31 May 2014–90th anniversary of the unveiling of Glasgow’s war memorial with its mix of religious and secular symbolism

31 May 2014 is the 90th anniversary of the unveiling, in a crowded George Square, of the Glasgow War memorial, almost six years after the Armistice at 1100hrs on 11 November 1918. It was unveiled by the then much respected Western Front commander Earl Haig. The then Lord Provost estimated that 200,000 Glaswegians served in the war and that 20,000 died. Many thousands were maimed. Crowds filed past the monument paying their respects and laying wreaths all that day and the following one.

The Glasgow Cenotaph, unlike that in Whitehall, London, has a prominent cross on it. At its base is the secular Stone of Remembrance, designed to mark inclusively the numerous dead of diverse religions – Christian, Hindu, Jew, Muslim, Sikh etc. – and those with no religion. The Stone’s only inscription is ‘Their name liveth for evermore’. A large Cross of Sacrifice and the Stone are to be found in all the larger Commonwealth War Graves.

On 8 August, the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the war, the memorial will be the site, following the conclusion of the Commonwealth Games, of a UK and Commonwealth commemoration for the allied dead of the First World War.

An article on the the significance of the memorial by ESS Honorary President, Norman Bonney, is in today’s (Glasgow) Herald (31 May 2014). Link below

http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/columnists/agenda.24352008

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