Names of Staffin’s Fallen are re-lettered on war memorials

THE names of the Staffin men who made the ultimate sacrifice can be read more clearly on the district’s war memorials after work was completed.

A specialist power wash and the re-lettering of the fallen soldiers’ names on Staffin’s two war memorials – by the Kilmartin River and at Valtos – was carried out last week.

Stewart Bain and Ronnie Sutherland of Dingwall-based monumental sculptors John Hood & Son were in Staffin on Tuesday (16.8.16) to carry out the work at the memorials, which remembers the local men who never returned to the Taobh Sear following the Boer and the First and Second World Wars.

Prior to last year’s Remembrance Sunday services, there was a community clean-up of the area around the Staffin War Memorial, which saw trees cuts back so the structure could be viewed more easily from the main road and general overgrown was vegetation also cleared. The names on both memorials had also faded.

The Staffin Community Trust and Staffin Community Council received almost £1,000 last year from Highland Council to create and install a granite plaque at the Staffin memorial to remember the American victims of the Bein Edra air crash. SCT approached the local authority to see if funding from a war memorials fund, introduced to mark the 100th anniversary of WWI’s outbreak, could again be sourced.

The council’s community services department agreed to fund the works following the community clean-up efforts. The Staffin memorial, next to the road bridge over the Kilmartin River, was moved to its present location 20 years ago after the new double-track road built in the mid-1980s effectively saw it bypassed where it sat in its previous Stenscholl location.

It was unveiled by Miss Livingstone of Flodigarry in late September 1921. It is carved out of grey granite, with the plinth made from hewn stones and was funded by public subscription. The memorial is the only one in Skye and Lochalsh commemorating a soldier who died during the Boer War

The Valtos memorial is situated four miles south and was unveiled a month before, in August 1921 by Captain Nicol Martin of Glendale. It commemorated the seven former pupils of Valtos School who died in WWI. Other names of those who served in various capacities during both World Wars were added later. The £150 cost was paid by former Valtos pupils from home and abroad.

Staffin Community Council and the north Skye branch of the Royal British Legion both gave their permission for the work this week, which cost £1,402.80

Sincere thanks go to Highland Council officials Donnie MacLeod, Robin Pope and to Councillor Allan Henderson (Lochaber), the chairman of the Community Services Committee, for their advice and help.