Monuments to the fallen : Scottish war memorials of the Great War
This study attempts to place the war memorials of the Great War within, not only a Scottish, but an international and historical context. Monuments reflect power and prestige as well as demonstrate artistic skill. They are symbols with meanings and expressions of values but while they last the values which they represent change. Their evolution also mirrors changing attitudes to life and death. Monuments to victories and the victorious have given way to those which more democratically commemorate all the Fallen. Cenotaphs have come to be erected at home in memory of those buried elsewhere. Glasgow provides ample illustration of how commemorative art has evolved - from memorials in the Cathedral and its Burial Ground to those in the city itself, from private memorials in the Necropolis to public monuments in public places and from monuments to individuals to memorials to many. The memorials erected in the aftermath of the Great War are monuments of their age. Intended to express enduring values, with death for 'King and Country' seen as sacrifice, they were a focus for collective grief as well as comunity pride. The inscriptions which transform monuments into memorials are value-laden statements - even if we no longer accept these values. The events of their unveiling days reveal many of the hopes and fears of their creators for they allowed an orgy of patriotism to coalesce with the needs of bereavement. Over and above their social and socialising role memorials had an economic consequence and artistic result. In their day they mattered even if we do not now "remember". Memorials now lack care and cease to have meaning due to changed values. Memorials of a new genre - peace monuments - are a response to new needs. Comemorative art is a continuing process even if the actual art of monument making changes little and old monuments need new respect if they are to survive in a new world.