I read with interest your recent article with regard to the interview with Scott Castle, of Edinburgh consultants Thomas & Adamson, on the renovations plans for Wilton Lodge Park.
However, one paragraph caused me some disaquiet. Concerning the improvement of the area to the rear of the war memorial, Mr Castle said: “To open up the site, the trees will be removed . . .” It is not clear from the article whether his proposals include the two large Cypress trees on each side of the memorial. These trees have, of course, considerable significance to the town.
In 1965, Hawick Callants’ Club established a Gallipoli fund, the aim of which was to raise money to send local veterans back to the peninsula for the 50th anniversary of the battle. Enough money was raised to send six men who were chosen by ballotfrom a group who had expressed an interest in going. On the return of the veterans to Hawick after their emotional pilgrimage, they were piped off the train at Hawick station.
On the 50th anniversary of the tragedy on July 12, 1915, 50 old comrades gathered at Trinity church for a memorial service to honour their dead. After the service, the two Cypress trees in question, which had been grown from seed gathered at Gallipoli, were planted on either side of the Hawick war memorial by Provost James Henderson and Ernest Tait of the Callants’ Club.
Bearing in mind that next years marks the 100th anniversary of ‘the Borders second Flodden’, it would be a very sad day to commemorate and an even sadder day by the removal of what is, in effect, an integral, living part of the war memorial. I trust that this is not part of the proposals.