The Commando Memorial is a Category A listed monument in Scotland, dedicated to the men of the original British Commando Forces raised during World War II. Situated around a mile from Spean Bridge village, it overlooks the training areas of the Commando Training Depot established in 1942 at Achnacarry Castle. Unveiled in 1952 by the Queen Mother, it has become one of the United Kingdom's best-known monuments, both as a war memorial and as a tourist attraction offering views of Ben Nevis and Aonach Mòr.
During the summer at the Spean Bridge Hotel the Commando Exhibition tells the story of these men, and a Commando Trail takes in some of the locations where they trained. Several military associations still sponsor a Commando March – a timed seven-mile march, in full battle gear, backpack and combat boots, that starts at Spean Bridge and ends at Achnacarry.
The man who sculpted the memorial, Scott Sutherland, produced it in Dundee.
Sutherland was widely travelled, and had served in the British Army from 1939-45 before being appointed Head of Sculpture at Duncan of Jordanstone College Of Art, Dundee. He won the commission in 1949, and his approach to the subject may have taken those familiar with his work by surprise, as this contemporary report from The Scotsman of March 16th, 1950, suggests: “Mr. Sutherland’s design was awarded first prize of £200 in competition open to all Scottish sculptors…The design shows a definite departure from the abstract forms in which he earlier worked.”
No part of this website may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, copying of photographs, recording, scanning or any information storage, retrieval or archiving system, without the prior written permission of the author.
cellphone user, please use the triple stripes on the top left to continue on the site.
Philip Reinders, 2016