Ex-servicemen stand firm

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Caring British Legionaires have transformed a muddy eyesore on the corner of Lanrig Road and Ayr Road into a place of serenity and contemplation.

Now, residents and visitors can spend a quiet moment remembering those who were lost to war.

What was a bleak and murky corner after dark is now a floodlit garden of remembrance. The white marble war cenotaph and a glossy black granite memorial wall cost up to £20,000.

“There are already names on the cenotaph,” said 75-year-old Mearns resident and war veteran Jim Neary. “But we wanted the memorial space to be a tribute to all who fought or died in all wars. So, the wall will simply have an all-encompassing tribute statement.

“That’s a hard one because we have to get the wording exactly right; a statement that will stand the test of times past and future.”

When the idea was mooted, it was agreed that the original cenotaph would be dismantled and re-erected at the cross.

That task was made more difficult by it being hidden by grass and weeds, and surrounded by a railing and locked gates.

“I remember us marching information down to the cenotaph at the primary and finding the gate locked”, said Jim, a former flight lieutenant in the RAF.

“We ended up having to clamber over the fence so that we could lay the wreath. I declared then and there that would never happen again.”