The Falkirk community is this month busily putting right what some feel is a conspicuous gap in the way we remember the hundreds of local servicemen who died in the world wars.
The famous war elegy promises “At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them”, but until now the names of those killed in the 1914-18 and 1939-45 conflicts have been absent from Falkirk’s memorial in Dollar Park.
Many of the names of individuals who died may be recorded elsewhere, for example in period editions of the Falkirk Herald, which was the public’s main and in some cases only source of news about local men killed, wounded, missing or captured.
But those names, and the stories behind them, are lost to modern public consciousness – there is no single location in full public view where each man’s death is recorded.
Now, in a remedial project led by the Friends of Falkirk War Memorial, important work is underway in Dollar Park to give those long dead fallen Bairns the permanent place in the town’s collective memory they deserve.
The Friends was set up with the help of former Provost Pat Reid, who is enthused about the Dollar Park project and the local companies who are supporting it.
He said: “Work started on site last month and we hope to have a service of re-dedication towards the end of October, before Remembrance Day.
“The existing memorial was unveiled in 1926 to remember the 1100 local men who died in World War I. Sadly – unlike other local memorials – it doesn’t name the war dead, or the 450 others who died subsequently in World War II.
“We want to properly remember Falkirk’s Fallen – adding the names on additional panels – and making other improvements to the site. Our work will improve access for people for mobility issues paying their respects at the memorial.”
He added: “We’ve already had good support from individuals, local businesses and the council’s Common Good Fund. If you feel you can help, please make a donation through our website.
Douglas Cameron, managing director of the Hope Street based Eden Consultancy, says he hopes the project will create an opportunity to “reach out to the wider community”.
You can find out more and possibly contribute to this important Falkirk project at www.falkirkwarmemorial.org
The Friends’ Facebook page is at http://www.facebook.com/falkirkwarmemorial and you can also email them at email@example.com.