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Spean Bridge Near Fort William In Scotland

WildWood1965

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Several years ago I was exploring the internet for information on British Commandos from WWII & my interest was peaked by an article regarding a monument to those brave souls which was unveiled by the Queen Mother in 1952.

This truly stunning & iconic memorial stands 17 feet high & it depicts three Commandos who are gazing upon the splendour of Ben Nevis in the distance. The sculpture was designed by Scott Sutherland who had a great admiration for them having known & worked alongside them during the war.

As I sat at my computer in awe of the images of this magnificent & truly fitting work of art I vowed that one day I would get to see it for myself.

A couple of years went by & during that time I had been searching for a hobby that would enable me to not only get back to nature but also to help me deal with the stresses & strains of this very demanding modern day life that we lead. The Bushcraft Forum & Matt came along at just the right time & so began Kneef's trials & tribulations in an outdoor environment. I knew of the trips to Scotland which were advertised in the Meets & Events section but I resisted the temptation for a while as I felt that I needed to further my outdoor education a little more. Last year I finally gave in & put my name down for the trip & after learning that Spean Bridge was pretty close to Fort William (A stop off for a much needed meal & food replenishment) I couldn't contain my excitement at the thought of meeting my three bronze heroes.

I prepared for my visit by purchasing a replica WWII Commando cap comforter & in order to pay my respects to these brave chaps I bought a wooden cross adorned with a poppy. Upon the cross I wrote The Bushcraft Forum 2018 before giving it three coats of good quality varnish. Our party spent around 15-20 minutes at the site as can be seen in the following photos.

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The area in & around Spean Bridge was utilised to great effect as a training ground for the soldiers & as a result of this visit I have since broadened my knowledge on the subject.

Upon my return I scoured the intergalactic web of intrigue & information & I purchased the following books:

Castle Commando by Donald Gilchrist
It Had To Be Tough by James Dunning
Commando Country by Stuart Allan
Warriors In Bronze by Iain Gray

Having read these publications I have since learned that both The Clan Cameron Museum & The Spean Bridge Hotel both have displays of Commando related artifacts & memorabilia & I hope that I will get to see them at some point in the future. It also came to my attention that we were camping in almost the exact area where some of their training took place on the banks of Loch Arkaig. Small world ! 🆒

Now I appreciate that this place of interest will not be everybody's cup of cocoa but if you ever find yourself in the region it is well worth a visit. :)
 
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Spean Bridge is nice wee place with a lot of good walking about. My homey Smurf looks after a bothy for the MBA just out the back of the place so we're up there quite often. The Lairig Leacach, its a lovely wee place, if you like your bothies its worth a visit, compact and bijou perhaps but we've been up there with 10 people and one of my dugs, not a booty in site, no mirrors. :lol:
 
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Enjoyed reading that Kneef 👍 A little ashamed of myself :D I know nowt about this place and it’s history. Rather strange as my father is a walking encyclopedia for this stuff.....I need to ask him if he ever took me there as I’ve been all over Scotland camping with him..... didn’t take much in on them trips.....I was a wild child :D
 
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