Alex Salmond announces Scottish war memorials restoration fund

Mr Salmond made the announcement on a visit to the war memorial in Fyvie

Scotland's war memorials are to be cleaned and restored to help mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I.

The Scottish government has created the £1m Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund to pay for the work.

There are thought to be between 5,000 and 6,000 memorials in villages, towns and cities across the country.

First Minister Alex Salmond said each memorial was a reminder of the "futility of war".

Speaking during a visit to the Fyvie war memorial in Aberdeenshire, Mr Salmond said the new fund would help communities across Scotland to continue to pay their respects to those who fell during both world wars and other conflicts.

'Ultimate price'

He said: "The events in 2014 to mark the anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War will not be a celebration in Scotland, but a commemoration of the servicemen and women who paid the ultimate price in defence of our country.

"Scotland's war memorials - from the magnificent to the more modest - pay tribute to those fallen and will be an important part of the commemorations in communities the length and breadth of Scotland during 2014.

"Fyvie, for example, lost 67 men from that parish on the battlefields of Europe - a figure that represented a devastating blow to such a small community. Some of those men fought for other countries - Australia, Canada and New Zealand - but each will have left loved ones and ancestors behind in Aberdeenshire who will never forget them."

Mr Salmond said some memorials were in need of an upgrade to get them up to standard for the commemorations.

He added: "Each memorial in Scotland reminds us of the sacrifice made by those who died during the Great War, the Second World War and other conflicts. They remind us of the futility of war and the necessity that we never forget the sacrifice made by those who fell in conflict."

Historic Scotland has supported the sensitive conservation and repair of war memorials in Scotland since 2008 through a dedicated grant scheme administered by the War Memorials Trust.

The Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund is open for applications now with funding available over the course of the four-year centenary commemorations, from 2014 through to 2018.

The Scottish government said it expected to announce further details of the activities being planned to commemorate the centenary of World War I in due course.

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