THE fallen of Dennistoun will be remembered during a yearly celebration which be held at the area’s new war memorial.

The Dennistoun War Memorial was officially unveiled last Saturday and now the campaigner who fundraised to make the monument a reality has said he will hold a yearly celebration to recognise the area’s fallen heroes.

Taxi driver Jim Watson, who raised £17,000 for the war memorial, was among guests at the official unveiling in Alexandra Park which was carried out by Dick Gilmour, who served in the First Battalion Cameronians Scottish Rifles, in Malaya (South East Asia) from 1951 to1953.

Jim Watson and Owen McGuire

Mr Gilmour was joined by Owen McGuire, 12, who designed the war memorial when he was a pupil at St Denis’ Primary School.

Jim, 50, said: “It was wonderful day and the place was packed with veterans. The number of veterans who turned up was amazing, quite a few of them got emotional.”

Greyfriars Pipe Band lead a parade featuring over 100 veterans, air cadets, Scouts, Boys Brigade members,Guides and children from five schools including St Denis’, Haghill Park, Golfhill, and Alexandra Parade primaries, and Whitehill Secondary School.

Jim, who is from Dennistoun, said: “It makes me feel proud that the whole community has chipped in for this war memorial.

“I didn’t think there was such a thing as community any more. This shown it exists and it is still there.

“We are hoping to set up a war memorial association and we are hoping to do this every year.”

He added: “I would just like to thank everyone who has contributed in anyway.”

Jim planned for the memorial to be ready for the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I this November.

The former Territorial Army solider was inspired to fundraise after seeing a war memorial outside HMP Barlinnie for wardens killed in the World War I trenches.

Jim is pictured after vandals targeted the memorial.

MP Paul Sweeney, who is a former army reserve, praised the community for rallying round to support the unveiling of the war memorial, particularly after the monument was targeted by vandals with a petrol bomb in August.

He said: “It really showed that people have a lot of pride in what has been achieved with that monument.

“It is difficult for our generation to appreciate the scale of the carnage which was caused for hundreds of people from the community over two world wars. They would have never been able to bury their family members who were killed in foreign lands.

“In a way, this monument gives the community a tangible focal point and I think having annual event to commemorate it, would be a really worthwhile endeavour.”