£25,000 funding boost brings new Bainsford war memorial one step closer

A new war memorial to remember those who died from Bainsford came a step closer to reality after the project was granted a further £25,000 from Falkirk’s Common Good Fund.

It would bear the names of more than 200 young men from Bainsford who died in combat – many of whom are buried in France or Belgium with no known grave.

The latest money awarded to the project will be added to the £40,000 that the fund gave to Bainsford War Memorial Association last June.

Another £10,000 came from Falkirk Council’s Community Choices fund as well as some community fundraising.

Bainsford War Memorial Association members at the planned site for the new war memorial. Provost William Buchanan and Robert Bissett (Pic: Michael Gillen)

At the Falkirk Common Good Fund Committee, councillors heard that the project costs had now increased to £90,000 and fundraising had been a struggle due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last June, they did not get the whole sum needed from the Common Good Fund – but they were told they could return if necessary.

As some of the funding they have already secured is time sensitive, they appealed for the fund to help them get the project over the line.

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ainsford War Memorial Association members at the planned site for the new war memorial.

Speaking at Monday’s committee meeting, group member Tom McMorrow, who lives in Stenhousemuir but has family connections to Bainsford, said it was an exciting project to be part of and the education value would be “really substantial”.

“Men who died 100 years ago become living history and that’s what this is about,” said Mr McMorrow.

Architect Charlie Reid added that many of the people involved were giving services with no fee including himself, a structural engineer and a ground worker who will help with excavations.

One of the leading forces behind the project is the Labour group leader, Councillor Robert Bissett, who declared an interest and did not take part in the debate or vote.

But Conservative councillor John Patrick had no hesitation in giving it his full support.

He said: “My own father went to France from Mungalhead Road in Bainsford and I’m glad to say returned in 1919.

“He was proud to say he was from Bainsford all his life.

“I’m very glad to welcome the enthusiastic work that is being done by the committee.”

Some councillors, however, were concerned that not enough cash had been raised in the community.

Council leader Cecil Meiklejohn said she was concerned that so much of the total was coming from the public purse.

She asked: “Is there a real community buy-in to this – and how can we demonstrate this?”

Councillor David Alexander also questioned how much support there was for the project and was concerned about duplication of the work done for the Falkirk War Memorial, in Dollar Park.

Committee member Emma Peattie said she was “very confident” that the community were firmly behind the project.

She pointed out that the Community Choices cash had been awarded thanks to a large vote from people living in the ward.

She also said that there was strong support from all of the local schools who were happy to be involved as it supported the curriculum.

Councillors agreed to give the project the £25,000 that had been requested but made it clear this would be the last donation that would be made from the fund.

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