Remembrance Day Walk
11am, 8 November. Begins at the cemetery.
A walk organized in collaboration with artist in residence Caroline Wendling and Val Ross
Val Ross and some of her pupils have been researching the stories of The Gordon Schools pupils and men of Huntly connected to WW1. They complied a list of all the men who left Huntly to fight, never to return. In a mark of remembrance to these men and the lives lost, as well as the impact this had on Huntly, Caroline and the students have been writing the names of these soldiers on oak leaves. These oak leaves will then be placed outside the homes where these soldiers used to live - a fleeting moment of contemplation.
All are welcome to join them. The walk will begin at the cemetryat 11am, before making its way into town.
"I first met Val Ross in March earlier this year. We already talked about a possible walk in Huntly to mark the lost lives. Young and less young men were ordered by the government to fight and kill other young and less young men as their duty to their nation. Choosing not to serve meant a tribunal procedure first at the Huntly Burgh Tribunal. In the Hunly Express of 17 March 1916, I read under Tribunal Problems: '... Members have gone out of their ways to brow-beat applicants, and in some cases have insulted men whose only crime is that they profess conscientious objections to combatant service' Reassuring the reader that the State intention is to respect individual conscience and define the function of tribunals as' to impartially and judicially satisfy themselves as to the sincerity of the conviction put forward' As the war progressed the need for more men to enlist was promoted through a daily propaganda of war heroism embraced by most. Only a few men were given the right to be 'stayers'. Doctors were paid a fee for each men enlisted and none for those rejected; Huntly Express Inequalities of Exemptions, 3 March 1916. As a consequence many Huntly men left their homes, their family and friends behind in order to serve their nation in a foreign country for a war orchestrated by the ruling classes and the rich and influential in search of more power. They died slaughterer in the first modern war of its kind.
The walk is a reminder of the lost lives. Some must have left with a broken heart. We compiled a list of names and addresses. Frances Moffit, head of art, drama and music at The Gordon Schools welcomed Caroline's idea of writing the name of each man who died as a consequence of WW1 on the oak leaves. The oaks will be placed during the walk at each address in order to mark the front step of each WW1 man that didn't return home. For the enlisted men that lived outside Huntly and for the houses that are no more, bundles of oaks will be placed in front of the war memorial."