“This land rising from the shore of the Loch to the summit of Ben Lomond
was dedicated in 1996 as the Ben Lomond National Memorial Park.
To be held in perpetuity as a Tribute to those who gave their lives
in the Service of their Country”
THE recent re-siting – on 26 August – of a specially commissioned marker stone at Rowardennan’s memorial sculpture has completed a three-year project instigated and led by Balmaha-based campaigner Jock Cousin.
The granite sculpture – designed by Scottish artist Doug Cocker – is the focal point of the Ben Lomond National Memorial Park, created from the former Rowardennan Estate with the support of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and dedicated to this who gave their lives in the first and second world wars.
After moving to the area in 2012 and seeing the original brass marker plaque had been stolen, ex-soldier Jock felt compelled to do something to replace it.
“Because of my background, I strongly believe in the significance of the memorial itself,” says Jock. “And the marker plaque played an important part in explaining the significance of the sculpture to the area.”
After discussing the idea with the park’s community development officer John Forth, Jock commissioned Devon-based pal Richard Tanton to design and create the new marker stone which, at a ton-and-a-half, is less susceptible to theft than the original brass plaque…and of no scrap value.
“I didn’t want to ask anyone for funding – the most important thing was to walk the walk and make it happen,” says Jock.
The marker stone was delivered to Jock at Balmaha House the following March (2013) with all costs borne by Jock and Richard.
“It stone sat in the garden for a year while I had a seemingly endless number of meetings with the National Park and the Forestry Commission to have it moved up to Rowardennan,” adds Jock.
“It was put in a nice spot on the shores of the loch, but unfortunately it was 100 metres away from the sculpture so there was a bit of a disconnect between what the stone was saying and the sculpture – the whole point of the stone was to replace the original plaque so visitors reading the stone know what they’re looking at, and why it’s there.”
It took almost another 18 months of work from Jock to have the stone moved to the correct spot where it now rests.
Jock aims to arrange a dedication service that will formally mark the stone, sculpture and area as one of Scotland’s most significant memorials to those that have given their lives serving their country not just in the first and second world wars, but all subsequent conflicts.