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Boer War Memorial, Edzell

Edzell is a village in Angus, Scotland, about six miles from Brechin. We stopped there on our way down from Aberdeenshire hoping to go to Edzell Castle but it was shut for the winter.

I did however find a Boer War Memorial standing in a railed enclosure just off the road through the town. It takes the form of a Celtic cross inscribed, “To the memory of gallant soldiers belonging to Edzell & District who fell in the Great Boer War 1899-1900-1901-1902. ‘Decorum est pro patria mori.'”:-

Boer War Memorial, Edzell

From south, remembering Lt Colonel D T Laing, killed near Lindley, 3/1/1901, aged 41:-

Edzell Boer War Memorial

Reverse, dedicated to Private James Paterson, killed Magersfontein, 11/12/1899, aged 21; Private James Candy, killed at Paarderberg, 18/2/1900, aged 30, and Private William Walker, died of wounds, Wyndberg, 22/3/1900, aged 21:-

Reverse Boer War Memorial, Edzell 3

From north, dedicated to Colour Sergeant David Christison, killed Magersfontein, 11/1/2 1899, aged 30, and Trooper W A Mcnab, died at Kroonstad, 23/2/1902, aged 21:-

Edzell Boer War Memorial, from North

Dundee’s Art Deco Heritage 8: Fairfield Social Club, Drumgeith Park

Again, I’ve passed this countless times on my way to and from Brechin but only stopped to photograph it in August last year.

From road – complete with skip:-

Fairfield Social Club From Road.

From access road – skip again:-

Fairfield Social Club, Drumgeith Park, Dundee

The entrance doors are decoish too:-

Fairfield Social Club Entrance

Side view:-

Fairfield Social Club Again

Rear:-

More of Fairfield Social Club

Monikie War Memorial

Monikie is on the B961 road between Dundee and Brechin.

On the way back from the game at Brechin on 25/8/18 I stopped to photograph its Memorial Hall.

Monikie War Memorial Hall stitch

There is an inscribed Memorial in the grounds of the Hall but it is of relatively recent construction, perhaps for the 100th anniversary of the Great War:-

Monikie War Memorial

Names and dedication, “The Great War 1914 -1918.”

Close-up Monikie War Memorial

Western aspect. Inscribed, “In Flanders Fields the Poppies Blow.”

Monikie War Memorial Western Aspect

Eastern aspect. Inscribed, “Between the Crosses Row on Row.”

Monikie War Memorial Eastern Aspect

On the Hall’s external wall is a Great War 100th anniversary memorial plaque:-

Anniversary Dedication Monikie War Memorial Hall

I photographed two of the names of the fallen attached to trees in the small park area within which Monikie’s War Memorial stands.

L/Cpl James Spalding, Black Watch, killed in action, France, 16/6/1915, aged 22:-

Monikie War Memorial Tree

Pte John Irons, Royal Scots Fusiliers, killed in action France, 12/8/1916, aged 24:-

War Memorial Tree, Monikie

Glebe Park, Brechin, Addendum

From the path to the park which contains Brechin’s War Memorial there is a good view of the reverse of the beech hedge which forms the western boundary of Glebe Park. You can also see the David Will Stand in this photo:-

Beech Hedge, Glebe Park, Brechin

The following two photos were taken of Sons new strip for 2018-19 (now superseded again) at the game on 25/8/18, a game we should have won.

Sons New Strip for Season 2018-19

Sons New Strip 2018-19 Close Up

Brechin War Memorial

After all those visits to Brechin to see the mighty Sons of the Rock play away against Brechin City last year in August in preparation for yet another visit I finally looked up where Brechin’s War Memorial is located. It turned out it’s very near the football ground in a pleasant park area.

It’s an impressive sandstone column:-

Brechin War Memorial

Side view:-

Brechin War Memorial From Side

World War 2 Dedication. “To the glory of God and in grateful remembrance of those who gave their lives in the Second World War 1939 – 1945.” Below the names, “Greater love hath no man than this.”

