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Erskine unveils Falkland's memorial

A remembrance service was held in Bishopton as Scotland’s largest Veterans’ charity, Erskine unveiled a moving tribute to mark the 40th anniversary of the Falklands conflict.

The Shadow of the Brave, a 5ft Corten steel sundial, is modelled on the silhouette of Erskine Veteran Bill McDowall kneeling and paying his respects to his fallen comrades. Bill, now 61, served in the Falklands as a 21-year-old and now works and resides in the Erskine Veterans Village.

Created as a place of remembrance and reflection for Veterans, the sundial is on display for families to view while visiting the Erskine grounds in Renfrewshire.

In-between every hour there is a series of dots, totalling 255 to commemorate every fallen British military personnel. The dial is marked to tell the time in the Falkland Islands, with the shadow created by the kneeling soldier sweeping across the dots every single day from sunrise to sunset, 6am to 6pm.

The outside of the dial is inscribed with the poignant quote, ‘At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them’.

Guests, including a number of Falklands Veterans, were welcomed to the remembrance service by Wing Commander Ian Cumming MBE, Erskine Chief Executive. Words from the Reverend Royal Naval Chaplain Jude Okorie followed as he paid tribute to those who fought and lost their lives in the 10-week conflict between April and June 1982.

A minute silence was marked by standards lowered and the Last Post by Gavin Templeton. Piper Alastair Henderson followed with the Crags of Tumbledown Mountain famously composed by Pipe Major James Riddell in the Falklands during a battle, honouring those who fought.  Following the laying of several wreaths guests were then welcomed to the Centenary Garden and Garden of Reflection as they paid their own respects.

Wing Commander Ian Cumming MBE, Erskine Chief Executive, said: “It is only right that we pay our respects to those who fought with valour to defend the citizens and the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. “Operation Corporate” was a brief but ferocious campaign, fought 40 years ago at great distance, in a place which few people had heard of at the time. Time and distance may have further faded the memory of the general public. However, for those who fought so heroically, their physical and mental wounds may as well have been acquired yesterday - for they live with them today. This anniversary reminds us of the importance of charities like Erskine, who work so tirelessly to ensure that our nation’s Veterans, of all ages, are provided with the care, support and accommodation that they need and indeed deserve.

“The remembrance service and the unveiling of stunning Shadow of the Brave, one of the few permanent Falklands War memorials in Scotland, are poignant and fitting tributes to all those who served. Through Bill McDowall, and so many other Erskine Veterans who fought in the Falklands, we know the pain that so many live with. This sundial, in Bill’s image, is a remarkable piece of artwork, which will serve as a reminder to everyone who visits our Veterans Village, of the sacrifices that so many have made.”

The sundial is designed by Chris Smith at Concrete Creative, manufactured by Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, with steel donated by BAE.

To find out more about Erskine’s work please visit our website at www.erskine.org.uk, follow on twitter @ErskineCharity via Facebook www.facebook.com/ErskineVeteransCharity or listen to Erskine Veterans Radio at Erskine.org.uk/radio or Paisley FM 107.5

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