rededication ceremony at Alness War Memorial

On 10 September 2016 a rededication ceremony was held at Alness War Memorial following a refurbishment.

A new precision steam cleaning process to remove moss and algae from the lettering was used to transform the memorial – which was barely legible – after Alness natives from home and abroad gave generously to a fund set up to pay for the work.

Alness Community Association launched the appeal to refurbish the 20ft high memorial at the east end of the High Street after it was decided it would be funded in the same way the memorial had been paid for in 1920 – by public subscription. Extra donations meant a fund was in place to pay for the upkeep of the memorial and any further restoration work it may require. The total raised was £8500.

The service was intended as a ‘thank you’ to all contributors.

The restoration was carried out by conservation stonemason John Maclean of Dingwall and took around four days to complete. The steam cleaner was bought specifically for the task as it was thought it would be less damaging to the sandstone than power washing, which took the surface off the memorial when that was carried out back in the 1980s.

After the great losses of World War 1, the Alness War Memorial was erected through public subscription and unveiled in 1921 to commemorate those from Alness and Wester Rosskeen who had been lost.

In 1949, following another public subscription, the names of those who died in World War 2 were added and the memorial rededicated. In total it now lists 114 local people who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country – 85 in WW1, 28 in WW2 and one in the Northern Ireland conflict.

The whole structure needed careful cleaning, all the joints re-pointed and other much needed restoration work. The association also received support from Highland Council and SSE sub-contractors BAM Nuttall and Siemens, who were working nearby at Fyrish.
[Text courtesy of The Ross-shire Journal]

Annie Kerr was the only woman with her name inscribed on Alness War Memorial. She lost her life at the age of 51 in the sinking of the SS Ceramic which was being used as a military hospital boat when it was torpedoed by the Germans during World War 2.

The boat was carrying 656 people and sailing across the Atlantic from Liverpool to Australis when tragedy struct, overnight, on December 6-7, 1942. Passengers and crew scrambled into lifeboats following the attack, close to the Azores, but many of them capsized amid a storm and there was only one survivor. Sister Kerr, who lived at Coulhill, Alness, was among those lost.

Sister Kerr, who was born and brought up in Lochinver, completed her nurse training in England before moving north to work as a staff sister in the Ross Memorial Hospital in Dingwall. Her name is inscribed on both the Alness and Lochinver war memorials.

She was awarded five medals for her work – the 1939-45 Star, Atlantic Star, Pacific Star, War medal 1939-45 and British Red Cross for War Service 1914-1918. She was the eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs Andrew Kerr of Ledbeg, Lairg.

Alness War Memorial

Attribution: Courtesy of Alness Heritage Society

Rev Rob Jones, Joan Ross, Farquhar Ewing, Fay Munro and Rev Michael Macdonald at the refurbished Memorial which was rededicated on 10 September 2016.

Alness War Memorial

Attribution: Courtesy of Alness Heritage Society

 THE
GREAT
WAR
1914 – 1918
THIS STONE
COMMEMORATES
THE MEN OF
ALNESS AND WEST ROSSKEEN
WHO AT THEIR
COUNTRY’S CALL
WENT FORTH
TO DEFEND THEIR
HOMES AND
EMPIRE
ENDURED UNTOLD
SUFFERINGS AND
PASSED FROM THE
SIGHT OF MEN BY
THE PATH OF DUTY
AND SACRIFICE

THEIR DUST IS IN THE DESERTS AND THE DEEP SEA
AND YET TRIUMPHANT O’ER THE GRAVE THEIR SPIRITS NEVER SLEEP
BUT GUARD THE FREEDOM WHICH THEY DIED TO SAVE

Alness War Memorial

Attribution: Mr John W Bruce, Dingwall.

Left Hand Side of Memorial facing the Perrins Centre

1914 - 1918

1393

PTE

COLIN BAIN

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

1734

L/CPL

J BEALE

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

242323

PTE

JOHN CAMPBELL

7th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

150041

PTE

KENNETH CAMPBELL

11th CANADIANS

1142

PTE

THOMAS CAMPBELL

2nd SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

LIEUT & QM

ALEX CLARK MC

9th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

267278

PTE

JAMES A. CORMACK

6th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

9392

PTE

HENRY CONNELL

1st SCOTS GUARDS

2948

PTE

DAVID DARLING

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

7576

PTE

GEORGE DOUGLAS

2nd SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

24513

PTE

JAMES FARQUHAR

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

242186

PTE

THOMAS J FERGUSON

5th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

55311

PTE

D FINLAYSON

18th H L I

36805

GUNNER

JOHN FRASER

121st BATTRY RFA

37331

QM SERGT

RODERICK J. FRASER

178th Cy MGC

10102

PTE

HECTOR FRASER

2nd SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

8132

L/CPL

WILLIAM FRASER

2nd SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

1706

PTE

JOHN GAIR

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

1760

PTE

MARK GRANT

5th ARGYLE & SUTH HDRS

202004

L/CPL

HUGH GRANT

6th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

200126

CPL

ROBERT GRANT

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

9317

PTE

ROBERT GRAY

2nd SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

Alness War Memorial

Attribution: Mr John W Bruce, Dingwall.

