A special tribute at Highland war memorial

A special service of remembrance is taking place tomorrow (Sunday).

The Easter Ross town of Invergordon has an unusual war memorial – one which was built in 1947 by Polish soldiers with stone taken from a local beach to commemorate the Polish Forces lost in war.

A Remembrance Service is held there every year, one week later than the other Remembrance Day Services. The local Invergordon community has always been very proud of this memorial and has worked hard to keep it looking its best.

Specialist contractors John A. McLean Stonemason Ltd and John Hood & Son Dingwall were funded by the Highland Council as part of the War Memorial Restoration Project to clean and repoint the memorial, clean the surrounding stonework and repaint the lettering on the marble plaque and around the lettering on the memorial.

In addition to this the community were very pleased to get some extra help via the criminal justice team with a group of offenders carrying out unpaid work as an alternative to a short- term prison sentence.

Pictured at the Polish War Memorial are (from left) Val Campbell-Smith, chair of Invergordon Community Council; Cllr Maxine Smith; Vanda Hardy, community volunteer whose father helped to build the monument; Cllr Mike Finlayson; and Cllr Pauline Munro.

A team of about a dozen helped by cutting back the trees, sanding down and repainting benches as well as rubbing down and repainting all the railings with gold detailing at the top of the railings and gates with the materials paid for by the council’s ward discretionary budget.

Councillor Maxine Smith said: ‘I and my fellow Cromarty Firth Ward Members, Cllrs Mike Finlayson, Pauline Munro and Carolyn Wilson are delighted to see the Polish Memorial spruced up and looking so good in time for its Remembrance Service.

‘It’s also good for offenders on community payback to carry out interesting work and hopefully learn new skills that will help those not in work to get a job.’

Vanda Hardy (nee Zawinski), whose father was one of those who built the monument, added: ‘Even the location of the Monument has a special history – it is sited just beside the spot where the old sentry boxes marked the entrance to the camp.

‘I am so please that this special memorial is going to be looking its best in time for the Polish Memorial and Remembrance Service – Czesc Ich Pamieci – which will be held on Sunday, November 19, at 2pm. All are welcome to come along and there will also be refreshments afterwards at the Invergordon Social Club.’