A new bench in memory of those who made died in conflicts has been unveiled at the war memorial gardens in Glenrothes.
Ex-service personnel, Lord Provost of Fife and other dignitaries gathered at the memorial in Church Street to witness Reverend Kevin Dow, the Black Watch Regiment’s senior chaplain give a dedication and blessing.
The ornate steel bench,which has a decorative stencil design of army soldiers, was provided through fundraising from the Glenrothes branch of the British Legion, along with donations from local business FiFab and Fife Council.
It now sits adjacent to the standing stones inscribed with the Marc Ferns,21, and Scott McArdle,22, the two Black watch soldiers from Glenrothes who were killed three months apart whilst serving in Iraq in 2004.
“We just wanted to give something back to a town that has, over the years, been very supportive of all we do to raise funds,” said Ron Smith, a member of the British Legion.
“It’s estimated that townsfolk have donated in the region of £250,000 in the 25 years I’ve run the poppy appeal and always give us a generous reception on remembrance days.
“So we have provided this magnificent bench as the latest addition to what is already a much respected and well used memorial.”
Those sentiments were echoed by British Legion branch chairman, Neil Finlayson, who added: “It’s a reminder that those who have made the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives in all wars will not be forgotten.
“We are delighted with the finished bench which I’m certain will be widely appreciated by the people of Glenrothes.”
Rev Dow was joined by Father Gerry Hand, priest at St Paul’s & St Mary’s Church in Glenrothes, to read prayers before the act of remembrance was delivered by Mr Smith.
Following the ceremony, Jim Leishman, Fife Provost, praised those involved, adding: “It’s so important that we continue to remember those who served and did not return.
“The bench makes a wonderful addition to the war memorial area and will be appreciated by many in this town.”
Glenrothes Councillor Mick Green, said: “It makes a worthy addition to the gardens and on behalf of the town pay thanks to those who made it a reality.”
The former New Town was without a war memorial until a public campaign to have one created in the wake of the two local soldiers deaths attracted huge local support. Installed in 2007, the Glenrothes war memorial now attracts one of the largest gatherings of any in Fife at the annual Remembrance Day commemorations.