Prince Charles Visits Scottish Village to Pay Tribute to the Community


Prince Charles has paid a visit to Scottish countryside, to pay tribute and acknowledge the vital contribution and sacrifices made by the rural Scottish community during the Second World War. The Duke of Rothesay visited the local community of Cabrach in Moray, and laid wreath on a local Cairn built as a memorial to the war dead of the community.

The Cairn is built by the efforts of the local people and it not only represents the soldiers from the town but also from the neighboring communities and parishes of Rhyme, Dufftown and Lumsden.

The sacrifice made by the inhabitants of this part of the Scotland has now been discovered as way more then it was previously thought. One historian suggested that it is an astonishing fact that such a small community could have contributed so much towards the sacrifices during the Second World War. Most of the deaths took place during the battles that made to the record as ‘lost in battle’, but a significant number of Cabrach inhabitants died of disease in France and Belgium and were not mentioned in the war records immediately after the war.

In a recent documentary broadcasted by the BBC the community of Cabrach got an honorable mention by a Dutch historian. The subject of the documentary was to examine the effects of the war on rural communities of Scotland. The ruined crofts and farm buildings of Cabrach were referred to as the ‘Europe’s Biggest War Memorial’, the BBC NeWs reports.

Prince Charles visited the community wearing a traditional Gordon Highlanders Kilt and took part in a commemorative ceremony with the locals that include a short service followed by a one-minute silence for the fallen of the community. Prince Charles then laid the wreath on the Cairn that clearly mentioned the respect and honor that the people of the local community of Cabrach brought to the nation as a whole.

Prince Charles also engaged with the locals talking about the war and the efforts towards building such a great memorial. He also met John Gordon, who is a Royal Observer Corps veteran and is now 88. Gordon also laid a wreath on the memorial representing the local community; his family has farmed in the Cabrach and its surrounding areas for more then three centuries.

A leading cultural authority of Scotland Marc Ellington led the building of the memorial. While speaking to the media, Ellington expressed gratitude towards the local community who actively took part in the construction of the memorial making it an ‘all Cabrach’ effort. He added that Cabrach’s memorial is perhaps the finest memorial of its kind, certainly in the whole of Scotland that is representative of the sacrifice and efforts of the local community.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE