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Cabrach cairn dedicated to the fallen

By SPP Reporter

Patti Nelson, Euan Thompson and Marc Ellington are involved with the project
Patti Nelson, Euan Thompson and Marc Ellington are involved with the project

THE foundation for a cairn in memory of Cabrach men who died in World War I has been laid.

Seventeen sons from Moray’s most rural community lost their lives in battle during the long four-year conflict.

However, it is thought hundreds more succumbed to flu and other illnesses, as spending most of their lives in the remote farming community meant they had little resistance to disease.

The introduction of subscription resulted in hardship for those left behind.

Combined with the harsh winter of 1916/17, it became too much for some to sustain their crofts with many leaving the area in search of a better existence.

On Monday, members of the community gathered to start the foundation work for the cairn to remember all who lost their lives either on the frontline or from disease as a result of WWI and in conflicts since then.

The event was one of the final acts of remembrance in the centenary year of the beginning of the war, which was supposed to end all wars.

Patti Nelson, chair of Cabrach Community Association, said: "I suspect a lot of the guys up here didn’t have a lot of resistance to disease.

"It would have been terrible here then.

"There are plaques in the kirk but there’s been no actually memorial."

The group has been able to bring the project to fruition with advice from Marc Ellington, executive director of the Scottish Traditional Skills and Training Centre based at Fyvie Castle in Aberdeenshire, which promotes the conservation of historic buildings and runs courses in traditional skills.

Mr Ellington has been advising on what types of materials to use for the cairn and also assisted with planning applications.

Dry stane dyker Euan Thompson will build the cairn with help from the community.

Local stone including granite will be used for the memorial, which is expected to be completed in the spring.

The Cabrach Memorial Cairn is sited at Inverharroch in the Lower Cabrach, and will also be dedicated to all those who dies in the two world wars and subsequent conflicts.

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