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Unveiling Ceremony in Arisaig to Commemorate the 80th Anniversary of Operation Anthropoid


Foto: ©Isaac Sibecas

Translated from the original article by Věra Mužíková by Veronika Macleod


Arisaig is a beautiful place about an hour's drive from Fort William on the west coast of Scotland, and a place where Czechoslovak and British soldiers - especially paratroopers - underwent training in the SOE (Special Operation Executive). They helped to free their homeland and other nations in brave operations. The best known is Operation Anthropoid, when Jan Kubiš and Jozef Gabčík assassinated Reinhard Heydrich. Together with these two, 259 of our paratroopers underwent SOE training in 1941-1943.

In memory of all these heroes a memorial was unveiled in 2009 for Czech and Slovak paratroopers. Former Honorary Consul Dr Paul Millar organised it with academic sculptor Josef Vajce, and Mr Martin Matějíček, chairman of Společnost přátel Skotska. The modern memorial is in the shape of a parachute after landing.



It is made of Czech granite that withstands Scottish weather conditions. The memorial was later completed with stones carrying the names of 71 men who lost their lives in training and on the battlefields of WWII. In 2011 the Memorial received the status of a war grave.



In spring 2022 a team was formed around army historian Dr Eduard Stehlík. Part of that team had already worked on the Monument for Czech and Slovak paratroopers between 2009 and 20011, and they had decided to renovate the site and add 4 new stones with 188 names of those men who underwent SOE training in Arisaig, fought for our freedom but were lucky enough to see the end of WWII.






Dr Paul Millar and new Honorary Consul Veronika Macleod helped with the project in Scotland to give support to Dr Stehlik, Mr Martin Matějíček, Mr Adam Lučaník and stonemasons from Pečky in the Czech Republic.

The heavy stones travelled 2200km and the whole team worked on their installation in rain, wind and cold for a week. Final renovations and work will be completed in spring 2023.


Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic, Ms. Veronika Macleod and military historian, Dr. Eduard Stehlík

On Friday 4th November 2022 an unveiling ceremony of the new stones and new information desk was held in Arisaig. The new desk has been organised by the Land Sea & Island Centre and their Friends.



Honorary Consul Veronika Macleod led the whole ceremony and also laid the wreath on behalf of our Czech schools and community in Scotland whilst Dr. Stehlik supervised the wreath laying. Father Stan blessed the stones and a minute's silence was observed for our heroes.



The importance of this occasion was shown by the fact that the Ambassador of the Czech Republic Mrs Marie Chatardova made a flying visit from London to make the keynote speech about the importance of this war memorial for future generations.


Dr Stehlik thanked everyone involved in his speech and laid a wreath on behalf of the Lidice Memorial, where he is a Director.












Piper Allan McKenzie played for us and other important guests were the descendants of those carved on the stones, namely dr. Paul Brna, Mr Jiří Christopher Pavel, Mr Antonín Šubrt. Other relatives of the veterans that have given big support to the whole team were Mrs Gerry Manolas and Dr George Scott from the Memorial Association for Free Czechoslovak Veterans, who were unable to attend in person.



The ceremony was attended by over 40 guests from near and far. Ms Macleod thanked local people and organisations for looking after the memorial, especially Mr Steve Westwood, Chair of Arisaig Community Trust, Mrs Alison Stewart and Dr Henrik Chart from Land Sea & Island Centre, and Members of Arisaig & District Community Council. Dr Chart who recently received an award from the Czech Ministry of Defence, invited all the guests to see the exhibition showing important moments from SOE history.




A Final Big Thank You is to all members of the public who contributed towards the project. Fundraising by the Czech School Scotland collected £1000 and others contributed to a collection in the Czech Republic.


Fundraising - update: A very pleasant announcement came on December 14, 2022. By the proposal of the Minister of Defense Jana Černochová, the government of the Czech Republic approved the provision of a significant financial gift to compensate for expenditures related to the general restoration of the Czechoslovak paratroopers in Arisaig, Scotland.


Arisaig signatures
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Photos in the article are by Vera Muzikova




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Here is a list of the names of the heroes who survived the war, whose names are carved on granite slabs:


