Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Memorial tribute to Fife World War II mine blast heroes

From the BBC News website:

A memorial has been unveiled in a Fife village in tribute to five people who died as they tried to save the community from disaster 70 years ago.

In January 1941, during World War II, a sea mine was spotted on the beach at West Wemyss.

It was in danger of being washed towards the village.

Peter Graham, who was just 15, and four men from a nearby pit attempted to retrieve it but the mine exploded and they were all killed.

The blast was so fierce it blew the windows out of the orangery at Wemyss Castle.

A three-and-a-half tonne granite sculpture was unveiled to remember the local heroes, 70 years to the day since their selfless action cost them their lives.

Local man Jake Drummond said it was a fitting tribute.

He said: "We've inscribed the memorial with the words of a Greek philosopher from 400 years before Christ, a man named Thucydides, who said: 'The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it'.

"We think that sums up exactly what these ordinary men did that day, which was an extraordinarily brave thing to do."

There is some discussion of this memorial on the Scottish War Memorials Project.

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