WHAT started off as a casual conversation in a library over three years ago has turned into a spectacular tribute to the fallen of Craigneuk.
Every soldier from the Craigneuk and Berryhill areas who has died in battle since World War 1 now has their names engraved on the new War Memorial, which was officially unveiled on Saturday.
The tribute is over three years in the making and was made possible thanks to the efforts of New Stevenston man Joseph O’Raw and the Craigneuk War Memorial group.
Joseph is a well-known local historian and was researching Victoria Cross holder William Clamp from Motherwell in Craigneuk Library.
He explained: “The whole thing started when I was having a casual conversation in Craigneuk Library. I was researching William Clamp and I happened to mention that it was terrible that there was no lasting memorial for him.
“It was at that point that the Craigneuk War Memorial committee was formed.”
Although from Motherwell, William was born in Flemington, attended Craigneuk Public School and was an active member of the local Salvation Army.
The new war memorial was built around a special panel on the cenotaph which displays William’s name.
The group raised over £60,000 to make their idea a reality and received donations from the Environmental Key Fund, Fairer Scotland, regeneration manager Jonathan Smith, First Direct Bank, CDSU and other individuals and groups also contributed.
Joseph, who was chairman for the group, also said it was made possible thanks to the Co-operative Funeralcare who gave plenty of advice and a discount on the memorial.
Other thanks go to contractors and suppliers Iain Wiseman, Des Morton and Sam McCully, Jewson, Bardon Aggregates and Tommy Don - Ready Construction and North Lanarkshire Council.
Joseph added: “It is a brilliant piece of work. I have been to several war memorials and cemeteries abroad and this is by far one of the best I have seen.
“It is a very fitting tribute to the fallen who laid down their lives for their countries and now people for many generations will know what they did.”
For more pictures, see this week’s Times & Speaker, dated Thursday, September 1.