Auchentibber Memoirs Part 10

The final instalment of Flora Dickson Potter’s memoirs and research about Auchentibber. Written in her own words, Flora in this part discussed the Auchentibber War Memorial.

auchintibber-war-memorial

1950s Post WW2 Photo of Auchentibber War Memorial

“By 1919, the war having ended, war memorials were springing up in many towns and villages. JBH Struthers and Miss Wallace were the organisers of a fund that was set up to provide Auchentibber with a fitting memorial. By various efforts a sum of £365 was raised and it seems likely that when the war memorial was built by Robert Aitkenhead and Sons of High Blantyre, that the work was done at cost through the good offices of Mr Struthers who donated 2 marble pillars and a large slab of Sicilian Marble – on which the names of the fallen were inscribed. These 2 pillars had formed part of a staircase at Hamilton Palace which sadly was being demolished at that time.

The unveiling ceremony for the new memorial took place on 27 May 1923 under the auspices of the Blantyre British Legion, who had printed a special programme for the event. The large number of people who had assembled that afternoon sang the second version of the 124th Psalm, then the Reverend Thomas A Hugh opened the service. Prayers were said, hymns were sung and a lesson from the New Testament was read. After that Lord Bellhaven and Stenton, a distinguished soldier gave an address and set the scene for the unveiling of the memorial which was already draped in the Union Jack. After the pipers of the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) had played a lament one of their most distinguished officers Colonel Vandeleur read the names on the Roll of Honour and this was followed by the unveiling performed by the Regimental Colonel- William Martin Kay. Armed guards presented arms while he repeated these words:

Let us remember with thanksgiving and honour before God and men, all ranks of the Navy, Army and Air Forces who have died, giving their lives in the service of King and Country. While the guard rested arms, a brief silence ensured before wreaths and flowers were laid on the memorial by those who were present.

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