Imperial War Museum lists Ganavan mural

Hannah Ferguson, 14, with six-year-old Euan Gordon and her 10-year-old sister Kenna Ferguson help officially unveil the Ganavan wartime mural KG_T27_Ganavanmural01

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A mural celebrating Ganavan’s wartime history has been added to a major museum’s official register of more than 90,000 UK memorials.

The colourful mural, painted on a gable-end wall in Ganavan Sands car park,  is now  recognised on the Imperial War Museum’s war memorial register.

The register includes memorials to members of the armed forces, civilians and animals from all conflicts and to those who died in service. Each presents a unique historical record, says the museum.

Oban and Ganavan Heritage Group partnered with the community and young Oban High School artists to make the mural happen.

The artwork, marking the importance of Ganavan during the Second World War and remembering brave lives lost, depicts a Sunderland flying boat heading out to sea at dawn over McCaig’s tower.

The heritage group’s Jane Terris said: ‘Although we have been excited about the relevance of our mural at Ganavan, we never imagined how far its recognition would extend.

‘We have discovered that from an external source, the mural has been registered as an official war memorial with the Imperial War Museum.

‘What a surprise coming across this.

‘With a little research, we discovered that through reading The Oban Times, a supporter travelled to Oban to take numerous photographs and submitted them to the Imperial War Museum to be added to its complete list.

‘It means we have been officially being recognised for our pride in our unique history and that we are protective of our heritage. It also means we promote our heritage in positive and imaginative ways. Oban and Ganavan’s mural is the first war memorial mural to have been produced.’

The mural was unveiled to the public earlier this summer, funded with help from the Oban Common Good Fund and Oban Community Council.

Hannah Ferguson, one of the Oban High School students who painted the mural, cut the ribbon unveiling it with help from her 10-year-old sister Kenna Ferguson and six-year-old Euan Gordon.

During the war, Ganavan was used by the Royal Air Force as a training and maintenance base servicing and repairing Sunderlands and Catalinas. Taking part in the Battle of the Atlantic, their mission was to hunt down U-boats to help protect merchant ships transporting vital food supplies and equipment. Today, the wing-span alone of a giant Sunderland would take up 14 car parking spaces.

Also listed on the Imperial War Museum’s register is Oban Cenotaph and a stone remembrance cairn further along the sea wall at Ganavan.

Caption: Hannah Ferguson, 14, with six-year-old Euan Gordon and her 10-year-old sister Kenna Ferguson officially unveiled the Ganavan wartime mural earlier this summer.
KG_T27_Ganavanmural01