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HRH The Duke of Kent together with Iain Anderson

Scots war grave worker receives royal recognition

14 May 2014

The man responsible for the care of more than 20,000 war graves in Scotland was recognised today with the award of a specialPresident's Commendation from His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent.

Iain Anderson, Regional Supervisor for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) in Scotland, was presented with his award at St. James' Palace in recognition of his outstanding contribution and dedication to the work and aims of the CWGC.

In addition to his normal duties - caring for war graves at more than 1,200 locations throughout Scotland - Iain has been responsible for preserving one of the remotest war grave sites in the CWGC's care.

Iain oversaw the installation of a 600kg granite memorial to commemorate the resting place of six airmen on Ben More in the Western Highlands who were killed when their Avro Anson plane crashed on the mountain in April 1941. The crash site is so remote that the only way to reach it is a five mile trek on foot. To install the memorial, Iain had to liaise with numerous local and military stakeholders, eventually arranging delivery of the granite marker by RAF helicopter.  

The CWGC's Director General, Alan Pateman-Jones, said: "We are very grateful for all the hard work Iain has done. The graves at Ben More are so remote that the only way to reach them is on foot, and, initially, Iain had to be guided to the site by a member of the local Mountain Rescue Team. Iain's hard work and planning, together with his dedication and considerable tenacity, have ensured that the burial site is now marked and protected for the future."

Iain Anderson said: "It is an honour to accept this award and I am very grateful for the recognition that not only myself, but my entire team in Scotland receive for doing such an important job.

"It was quite a challenge to get the new memorial at Ben More in place, but it was also a very rewarding project. I've been in close contact with the relatives throughout and it is hugely gratifying to see how pleased they have been with our efforts to commemorate their loved ones."

Click here to read the full media release.