Top award for war memorial

The war memorial in Ballater
The war memorial in Ballater

A Deeside war memorial has won a top award in Legion Scotland’s Best Kept War Memorial Campaign for 2018.

Ballater’s landmark was recognised in the Small Community with Gardens category.

Nearly 100 war memorials were entered in this year’s campaign and judges described the standard of entries as “exceptional”.

The presentation took place at Edinburgh’s New Haig House on Friday, September 14.

National vice-chairman Martyn Hawthorn and head judge Bill Tait handed over the prizes.

Mr Hawthorn said: “Having 98 memorials entered into this year’s campaign was wonderful and the standard was quite remarkable with the Champion of Champions winners gaining an unheralded 100%.

“I would like to thank and congratulate everyone for their efforts.”

This year a special wreath was made by all national winners which will be laid at the Uddingston Memorial on Remembrance Sunday by branch president Ian Forsyth.

He collected the Champion of Champions award on behalf of the Hamilton branch.

Kevin Gray, Legion Scotland’s chief executive officer: “Remembrance is at the heart of what we do and war memorials are an important aspect of this.

“We congratulate all the winners for their efforts in preserving these historical landmarks to such a high standard.”

The Ballater accolade has been welcomed in the village.

Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside Councillor Geva Blackett said: “I am so pleased Ballater has won this award because the war memorial is such an important part of every community’s history and Ballater’s is tended with such loving care.

“It is a fitting tribute to those who fell in our name during horrific conflicts.”

Other 2018 winners included: Memorial without Gardens, Beauly Memorial, Beauly and District Branch; Large Community with Gardens, Thurso Memorial, Thurso Branch.