Denny war memorial debate continues

The 'Victory or Peace' memorial in Denny Cemetery was unveiled in 1921
The 'Victory or Peace' memorial in Denny Cemetery was unveiled in 1921

Residents in Denny and Dunipace are being encouraged to make their voices heard over the future location of the burgh’s war memorial.

Falkirk Council intends to temporaily relocate the plaques listing the names of fallen soldiers to the Broompark Centre in Denny while Church Walk is demolished.

But a consultation exercise is due to begin to gather opinions of where in the town centre a memorial should be sited on a permanent basis.

One option, which was discussed at a recent meeting of the town’s heritage society, and posted on the community council’s Facebook page, is to move the burgh’s original memorial from Denny Cemetery in Herbertshire, near Denny High School, to a more central location.

The monument, Victory or Peace, was unveiled by the Duke of Montrose on Saturday, May 6, 1922, and is the work of acclaimed memorial sculptor George Henry Paulin.

But the burgh’s annual Remembrance Day service was switched to Church Walk in Denny town centre after concerns that the cemetery was too far for elderly veterans to walk.

The plaques listing the burgh’s fallen, which are mounted on the granite base of the monument, were copied and installed on Stirling Street. It is these copies that will be temporarily relocated to the Broompark Centre.

Falkirk Council director of development services Rhona Geisler said: “A newsletter will be issued shortly to Denny residents to provide an update on the redevelopment of the town centre. This also includes information on the temporary relocation of the war memorial plaques and all views are welcome.”

The bronze figure in Denny Cemetery, a tribute to the 154 men from Denny and Dunipace who were killed during the First World War, cost £1200 and is sited on land gifted by Charles William Forbes of Callendar.

Inspired by the motif on the seal of the former burgh of Denny and Dunipace, it is considered a fine example of Paulin’s work.

The Clackmannannshire-born artist is acclaimed as one of the finest memorial sculptors who were working in the inter-war period. His work was commissioned across the world.

His artistic fame during the 1920s was such that he was commissioned to design the gravestone of the famous Scots-American industrialist and philantorpist Andrew Carnegie.