Mum steps in to help repair son’s memorial

Christine Morgan (left) hands over a cheque for �500 to Sue Claydon from the Exit Centre.
Christine Morgan (left) hands over a cheque for �500 to Sue Claydon from the Exit Centre.

The mother of a Glenrothes soldier killed in Iraq has helped raise funds to restore a memorial cairn recently vandalised.

The memorial, erected in the garden area of the Exit Centre in Pitteuchar in memory of 21-year-old Black Watch soldier Marc Ferns who was killed in Iraq on August 12, 2004, was targeted by vandals in June last year.

There was widespread anger and dismay among the local community following the attack in which a bronze sundial was ripped from the monument and stolen.

Since then and in memory of her son, Christine Morgan has spearheaded a campaign to raise money to put right the damage.

And plans to repair the memorial cairn, as well as add a number of significant improvements to the peace garden in which it sitsreceived a boost this week when Christine handed over a cheque for £500.

“We were shocked and upset when we found out about the damage,” explained Christine.

“But the community has been wonderful, many people and businesses have come forward to donate and help our cause and that means a lot to us.

“It was the tenth anniversary of Marc’s death last year and we are very thankful of the way in which people have shown their support for us.”

Sue Claydon, chairman of the Exit Centre management committee, told the Gazette the money would help make a huge difference to the garden.

“We are particularly grateful to Christine for her fundraising and we are proud to honour the memory of her son Marc,“ said Sue.

“As well as repairing the cairn, we will be replacing the inscription plague, introduce wheelchair access to the garden, installing spotlighting and adding a few new decorative features,” she added.

Private Marc Ferns (21), died after an improvised bomb attack in the southern city of Basra on August 12, 2004.

In 2007, following an empassioned campaign, a dedicated war memorial honouring both Mark Ferns and fellow Glenrothes Black Watch soldier Scott McArdle, who was killed while serving in Iraq on November 11, 2004, was unveiled.

There was anger and dismay throughout the town in April 2013 when that memorial was targeted by vandals.