WORK HAS begun to reinstate a war memorial which was removed as part of work on the Edinburgh tram system.
The Heart of Midlothian War Memorial was removed from Haymarket junction in the city’s west end and placed into storage in 2009.
On Friday, transport convener Lesley Hinds and managing director of the Heart of Midlothian Football Club David Southern put a time capsule into the base of the memorial in honour of the Hearts players who lost their lives during the First World War.
The capsule included a letter from Mr Southern paying tribute to the dedicated “Maroons” who died in France and Flanders while expressing the club’s “gratitude” to the councillors who unanimously voted to reinstate the memorial.
Ms Hinds said: “This memorial holds a special place in the hearts of many in Edinburgh and I’m delighted work is now beginning to restore it to its rightful place in the centre of the Haymarket junction.”
During the next six weeks the memorial will be reconstructed at the centre of the Haymarket road junction, opposite the Haymarket bar.
Mr Southern said: “This memorial is one of the jewels in the crown of Heart of Midlothian Football Club and is naturally something that everyone associated with the club is very proud of. We are delighted that it is being re-instated and can once again take its rightful place as one of this great city’s prime landmarks.
“We will never forget the sacrifice made by those players, supporters and shareholders of Hearts along with the players and supporters of other teams and that is why it is a privilege to be present at the return of the memorial. I’d like to thank the City of Edinburgh Council, the Friends of the Heart of Midlothian War Memorial, our own club archivists and McCrae’s Battalion Trust for their understanding and diligence through this entire process.”
The tram project is due to be completed in summer 2014 and councillors will be updated with progress in September this year.
Ms Hinds added: “Tram work continues to progress well along the length of the route, 2013 has been a very productive year so far for the project and I expect that to continue.”