Under construction: the Camerons Memorial Area
On Sunday 18 August, during the 11.15am service, we will dedicate a new Memorial Area within the Church. All are welcome at the service.
The Old High Church was the regimental church of the former Cameron Highlanders Regiment. The Church houses their colours, various memorials, and rolls of honour (memorial books).
The new Memorial Area, located along the wall nearest the river, which brings together various memorials of the Cameron Highlanders into a new space within the Church.
The Martinpuich Cross, previously hidden away on the east stairwell
The centrepiece is the Martinpuich Cross, which has been relocated from the west stairwell of the church. This wooden cross was raised in France shortly after a battle in 1916, and later brought back to Inverness. Also collected in the new area are the Cameron Highlanders’ roll of honour books, war memorial plaques and other historic artefacts from around the church.
The memorial area is separated from the main body of the church by a wooden partition topped by a frosted glass screen featuring a striking design by Gordon Harvey. Click the link below to download the design (NB this is a large PDF file which may take some time to load. You have have to turn it 90 degrees to view on your computer. The design is liable to change):
Gordon Harvey’s design for memorial area
As well as a space for remembering, we hope the memorial area will also become an exhibition space and an informal gathering place within the church.
2013 marks the 220th Anniversary of the raising of the 79th Regiment or Cameron Volunteers by Major Allan Cameron of Erracht. The Cameron Highlanders Association have raised the funds for the memorials space. Veterans of the regiment will join us at Sunday worship during the weekend of their annual gathering in Inverness.
The cost of the memorial areas has been met the members of the Cameron Highlanders Association, Inverness Common Good Fund, Old High St Stephen’s fabric fund, and donations from members of the congregation.
You can also see the plans online by clicking the graphic above.
The following information has been provided by Angus Fairrie, Convenor of the Cameron Highlanders Association, whose members have raised the funds for this project.
THE REGIMENTAL CHURCH OF THE QUEEN’S OWN CAMERON HIGHLANDERS
Under the Army Reforms of 1881 the County of Inverness formed the major part of the Regimental District of The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, while the Regimental Depot and Headquarters were established at Cameron Barracks. There was no church in the barracks, and so the Old High Church in Inverness became the Regimental Church of the Cameron Highlanders.
During World War I the Cameron Highlanders expanded to fourteen battalions. At the end of the Great War the Service battalions of the New Army were each presented with a King’s Colour to mark their war service. When these battalions were disbanded, the King’s Colours of the 6th and 7th Service Battalions of the Cameron Highlanders were laid up in the Old High Church. After the Depot of the Cameron Highlanders closed in 1960, the Colours of the 3rd Militia Battalion of the Cameron Highlanders, which had been used by the Depot, were also laid up in the Old High Church. They have recently been restored and re-hung.
Other interesting items relating to the Cameron Highlanders include the Celtic Cross erected by the 6th Service Battalion during the Battle of the Somme when it had played a distinguished part in the attack on the village of Martinpuich. The Cross, to which the names of those killed were attached on metal tags, was recovered at the end of the war and brought back to the Old High Church.
The Rolls of Honour of the Cameron Highlanders, which are copies of those in the Scottish National War Memorial in Edinburgh Castle, are also displayed. Other memorial plaques from the Depot were presented after the amalgamation of the Cameron Highlanders with the Seaforth Highlanders in 1961 to form the Queen’s Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons).
The present Minister and congregation of Old High St Stephen’s have decided that the Colours of the Cameron Highlanders, and the other items, should be brought together to form a fitting memorial to those who have given their lives in the service of their country and their Regiment in both World Wars, and in other conflicts.