We experienced a very poignant, memorable day at the Spean Bridge Commando Monument on Tuesday 24 April 2018, where a memorial stone dedicated to David’s memory was officially laid in the Garden of Remembrance.
The Commando Monument was built to commemorate members of the Commando Regiment who died during the Second World War, and is located six miles from Achnacary Castle where the Commando Basic Training Centre was established in 1942.
During World War Two, candidates arrived at Spean Bridge railway station, and their first assessment was to march the seven miles to Achnacarry Castle, past the site on which the monument now stands.
The candidates who completed the intensive training formed an elite commando fighting force which conducted a series important raids throughout the war, such as St Nazaire, as well as land on Sword Beach as part of the landings in Normandy.
World War Two claimed the lives of 1,700 Commando personnel and a total of eight Victoria Crosses were awarded to members of the regiment.
An area of remembrance has been established a short walk from the monument and is the location where the ashes of many of the commandos, who served during World War Two, have been placed and memorials have been laid commemorating the lives of Commandos who have died in recent conflicts.
Gary Seath said:
“It was an honour to witness the unveiling of a memorial stone, dedicated to David’s memory, at the site of such historical significance for the Commando Regiment. As an Officer of 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, David was incredibly proud to have completed the All Arms Commando Course and earn his coveted Green Beret, which has been worn so proudly since the first generation of Commandos who trained in the Spean Bridge region during World War Two. I wish to offer my sincere thanks to Ian Bertrand (29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery) as well as Carlos Hamlet and Matt Burton (105 Regiment Royal Artillery) for making this wonderful memorial project happen.”
Ian Betrand, a close friend of David as well as a member of 29 Commando Regiment RA, has led this particular memorial project with regards to the acquisition of the Aberdeen Granite, sourcing a stone mason and composing the statement of memorial.
Ian provided a wonderful short speech prior the unveiling of the memorial stone and we were all greatly touched by his sentiments as well as humour with regards to how he ‘acquired’ the Aberdeen Granite.
Ian was joined by two of David’s close friends Matt Burton and Carlos Hamlet, both of whom have served in 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery and provided fantastic insight with regards to the formation of the Commando Regiment.
We wish to offer our sincere thanks to Ian Bertrand (29 Commandon Regiment RA) as well as Matt Burton/Carlos Hamlet (105 RA) for their dedication and commitment to making this very special act of remembrance possible.