The Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund helped 125 projects share over £1 million during the centenary of World War I.
Through the centenary of World War I, war memorials in Scotland have been a focus for communities seeking to remember those who fought and died. With an estimated 8,000 war memorials across Scotland they are a unique element of our shared public heritage.
The huge variety in form, style and location reflects decision-making being local; enabling communities to erect something they felt appropriate for their loss. Some went for crosses, cenotaphs and plaques; others choose stained glass windows, avenues of trees or village halls, whilst towers, sculpture or dedicated lychgates were the choice elsewhere.
Around two-thirds of all are war memorials are believed to be associated with World War I. Many remember the single conflict, others were added to after World War II and, very occasionally, World War I names were added to earlier war memorials.
They are found in many different locations from kirks to munros and schools to factories. Across the UK 96% of the war memorials grant-aided through the centenary of World War I have been associated with that conflict.
Between 2013-18, War Memorials Trust has administered the Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund on behalf of Historic Environment Scotland and the Scottish Government. Over £1 million has supported 125 projects the length and breadth of the country.
Furthest north, the Mid Yell World War I and II memorials on Shetland have been offered £4,410 towards a proposed project to relocate two war memorial plaques from a closed church while 670km/416 miles away works to repair a plaque at Anwoth, Dumfries and Galloway received a grant of £1,800.
Repair and conservation works have been the focus of the scheme. This can include simple re-pointing and cleaning through to more complex reinstatement of missing elements or addressing structural concerns.
At the Douglas war memorial in Lanarkshire, cleaning the plinth enables the community to read the names of the fallen again as part of a wider project which received a grant of £8,880. Water and brushes can make a significant difference without needing chemicals or more aggressive methods.
At Dores in the Highlands the project to the memorial arch included reinstatement of original features. The original terracotta tiles had been lost by 2016 but as part of a wider repair and conservation project these have been reinstated so the memorial now looks as it did when it was unveiled for the family and friends of those commemorated by it.
Alongside the Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund, war memorials in Scotland also received their share of the First World War Memorials Programme £2 million in grants funded by the UK government.
The Isle of Lewis war memorial, above Stornoway in the Western Isles was the largest grant awarded anywhere in the UK through the FWWMP with £132,100 supporting comprehensive repair and conservation works to the tower.
The First World War Memorials Programme has also supported War Memorials Online, a website seeking to create a greater understanding of the condition of war memorials.
Anyone can register to add information, photographs and condition updates on war memorials. Only around 40% of war memorials are currently recorded so we do need your help to find them all, visit www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk to get involved.
Beyond the centenary War Memorials Trust will continue to operate as a focal point for war memorial issues. The charity can provide advice on a range of issues, technical guidance to ensure any works follow best conservation practice and will offer grants.
However, the exceptional grant funding levels available during the centenary will not be maintained and, as a charity, we will be reliant upon the generosity of our members and supporters whose donations support the protection and conservation of war memorials. To find out more visit www.warmemorials.org.