Glasgow - City of Sculpture
By Gary Nisbet
Highland Light Infantry Memorial
Details:

Sculptor: William Birnie Rhind (1853-1933).
Location: Kelvingrove Park, at the east end of the Prince of Wales Bridge.
Date unveiled: 28 September, 1906.

Dedicated to the officers, 127 non-commissioned officers and men of Glasgow's Highland Light Infantry who were killed or died of disease during the South African War (Boer War) of 1899-1902, the memorial was one of a number commissioned from Birnie Rhind by Scottish regiments after the cessation of hostilities.


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Carved in sandstone, the statue represents a trooper on scouting duty and displays all the skill and meticulous attention to detail which characterised the sculptors work. In his posing of the figure he vividly suggests tension and weariness as if the trooper, whilst taking a breather, has been alerted by the sound of an approaching Boer Commando. With his gaze fixed on the horizon, and with every muscle tensed, he twists his body in reaching for the rifle which lies behind him (now merely a fragment).

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The model for the soldier was one of Birnie Rhind's assistants, Peter Tainsh-Hardie, whose portrait was used for Rhind's Boer War memorials in Edinburgh including, the Black Watch, King's Own Scottish Borderers and Scots Greys.

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Paid for by subscriptions from rifle brigades throughout Scotland, the monument was erected under the supervision of A B McDonald , the City Engineer, and James Whitton, the Superintendent of Parks, on behalf of Glasgow Corporation who paid for the pedestal and site.

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The unveiling was performed by Field Marshall The Duke of Connaught, the regiment's Colonel-in-Chief, on 28th September, 1906, with the 2nd Battalion of the regiment forming a Guard of Honour.

 

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