THEY FOUGHT AND SURVIVED


STANISLAV ADAM

OLDŘICH ADÁMEK

JÁN BAČÍK

ANTONÍN BACHÁNEK

ANTONÍN BARTOŠ

MATĚJ BENDA

JAN BETKA

KAREL BIMBOCI

JOSEF BLAŽEK

PAVEL BOCK

ALOIS BRABENEC

PAVEL BRNA

ZDENĚK BŘEZINA

JOSEF BUKÁČEK

JOSEF CIKÁN

RUDOLF ČAPEK

KAREL ČERNÍK

JOSEF ČERNOTA

RUDOLF DRBOHLAV

BOŽETĚCH DUBOVÝ

RUDOLF DUHM

ŠTĚPÁN DUPEL

VIKTOR DUŠEK

FRANTIŠEK DVOŘÁK

EVŽEN ESTEŘÁK

VLASTISLAV FIALA

FRANTIŠEK FINK

WALTER FINK

FRANTIŠEK FIŠERA

ARTHUR FLEISCHMANN

JOSEF GEMROT

PETR HAFERNÍK

JAN HAJŠMAN

PETR HALUSKA

FRANTIŠEK HANÁK

LUDVÍK HANINA

VLADIMÍR HANUŠ

FRANTIŠEK HASTÍK

ŠTEFAN HAVIER

KLEMENT HLÁSENSKÝ

PAVEL HODAČ

JOSEF HOLČÁK

ZDENĚK HOLÍK

ZDENĚK HORKÝ

HYNEK HOSTÝNEK

KAREL HOSTÝNEK

VÍTĚZSLAV HOUDEK

JAN HRUBIZNA

JAKUB HUTÁK

CTIRAD HYKEL

BŘETISLAV CHRASTINA

GABRIEL JANDL

CYRIL JÍLEK

JOSEF KADLČÍK

JAN KALETA

FABIAN KATRŇÁK

JAKUB KESSLER

JAROSLAV KLEMEŠ

JOSEF KNOP

ALOIS KOLÁŘ

KAREL KOMÍNEK

ŠTEFAN KOŠINA

LADISLAV KOVÁŘ

JOSEF KOZERA

JAN KRATOCHVÍL

JOSEF KRŠKA

RUDOLF KRZÁK

MILAN KŘÍŽEK

PRAVOSLAV KUBIŠTA

MILOSLAV KUKLA

JOSEF KUNC

JINDŘICH KVAPIL

JIŘÍ KYSELA

FRANTIŠEK LOPAUR

JIŘÍ LOUDA

MILOSLAV MACHÁČ

JOSEF MACHOVSKÝ

VÁCLAV MÁLEK

OLDŘICH MAREČEK

VLASTIMIL MAREČEK

VLADISLAV MARTÍNEK

FRANTIŠEK MASTNÝ

JAROSLAV MAŠEK

GABRIEL MELICHAR

BOHUMIL MÍČA

BEDŘICH MICHNA

JOSEF MODŘANSKÝ

BOHUMIL MORAVEC

FERDINAND MORAVEC

LEOPOLD MUSIL

VLADIMÍR MUSIL

FRANTIŠEK NEDĚLKA

EDUARD NETARDUS

KAREL NIEMCZYK

BOHUMIL NOVÁK

FRANTIŠEK NOVEDÁL

JAN NOVOTNÝ

VLADISLAV OLŠINA

ZDENĚK ONDRA

JOSEF OTISK

BOHUMIL PALA

JIŘÍ PAVEL

VLADIMÍR PAVEZKA

ROBERT PAVLÍK

KAREL PECINA

BEDŘICH PEČENKA

OLDŘICH PELC

LUDVÍK PEPRNÍČEK

VIKTOR PERNER

RUDOLF PERNICKÝ

OSVALD PEROUTKA

JAROSLAV PEŠÁN

FRANTIŠEK PETR

ANTONÍN PETRÁK

MIKULÁŠ PETRÁŠ

JAROMÍR PICKA

VLADIMÍR PLUDEK

JAN PLUHAŘ

GABRIEL PODLESNÝ

KAREL PODROUŽEK

ANTONÍN POKORNÝ

JIŘÍ POKORNÝ

CYRIL PRÁŠEK

BOHUMÍR PREININGER

BOHUMÍR PRUSEK

JOSEF RADA

FRANTIŠEK REŽÁBEK

VLADIMÍR RŮŽIČKA

VLADIMÍR ŘEZNÍČEK

TOMÁŠ SEDLÁČEK

JOSEF SEDLÁK

VLADISLAV SEVERINI

FRANTIŠEK SKOŘEPA

JOSEF SKUČEK

ANTONÍN SLÁMA

JOSEF SRP

ANTONÍN STOLAŘÍK

JAROSLAV STUCHLÝ

FILIP STUPAL

JOSEF SÜSSER

GUSTAV SVOBODA

KAREL SVOBODA

IGNÁC SYROVÁTKA

RICHARD ŠANTRŮČEK

BERNARD ŠIK

JAROSLAV ŠIMÁČEK

JOSEF ŠIMŮNEK

FRANTIŠEK ŠIROKÝ

VLADIMÍR ŠKACHA

VLADISLAV ŠKALOUD

JIŘÍ ŠNÁBL

ANTONÍN ŠPAČEK

JAROSLAV ŠPERL

JOSEF ŠRÁMEK

JAN ŠŤASTNÝ

ANTONÍN ŠUBERT

BOHUSLAV ŠULC

JAN ŠVACHULA

MIROSLAV TILLER

JAROSLAV TOMČÍK

FRANTIŠEK TOMEČEK

VOJTĚCH TROJÁNEK

FRANTIŠEK TRPÍK

FRANTIŠEK TUČEK

RUDOLF TURŠNER

STANISLAV UCHYTIL

FRANTIŠEK URBAN

JOSEF URBAN

RUDOLF URBAN

EDUARD URBÁNEK

ZDENĚK VÁCLAVÍK

JIŘÍ VALENTA

MIROSLAV VALNOHA

MILOSLAV VÁPENÍK

BRONISLAV VARADÍNEK

KAREL VAŠÍČEK

VÁCLAV VONDRÁK

FRANTIŠEK VOVES

FRANTIŠEK VRZALA

ALOIS VYHŇÁK

OTMAR ZÁHORA

LADISLAV ZAHRÁDKA

FRANTIŠEK ZÁLEŠÁK

OLDŘICH ZÁMEČNÍK

OLDŘICH ZÁTOPEK

BLAHOSLAV ZAVADIL

ALOIS ZDRAŽIL

JAN ZEMEK


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