The Commando Memorial

Published 8 November 2015

The Commando Memorial, Spean Bridge in the Highlands of Scotland

Today people across the country will be remembering those who fought and gave their lives in war. Poppies will be worn, wreathes will be laid and people will stand silently to pay their respects.

In that respect, the Commando Memorial near Spean Bridge in the highlands of Scotland, will be nothing special. Like many other memorials it will be a scene for remembering and reflecting.

The memorial sits in a dramatic location just a short walk away from the East Highland Way. The skyline is a dramatic and idyllic panorama, with Ben Nevis in the background. Tucked at the edge of a village with 1,500 inhabitants, it’s a peaceful place. Yet during World War II, this was a land filled with training units, preparing the volunteers of 30 odd units that were the Commandos; groups dedicated to raids and activities in German occupied Europe.

Closeup of the faces of the Commando Memorial statue

After the war plans were drawn up to commemorate their actions in the area, and in 1952 the Queen Mother unveiled the 5m tall memorial designed by sculptor Scott Sutherland. It’s an incredibly moving place to visit; the massive statue contrasting markedly with the quietness and remoteness of the area you’re standing in.

Besides the memorial itself sits a remembrance garden, dedicated to both those who trained and fought during World War II, and those who have since followed in their footsteps and lost their lives. For whilst most of the Commando groups were later disbanded, some still remain. The Special Air Service, Special Boat Service, Parachute Regiment and the Royal Marine Commandos can all trace their existence back to the original Comandos; groups which continue their work to this day.

Your Comments