Wemyss Royal seal of approval for mine memorial

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ALMOST three months on since a memorial, commemorating the five lives tragically lost trying to stop a sea mine exploding in West Wemyss harbour was unveiled plaudits are continuing to be given, reports PAUL CARDWELL.

Highly praised at its January 23 launch, which was covered by the East Fife Mail and national television news, it has now been recognised by Buckingham Palace.

In a letter addressed to Alec Rutherford – who as a member of the West Wemyss Memorial Trust, which raised over £10,000 for the tribute, sent photographs of the unveiling to Her Majesty the Queen, as well as a card for the upcoming Royal Wedding – Richenda Elton, Lady in Waiting responded, thanking him on behalf of Her Majesty, and described the five men as ‘gallant’.

She added: “The Queen was pleased to know that your campaign to honour their memory has achieved such success.

“Her Majesty was touched by your good wishes for the forthcoming marriage of Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton, and your card will be forwarded to His Royal Highness’ Office.

“The Queen greatly appreciated your thoughtful letter and I am to thank you again for writing as you did.”

Meanwhile a ceilidh originally organised for the end of last year to raise funds for the project, but was postponed due to poor weather, has taken place with organisers deeming it a ‘roaring success’.

Work on improving the memorial site has also continued with Jake Drummond, who played a significant role in the organising of the memorial, told the Mail the site was planted out at the weekend with lavender, broom and ornamental grasses, adding to a stone slab pathway already installed.

In a message to the community he said: “Come summertime we should see an improvement, and a bit of colour.

“All (plants) are salt water tolerant, so they should stand up well to the winter weather.

“We’ve added some compost to the soil as it’s a bit firm, and we’ll boost the nutrients, but I’ve added some slow release fertiliser in the meantime.

“Feel free to plant out a flower or some bulbs, but please remember that whatever is planted will need to be salt tolerant if they are to be annuals, and bear in mind the size your plants might grow to in the years to come.”

Mr Drummond also added that since the unveiling of the memorial, two of the relatives of the five men honoured have expressed a desire to have their ashes laid there when their time comes.