Gone a century ago but never forgotten

Defying the eather, Lanark Pipe Band leads the large parade to the Memorial Hall on Sunday
Defying the eather, Lanark Pipe Band leads the large parade to the Memorial Hall on Sunday

Every town, village and hamlet in Clydesdale was touched by tragedy in World War One and these same communities gathered on Sunday to mark the centenary of the end of our most costly conflict.

Estimates of Clydesdale’s losses between 1914 and 1918 range widely from 600 to 1000 men; the exact toll will never be known.

However, the statistics mattered little and the fallen individuals a lot at the various ceremonies on the centenary Remembrance Sunday, falling, as fate would have it, on November 11, 2018.

In Carluke, dubbed ‘A Town Called Courage’ in recognition of its three VCs in the two world wars, pride mingled with sorrow as townsfolk looked on at the Market Square War Memorial at this year’s very special wreath-laying ceremony.

In Lanark there was some grim satisfaction to be had from the fact that Remembrance was a growing, not dying, tradition; the Royal Burgh’s commemoration started at dawn with pipers playing a lament and closed with a special evening concert by the Lanark and Carluke Choral Union at the Tolbooth.

In between there were the traditional respects paid at a service at St Nicholas Church followed by wreath-laying at the Memorial Hall.

In Biggar a large parade marched to the Memorial at Cadgers Brig where South Lanarkshire’s Provost Ian McAllan led his home town’s homage.

All Clydesdale’s villages, big and small, marked the occasion in their own ways. In Leadhills villagers joined with their neighbours in Wanlockhead to defy a powercut on Sunday to carry on with a special musical tribute and in Forth folk gathered at their own Memorial plus the one moved nearby from the now vanished village of Heywood.