Spean Bridge Commando Memorial

Live Cam Link to Lochaber

It was the concern of Lord Lovat that in a changing world the bravery and sacrifice of the commando regiments would be forgotten. That social and cultural changes would somehow diminish these men in the eyes of history. Even that their activities would someday been seen as politically incorrect.

Lord Lovat wrote in his autobiography "March Past":

"In Scotland we have raised a lasting memorial. Three steadfast figures, a rugged group in raiding order, emerging from the sea; alone but not afraid. Cast in bronze, they stand proudly in Lochaber, their keen eyes lifted to the hills. The plinth is plain. (It only bears the formal words, `United we conquer',and lower down,`This country was their Training Ground'.) But on it I would have written the message that nobody grows old by merely living their allotted span. People grow old by abandoning their ideals. You are as young as your faith and as old as your doubts: was it all worthwhile? The causes of war are falsely represented: its purpose dishonest and the glory meretricious. Yet we remember a challenge to spiritual endurance and the awareness of a common peril endured for a common end. That is the only way to come through a shattering experience and enshrine the memory of those brave men who did not return."

Sir Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk wrote that the "splendid Commando War Memorial at Spean Bridge is (was) his (Lord Lovat) greatest pride".

And for myself:

To date, and I have grown old, I have not been asked to take the risks those young men took or to lay my life on the line as they did. I have sought the answer to their motivation in the books they were to write (those who lived to tell the tale), both soon after the war and later after reflection. It seems to me that they were in fact fighting that greatest of evils, war itself. That to them their role was to finish the job as quickly and as cleanly as possible. To prevent the protracted war so beloved by politicians and manufacturers. To stop war in its tracks. To kill it dead. This was their role and they fulfilled it at great personal cost and brought us the comparative peace in which we have been privileged to live. But that is only my personal view.

Picture taken by Natacha Kotowski and shown with her kind permission.