Tucked away at the south end of Perth's North Inch, close to the right or west bank of the River Tay, is one of the most beautifully designed war memorials you are likely to find anywhere. The memorial to the 51st Highland Division was unveiled on 13 May 1995 at a ceremony to mark fifty years since the end of the Second World War in Europe.
The inscription on the west side of the plinth reads: "This memorial pays tribute to all who served in the 51st Highland Division in the two World Wars. It symbolizes the liberation of our European Allies from occupation and repression in 1945 and commemorates the 50 years of peace that have followed."
The east end of the plinth is home to a list of Regimental Battle Honours earned by the 51st Highland Division during its existence from 1908 to 1967. The front, or southern, face of the plinth carries a large plaque carrying images of the division in action during the Second World War.
The memorial itself was made by sculptor Alan Herriot and depicts a young Dutch girl presenting a rose to a kilted piper from the Division. The statue replicates a memorial unveiled at Schijndel in the Netherlands, which was unveiled to mark the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the town by the 51st Highland Division on 23rd October 1944, with many casualties. The figures are beautifully portrayed, and it is their informal naturalness that makes this such a remarkable memorial.
A smaller plinth a few yards to the north east commemorates the final reunion of the 51st Division Veterans Association on 8 June 2008; while another to the north west was put in place to mark the 60th anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein on 26 October 2002.
The 51st Highland Division comprised units raised from across the highlands and beyond, including parts of regiments such as the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, the Seaforth Highlanders, the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders and the Black Watch. As the regimental battle honours reveal, the division fought with distinction in both world wars: and at huge cost. During the Divisions final campaign in North West Europe it suffered a total of over 19,000 battle casualties.
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