1939 - 1945

2822647

PTE

DANIEL AIRLIE

2820993

PTE

JOHN S BAIN

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

345496

SERGT

VICTOR BROWN

RAF

V7795

CMM

GEORGE FOWLER

RCNVR

14214623

PTE

JOHN R FRASER

6th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

1551463

LAC

WILLIAM J FRASER

RAF

LIEUT

WILLIAM D D GAMMIE

5th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

Front View of War Memorial

1914 - 1918

13325

PTE

DUNCAN C. GUNN

15th HLI

6698

PTE

D HENDERSON

5th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

MAJOR

J M HENDERSON MC

4th GORDON HIGHLANDERS

LIEUTENANT

A HILL

9th HLI

3311

PTE

DONALD HOPE

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

1900

SERGT

N KENNEDY

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

40395

PTE

WM MACBEAN

7th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

1901

L/CPL

FINLAY MACULLOCH

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

995

PTE

DAVID C MACDONALD

5th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

1290

PTE

HUGH MACDONALD

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

36189

CPL

J MACDONALD

7th DUKE OF CORNWALL'S LI

40569

PTE

J MACDONALD

2nd R L SCOTS FUS

22251

PTE

DONALD MACGHEE

GORDON HIGHLANDERS

1055

SERGT

GEORGE MACKAY

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

6988

PTE

COLIN MACKELLAR

5th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

201735

PTE

ALEX MACKENZIE

6th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

1921

SERGT

D MACKENZIE

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

422795

PTE

D MACKENZIE

29th CANADIANS

2nd LIEUT

GEORGE A MACKENZIE

8th GORDON HIGHLANDERS

200532

PTE

HUGH J MACKENZIE

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

20976

L/CPL

SIMON MUNRO

4th GRENADIER GUARDS

1939 - 1945

1596536

L/BDR

NEIL MACMULLAN

RA

656656

W/O

DUGALD J MACRAE

RAF

1366356

FL/SERGT

IAN T MACRAE

RAF

Fx80214

AIR MECH

FRANK G MATTHEWS

RN

1822930

SERGT

WILLIAM J G MIDDLETON

RAF

14226495

TPR

RODERICK MUNRO

15/19 HUSSARS

2817975

L/CPL

KENNETH McR SINCLAIR

2nd SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

Alness War Memorial

Attribution: Mr John W Bruce, Dingwall.

1914 - 1918

266320

PTE

J MACKENZIE

6th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

1012

SERGT

D A MACLEAN

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

3096

PTE

JOHN MACLEAY

7th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

242279

L/CPL

R MACLENNAN

6th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

27705

SERGT

DAVID MACLEOD

6th H L I

1485

PTE

HUGH MACLEOD

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

1659

PTE

LACHLAN MACLEOD

6th ROYAL HIGHLANDERS

1735

PTE

THOMAS MACLEOD

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

7382

PTE

J MANSON

2nd SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

1098

CPL

A D MATHESON

M G SGT C M R N Z

44132

RIFLEMAN

A MATHESON

1st C I N Z

40223

PTE

JAMES MATHESON

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

7611

PTE

RODERICK MATHESON

2nd SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

200338

CPL

J W MILLER

6th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

278811

GUNNER

J F MINTY

36th BATTRY RFA

1389

PTE

GEORGE MORRISON

14th A I F

201919

L/CPL

GEORGE MUNRO

2nd SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

40234

L/CPL

JOHN MUNRO

2nd SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

1866

PTE

JOHN MUNRO

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

1899

PTE

MURDO MUNRO

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

1939 - 1945

SISTER

ANNIE P. KERR

MN

BOSUN

RODERICK MACDONALD

MN

318086

L/CPL

JAMES MACKAY

2nd CAMERON Hgrs

14402094

TPR

DONALD J K MACKENZIE

6th AIRBORNE

2815904

GDSM

WILLIAM MACKENZIE

1st SCOTS GUARDS

SEAMAN

DUNCAN MACLEAN

MN

P/Kx 84974

STOKER

ALEXANDER J MACLENNAN

RN

Right hand side of war memorial

1914 - 1918

200294

PTE

WILLIAM MUNRO

1717

PTE

ROBERT MURRAY

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

1322

PTE

IAN ROBERTSON

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

202011

PTE

PETER ROBERTSON

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

10855

SERGT

DUNCAN ROSS

4th CANADIANS

5041

SGT MAJ

HUGH ROSS

1st SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

40015

PTE

GEORGE ROSS

2nd SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

1810

PTE

HUGH ROSS

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

1970

PTE

HENRY ROSS

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

6182

PTE

GILBERT ROSS

7th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

1755518

PTE

GEORGE ROSS

310th AMERICAN FORCE

27137

PTE

ARTHUR SCOTT

7th CAMERON HIGHLANDERS

22773

L/CPL

J S SCOTT

7th ARGYLE & SUTH HDRS

25890

PTE

ALEXANDER SMITH

5th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

30445

PTE

ALEX R STEVENSON

5th GORDON HIGHLANDERS

1032

PTE

DONALD STEWART

8th SOUTHLAND REG NZ

6702

PTE

JOHN F STRACHAN

5th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

28594

PTE

GEORGE M WATSON

7th ROYAL SCOTS

200044

PTE

DAVID WILLIAMSON

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

200065

SERGT

DONALD WILLIAMSON

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

16006

PTE

GEORGE WILLIAMSON

6th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

40934

PTE

ISAAC WILLIAMSON

5th CAMERON HIGHLANDERS

Northern Ireland 8th July 1979

244384449

PTE

A.M. MacMILLAN

Q.O. HLNDS

Alness War Memorial

Attribution: Mr John W Bruce, Dingwall.

1939 - 1945

9337773

DVR

WILLIAM STEVENSON

5th RHA

2825517

DMR

DAVID STEWART

2nd SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

2939924

CPL

HARRY M STODDART

4th CAMERON HIGHLANDERS

2812443

PTE

WILLIAM SWANSON MM

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

7609583

PTE

DAVID A TAYLOR

RAOC

2822633

PTE

WILLIAM THOM

4th SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

1461543

GNR

ALEXANDER WINCHESTER

RA