War vets hope over memorial

130412 Korean war memorial near bathgate.
130412 Korean war memorial near bathgate.

PLANS are being drawn up for a new Korean War Memorial to replace the current pagoda between Linlithgow and Bathgate.

The only memorial in Scotland to mark the 1090 servicemen who died in the Korean conflict, known as the ‘Forgotten War’, will feature in a BBC documentary to be aired next year presented by Jackie Bird, to mark its 60th anniversary. After it opened 12 years ago in Witchfield, the memorial has been vandalised three or four times, and members of the Lothian and West of Scotland branch of the British Korean Veterans Association (BKVA) want a more lasting marker for those that died.

John Cumming, secretary of the BKVA, is confident that a replacement funded by the Association will be under way next year.

He said: “This is a unique memorial to the Korean War and we are very proud of that. The reason to build a new one is so we have a more lasting memory, and to have something that is open. The plan is to have an arboretum and those who died inscribed on a wall, with tiles and other materials from South Korea used in its construction.”

The Korean War Memorial first opened in June 2000 after five years of planning and fundraising, and the pagoda, housing the names of those who died, is surrounded by a mixture of Korean and Scottish trees to represent each service person killed.