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Memorial to Czechoslovak soldiers unveiled in Arisaig, Scotland

(This article expired 13.11.2010.)

On 11 November 2009 a memorial to Czech and Slovak soldiers, who trained as SOE agents in 1941-43, was unveiled in Arisaig, Scotland. It is to commemorate the trainees, many of which were parachuted behind the enemy lines, or took part in the invasion and other war actions, all sustaining heavy casualties.

A memorial to Czech and Slovak soldiers, who trained as SOE agents near Arisaig in 1941-43, was unveiled in Arisaig, Scotland. It is to commemorate the trainees, many of which were parachuted behind the enemy lines, or took part in the invasion and other war actions, all sustaining heavy casualties.

The role of Czech and Slovak SOE agents in the liberation of Europe has been finally honoured by declaring the new memorial a War Grave, as too many of them were buried in places known unto God.

The unveiling was carried out at 11 am on 11th November by The Rt Hon. George Reid,  Lord High Commissioner. A sizeable delegation from the Czech Republic, lead by Jan Fulik, Deputy Defence Minister of the Czech Republic attended, incl. Czechoslovak veterans. One of two surviving former Arisaig trainees, Col (retd.) Jaroslav Klemeš, read the Remembrance.

The veterans, Army Gen (retd.) Tomas Sedláček, Col (retd.) Jan Bacík, Maj (retd.) Gerhard Singer, Sgt (retd.) Josef Švarc were present, as well as dr. Paul Millar, Hon.Consul-General of the Czech Republic in Edinburgh, Chairman of the Trustees of the Czech Memorial who stood behind the initiative.

The Memorial, the funds for which were raised by public subscription was organized by the Trustees of CZECH MEMORIAL (Scotland) and POMNIK PARASUTISTUM o.s. (Czech Republic) charities. Depicting a fallen parachute, it has been sculpted by an internationally renowned Czech sculptor Josef Vajce and produced in Czech granite by stonemasons near Prague.

The villagers from Arisaig are taking an active part, and hosted a reception and an evening ceilidh in the village hall later that day.

More information about the memorial, see here.

Col Klemes

Col (retd) Jaroslav Klemes, the Arisaig veteran. Photo: ČTK

George Reid unveiling, Arisaig

George Reid, Lord High Commissioner unveiling the memorial. Photo: ČTK

HK Millar v Arisaig

Dr Paul Millar, Czech Honorary Consul in Edinburgh, stood behind the project. Photo: ČTK