Monday, 7 February 2011

Featured memorials - Tarbert, Argyll

If you looked at a close up photograph of the civic war memorial at Tarbert there is nothing much to distinguish it from a hundred other obelisks in town and villages across Scotland. There are no names of famous people or well known war heroes. It is a typical Scottish war memorial.

What does distinguish it from others is its location. On a quiet, bright, sunny Spring morning there are probably few finer places in Argyll to stand, than beside this war memorial.

As you overlook the village and harbour; as the sun glints of the ripples on East Loch Tarbert and Loch Fyne, you can understand why this particular spot was chosen.

You find memorials like this around the rural communities of Scotland. They are placed in commanding positions above a parish where you can see many of the landmarks the people listed on the memorial would have known so well.

Perhaps anyone visiting the memorial in those years after the war could look around them and remind themselves of one of the things those listed fought for. Their home.

It is ninety years since most of these civic memorials were first erected. There are only a few people still alive who knew those listed on the First World War panels.

The people who actually chose its design and location will all be gone. Perhaps too the reasons for choosing a particular location will have been forgotten. Many Scottish war memorials have been moved from their original location for many reasons; accessibility, road safety, vandalism. But some, like this one at Tarbert should never been moved.

Until you stand beside it yourself on a Spring morning you can get some idea of the view from Google Maps Street View and please have a look at the post on the Scottish War Memorials Project.

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