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Commando Memorial, Spean bridge
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corinne mills



Joined: 01 Jan 2007
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:35 pm    Post subject: Commando Memorial, Spean bridge Reply with quote

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jamiemcginlay



Joined: 20 Dec 2006
Posts: 939
Location: Glasgow

PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The monument was unveiled by H.M. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother in 1952. His RSA obituary states:
‘Sculptor Scott Sutherland D.A. (Edin.) RSA won a national competition for this work in 1949 and rarely have a sculptor and subject been so perfectly matched. He had known and worked alongside the Commandos during the war and had a great admiration for them. In addition the scale was right – heroic in proportions – matching its subject. No sooner had the work been unveiled than the greatest possible tributes came pouring in from every corner of the globe. The Commando Memorial, despite its remoteness of setting remains one of the most visited, and best loved sculptures in Scotland.’
The Scotsman newspaper printed the following on 16th March 1950 regarding the Commando memorial design:
“His design for the Commando Memorial is to be erected near Achnacarry at the west end of the Caledonian Canal to commemorate the Commando troops who were trained there. Mr. Sutherland’s design was awarded first prize of £200 in competition open to all Scottish sculptors…The design shows a definite departure from the abstract forms in which he earlier worked.”




It was interesting that Sutherland did indeed adopt the more traditional approach in the form of a figurative sculpture, winning the competition, while another of Alex Carrick’s pupils Tom Whalen lost with his submission of a colossal and primitive flint spearhead to commemorate the Commandoes as being at the cutting edge of the Allied Forces. The monument bears the motto ‘United We Conquer’ on the pedestal and Sutherland created a potent image of this concept in the fusion of the three figures (seen best from the rear) into a V-shaped cutting edge formation. I also think that Alexander Carrick’s war memorials at Oban, with its image of unity, and Lochawe with its cutting figure, may have been one influence in Sutherland’s design at Spean Bridge.

The memorial has become a tourist attraction over the years but this has raised a number of issues. There was a planning application lodged to build tearooms at the memorial in the 1980's, an application opposed by many including Commano Veterans who consider this to be sacred ground as many of their comrades have had their ashes scattered around the monument. The floodlighting of the memorial has also raised objections with one critical item in the Scotsman Newspaper (27/04/1992) describing the effect as making the figures 'look like poachers lit up'. The increasing profile of some of the more striking war memorials in Scotland is to be welcomed but their original purpose and what they commemorate can sometimes be in danger of being forgotten.
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DerekR
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Location: Hawick, Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote




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DerekR
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Commando Memorial "Area of Remembrance":






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DerekR
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of the personal memorials:










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DerekR
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Adam Brown
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
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Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some more excellent photographs of one of my favourite memorials.

Does anyone have photographs of the Inscription Plaque on the memorial?

Comparing Derek and Jim's photographs it now looks like there is a plaque on the rear of the pedestal as well as the front.

I take it the memorial garden was set up because people were leaving mementoes around the base of the memorial.

Adam
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Adam Brown
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
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Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three of the men listed on the plaques photographed by Derek were lost on operations. A fourth had actually left the Royal Marines when he was killed in Iraq.

Falklands

RUNDLE, Anthony John 'Jim'
Marine, Landing Craft (LCU)F4, H.M.S. 'Fearless'
Number: P029758D
Killed in air attack 8th June 1982, Choiseul Sound, Falkland Islands
Aged: 26
Born: Baor Hanover, West Germany, 1st September 1955
Buried at Sea
Listed on the Falklands War Memorial, Port Stanley
Commemorated at the Commando Memorial Remembrance Garden, Spean Bridge

The Armed Forces roll of honour gives Marine Rundle's name as Anthony John Rundle but the family memorial has him as Jim.

Iraq

BALLARD, Stephen 'Steve' Alexis
Major, 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines
Died of heart attack, 30th March 2003, Southern Iraq
Aged 33.
Home: Swindon
Commemorated at the Commando Memorial Remembrance Garden, Spean Bridge

Major Ballard had a serious heart condition and the coroner concluded he should not have been overseas on active service.

Afghanistan

SMITH, Michael 'Mick'
Warrant Officer II, 7 (Sphinx) Battery, 29 Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery
Died of grenade attack wounds, 8th March 2007, Sangin, Helmand, Afghanistan
Aged 39
Home: Liverpool
Commemorated at the Commando Memorial Remembrance Garden, Spean Bridge


Mally Adjei had left the Royal Marines and was working for a private security firm when he was killed

ADJEI, Malcolm 'Mally'
Former Royal Marine Commando working as Private Security Guard
Former number: PO60394Q
Killed in roadside blast 3rd May 2007, Iraq
Aged 25
Son of Linda & Mally Adjei of Hull
Home: Hull. Born 22.01.1982
Commemorated at the Commado Memorial Remembrance Garden, Spean Bridge

Adam
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
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Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Sunday Times magazine, 28 Oct 2007 (Stephen Ballard)



Last edited by spoons on Thu Nov 01, 2007 6:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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spoons



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Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Sunday Times magazine, 28 Oct 2007 (Michael Smith)

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adjei05



Joined: 03 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:05 pm    Post subject: Mally Adjei was medically discharged from the marines. Reply with quote

Adam Brown wrote:
Three of the men listed on the plaques photographed by Derek were lost on operations. A fourth had actually left the Royal Marines when he was killed in Iraq.

ADJEI, Malcolm 'Mally'
Former Royal Marine Commando working as Private Security Guard
Former number: PO60394Q
Killed in roadside blast 3rd May 2007, Iraq
Aged 25
Son of Linda & Mally Adjei of Hull
Home: Hull. Born 22.01.1982
Commemorated at the Commado Memorial Remembrance Garden, Spean Bridge


Mally Adjei was medically discharged from the marines.
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David McNay
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
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Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I notice the memorial now seems to have a plaque on the back of it. Does anyone have a photograph of that?
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Buster



Joined: 08 Oct 2009
Posts: 7
Location: Perth, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, just came across this forum and this thread in particular whilst browsing the web for images.

Here's a photo of the memorial where the front plaque can be read...


It has been reduced in size, but I'll do a crop on the full size image and post it later.

Definately a plaque on the rear now, but I don't think I got a readable one. I'll look through my pic's when I get home.


This is a fantastic memorial in an exhilarating location and brings a lump to my throat on each visit.

Buster (former RM)
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Buster



Joined: 08 Oct 2009
Posts: 7
Location: Perth, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few more...







Buster.
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DerekR
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
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Location: Hawick, Scotland

PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The two panels on the memorial:




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