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Falkland War Memorial Addendum

I first posted about Falkland War memorial here. In 2018 an extra memorial was added by its side. This takes the form of a green and red cart filled with Memorial crosses. I assume this was placed here to mark the 100th anniversary of the Great War’s end. It lies beside the very recently erected Falkland War Memorial (see link) before which the town’s fallen were commemorated by a plaque housed in various buildings over the years.

War Memorial Cart, Falkland

Memorial crosses:-

Crosses in Falkland War Memorial Cart

Girvan War Memorial

A tapering stone obelisk on a square plinth, this War Memorial stands on an expanse of grass by the side of the Firth of Clyde on the south approach to the town. This east facing side of the obelisk is inscribed Maubeuge, 1918, Cambrai, Flanders 1917, Arras.

Girvan War Memorial

North face. Column inscribed Somme, Loos, Ypres, Marne, Mons:-

Girvan War Memorial North Face

West (sea facing) aspect. Pedestal inscribed with the names of the naval actions at Zeebrugge, Jutland, Falkland, Coronel, Heligoland:-

Girvan War Memorial Sea Facing Aspect

South face. Inscribed for campaigns outside Europe: Palestine, Salonica, Mesopotamia, Gallipoli, Africa:-

Girvan War Memorial South Face

Great War plaque, “The tribute of the poeple of Girvan to those of her sons who gave their lives in defence of their country’s righteous cause in the Great War, 1914 – 1919”

Girvan War Memorial Great War  Plaque

World War 2 plaque, “The tribute of the people of Girvan to those of her sons who gave their lives in defence of their country’s righteous cause in the World-War 1939 – 1945.” Three additional names below:-

Girvan War Memorial, World War 2 Plaque

Burn and Bridge, Maspin Glen, Falkland, Fife

Son of the Rock Acres backs on to a former estate whose ‘big house’ has been turned into a hotel. There are extensive woodland walks round the place even though most of it has long since been converted into a golf course. A burn, the Back Burn, flows through it and on through the town of Markinch before eventually joining the river Leven.

I’ve just realised I’ve not really posted any pictures from the estate mainly because the good lady tends to use them.

Anyway, not far away – about three miles – at the edge of the village of Falkland, lies another estate through which runs another burn, which possibly itself feeds into the Back Burn. A signpost at the bottom of the path points to Maspin Glen.

This is that burn:-

Burn at Maspin Glen, Falkland, Fife

And this is a bridge over it carrying one of the estate’s paths:-

Bridge Over Burn at Maspin Glen, Falkland, Fife

War Memorial, Falkland Parish Church

Falkland is a village in Fife, Scotland, about three miles away from Son of the Rock Acres. I featured its main War Memorial here. This one – due to the smaller number of names – must be only for members (or attendees) of the Parish Church.

Central Panel:- “To the glory of God and in memory of those who gave their lives for their country in the Great War, 1914-18.”

Side panels:- “1939-1945”

War Memorial Falkland Parish Church

Falkland Then and Now

Falkland is a village a few miles away from where we now live. (Its name is connected in a roundabout way to a certain set of islands in the South Atlantic but it’s more famous for its Palace, the country residence of the Stuart monarchs.)

We go there quite often – usually to visit the Library but also to have a stroll as there’s an estate and burn you can walk beside. The Palace gardens are wortha look as well, especially if you area National trust for Scotland member.

In February we found its main street festooned with no parking cones and notices of restriction for four days.

Falkland  in Fife

Falkland in Fife

It turned out they were going to be filming scenes for the new series of Outlander and they’d mocked it up supposedly as if it were the 1950s.

The Community Hall had been daubed with a “Free Scotland” grafitti and a saltire which strikes me as being unlikely for the 50s but there you go:-

Falkland  in Fife

This is how it looks restored to more normal circumstances, in April this year:-

Community Hall, Falkland, Fife

This shop was made to look like a furniture and hardware store:-

Falkland  in Fife

And its “real” incarnation is a gift shop/café, Fayre Earth:-

Fayre Earth

This “fruit shop” took me back:-

Falkland  in Fife

In the 2010s it’s another eatery, Campbell’s:-

Café/Eatery Falkland, Fife

I’m not quite sure what this was supposed to be. A B&B I think. Unfortunately people were hanging around:-

Falkland in Fife

It’s actually The Covenanter’s Hotel:-

Covenanter's Hotel, Falkland

Freuchie War Memorial

Freuchie is a village in Fife situated just off the A 92, north of Glenrothes, about three miles or so from Son of the Rock Acres.

Freuchie was once used as a place of banishment form the nearby Royal Court at Falkland Palace but is perhaps most famous now for its cricket team reaching and winning – at Lord’s – the village cricket championship in 1985. Falkland also has a cricket team.

Freuchie’s War Memorial lies in a triangular shaped kind of traffic island hard by the local church on the mainroad through the town, the B 936 .

Freuchie War Memorial

Showing inscriptions. 1914-19 names on plaque, 1939-45 on pedestal. (The Lomond Hills Hotel is in the background):-

Freuchie War Memorial

Falkland War Memorial

Falkland is a village quite close to where I now live and at present houses one of those Fife libraries which are to be shut down.

The village’s dominating landmark is Falkland Palace the hunting lodge of Scotland’s Stuart Kings (and Queens.)

