Proud of their Regiment’s recognition – members of the Cameronian Friends and Family Organisation
On Saturday 18th May 2019, Lanark Community Development Trust and the local community celebrated the unveiling of the Cameronian Memorial Sculpture at the entrance to the former Winston Barracks in Lanark.
Present at the ceremony were members of The Cameronians Friends and Family Association, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, project funders, local councillors, representatives from a range of local organisations, Lanark Community Development Trust and the local community.
The memorial sculpture depicts the silhouettes of four soldiers in varying army uniform or formal dress, centered around the Cameronian ‘cap badge’ which features the historic Douglas Star, one of the oldest emblems in Scottish history – it is in fact a roundel, which is the wheel of a spur. The badge’s star is flanked by a garland of five Scottish thistles on either side.
The first phase of the project took place in November 2018, when ‘The Cameronian Roundabout’ naming ceremony took place as part of Lanark’s Remembrance Weekend events. The new memorial sculpture, along with the roundabout naming, forms a fitting tribute to the soldiers based at the Barracks and serves to highlight an important aspect of Lanark’s heritage as well as improving the visual aesthetics of one of Lanark’s main gateways for visitors.
In conjunction with the memorial sculpture, a booklet has been created including information on The Cameronians and their time in Lanark whilst based at the Winston Barracks. There will also be a public exhibition in The Tolbooth Heritage and Arts Centre in Lanark High Street. “The Burgh and the Barracks” exhibition will run from 18th May – 1st June 2019, and showcases a range of historic photographs and archive material relating to the regiment. Support has been received from Low Parks Museum in Hamilton, who hold Lanarkshire’s Cameronian Collection, plus Douglas Museum, as well as a number of individuals who have submitted stories and photographs of the regiment.
The project’s two major funders are the Renewable Energy Fund and the Border Biscuits Community Support Fund. The project has also received financial backing from Tunnocks, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, members of The Cameronian Friends and Family Association, Lanark Rotary Club and Springfield Homes. Additional support was received from PLANterra, a local architectural firm, who assisted with the project drawings and planning permission submission for the sculpture. The sculpture was created by local blacksmiths, GM Fabrication.
Councillor Catherine McClymont, part of the Cameronian Memorial Project Team said “We are delighted to have finally unveiled the Cameronian memorial sculpture. It has been fascinating being involved in the project and learning more about the history of the regiment and their time in Lanark. The sculpture, along with the booklet and exhibition are ideal opportunities for local people and visitors to discover more about Lanark’s rich heritage”.
Although local men from Lanark & Clydesdale had always served in the Cameronians, it was not until 1947 that the Regiment once again had a direct connection with Lanark. In 1936, £150,000 was set aside for the construction of a new headquarters for the Scottish Rifles. Building began at Lanark in late 1939 and the newly named Winston Barracks were completed by 1941.
The Cameronians did not take up occupancy until after the war, because until that time the Barracks were used by a number of training units. When they finally arrived in 1947 the Town Council unanimously approved that the Regiment be awarded the Freedom of the Burgh.