Plan for Arnhem tribute

Artist David Mach at the Lochgelly Centre  to mark the launch of his exhibition '" David Mach Goes Commando" , inspired by the Commando comics of his youth. 'Photo: WALTER NEILSON
Artist David Mach at the Lochgelly Centre to mark the launch of his exhibition '" David Mach Goes Commando" , inspired by the Commando comics of his youth. 'Photo: WALTER NEILSON
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Leven could have its very own David Mach masterpiece by next year after a successful meeting between the artist and Leven Community Council.

Born and brought up in Aberhill, Mach is now a world-renowned artist and sculptor with recognisable pieces all over the country.

The professor of sculpture at the Royal Academy Schools in London is now set to lay his creative touch upon Levenmouth after a hugely positive meeting with members of Leven Community Council last week.

And because of the area’s strong links with Poland, the council is to involve him in marking next year’s 70th anniversary of the Battle of Arnhem in the Netherlands , where the Polish troops who had been based in the local area fought.

Led by General Stanislaw Sosabowski, who established the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade, which trained at Largo House, Operation Market Garden, as it was called, proved to be a particularly bloody battle and many lives were lost.

The current Scottish-Polish friendship memorial, which sits in the Fesitval Gardens on Leven Prom, was unveiled on the 20th anniversary of the battle in 1964.

Leven Community Council wants to honour that relationship with a brand new memorial – and David s seen as the ideal choice to design it being the son of a Polish paratrooper.

Community council chairman Alistair Suttie and other members welcomed the Fife artist to their monthly meeting last Thursday, and he made it clear this was something he was very interested in doing.

“I am just overloaded with ideas about this,” he said.

But the Fife artist admitted that getting involved with the campaign to mark Arnhem was not something he had ever considered before.

“To be honest, I hadn’t thought about doing something to do with the paratroopers, but I am very keen, especially with my dad having been one.

“From an artist’s point of view, there are lots of legs to this, lots of things that we could do.”

David continued: “This is not something I would normally get involved in but, in this particular instance, my brother, Robert, and I are absolutely champing at the bit. This is a special project, and the thing for me to do now is to come up with ideas.”

With the anniversary just over a year away, the community council is keen to get the ball rolling and wants input from the whole community.

“I could easily see this as a whole weekend event,” said Alistair. “We could lead up to it in schools the week before, and have the dedication of a memorial on the Sunday.

“Right now, we have to start putting concrete plans in place and need to speak to all of the people who need to be involved.”

David added: “There must be loads of stories that can be told throughout the process of this, and we need to be talking to the young Poles living here now, looking at it as sort of a ‘thank you’, and now here we are carrying on. This could be such a grand thing.

“It’s such a wholesome project and it’s real and important to this area.”

If you have any memories that you would like to share with the community council or if you would like to get involved with this project, please send an email to: alsuttie@yahoo.co.uk