating: “All fallen service men and women, regardless of backgrounds, deserve to be recognised and remembered for their sacrifice because, as the wee memorial says, ‘they also died for us’.”