Sol­dier sil­hou­ettes hon­our Great War’s fallen heroes

Campbeltown Courier - - FRONT PAGE - Han­nah O’Han­lon edi­tor@camp­bel­town­

A Kin­tyre vil­lage church is hold­ing a week-long pro­gramme of re­mem­brance events to mark the cen­te­nary of the end of World War I. The main fea­ture of the events or­gan­ised by Clachan’s Kil­cal­monell Par­ish Church and run­ning from Novem­ber 4 to 11, will be an in­stal­la­tion rep­re­sent­ing the fallen – 20 trans­par­ent sol­dier sil­hou­ette sculp­tures – as part of the There But Not There cam­paign by char­ity Re­mem­brance. Ten of the fig­ures, known as Tom­mys, were do­nated by the Armed Forces Covenant, while the other 10 were pur­chased by the church. Clachan, which has a pop­u­la­tion of about 250, lost 15 young men dur­ing the war, at a time when the pop­u­la­tion was much smaller. The men’s names are re­mem­bered on the gates of the church, which is the vil­lage’s of­fi­cial war memo­rial and houses a Com­mon­wealth War Grave. At the close of the church ser­vice on Sun­day Novem­ber 4 there will be a pro­ces­sion of the sil­hou­ettes into the church, where they will be placed around the al­tar. As each one en­ters the church, the name, rank and reg­i­ment of some of the fallen will be read out. Some of the sil­hou­ettes are to rep­re­sent oth­ers af­fected by the war – emer­gency ser­vices, wives, moth­ers and daugh­ters. Af­ter the ser­vice, the sil­hou­ettes will be placed at ran­dom in the pews and will re­main there through­out the week. On Mon­day, from 7-8pm, there will be an evening of mu­sic, read­ings, po­ems and let­ters from the First World War; Tues­day, from 7-8pm, there will be ci­ta­tions of medals won by Scot­tish ser­vice­men; Wed­nes­day, from 11am to noon, school chil­dren will visit and con­trib­ute; Thurs­day, from 7-8pm, there will be more po­ems and sto­ries from the trenches; Fri­day, from 7-8pm, the fo­cus will be on the home front, of tales and thoughts of those back home; Satur­day, at 7.30am, at the spe­cific re­quest of the late Rev­erend Ca­tri­ona Hood, those who were shot at dawn, who have since been par­doned, will be re­mem­bered. The week cul­mi­nates in an ‘act of re­mem­brance’ at the memo­rial gates on Sun­day Novem­ber 11, be­fore a ser­vice in the church, af­ter which the sil­hou­ettes will be re­moved from the church to form a silent guard of hon­our to the war memo­rial. The church will re­main open each day to al­low peo­ple to visit and see the sil­hou­ettes in situ or spend some time in quiet re­flec­tion and re­mem­brance. For­mer moder­a­tor of the Pres­bytery of Ar­gyll Mar­i­lyn Shed­den, who will be lead­ing Satur­day’s dawn ser­vice, said: ‘As we ap­proach the 100th an­niver­sary of the end of that aw­ful war, we pause to remember these ter­ri­ble years of suf­fer­ing. ‘At this ten­der time there will be a spe­cial op­por­tu­nity to look back, and through po­ems, read­ings, let­ters, mu­sic, pic­tures and sto­ries, hear and feel a lit­tle of those who went to fight for a fu­ture free­dom.’

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