Alexander Carrick must have taken some pride in carving a copy of the Lochawe memorial for his mother's village of Saint Margaret's Hope on South Ronaldsay in the Orkneys.  War memorial committees held the copyright on their monuments but Carrick had a prior agreement allowing him to reproduce one copy only of the Lochawe soldier and as South Ronaldsay was so far from Lochawe he felt it appropriate to reproduce the soldier here.  Again like Lochawe it stands on a pedestal built of local stone.

Left, an old postcard of the South Ronaldsay memorial around the time of its unveiling in 1921.  

It was during a stay with his mother's family on South Ronaldsay as a boy that Carrick first discovered sculpting as his uncle, John Leith, showed him how to carve a boat from a piece of driftwood found on the shore.

Later in the 1900's as a student Carrick was travelling to Saint Margaret's Hope on holiday when he met his Stromness cousin, fellow Edinburgh College of Art student Rose Leith, as they stepped off the boat at Kirkwall.  Rose had her friend with her, Janet Fergusson MacGregor, a Greenock girl and fellow student who was studying painting at the college.  Alex spent much of the holiday at Stromness with Janet and in 1914 the couple married.  As their daughter Anne explained to me Janet gave up her artistic career as was the norm in those days but was a great support to Carrick and "was always an exacting critic" of his work.

Photograph supplied and reproduced by kind permission of Marion McLeod.


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