The Royal Burgh of Wigtown & District Community Council, together with Dumfries & Galloway Council, is consulting again with residents, family members, interested parties and all members of the local community on plans for the centennial commemoration of Louis McGuffie VC.
Wigtown County Buildings museum has a display showing three proposed commemorative archways, and information about each. The designs, by local artist and sculptor Jack Sloan, draw inspiration from the architecture of the County Buildings, the town gardens theme, and the War Memorial. The winning design will be developed into a planning application and the Community Council will seek funding for it to be built and installed.
The archway will be placed at the gateway into the town gardens opposite the County Buildings, between the gates themselves and the flag poles. This location was a close second choice in the 2015 public consultation, but the first choice (the town garden entrance near the Mercat Cross) turned out to be unsuitable because that area requires occasional access to the gardens for equipment and is partly obstructed by the bus stop. However, the location opposite the County Buildings is a more formal ‘civic’ space, and also is opposite McGuffie’s wartime family home, on the corner of Low Vennel.
The Ministry of Defence is providing a commemorative paving stone for every WW1 VC recipient. For McGuffie, this will be placed in the pavement at the gateway where the arch is being planned. The archway itself will bear the new name for the town gardens, Louis McGuffie VC Memorial Gardens.
The Community Council is asking residents and interested parties to leave comments, suggestions, offers of assistance, etc. and to vote for a preferred archway design.
Louis McGuffie was awarded the VC in late September 1918, so the final commemorative event will take place at the centenary, which falls at the start of the Wigtown Book Festival in two years’ time, September 2018.