“Nothing of which we have any knowledge or record has ever been done by
mortal men which surpasses the splendor and daring of their feats of arms.” (Winston Churchill in regard to the Commandos)
On down the rainy road we drove to the village of Spean Bridge.
In the summer of 1940, the British forces were at their lowest point and threats of unparalleled attacks caused even greater anxiety. Seeing that, Winston Churchill initiated the development of an elite force which British servicemen, the Royal Marines and members of the Allied forces joined on a volunteer basis. Churchill felt that by initiating a group of elite soldiers, he could boost the country’s morale.
Only those completing the strenuous course could wear the coveted Green Beret. But within weeks, the soldiers were fighting in every area of battle and with such skill, that enemies were intimidated and their fellow soldiers felt protected. By the end of the war, the Commandos had won many honors, but they also lost 1,700 members in death.
The memorial was built in 1952 and is a popular tourist spot not only because of what it stands for, but because the statue is facing Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in the British Isles. However, anytime we were near it, the peak was lost in the clouds. (And as you can see, the day wasn’t getting any brighter.)
(SCOTLAND FACT: Scotland was used for military training during World War II because it was remote and had a lot of land on which to practice manuevers.)
Oh, and a small-world fact (for readers who live near me) – the man (with the white hair) walking up to the statue designed the swimming pool at Mooseheart.