Ruther­glen can do much bet­ter

Veteran’s grand­son wants good turnout

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

A Ruther­glen man whose grand­fa­ther was a WWI sol­dier has this week is­sued a ral­ly­ing call ahead of the up­com­ing Ar­mistice Day cel­e­bra­tions.

David McCutcheon is proud that his grandad John Bran­ter served in the Great War and has his medals framed at home.

The fa­ther-of-two hon­ours his grandad, who lived un­til 1972, and all sol­diers who fought for their coun­try by at­tend­ing the Re­mem­brance Day ser­vice at Ruther­glen Ceno­taph every year.

But David re­vealed he has been ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed with the turnout from lo­cals, par­tic­u­larly last year where barely 100 peo­ple showed up.

“There should be hun­dreds at­tend­ing, not one hun­dred,” David told the Re­former.

“We of­ten say ‘Lest We For­get’ and want to ed­u­cate the next gen­er­a­tion about those who died fight­ing for their coun­try.

“But when I look back at last year’s event there were very few kids at­tend­ing. There are a lot of schools across the Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang ar­eas and I be­lieve that every school should be rep­re­sented at the Novem­ber 11 cer­e­monies.

“It is es­pe­cially im­por­tant this year as it’s the 100th an­niver­sary of World War One end­ing.”

David’s aunt passed on a pile of old in­ter­est­ing pho­tos of Ruther­glen, many of which he has shared on­line.

One of those pic­tures was taken at a Re­mem­brance Day ser­vice at Ruther­glen Ceno­taph in the 1940s.

Huge crowds can be seen packed into the Main Street in the black and white snap.

A stark con­trast is drawn when you com­pare a photo David took at last year’s cer­e­mony in the same spot.

Mem­bers of the mil­i­tary and lodges, coun­cil of­fi­cials and dig­ni­taries, along with some lo­cal res­i­dents and kids with the brown­ies and scouts made up a dis­ap­point­ingly small crowd.

David said: “In the 1940s and 50s there was hardly any room to move at the ceno­taph be­cause many peo­ple in the com­mu­nity showed up to pay their re­spects.

“When I was stand­ing at the ceno­taph last year I was think­ing, ‘This is piti­ful, Ruther­glen’.

“As a royal burgh, we should be do­ing bet­ter than this. I hope more peo­ple show up in 2018 as this is the cen­te­nary, and I hope that the coun­cil does more to get all our schools in­volved too.”

A spokesman for South La­nark­shire Coun­cil said: “South La­nark­shire Coun­cil is lead­ing on, and sup­port­ing, a wide va­ri­ety of events over the com­ing weeks to mark the cen­te­nary of the WW1 ar­mistice.

“Mem­bers, of­fi­cials, com­mu­nity groups and schools, to­gether with mil­i­tary and vol­un­tary as­so­ci­a­tions are in­volved in a wide rang­ing pro­gramme lead­ing up to re­mem­brance events across South La­nark­shire on Novem­ber 11.

“As this is the cen­te­nary of the first Ar­mistice, the op­por­tu­nity has also been taken to dis­cuss how groups and or­gan­i­sa­tions at­tend­ing the ser­vice at the ceno­taph might be ex­tended, to rep­re­sent all sec­tions of the com­mu­nity.

“All in­volved are keen to en­cour­age greater rep­re­sen­ta­tion from schools and lo­cal cadet forces, for ex­am­ple, and this will be re­flected in the guest list be­ing co-or­di­nated by the Old Parish Church.

“Hope­fully this will lead to more younger peo­ple at­tend­ing in this the cen­te­nary year, as well as act­ing as a cat­a­lyst to en­sure more young peo­ple par­tic­i­pate in the act of re­mem­brance in the fu­ture. Ad­di­tion­ally a num­ber of projects are tak­ing place in our pri­mary and sec­ondary schools.

“We are con­fi­dent that the var­ied and in­clu­sive pro­gramme of events we have planned, fea­tures ac­tiv­i­ties de­signed to ap­peal to all sec­tions of our com­mu­ni­ties, and look for­ward to as many as pos­si­ble join­ing with us to mark such a hugely sig­nif­i­cant mo­ment in our his­tory.”

The town’s ceno­taph, on the west end of Main Street, has been re­fur­bished by the coun­cil ahead of the cen­te­nary ser­vice.

It will take place at 12.30pm on Sun­day, Novem­ber 11, mark­ing the agree­ment signed be­tween the Al­lies of World War I and Ger­many at Com­piègne, France, for the ces­sa­tion of hos­til­i­ties.

The peace pact took ef­fect at 11am — the “11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” of 1918 – and church ser­vices will be held through­out the area at this time on Novem­ber 11.

A pro­ces­sion will then take place from the Old Parish Church to the nearby ceno­taph for the spe­cial com­mem­o­ra­tive event.

Hope­fully this will lead to more younger peo­ple at­tend­ing in this the cen­te­nary year

1940s Main Street in Ruther­glen is mobbed as huge crowds turn flock to the ceno­taph on Ar­mistice Day

2017 A poor turnout at the same spot last year

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.