Memorial garden planned for Great Escape Spitfire pilot just yards from where stayed in Perthshire
26.05.2023 - 16:01
Plans for a memorial garden to commemorate a Perthshire Spitfire pilot - taken prisoner during World War II - have been given a boost.
Flt Lt Alastair “Sandy” Gunn was one of 76 men who escaped the German prisoner of war camp Stalag Luft III on the night of March 24–25, 1944 - an event forever immortalised as The Great Escape.
Following his heroics the Perthshire pilot was one of 50 escapees subsequently recaptured and executed by the Gestapo.
And almost 80 years later his bravery has not been forgotten. Plans have taken seed to create a garden in his honour on disused green space - just fifty yards from where Flt Lt Gunn was born and raised.
The Rotary Club of Auchterarder and District applied to Auchterarder Common Good Fund for funding to help create a memorial garden next to the town's Collearn Drive.
The garden will contain a bench in the shape of a Spitfire wing as well as information about the history of the pilot. The idea is for it to become a space for people to meet, relax and reflect.
On Monday, May 22, Auchterarder Common Good Fund Committee was asked to approve funding of £12,000 for the project which is estimated to cost just over £21,000 in total.
A report put before local councillors said the the project had "widespread approval" from various local groups including Auchterarder Community Council, Auchterarder and Aberuthven Community Action Plan and the local school's History department as well. All three local councillors also demonstrated their support.
The project is expected to begin this summer with construction work in the autumn and a celebration event in April 2024.
Friends of St Margaret’s have committed £2,000 towards the project. The town's rotary club is awaiting the outcome of its application to