A ‘Centenary Field’ for Duns

Duns Public Park with memorial to John Duns Scotus "The Sublte Doctor" and the War Memorial.
Duns Public Park with memorial to John Duns Scotus "The Sublte Doctor" and the War Memorial.

Duns Park is one of three in the Borders to be nominated as ‘Centenary Fields’ to mark 100 years since the end of World War One.

Centenary Fields is a partnership programme led by Fields in Trust and the Royal British Legion to commemorate World War One through protecting green spaces.

The sites chosen for Centenary Field status must include a war memorial and be used for sports and recreation, and those accepted into the programme will receive special protective status and a commemorative plaque.

Councillors sitting on Scottish Borders Council’s executive committee voted to nominate Wilton Lodge Park in Hawick, Lower Green in West Linton and Duns Park.

Rob Dickson, the council’s executive director, said: “This is essentially to commemorate the centenary of the end of the first world war. We feel the parks we have nominated, for all the self-evident reasons, are appropriate because of their location in their communities or because of existing war memorials or interests in those areas.”

There are no funds associated with Centenary Field status but if accepted a plaque will be erected in the park.

Mid Berwickshire councillor Mark Rowley, welcomed the proposal: “What’s quite good is not just the commemoration aspect, but also that it links in with keeping those open and recreational spaces. That ties into the forthcoming invest in equipment and facilities. From a Berwickshire point of view, it’s great to see something happening in that direction.”

Duns Park is a Victorian park accessed off Station Road by imposing gates and is home to Duns war memorial, an obelisk commemorating those from Duns who fell in both world wars and the Polish war memorial, a tribute to the Polish soldiers who were stationed in Duns during the second world war.

Wilton Lodge Park features two war memorials. One is the 1921 cenotaph by James B Dunn and the accompanying bronze statue, entitled ‘Spirit of Youth Triumphing over Evil’ by Alexander Leslie, which together commemorates those who died in both World War One and World War Two. The second, the Boer war memorial, was erected in remembrance of the men of Hawick and District who fell in the Boer war of 1899-1902.

West Linton’s Lower Green park features a 1920s memorial by Peter McGregor Chalmers and two bronze plaques which commemorate both world wars.