Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in Argyll and Bute - 2014 to 2018
Provost of Argyll and Bute, Councillor Len Scoullar
"One hundred years ago, when war broke out in 1914, the people of Argyll and Bute were steadfast and determined in their response - whether it was sending husbands, fathers and sons to serve the country on those dark and distant battlefields, ensuring the vital agricultural and other domestic contributions continued, or responding to tragedies which brought the war to Argyll’s very shores."
"During the four-year centenary period, our people have been equally determined to ensure that Argyll and Bute remembers - not only for this special time of commemoration but in the future, too."
"Enclosed in this booklet you will find just some examples and stories of how Argyll and Bute remembers - from key annual events across the area to school projects, and much more besides."
"Our commemorations have been public, private, collective, individual - but at the heart of each has been the determination to ensure that Argyll and Bute pays tribute to the sacrifices made a century ago, and that the legacy of our forefathers remains strong and true to this day."
HM Lord-Lieutenant of Argyll and Bute, Patrick Stewart
"I was surprised and delighted to be able to assume the chairmanship of the Argyll and Bute World War 1 Commemoration Steering Group in 2014. Not only did it give me an opportunity to work with a range of very committed people across Argyll and Bute-an essential requirement of the Lieutenancy-but also to indulge my own interest in that period."
"The Steering Group was brought into life by Argyll and Bute Council and in particular its then Armed Forces Champion, Maurice Corry. As the focus of commemoration flitted round our major communities, so the composition of the group changed, but always remained inclusive and professional in its approach. The fact that the group was able to mount major events in each of the principal settlements is a testament to the imagination, innovation and sheer hard work of a considerable number of people and organisations, both civilian and military. The commitment of councillors and council officers throughout meant that events not otherwise possible were delivered efficiently and confidently."
"This booklet sets out the range of commemoration events which came under the group’s sponsorship. Looking back, it is amazing to see what was achieved. I am particularly grateful to those who took charge of the annual events. The burden on them both in planning and implementation was enormous but, in each case, events were meticulously delivered."
As the four-year centenary period for the First World War grew close, it was clear that co-ordinating commemoration activities across Argyll and Bute would need a partnership approach-thus the World War 1 Commemoration Steering Group was established in 2013.
Chaired by the Lord-Lieutenant of Argyll and Bute, Patrick Stewart, the group brought together councillors from all four corners of Argyll and Bute, alongside community representatives, members of the Royal British Legion, regimental contacts, and officers from a range of council services including museums and libraries. It was a perfect mix of local knowledge, wisdom, experience, commitment and, most of all, enthusiasm and dedication to the task at hand.
The group quickly identified key themes and workstreams, and organised small, focused sub-groups tasked with progressing projects. They had at their fingertips-and made very good use of-an excellent set of local and national contacts and were quick to establish positive working relationships with the key partners involved in the national commemorative programme.
A trawl through the minutes of the Steering Group and its sub-groups, particularly in those early days, reveals an astonishing attention to detail-such was every member’s personal commitment to ensuring a very fitting and appropriate four-year period of remembrance which would ensure a lasting and sustainable legacy.
The depth and breadth-and sheer scale-of the research that group members carried out in those early days is quite staggering. While this booklet does not rewrite history or retell the story of Argyll and Bute’s war, the task faced by group members in those first months of work was largely of that nature and extent.
The World War 1 Commemoration Steering Group Membership at November 2018
Lord-Lieutenant of Argyll and Bute
Maurice Corry MSP former Argyll and Bute Council Armed Forces Champion
Cllr Barbara Morgan Argyll and Bute Council Armed Forces Champion
Cllr Bobby Good
Area Chair, Bute and Cowal
Cllr Donald MacMillan Vice Chair, Mid Argyll, Kintyre and the Islands
Cllr Elaine Robertson
Area Chair, Oban Lorn and the Isles
Cllr Andrew Vennard
Oban, Lorn and the Isles
Eleanor McKay Bibliographic and Local Studies Librarian, Live Argyll
Elizabeth Rafferty Culture and Heritage Support, Live Argyll
Photo Credit: Smarts Communicate