World War 2 Dedication, Brechin War Memorial

Great War Dedication, “To the undying memory of the men of the City and Parish of Brechin who gave their lives in the Great War 1914 – 1919. Their name liveth for evermore,” and names Ada – Cla:-

Brechin War Memorial Great War Dedication

Great War names Cob – Hod:-

WW1 Names, Brechin War Memorial 8

Great War names Hoo-Pai:-

Great War Names Brechin War Memorial

Great War names Pet – You:-

Brechin War Memorial Great War Names

Other Conflicts; Kenya, Northern Ireland, Korea, Malaya. Plus additional names for France 1916, Burma 1945, and Mediterranean 1942:-

Brechin War Memorial, Other Conflicts

Carmyllie War Memorial

For years on my way up to Brechin to see the mighty Sons of the Rock play at Glebe Park against Brechin City I have been passing this War Memorial – a granite pillar by the side of the B961 seemingly in the middle of nowhere at a junction with an unnumbered minor road (to the left in the first photo below.) There’s not really a place to park but on making that same trip in August 2018 I made sure to stop.

Carmyllie War Memorial

As you can see it’s beautifully kept.

The inscription reads, “In proud and loving memory of men from Carmyllie District who fell in the Great Wars 1914 – 1918. 1939 – 1945.” Great War names are below, plus one for World War 2.

Carmyllie War Memorial Pillar

A memorial bench is set behind the pillar:-

Carmyllie War Memorial Bench

Great War names, plus one for World War 2:-

Carmyllie War Memorial Names

Again Great War names, plus one for World War 2:-

Names Carmyllie War Memorial

The lack of Second World War names on these rural memorials may be due a combination of the loss of men in the Great War and the decline in numbers of men involved in farming which occurred between the two wars as a result of mechanisation.

Dumbarton 2-2 Queen of the South

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 28/11/17.

I suppose a point against a team above us is not to be sniffed at but that’s two games in a row now we’ve failed to see the game out from a winning position. Then again we’re part-time and they’re full-time and we ussually don’t do as well in midweek fixtures.

It was good to see Greg Morrison get his name on the score sheet. He’s looked a bit lacking in confidence recently. A goal should help with that.

Pity Inverness C T thumped Brechin though. A draw there wouldn’t have been a calamity.

Since they’re top of the league I’m not expecting anything from Saturday’s game at St Mirren.

Dumbarton 0-2 Dundee United

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 28/10/17.

Seems like this was a bad one.

If only they hadn’t punted their manager during the week….. We did well against him when he was in post.

And Inverness CT’s sudden discovery of form has put us down a place.

I now have the fear for next Saturday at Brechin. Even this early it looks like a crunch game. If we lose it gives them heart and makes our job of ending above them more problematic. They’ll be targetting this, I have no doubt.

Abernethy

Abernethy is a village in Perth and Kinross. It contains one of only two intact Pictish towers left in Scotland. (The other is in Brechin.)

Tower from street:-

Abernethy  Round Tower 1

A view from the tower. Graveyard just below:-

Part of Abernethy From Tower

Tower from graveyard:-

Abernethy  Round Tower

War Memorial from Tower:-

Abernethy  War Memorial

War Memorial from ground level:-

Abernethy War Memorial

Original inscription carved into plinth:-

Abernethy War Memorial WW 1.

War memorial names. Great War names above, 1939-45 below:-

War Memorial Names

In Another Light by Andrew Greig

Pheonix, 2004, 510 p.

In Another Light cover

Love, sex and death again; but literature’s subject matter doesn’t get any bigger. And Greig deals with them superbly.

In In Another Light it is death which is the early preoccupation of Eddie Mackay, though love and sex do get a look in. Prior to the immediate events of the novel Eddie suffered from hydrocephalus as a result of a colloid cyst which meant fluid built up in his brain. He therefore feels the imminence of extinction everywhere, “‘Because I was nearly dead once and I’m trying to live with that.’” During his recovery from having a shunt fitted to drain the fluid from his brain to his stomach Eddie experiences the presence of his dead father, who according to Eddie’s mother had, long before she met him, been sent home in disgrace from Malaya after an affair with his superior’s wife. Eddie doubts the truth of this but sets out to find as much as he can about his father’s time in the colony. Eddie is working for a tidal generation project whose headquarters overlook Scapa Flow in Orkney. The jungle drums and the tangled relationships of Stromness become a running theme in the book. Of comments about his liaison with Mica Moar, another of Greig’s complicated female characters (a bit – but only a bit – like Kim Russell in Electric Brae) he says, “‘In my experience there’s only one way to keep a secret in a wee town’ … ‘Plant the sapling of truth in a forest of rumours.’”

