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Lord Leverhulme
Steve Branley
Isle of Lewis
Western Isles
Land Raider Memorial

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Land Raider Memorial - Gress

Land Raider Memorial - Gress
This is the last of my series on the land raider memorials. The design for this site at Gress posed very different problems from the other two and required more discussion with the local committee and several amendments were made to the original design.

The site selected was a flat sandy area by the river Gress below a main road and adjacent to the Tolsta bridge. The bridge was the focus of the conflict of 1919 between the landowner, Lord Leverhume and the ex-servicemen. His plans for integrating industrialisation with a crofting community struggling to maintain its traditional way of life.

After their return from the horrors of WWI, ex-service men were denied crofting land promised by the government. Their condition increased the tensions within the community and highlighted the problems of land usage.

In March 1919, some of the biggest land raids took place at the farms of Gress & Upper Coll. Land raiding continued throughout Lewis until 1921. The government eventually kept their promise and the people won the right to the land.

The central structure is symbolic of Lord Leverhulme’s attempt to fracture the crofting community, the earth works (not seen) represent the form of trenches and waves, symbols of pledges given to the ex-servicemen that they would be settled on the land after the Great War.

Designed by artist Will Maclean and constructed by local stonemason, James Crawford.

The 3 images in this set were used in a catalogue of artist Will Maclean works, 1970-2010, at the Fleming Gallery, London, February 2011.

Jean, Rhisiart Hincks have particularly liked this photo

Jean club
Magnificant memorial and beautifully photographed. I've only seen the memorial in Knoydart.
5 years ago.
Stephen Branley club has replied to Jean club
Thank you Jean. For a a small island it does have its fair share of memorials....
5 years ago.

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