Memorials – On the Mountains “Lest We Forget” The Nimrod Memorial looking tatty in Forres – sad to see!

Nimrod Memorial in Forres in need of care. How short are our memories?

Nimrod Memorial in Forres in need of care. How short are our memories?

I was in Forres with a friend and saw for the first time the Nimrod Memorial at the Veterans Cottages in Orchard Road in the town. It was looking very tatty and saddens me greatly. I am filled with sadness to see this and how short people’s memories are.  The cottages are owned/ maintained by the council would have thought this should be maintained by the council too . It is amazing how many of the great and good turn up on Remembrance Day and think that is it. Remembrance is every day and maybe someone needs a kick to sort this out  and make the memorial  look as it should again we owe it to those who gave their lives for us! Maybe a few flowers, the grass cut and things that are easy to maintain would not be to difficult or expensive to sort out? The aircraft crashed less than 10 years ago and lives of the families were changed for ever!  I was working in the ARCC the day the crash happened and it was a tragic day as we got the news very quickly.

From the MOD at the time “It is with very great sadness and regret that the Ministry of Defence has confirmed the names of the fourteen British personnel killed following the crash of a Nimrod MR2 aircraft in Afghanistan on Saturday 2 September 2006. All on board died

  • Flight Lieutenant Steven Johnson, aged 38, from Collingham, Notts
  • Flight Lieutenant Leigh Anthony Mitchelmore, aged 28 from Bournemouth
  • Flight Lieutenant Gareth Rodney Nicholas, aged 40 from Newquay, Cornwall
  • Flight Lieutenant Allan James Squires , aged 39, from Clatterbridge
  • Flight Lieutenant Steven Swarbrick, aged 28, from Liverpool
  • Flight Sergeant Gary Wayne Andrews, aged 48 from Tankerton in Kent
  • Flight Sergeant Stephen Beattie, aged 42 from Dundee
  • Flight Sergeant Gerard Martin Bell, aged 48, was from Ely, Cambridgeshire
  • Flight Sergeant Adrian Davies, aged 49 from Amersham, Bucks
  • Sergeant Benjamin James Knight aged 25 from Bridgwater
  • Sergeant John Joseph Langton, aged 29 from Liverpool
  • Sergeant Gary Paul Quilliam, aged 42 from Manchester
  • Corporal Oliver Simon Dicketts, the Parachute Regiment, aged 27
  • Marine Joseph David Windall, Royal Marines, aged 22

Nimrod Mem 2

How quickly they forget! Any comments welcome ?

I have spent a lot of time in the past though visiting remote Memorials though I am not really for Memorials specifically in wild places. Many of the Aircraft Crash sites I visit in the mountains are where the crews died. I worked hard with a few others on a famous Memorial In Assynt to the crew of an Anson that crashed high in the mountains and were buried on site when they were found 6 weeks later. The Memorial was looking awful and in a poor state and with the crew buried below something needed to be done.

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The old Memorial at Assynt  the end the War Graves Commission took it on and after 10 visits to the remote crash site have resulted in a new Memorial that needs very limited  maintenance.     (see this blog for more details)

Lots of work by all to a remote site 3 hour walk in to 2000 feet and worth all the effort to ensure that a simple easy to maintain memorial is now in place. A huge effort but worth it.  On the 13th April 1941 an Anson aircraft from RAF Kinloss on a cross-country training flight crashed near Ben More Assynt in the North West Highlands at Inchnadampth above Ullapool. The aircraft had taken off from Kinloss in less than ideal weather to follow a route via Oban, Stornoway and Cape Wrath before returning to Kinloss.

“Here are commemorated the crew of an aircraft crash on Ben More Assynt on the 13 Th. of April 1941, whose bodies rest where they fell”

Flying Officer JH Steyn DFC.  Pilot

Pilot Officer WE Drew.             Observer/ Instructor

Sergeant J Emery.                      Wireless operator gunner

Flight Sergeant T R Kenny.       Wireless Operator

Sergeant CM Mitchell.              Observer Pupil

Sergeant HA Tompsett. .           Wireless operator gunner.

The new Memorial at Assynt with the local ATCadets who helped with the renovation.

The new Memorial at Assynt with the local ATCadets who helped with the renovation.

We sorted this out in the wilds of Scotland in Assynt – Surely the Nimrod needs a bit of care and attention?

Any comments welcome?

 

2 June  – Heavy, I have received a response from Moray Council “Our parks supervisor in Forres, Grant Speed, has been working with the community volunteers and the primary school on a revamp. They plan to use coloured chippings (red, white and blue) under the Nimrod and tidy the bed up. I’ve no time scale but it will be in short order.”
I also spoke to the Buffs in Forres on this and received an update, that should the volunteer approach fail the park will be sorted.
Razzah is correct, funding has been severely cut with volunteers now dealing with the flowerbeds for Britain in Bloom.

D Walker

About heavywhalley.MBE

Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist
This entry was posted in Aircraft incidents, Enviroment, Local area and events to see, Views Mountaineering, Weather, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Memorials – On the Mountains “Lest We Forget” The Nimrod Memorial looking tatty in Forres – sad to see!

  1. razzah says:

    Agree this is very sad. Didn’t the council pull the funding for Forres’s flowers? I’m pretty sure this was the case so all the Britain in Bloom work and flora had to be funded by charities. Suspect this got overlooked as efforts were concentrated over at Grant Park. That’s my take on it anyway, real sad to see this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Heavy, I have received a response from Moray Council “Our parks supervisor in Forres, Grant Speed, has been working with the community volunteers and the primary school on a revamp. They plan to use coloured chippings (red, white and blue) under the Nimrod and tidy the bed up. I’ve no time scale but it will be in short order.”

    I also spoke to the Buffs in Forres on this and received an update, that should the volunteer approach fail the park will be sorted.

    Razzah is correct, funding has been severely cut with volunteers now dealing with the flowerbeds for Britain in Bloom.

    Like

  3. Lyndon Jones says:

    Very true “How quickly we forget”, is it not our duty to pass on the need for the sacrifice of men and women from all of the services to be recognized. We seem to live in a world travelling so fast that major incidents seem to be forgotten all too soon.
    Little things like the local Army Cadet Force spend time generally caring and keeping the local Cenotaph in the village presentable, I truly believe that this instills some respect for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their Country and those who live on.
    Another well written article Dave thanks
    Regards Lyndon Jones.

    Like

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