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Perth (Wellshill) Cemetery

Technology reveals World War stories at Perth (Wellshill Cemetery)

31 October 2014

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is helping to bring Perth's war-time history to life with the unveiling of an interactive visitor information panel at Perth (Wellshill) Cemetery on Sunday 2 November at 3pm.

The panels will give a fresh insight into the Commonwealth and Polish servicemen and women who fought and died in Scotland during the two world wars.   Smartphone users at the cemetery can access their stories by scanning the code on the panel.

Among the stories revealed is that of local lad, Private James Gowans, who enlisted in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on the outbreak of the First World War. In 1915 he travelled to France with his battalion, where he suffered a bullet wound to the knee. According to accounts, he lay in no-man's land for over fifteen hours before being rescued, subsequently contracting pneumonia. James was repatriated but died of his wounds on 6 June 1917, aged twenty.

The panel also reveals the lesser known story of Polish servicemen who, after the fall of France in 1940, were based in Scotland to defend the country from possible attack.

In late 1940 there was a real fear that Germany would launch an invasion of Scotland from its bases in Norway. Extra troops were desperately needed and the Polish soldiers sent to Scotland were warmly welcomed. By the spring of 1941 they were responsible for protecting the eastern seaboard.

The panel unveiling will be made by The Polish Consul General in Scotland, Mr Dariusz Adler and The Provost of Perth and Kinross, Ms Liz Grant, following an act of remembrance led and organised by the Polish community in Perth at 3pm. 

Iain Anderson, the CWGC's Regional Supervisor for Scotland, said: "It is vital that we continue to remember those Commonwealth and Allied servicemen and women who served so bravely and selflessly during the two world wars.

"The panels unveiled today will be an interactive way for new generations to learn about those who made the ultimate sacrifice."

Click here to read the full press release.