The Cumnock Chronicle

26th February 1926

From the Cumnock Chronicle of the 26th February 1926

New Cumnock



By the wisely directed efforts of the ladies of the Arthur Memorial U.F. Church congregation, a very fitting memorial to their fallen in the World War has been erected on the mound just in front of the church; and this was reverently unveiled after morning communion on Sunday 14th inst. Unfortunately the weather broke down over night, and the wild wind and battering rain rendered the open-air service anything but a pleasant experience.

Communion service over, the congregation, led by the ministers (Rev William Scott, pastor, and the Rev W Campbell Smith, M.A., Erskine Church, Glasgow), and Mrs Scott, along with the choir and the elders, gathered round the memorial. Psalm 103, 13 – 18, to the tune “Kilmarnock”, having been sung, and the Lord’s Prayer offered, the Rev Mr Smith read from Rev. 7, 9 – 17.

Thereafter the Rev Mr Scott addressed the gathered people. He said:-
My dear and honoured brethren, we are gathered here today, girt round by storm and tempest, to unveil the memorial raised, thro’ the forethought and devotion of our ladies, to keep fresh in our hearts and memories the sacrifice and offering made in the war by our fallen brave. The storm now raging round us fitly recalls the sore straits they were in so often, just through the like weather, on all the battle-fronts; and that, too, may help us now to bear with patience the passing discomfort of this brief hour of dedication. When the war storm broke on the world, the youth and manhood of our race, far and near, swept in clouds to the war standard; and to that great outpouring our upland parish sent fully 700 of our best and bravest and cleanest to dare and do for God – Home – Liberty. In that offering this congregation was not behind; and of our special contribution the nineteen graven on our memorial column here gave their bright young lives, unashamed and unafraid. That was their offering – and proudly, lovingly we remember it this great day. Or hope is that in days to come, as we see this cairn of honour, it will keep their glorious offering evergreen in our memory. Nay, more; should the dark war curse ever again burst on our ancient land, the young men of that day may look at this column and, so inspired, rally their manhood’s forces and fare forth in the great emprise – they, too, unashamed and unafraid, till anew they drive the impending scourge far and forever away; all which we humbly hope by the favour and blessing of almighty God.

Mrs Scott, who, with so many others, was so busy for the soldiers through out the war, was then asked to unveil the memorial, which she quietly did, in tense silence, emphasised by the falling rain and the battering wind.

The minister then read the inscription (which with the names, will be found below); and at once dedicated the column in a prayer of earnest thanksgiving and solemn dedication casting the cairn on God’s holy care. Paraphrase 54 was then sung, and the Rev Mr Smith pronounced the benediction. Some wreaths were lovingly laid by the foot of the memorial and now it stands silently eloquent of much to all patriotic and loving hearts. So it faces and fronts summer’s shine and winter’s wild tempests, a rugged yet most chaste memorial, fitting reminder of a grand chapter in the history of the parish and congregation, emphasising afresh the words of the old Hebrew Book –

“ By these things men LIVE.”

The memorial – erected by Mr R Kennedy, builder – is much admired. It crowns the central mound in the church foreground; it is twelve feet high; of solid granite throughout; undressed granite rubble base; a massive plinth resting on that; then the shaft, with names and inscription; and, crowning that, a beautiful Celtic cross, chaste, carved and with conventional finish. Its simple story runs:-

The World War : 1914 – 1918
Our Heroes and Gentlemen

D Breckenridge
D Brown
A Buchanan
H Craig
W Craig
W Dowie
J Galston
J Irvine
J Logan
G McDonald
W McDonald
H McDonald
J Park
J Purdie
E Smith
A Sturrock
D Turnbull
W Turnbull
W G Tweedie

They Died for Us
God is our Refuge and our Strength

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