The village does have a relation to the perhaps more famous location in the South Atlantic as the Falkland Islands were named after Anthony Cary, 5th Viscount of Falkland. The Viscounts Falkland took their title from Falkland Palace.

Falkland’s War Memorial is relatively new, being erected only in the last year or so. The names are listed under First World War, Second World War, Other Conflicts. The word dziękuję, which I believe is Polish for “thank you”, is inscribed at the bottom, though there aren’t any Polish names on the memorial, as far as I can make out.

Falkland War Memorial

Reverse view. Arms of Falkland in the cartouche:-

Falkland War Memorial Reverse

The old memorial was a plaque which has been housed in various locations in the village.

The below is from the Scottish Military Research Group’s website where the plaque was said to be within the building occupied by “Smart Cookies” – a children’s play-group. I believe the plaque has now been moved to the Village Hall.

Edited to add:- The photo of the plaque I originally linked to is now inaccessible.

Open the Door by Catherine Carswell

Canongate, 1996, 431 p + xii p introduction by John Carswell. Borrowed from a threatened library.

On the spine plus the front and back covers the title is written as above but the title page and other mentions have it as Open the Door! (as did a Virago reprint I saw yesterday in a charity shop.) One of the 100 best Scottish Books.

 Open the Door! cover

Joanna Bannerman has had a strict religious upbringing in Glasgow. Her father dies on an evangelising trip to the US, but didn’t really love anyone. “Better than his curbed enjoyment of his wife’s virginal freshness” was his love of public speaking: hence his ministry. Joanna’s mother, Juley, might have had a religious vocation – so much so that had she been a Roman Catholic she would have entered an order; “But to her the Church of Rome was the Scarlet Woman.” And there it is again; that stab of religious intolerance that blighted Scotland for so long and, partly, still does. However, Joanna’s life is a long attempt to throw off this background. Not that the novel focuses too much on religion, it’s more concerned about her wish to shake off restrictions (to open the door to living) and her relationships with the men in her life, Ben Ranken, Mario Rasponi, Lawrence Urquhart, Louis Pepper, whom she strings along, or is strung by, in one manner or another. The first she enters into an engagement with then breaks it off, the second she marries but he dies not long after they move (in his case, back) to Italy, the third is an intermittent presence, the fourth is a much older married man with whom she has a years long affair.

In Italy Mario also restricts her, not wishing her to appear in public where “she carried on her the lovely bloom which comes to some women when they are first possessed.” But she does notice a sunken door in a wall which she is told admitted a lover to the house of the Renaissance courtesan “La Porziuncula”. Mario’s death in a crash on a motorcycle of his own construction is something of a release. Her return to Glasgow to live with her mother is only relieved by her meeting with Pepper. Her mother’s friend Eve Gedge is described thus, “Barren of life herself, her deepest passion was to balk and defeat the entering of others into life.” I’m sure we’ve all met one of them.

On seeing her sister Georgie with her son Joanna thinks, “Their mother had done this for them, and her mother for her, and all with the same eager and touching confidence in the next generation. And what was to come of it? Nothing! Nothing because it was based on a lie..…… No! If the children, born and unborn were to be served fairly, one must utter clearly and fearlessly one’s own word of truth in one’s own lifetime.” She feels that, “‘evil’ (in the Christian sense of the word) quite as much as ‘good’ had made her alive ….. had made her an individual,” and her thought, “She remembered the words – ‘In sin did my mother conceive me,’ Why not – “In sin did my father beget me’?” shows that feminism is by no means a recent conception.

Mainly due to her affair with Pepper Joanna seems to drift through life. This gives the novel for most of its length the trajectory of a tragedy but Carswell seems to resile from this for the dénouement. Perhaps this was because, as her son John’s introduction reveals, a large part of the book is autobiographical in origin. Already less than overwhelmed by the novel – among other things it is overlong and too full of introspections – I must confess I was all the more disappointed by this (as usual I left the introduction till after I had read the book) as, while of course an author’s life experiences will feed into the work produced, it is better to rely on imagination to create something completely fictional in order to address deep truth. Towards the end there is a strange passage about the attractions of Fife towns. “Cupar, Falkland, Auchtermuchty, Strathmiglo! Such promising names as they had!”

I’m glad I read this and I suspect it was more of a ground-breaker when it was first published in 1920 but for me there were too many longueurs.

Pedant’s corner:- in the blurb page; annulment (annullment,) Observerand (space is missing,) Boccocio (Boccaccio,) Hugh Macdiarmid (Hugh MacDiarmid.)
In the main text:- first pain them was past (has a four character gap between pain and them,) Asias’s Millions (Asia’s Millions,) an end quote mark where none had been opened, sewed up (sewn up,) or his Easter Holiday (for,) thig (thigh,) students were too shy speak (the s and t of students are underprinted with t and o respectively and the word “to” is missing,) an opened pair of quote marks where no speech followed, pigmy (pygmy,) showed (shown, x 2,) “o return home” (to return home,) ay one (anyone,) beams o the guttering candle (the space between “o” and “the” suggests “of” was meant,) forment (foment,) missing quote marks at the beginning of a piece of dialogue at a chapter’s start, a missing full stop, to day (today,) eveybody’s (everybody’s.)

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