A bid to help preserve the past and promote the future

editorial image

A Guardbridge community group has launched a bid for funding to create a stunning war memorial – which will commemorate the end of WW1 and honour the village’s hero, David Finlay VC.

Guardbridge Community Development Trust is now hoping others will get behind its bid to Aviva Community Fund and vote for the project to obtain £25,000 to create a war memorial in a prominent place.

Despite the village being known as “The birthplace of David Finlay VC”, it does not have a registered war memorial, the only tribute to the area’s heroes being a cobbled-together monument stone in an out-of-the-way park.

GCDT hopes to change all that and establish a unique, interactive memorial, in the shape of a large WW1 helmet with a trench wall.

Bill Wilson, trust chairman, said: “The memorial that we have at the moment is small – about 3ft wide and 18 inches high.

“It really is quite poor considering we are ‘twinned’ with David Finlay VC, if you like to think of it like that.

“We feel that the installation would bring a focal point for the community remembrance of both wars, could involve the local schoolchildren and ‘lest we forget’ bring history alive.

“In essence it would preserve and enhance the village’s past in order to promote the future.”

The design would feature name plaques with a QR code against each, giving background to the individuals, along with a marker to commemorate the bravery of David Finlay VC.

The design came from resident James Bradley, who has put a lot of work and ideas into the proposed war memorial.

“I knew that James was a sculpture, and approached him for his help with the design of the memorial,” Bill continued.

St Andrews University now owns the paper mill site and has committed to provide the community with £7,000 per year towards making improvements/additions for the benefit of residents.

The GCDT was formed to bring forward suggestions and ideas on how this money should be spent.

Bill continued: “We should find out in December on whether we have the go -ahead or not.

“We really want a focal point for the village and for people to say that they are proud to come from Guardbridge, and this memorial proposal will go a long way to help achieve this.”

He added: “We want people to vote and help make this dream a reality.”

Anyone wishing to show their support can do so by visiting www.community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/17-1305 should they wish to add up to 10 votes for the project.