Falkirk’s daughter remembers father she never knew as work begins on war memorial

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The daughter of a soldier killed by a German sniper’s bullet in World War II has admitted seeing the start of work on a local war memorial that will bear her name was a moving moment.

Isobel Turnbull, 78, joined members of the committee behind the Bainsford war memorial project to cut the grass and mark the start of work at Dawson Park.

Isobel was just over a year old when her father, David Allan – a private in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders – was killed by a sniper’s bullet in Germany in 1945. He was only 20 when died, leaving Isobel’s mother, Jenny, a widow at the same young age.

Isobel has no memories of her father, but visited his grave at the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery in Kleve to remember and pay her respects. She thinks a war memorial near her home will be a fitting tribute to the men of Bainsford who lost their lives and she was delighted to be part of the campaign to get a local memorial.

She said: “I’ve visited my dad’s grave four times but it will be nice to have a local place to come and remember him. I feel really, really emotional today.”

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The pain of David’s loss can be felt in the memorabilia now in Isobel’s possession, including his Glengarry, his medals and a wallet containing the telegram his family received when he died. There is also a handwritten poem and epitaph, written by her heartbroken mother, carefully preserved together with a postcard addressed to her “darling little girl”.

For Councilor Robert Bissett, president of the Bainsford War Memorial Association, this was an important step in the journey towards building the memorial to honor Bainsford’s 244 sons who never returned home.

In addition to local fundraising, they received £65,000 from the council’s Common Good Fund and £10,000 from Community Choices.

“It was hard work but we have a great team and we all pulled together and got through it,” he said.

The next step will be to dig the foundations and then lay out a path before the monument is finally erected.

An opening ceremony will be held on June 10 to mark the occasion.

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