Turnberry lighthouse joins Remembrance tribute while club updates RAF memorial

The Ailsa lighthouse was lit up in red to mark Remembrance Sunday
The famous Turnberry lighthouse which was lit up in red to mark Remembrance Day

THE famous lighthouse at Turnberry was lit up to remember the fallen, adding extra poignance to the famous Scottish club’s Remembrance ceremony at the weekend.

The nearby Turnberry Airfield originally opened in 1917 – and Turnberry Hotel used as its headquarters.

It was a vital cog in the wheel of the war effort with several units dedicated to teaching the art of aerial gunnery and fighting.

The double Celtic Cross was erected in 1923 to honour those airmen stationed at Turnberry Airfield, who died during the First World War.

And in 1990, four sections were added to the base of the memorial bearing the names of those who died at Turnberry during World War Two.

Another 89 names were added earlier this year to the memorial – which is sited close to the 12th hole on the Ailsa Course.

Local historian and author Margaret Morrell discovered additional crewmen stationed at Turnberry – who were killed during training at the airfield – had not been listed individually.

After finding out the information during research for her book ,The, Mrs Morrell helped organise for the names to be added to the memorial.

A rededication ceremony will also take place in the future when COVID-19 restrictions allow.

Mrs Morrell said: “My initial aim was to find out a bit more about the names on the memorial.

“But when looking at the crash cards, I found that usually only the pilot was named, and the other airmen were just listed as ‘crew killed’. I wanted to give those men a name.

“This involved many enquiries of the Air Historical Branch, RAF, and finally I managed to identify a further 89 who were not commemorated.

“It was my quest to have the missing added to the roll of honour.”

The special Remembrance Day flag flying on the 12th hole close to the RAF Memorial at Turnberry
The special Remembrance Day flag on the 12th green on the Ailsa Course close to the RAF Memorial at Turnberry, which now has an extra 89 names listed.

Ailsa flags fly to honour RAF dead

TURNBERRY, which has hosted The Open Championship four times has also played its part in the moving tribute.

As well as the iconic lighthouse being lit up red in honour, commemorative flags have been used on both the Ailsa and King Robert The Bruce courses.

They have given golfers the chance to pay their respects during their round this month.

Turnberry members also attended a socially-distanced gathering to observe the two-minutes’ silence on Remembrance Sunday.

Turnberry, which was bought by Donald Trump in 2014 – two years before he became US President – holds its place in Open history largely thanks to the infamous Duel in the Sun between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus, in 1977.

Greg Norman’s first Claret Jug came on the Ayrshire coast in 1986, with Nick Price, becoming the first Zimbabwean to win the world’s oldest Major at Turnberry in 1994.

Stewart Cink denied Tom Watson a historic sixth Claret Jug when winning The Open at Turnberry in 2009, beating the 59-year-old in a play-off.

The Open has been played on the McKenzie Ross designed Ailsa Course.

The Trump Turnberry resort also boasts Donald Steel’s Kintyre Course, which opened in 2001, and the nine-hole Arran Course.

The Kintyre was renamed the King Robert the Bruce Course after LeisureCorp sold the resort to Trump for $60million.

The resort has undergone a multi-million revamp including changes to the Ailsa course by Martin Ebert from 2015-16.

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