The Best Kept War Memorial campaign is perhaps the most prominent event to raise awareness of – and highlight the work done to preserve – the nation’s war memorials. Whatever your local memorial’s size, and regardless of whether it is placed within a garden or by itself, it is eligible for inclusion in the contest. There are nine categories in all, spanning New Entries, Champion of Champions, and Large, Small, and Satellite Memorials With and Without Gardens. 

It's important to note that judges aren’t looking at the memorial in terms of its sophistication or original decoration. Instead, they make their decisions based on how well looked after the memorial is, what has been done to preserve and maintain it, and, where eligible, how the use of Legion Scotland’s colours have been incorporated into the garden or potted flowers. 

One of the 2022 winners to prominently include these colours was Ballater War Memorial, which won the Small Community With Gardens category. Branch chairman Robin Phillips tells us that a huge amount of effort goes into the memorial’s upkeep. 

“You need a dedicated team of people to take on this responsibility,” he says. “Our memorial is not just spruced up for the competition, but as a centre of tourism it is constantly cared for.” 

As for any tips? Well, Robin says that the Ballater team were able to see their judge’s marking form after this year’s award, and suggests any other entrants also asks for the specific points that the judges will be considering. 

“The parishioners [of nearby Glenmuick Church] donate funds to plant around the memorial annually,” Robin adds. “And an annual jet wash works wonders!” 

Completed entry forms must be submitted to your area secretary and Head Office by 28 April. For information, contact your area secretary or else the events team on [email protected] or 0131 550 1583.

For more information on the Best Kept Memorial Competition look here.