Plans for Camelon war memorial continue to take shape

Plans for the memorial are taking shape
Plans for the memorial are taking shape
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A new memorial to honour the war dead could be unveiled later this year.

The location of the new cenotaph to mark those from the Camelon area who laid down their lives for their country has now been revealed.

For several years, a group of residents have been working tirelessly to compile the list of names of the war dead and search for a suitable site for the memorial.

The design was chosen after Forth Valley College students were asked to come up with a suitable blueprint for the monument.

Shirley Ann McMillan’s plan for seven ‘folded’ obelisks bearing the names of the dead was finally selected as the most fitting and eye-catching memorial.

After months of looking at nine potential sites, the majority were ruled out as unsuitable. Ground in front of the social work office in Glasgow Road was eventually rejected as unsuitable because of a lack of parking.

Instead, a piece of ground close to Lock 16 on the Forth and Clyde Canal has been picked. Bordered by Glenfuir Road and Port Downie, the land is public open space and is currently grass with a few trees planted.

A spokesman for the organising committee said: “We know this has been a long-time in the planning but we are determined to ensure everything is perfect.”

The committee has been working closely with architect Morris Robb and former council leisure boss David Mould to select the site and progress the plans.

It will include a ramped pathway to allow wheelchair access, a circular feature of the Mariner Rose compass to signify the district’s links with the canal, benches and the seven memorials.

The names of the 174 war dead will be laser cut out of corten steel, allowing the sun to shine through and project them in shadow, similar to the Kryptos CIA memorial in the United States.

However, finding a firm who can cut out the names to the correct dimension is proving a struggle. The spokesman added: “We’re anxious to hear from anyone who can carry out the work. At this stage we are unable to apply for any grants until we know what the cost of the project will be.”

The planning application is due to be considered in June and, if given the go-ahead, along with a suitable contractor found, the memorial could be in place for this year’s Remembrance Sunday in November.

Schoolchildren will also have an important role in the development. Pupils from Falkirk High and St Mungo’s will help lay the decorative edging, while youngsters from Carmuirs, Easter Carmuirs, Bantaskin and St Francis primary schools will also be involved.

The spokesman added: “We feel it is important that children and young people are involved so that every generation feels they have played a part.

“Wherever you go in the village, there is a real sense of support for the project and people tell us it is ‘about time’ there was a memorial.

“On behalf of the committee, can I say we are grateful to everyone who has supported the project so far and trust that we can count on their continued support.”