Staffin to remember the fallen

STAFFIN will fall silent this weekend to honour those who left the district, and never returned home.

A century on from the start of the First World War and the Staffin firefighters of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, who will be in full uniform, will join representatives from the Staffin Community Council and Staffin Community Trust to pay their respects on Remembrance Sunday

Two services will be held. The first one starts at the Valtos War Memorial at 2pm where wreaths will be laid and a two-minute silence observed.

The second service will take place at 2.30pm at the Staffin War Memorial.

It is the first time in several years that Remembrance services in Staffin have been held. Everybody is welcome to attend.

The War Memorial with the old stone bridge in foreground.

The War Memorial with the old stone bridge in foreground.

The Staffin War Memorial was actually moved almost 20 years ago to its present location, by the Kilmartin bridge, after it was effectively by-passed following the construction of the double-track A855 road in the late 1980s.

Originally located near a’ Choille Bheag by Iain (The Herd) MacDonald’s house in Stenscholl, overlooking Staffin Bay, the memorial was moved to its current site by the new bridge and the old stone bridge in front of the Columba 1400 building, back in 1996.

The memorial 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. It was erected by public subscription. However, at the time of its unveiling, a sum of about £30 had still to be gathered. The memorial is the only one in Skye and Lochalsh commemorating a soldier who died during the Boer War.

The Valtos or Culnacnoc War Memorial was erected in front of the old Valtos School in memory of the seven former pupils who paid the supreme sacrifice in the First World War. It was unveiled on the 9th August 1921 by Captain Martin Nicol of Glendale. The memorial, which is almost 11-feet high, cost £150, which was met by subscriptions from former pupils at home and abroad. It also commemorates the people from the district who served in defence of Home, Country and King during the Great War.

Information extracted from the Roll of Honour for Skye and Lochalsh compiled by Graham Ross, circa 2000.

Poppies image courtesy of the Royal British Legion.