Maybole’s long tradition of paying tribute to its war dead took on a more modern perspective last week thanks to three apprentices at SAS International in Maybole.

Ben West, Lauren Gracie and Declan Milne, all 22, had created stunning sculptures which were unveiled at the Greenside last week, attracting a good crowd to witness the event.

In attendance were members of the Maybole Branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland and its chaplain Rev Jim Geen welcomed everyone and spoke of the importance of SAS International to the town and how world-wide its reputation is. Rev Robert Pickles was also present.

Julie Heath, Personnel Manager, said: “SAS decided to enter the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce Apprenticeship Community Challenge for the first time this year.

“The three apprentices Ben West, Lauren Gracie and Declan Milne had to deliver an innovative project that is relevant to the local community. After investigating various options and speaking to Mark Fletcher of the community council, the decision was taken to participate in the town re-generation project by manufacturing a war memorial for the town.

“Initially, the intention had been to produce a silhouette of a soldier and some crosses; however, this changed when one of the planning engineers, Conner McGill, made the suggestion of including an anamorphic design – a poppy from one perspective and the year 1918 from another. This idea proved popular and the decision was taken to include it in the memorial.

“Design of the project took place over May and June with manufacture taking place during July and the project was delivered to the community on Monday, August 5 and was well received by all.

“David Arnott, general manager at the Maybole site, Chris Powell, operations director for the group; and Todd Altman, chief executive were all in attendance on the day.

“Mark Fletcher co-ordinated the project and John Jamieson and his team kindly supported the project by installing it in position at the Greenside.”

Mark added: “I was so pleased to have had the opportunity to meet and chat regularly with the young apprentices and share in their project.

“Although I didn’t know about all they were planning until the day they were installed, the enthusiasm that these young people have put into this project is exemplary.

“SAS, formerly CAPS, has a long history with Maybole and has employed a huge number of people from the town and surrounding area. What SAS and their apprentices have given to the town with this memorial is amazing and will stand for many years as a tribute to our fallen heroes.

“I overheard a conversation when two local ladies were talking and one said: ‘It’s like we have a soldier watching over our town keeping us safe.’

“Well done to the apprentices and the very best of wishes and thank you to SAS for allowing such a great piece of work. Thanks also to Jamieson Plant Hire for the installation.”