BERWICK

Lewis Grassic Gibbon (James Leslie Mitchell) in his trilogy A Scots Quair wrote a number of key scenes around war memorials and Armistice Day services. While Sunset Song ended with the service and unveiling of the Kinradie war memorial, a standing stone, Cloud Howe opens with the arrival in the fictional town of Segget and the impact of seeing the sculpture.
"But Robert was giving no heed to smells, he had stopped and he said My God what a slummock! And Chris saw the thing that had now ta'en his eyes, the War Memorial of Segget toun, an angel set on a block of stone, decent and sonsy in its stone night-gown, goggling genteel away from the Arms, as though it wouldn't, for any sum you named, ever condescend to believe there were folk that took a nip to keep out the chill...
Chris thought it was fine, a pretty young lass. But then as she looked at it there came doubts, it stood there in memory of men who had died, folk of this Segget, but much the same still, she supposed, as the folk she had known in Kinraddie, folk who had slept and waked and had sworn, and had lain with women and had lain with pain, and walked in the whistle of the storms from the Mounth and been glad, been mad, and done dark, mad things, been bitter for failure, and tender and kind, with the kindness deep in the dour Scots blood. Folk of her own, those folk who had died, out in the dark, strange places of earth and they set up THIS to commemorate THEM - this , this quean like a constipated calf!
Cloude Howe, Pan 1933, p.47

berwick clay

Above - The original clay sculpture of the Berwick 'Victory'

Left - The Scotstoun and Yoker war memorial in Glasgow is a more typical example of the delicately balanced winged victories which adorn WWI memorials.

A real craftsman, Carrick favoured the hands on approach to his work. He visited quarries such as the Ravelston Quarry in the Cheviot Hills to search for suitable blocks of freestone for his work. He spent hours working with a Mr. Booth from the Singer's Bronze Foundry on the joints of the Fraserburgh Group. At Berwick he made a number of visits to supervise the work on the surrounding railings and landscaping, and personally supervised the final wash down before the unveiling in 1923.

scotstoun & yoker

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