LAST PUSH TO HON­OUR WAR DEAD

Evening Times - - FRONT PAGE - By CA­TRI­ONA STEW­ART

ACAMPAIGNER is mak­ing a fi­nal push in his drive to hon­our the war dead.

Taxi driver Jim Wat­son pledged to cre­ate a me­mo­rial for the area he has lived in all his life.

Now his plans are com­ing to fruition –with just £3,000 left to raise.

A CAM­PAIGN to hon­our Den­nis­toun’s war dead with a per­ma­nent me­mo­rial must still raise £3000.

As told in the Evening Times in March, taxi driver Jim Wat­son pledged to cre­ate a me­mo­rial for the area he has lived in all his life.

Now his plans are com­ing to fruition – with a fi­nal push for the last of the fund­ing.

Jim said: “It has been amaz­ing how peo­ple have got be­hind the idea.

“Al­most ev­ery penny so far has come from the lo­cal com­mu­nity and that’s what I wanted, a lo­cal me­mo­rial paid for by lo­cal peo­ple.

“It is fan­tas­tic and we are get­ting there – we just need this fi­nal bit of money.”

The me­mo­rial, which will sit in Alexan­dra Park, will cost £10,000 in to­tal.

Jim said city busi­nesses have been a great help with AS Scaf­fold­ing, Blue­vale Struc­tures and Ten­nent’s all con­tribut­ing.

Park­head Weld­ing has also of­fered to do­nate the fence.

Jim, a for­mer Ter­ri­to­rial Army solider, was in­spired af­ter see­ing a war me­mo­rial out­side HMP Bar­lin­nie for war­dens killed in the First World War trenches.

He is hop­ing the me­mo­rial will be ready for un­veil­ing in 2018 to mark the 100th an­niver­sary of the cease­fire.

The 49-year-old wants to or­gan­ise a grand un­veil­ing, with a notable per­son launch­ing the me­mo­rial and a pa­rade through Den­nis­toun.

Sup­port for the en­deav­our has been given by so­cial land­lord Milnbank Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion and coun­cil­lor Elaine McDougall.

Jim has also en­cour­aged lo­cal schools to get in­volved, with St De­nis’, Golfhill and Alexan­dra Pa­rade pri­maries and White­hill Se­condary pupils all en­ter­ing a com­pe­ti­tion to de­sign the me­mo­rial.

A win­ner has been cho­sen but not yet told, and Jim is keep­ing the name un­der his hat un­til schools go back.

An ar­chi­tect has also been ap­pointed to fully plan the me­mo­rial, which will also hon­our those fallen in sub­se­quent con­flicts.

Jim has also been re­search­ing Den­nis­toun’s part in the First World War and has found, af­ter painstak­ingly go­ing through the records, that 874 men from the area died in the con­flict.

His list is now archived in the Mitchell Li­brary.

Jim said: “I have spent ev­ery spare minute on this. If you laid all those men head to foot they would stretch from Ten­nent’s all along Duke Street. You can’t imag­ine that kind of loss and it should be hon­oured.”

To do­nate see www.gofundme .com/ den­nis­toun-war-me­mo­rial

Above, May Hutchin­son and Jim Wat­son of Den­nis­toun War Me­mo­rial Com­mit­tee, lo­cal coun­cil­lor Elaine McDougall and Linda Sichi of Mil­bank Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion

Left, Jim wants hon­our men like James Lawrie, from Den­nis­toun, who was 20 when he was killed at the Somme in 1916

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