Mike gave an excellent and interesting introduction to today’s commemoration, followed by a civic oration by Lord Provost John Letford and a contribution from Rev Allan Webster, Dundee Workplace Chaplain. Thereafter, Vivienne Flowers, the great niece of Caroline gave a moving address on behalf the family – see below.
Earlier this month, the Courier published an article about the fascinating life of Caroline Martyn, a leading social orator of the late Victorian period, who, having achieved much in the cause for the social and political advancement of working people, sadly died at the young age of only 29 whilst visiting Dundee, and was buried in Balgay Cemetery. On her death in 1896, Keir Hardie wrote that she was the leading socialist of her day, with ‘a power of intellect and moral-force that was unmatched.’
Today, I was pleased to attend a commemoration of her life at her grave, at the invitation of Dundee Trades Council. The Trades Council – and, in particular, Mike Arnott, their secretary – deserve great credit for having the grave tidied, the granite column in her memory beautifully restored (see above), and for organising today’s commemoration.
This was a touching and fitting commemoration of the life of Caroline Martyn and it was a pleasure to meet Vivienne and the others who attended today.