This strand of the book, delivered in a first person past tense looking back over the path which brought Eddie to the final scene, with occasional present tense interludes setting that scene, is intertwined with a third person present tense narration of the voyage of his father Sandy, as he was then known, to Penang in Malaya and his brief sojourn there. Medical graduate Sandy hopes to improve the birth survival rates in Penang’s maternity hospital. The boat out is a hotbed of illicit goings on of which deeply moral Sandy is mildly contemptuous. The acquaintances he makes on the trip, US citizen Alan Hayman and the two Simpson sisters, Ann and Adele, “both beautiful, one a gazelle” the elder of whom, Adele, is married and chaperoning the younger, are fateful. A further sister, Emily, also on the boat, is still a child. Each chapter contains several sequences from both stories, generally alternating. The greeting, “‘Oh, there you are,’” bounces around the two narratives. Both strands are thick with metaphor. The descriptions of Orkney and Penang make them almost characters in themselves – particularly Orkney. Certain images also resonate between the two locations.

The text is seasoned with sly critiques of Scottish attitudes, “I was in joyous life-affirming Scottish mode that morning and no mistake.” “Scotland’s a place where everyone explains what is not possible, that it’ll all end in tears, we’re here to make the best of a bad job then die and get a good rest till we’re woken up to be informed we’re damned.” To Sandy’s traditional toast “‘Here’s tae us, wha’s like us? Gey few – and they’re aa deid’” Hayman says, “‘You guys, you can’t even celebrate without bringing death into it.’”

Eddie’s thoughts occasionally stray back to the subject of death. He raises with us the question of “How are we to live in the face of the sure and certain knowledge we will lose parents, friends, lover, the whole shebang and caboodle?” only to answer it immediately with, “Wholeheartedly. Of this one thing I am sure.” Later he tells us, “It’s such a simple and shallow thing, death, only there’s no bottom to it and no way across.”

He reflects that maturity is, “knowing you’ve more or less arrived at yourself and the world will keep changing but you won’t much, and then living with that,” while, “Pure lust, I’d noticed, eventually collapses under the weight of its own contradictions – rather like capitalism, but much quicker.” However, “We need meaning, I thought. The world might not have any, but we need it,” and, “Meaning is something we have to make.”

Greig’s numerous characters are all well drawn, their behaviour sometimes unexpected and contrary. I wouldn’t go quite so far as the cover quote (from The Times) “It will be a long time since a book has made you care as much.” Not for me. At least not since the same author’s Fair Helen. He seems to have a gift for it. Add in computer programmes for generating music from tidal movements, the compromises of secret service work in the colonies, a thoroughly worked through plot (which admittedly may be a little too neatly tied in,) the perennial failure of true love (or lust) to run smooth and the whole thing’s a delight.

Pedant’s corner:- “‘I’d left my [gas] mask back in the Mess’” (the Mess? In the trenches in WW1?) Brechin Pier (does Brechin have a pier?) “for a while neither of them speak” (neither speaks.) “Stacked alongside the reference books are a series of different coloured hardback files” (is a series,) baragraphs (barographs,) the phrase, “he was sad under his funny,” (seems to be missing a final word,) furlough (is more a USian usage,) “The Moonlight Band play foxtrots” (plays,) “a think about what the heck’s he’s getting into,” (what the heck,) sub-periphrenaic abscess (a google search for sub-periphrenaic yields only a quote from In Another Light: Andrew Greig,) whigmalerie (spelling of Scots words can be variable but this is usually whigmaleerie,) murmers (murmurs,) Theramin Dr Who electronic music (Theremin: also Dr Who’s electronic instrument wasn’t a theremin which as an instrument should be lower case,) “he scooped more peanuts down his maw” (I suppose it could mean stomach here,) “a group of macaque monkeys come running” (a group comes,) “He’s stares” (He stares,) whispy (context suggests wispy,) tweaked it it (one it is enough,) an assortment of … appear (an assortment appears,) Siouxie and the Banshees (doesn’t she spell it Siouxsie?) vocal chords (it’s cords,) Arshak Sarkies’ (Sarkies’s,) for completeness’ sake (completeness’s,) light defraction (diffraction? refraction? or is this a portmanteau word Greig has invented?) became (in a present tense narration this should be becomes.)

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