A sim­ple cross in a lonely glen bears only two names. Today, as a na­tion pauses, the fallen broth­ers, who once played on this hill­side as boys, will be re­mem­bered

Nephew hopes to travel to lochside me­mo­rial to hail lost un­cles and their com­rades on Re­mem­brance Sun­day

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS - By Mike Mer­ritt MAIL@SUN­DAY­POST.COM

There are only two names on Scot­land’s re­motest me­mo­rial – those of broth­ers Wil­liam and Alis­tair El­liot.

But their mem­ory is not for­got­ten even in the loneli­est and most haunt­ingly beau­ti­ful of spots.

The sim­ple stone mon­u­ment stands, sen­try-like, on a com­mand­ing hill, cast­ing a shadow on the now empty es­tate cot­tage that the broth­ers grew up in.

Wil­lie El­liot last made the five- mile jour­ney down Loch Glen­coul in Suther­land to his un­cles’ me­mo­rial a cou­ple of years ago.

So re­mote is the lo­ca­tion that, other than a long trek, it has to be made in a for­mer land­ing craft – it­self a vet­eran of the Gulf War.

Be­low the broth­ers’ names on the war me­mo­rial, the in­scrip­tion reads sim­ply: “Their mem­ory will ever be cher­ished by their sor­row­ing par­ents and broth­ers.”

But today there will be no cer­e­mony at the mon­u­ment, no trib­ute to the broth­ers whose sac­ri­fice – like so many oth­ers in ru­ral Scot­land – was felt par­tic­u­larly hard in ar­eas that sent all its men to war only for few to re­turn.

For­mer ghillie Wil­lie, who was named af­ter his un­cle, lives in Ach­fary, the near­est vil­lage to the re­mote cot­tage.

The 84-year-old ex-Black­Watch soldier said:”For many young men it was the first time they had left the High­lands and they did not know what they were let­ting them­selves in for.

“The sac­ri­fice my un­cles made – and oth­ers – should not be for­got­ten. Their me­mo­rial highlights that the Great War called peo­ple from the re­motest parts and many did not re­turn to the glens.

“The war touched ev­ery­where, even places like here. Like the Sec­ond World War, it in­flu­enced vil­lages in the High­lands for gen­er­a­tions. That is es­pe­cially true of my un­cles.

“Of five sons, the el­dest four were all called up. For a long time I had my un­cle Wil­liam’s silver cig­a­rette case pre­sented to him in grat­i­tude by his men. I have now given it to one of my young rel­a­tives as a re­minder of his sac­ri­fice.

“My fa­ther, John David, was in­jured and car­ried a piece of shrap­nel in his face all his life. His brother Matthew was gassed and it af­fected his breath­ing when the weather was cold. But it was the two older broth­ers who paid the ul­ti­mate price. I don’t think the younger gen­er­a­tion is for­get­ting. The in­ter­net has

Wil­lie El­liot: “Never for­get”

helped play its part in that. They do care.

“I would like to go to the me­mo­rial again, if my health al­lows. We should never for­get.”

Wil­lie’s un­cle Wil­liam was a stalker on the Reay Es­tate when he was called up to serve with the Cameron High­landers.

He trav­elled to France, later be­ing sent to Gal­lipoli. He had been serv­ing with the 2nd En­trench­ing Bat­tal­ion, a hold­ing unit for men re­turn­ing to the trenches af­ter be­ing in hos­pi­tal, when an in­fluenza out­break struck.

Wil­liam, 25, died of pneu­mo­nia on March 29, 1917, and was buried at Longue­nesse Sou­venir Ceme­tery in St Omer, France.

Alis­tair, 24, had left Glen­coul and was work­ing as a clerk with the Bank of Scot­land in Glas­gow when the war be­gan.

He was called up to join the Glas­gow High­landers be­fore be­com­ing part of the High­land Light In­fantry, where he served as a lance cor­po­ral. He died on April 12, 1918, at Neuve Eglise, Bel­gium.

Al­though his body was never re­cov­ered, his name is listed on the Ploeg­steert Me­mo­rial in Bel­gium.

Wil­liam and Alis­tair were born a year apart. Their par­ents, John and Mar­garet, moved into the two-storey house af­ter shep­herd John took a job as a deer stalker.

Rather than them hav­ing to travel miles to school, the then Duke of West­min­ster ar­ranged for a small school­house to be built on to the side of their fam­ily cot­tage, in­clud­ing a room for the teacher to live. The sec­ond duke paid for the me­mo­rial.

The Glen­coul Me­mo­rial, main above the cot­tage where broth­ers Wil­liam, top, and Alis­tair El­liot grew up

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