Despite the continued challenges presented by the global coronavirus pandemic, Remembrance Sunday 2020 was commemorated by Gala Remembers with a launch of an updated version of the Book of Commemoration, which now recognises those from the town who gave their lives in World War II.

The Book of Commemoration is a legacy to the extensive activity that took place to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The most up-to-date edition of the Book, which is managed by Energise Galashiels Trust, can be viewed here.

As well as acting as a record of what was delivered in 2018, the online book has been well received since its launch two years ago and has become a catalyst for on-going community engagement.

Alongside the Book of Commemoration, a video of the recent Border Torch unveiling was also launched. The Border Torch – first proposed by Galashiels town councillor George Hope Tait in 1923 – was unveiled at the War Memorial in Galashiels on Sunday 4th October 2020.

A fitting and permanent tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice during two World Wars, the Torch lights up at 8pm each day when the chimes of ‘Braw, Braw Lads’ ring out, as suggested by Hope Tait, and serves as an emotive reminder of fallen Galaleans.

“Remembrance Sunday is an opportunity for people in Galashiels to join with others across the world to commemorate the enormous sacrifices of the two World Wars and other conflicts, but the pandemic has made that much more difficult this year,” said Bill White, Chairman of Gala Remembers.

“Acts of Remembrance, as we know them, have been limited, but it was important for us to ensure the day was appropriately marked and through the Book of Commemoration and celebration of the Border Torch, we hope that we’ve done that.”

The Border Torch and plaque, funded by Energise Galashiels Trust and with support from the public through the Gala Remembers project, were unveiled by Valerie Gray, George Hope Tait’s granddaughter.

The Book of Commemoration was funded by the Gala Remembers project.

Gala Remembers 2020

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