We recently reported that work was being carried out at North Bute Cemetery, in the grounds of the ruined St Colmac’s Church at Croc-an-Raer, to renovate the headstones of Merchant Navy seamen who died during the Second World War.
We are very pleased to report that the work has been completed, and the headstones and plots have been finished to a very high standard.
The graves and headstones were renovated by local craftsman Malcolm Johnston and assistants Roger Clarke and Raymond Lench under the auspices of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Taking care of the turf and borders was local landscape gardener Gary Ballantyne, which in itself was a mammoth task, as there were very strict guidelines which had to be followed. The turf had to be of a certain height, the headstone had to be set back a certain width, and soil had to be of a certain grade - all of which was achieved through precise measurements and a great deal of hard work.
Gary told us: “The plots have to be maintained on a regular basis, so we’ll be out in all weathers to make sure the graves are looking their best.”
Not only were the graves at North Bute renovated, but the war graves at the United Church of Bute’s cemetary also received special treatment and were spruced up.