Scottish Youth Turn Monument Vandalism into Positive Action

The ruins of Kilwinning Abbey, North Ayrshire, Scotland.

The ruins of Kilwinning Abbey, North Ayrshire, Scotland.

Vandalism to a World War I memorial on the grounds of Kilwinning Abbey, Kilwinning, North Ayrshire, Scotland, caught the attention of local students who have used the incident as the basis for boosting public awareness of the First World War centenary in their community.

A cenotaph memorial on the grounds of the abbey was recently desecrated by vandals and while the damage was quickly addressed by the North Ayrshire council, a number of students at the nearby St. Winnings primary school learned of the damage to the monument and were spurred to action.  Canvassing the community, they were surprised to discover a lack of public knowledge of the monument’s existence.

A student-organized fundraising effort seeks to generate funds to improve the grounds around the memorial and to boost local awareness of its significance in time for the centenary of Britain’s entry into the First World War which will be marked on August 4, 2014.

The town of Kilwinning, located near the southwestern coast of Scotland, is known as “the crossroads of Ayrshire”.  In 1966, it was incorporated into the boundaries of Irvine New Town.   Kilwinning’s population in 2011 was slightly more that 16,000 persons.

For more information see the Irvine Herald story here.


New Shrewsbury, Massachusetts World War I Monument Nears Completion

Erected to honor the memory of 8 men who gave their lives in the First World War, a World War I monument in Shrewsbury, MA, fell into disrepair over succeeding decades and ultimately was demolished in the fall of 2012.  Now, after a grass-roots community fundraising effort involving veterans groups, school children, municipal funds and private donations, sources indicate that a project to replace the monument is nearing completion.

The monument was erected in front of Beal Elementary School which was named for Maj. Howard W. Beal, a surgeon attached to the 1st Infantry Division who was killed in action in 1918.

Read more details on the project here.