New Granite Block for Remote Burial Site
29 May 2012
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is to place a granite
block, weighing half a ton. on one of the most remote war graves in
the United Kingdom.
Six airmen are buried on Ben More in the Western Highlands - so
far from any human habitation that even the Commission's supervisor
in Scotland, Iain Anderson, had never been there before.
Iain walked the five miles uphill from the hamlet of
Inchnadamph, north of Ullapool, with David Whalley, a mountaineer
and guide, to inspect the grave site where the airmen died when
their Avro Anson crashed in April 1941. Iain said: "I
wouldn't have found it easy to get there without David. It really
is miles from anywhere. You need to be a good map reader to find
the site because it's easy to miss. And the weather can change very
quickly in the Highlands so you need to know what you are doing."
The remoteness of the grave explains why the six airmen have
what the Commission calls an alternative commemoration. In 1941 it
was decided to bury them at the crash site, but the Commission
could not guarantee to commemorate them there. Apart from on foot,
the only realistic way to the site is by helicopter.
The Commission's pledge is that all the fallen of the two World
Wars will be commemorated in perpetuity. When it is not possible to
guarantee the commemoration at the grave, an alternative
commemoration is arranged. In this case a plaque has been placed in
the churchyard at Inchnadamph.
At the crash site the grave is marked by a cairn, and the
Commission is concerned to preserve the integrity of the grave, so
it has been agreed that a granite stone - weighing six hundred
kilograms - will be inscribed and placed over the airmen's last
The issue is getting the stone up the hill. A number of options
are being considered but the Commission's UK Director, Barry
Murphy, was clear that it would happen. "We are ordering the
stone," he said. "It's just a matter of how and when we get it up