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Helensburgh’s Armed Forces community unite for Kidston Remembrance bench

1 December 2016
Family members of Service personnel have teamed-up with military charitable organisations to organise a poignant act of Remembrance at Helensburgh’s Kidston Park.

On Tuesday, November 29, a Remembrance bench was unveiled featuring striking metalwork encapsulating the sacrifice our armed forces have made for our freedom. 

The bench was funded by donations from forces charity SSAFA, the not-for-profit organisation We Remember Submariners, and with support from family members of Helensburgh’s armed forces community and also Argyll and Bute Council.

Speaking at the official unveiling, Captain Craig Mearns, Captain of HMS Neptune, said:  “A lot of time and effort has gone into arranging the design and installation of this Remembrance bench.

It is important that we remember the sacrifices made by others on our behalf

Captain Craig Mearns RN

“It is important that we remember the sacrifices made by others on our behalf and also raise the profile of the Armed Forces. 

“It is also important that here in Helensburgh we develop the relationship between the Naval Base and the local community. 

“This fantastic bench, placed in this great spot, is an ideal way to do all of this.  On behalf of the Naval Base I would like to thank everyone who was involved.”

It has taken some 18-months from the start of the project to the unveiling.  Designed and manufactured by Kilmarnock firm David Ogilvie Engineering, the bench depicts silhouette images of soldiers, poppies and crosses. 

Situated near the water-edge, looking on to the Gareloch, the bench is in an ideal location.

“It’s not only an excellent spot for those veterans who live nearby,” explained SSAFA’s Representative Martina Hill, “but it is also a location which Naval families sometimes come to watch boats returning home to HM Naval Base Clyde.”

HM Naval Base Clyde’s Warrant Officer David Wynne, who also volunteers for We Remember Submariners, continued:  “The comments we have had have been fantastic. 

“One veteran who was out for a walk just the other day happened upon the bench and was immediately struck by it. 

“He said that he would be returning to the spot as a way of remembering those who had died.

“We would like to thank everyone who helped and supported us in this project,” he said.

“In particular we’d like to thank the charities, volunteers from armed forces families and Argyll and Bute Council who laid the concrete and fitted the bench for us.”

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