Peace garden opened in Cumbernauld to mark Armistice centenary

Cumbernauld Environmental Society (CES) chairman Bobby Johnstone releases a bird at the opening of Cumbernauld Community Memorial Peace Garden in Greenfaulds
Cumbernauld Environmental Society (CES) chairman Bobby Johnstone releases a bird at the opening of Cumbernauld Community Memorial Peace Garden in Greenfaulds

A Remembrance service organised by Cumbernauld Environmental Society (CES) to commemorate the Centenary of the end of the First World War took place at Cumbernauld Community Memorial Peace Garden in Greenfaulds.

CES chairman Bobby Johnstone welcomed everyone to the Armistice event, including Lady Haughey, Lord-Lieutenant of Lanarkshire, members of the British Legion, special guests from Erskine Hospital, representatives from the Police, Rotary, Fire Brigade and medical services.

Bobby acknowledged the debt of gratitude we owe to our forebears for the part they played in WW1, and WW2, and to all those involved in subsequent conflicts.

He also reminded everyone about the part played by animals in wartime - horses, pigeons, dogs, and some Airedale Society members brought along their dogs, each wearing a neckerchief with the message “We also served”; the dogs were present as the breed played an important part in WW1, carrying messages and medical supplies across battlefields.

The event began with a parade led by officers and cadets from The Army, Navy, Merchant Marine and Air Force, along with 3rd Cumbernauld Scout Group, all carrying their group colours.

A short service then took place, starting with The Flowers of the Forest, then the Last Post and two minutes silence, followed by a verse from Binyon’s poem ‘For the Fallen’.

The ceremony also marked the formal opening of the Peace Garden itself and Bobby told about the inauguration of the Peace Garden by CES in 2014, to mark the end of the Great War and to develop a quiet and lovely place for use by all the local community.

Since then the Garden has been designed, developed and maintained by volunteers from CES, Rotary and many others, with a great deal of support from local businesses and residents.

The garden was officially opened by Laurie Klary and Robert Frazer, two young veterans who had been wounded on service in Afghanistan, who cut the ribbon, and then wreaths were laid on behalf of the community and the British Legion.

A symbolic release of doves by Bobby’s grandchildren, to represent peace, concluded the event. Bobby then thanked everyone for attending and for their input to this important Service, and also thanked John McCarroll for lending his homing pigeons.