North Ayrshire Heritage Trails

North Ayrshire Heritage Trails

North Ayrshire Heritage Trails

Crocodile Rock and Little Cumbrae

North Ayrshire Heritage Trails

North Ayrshire Heritage Trails

The Garrison, Isle of Cumbrae

North Ayrshire Heritage Trails

North Ayrshire Heritage Trails

Millport, Cathedral of the Isles

Cumbrae - Explore Cumbrae

War Memorial, 1922; remembering Cumbrae's sacrifice

Millport's war memorial to the dead of World War I was unveiled on Sunday 15th October 1922 in Guildford Street. Earlier in the day flags in the town were flown at half-mast and on the steamer. After church services the townspeople made their way to the unveiling. Also present were the Largs Territorials and ex-servicemen who came over by motor boat.

A memorial service was held in the West United Free Church and the Territorials and Boys Brigade marshalled at the Drill Hall before parading to the church.

After the service they proceeded to the memorial which was unveiled by Col Colin McLeod Robertson who had led the local brigade to war in 1914. The names of the dead were then read out by Captain J C M Murray and the Boys Brigade Band played The Flowers of the Forest. The memorial was then given over to the Town Council to guard and protect it.

The memorial was built using public subscription money under the guidance of the Memorial Committee. It was made of silver-grey granite with scrolls on its base, a pinnacle and topped with a lion holding the Millport Burgh Crest. It was made by Glasgow monumental mason Mr R Gray.

It is inscribed with "To the memory of our heroic dead, 1914-1919". And the names of the forty-eight dead:

Allan Archibald M.
Atkinson Robert
Boyd Alexander
Campbell William M
Clark Duncan
Crawford John
Ferguson Peter
Forrest Ernest L.
Forrest James A.
Forrest William S.J.
Gollan James
Gordon William
Graham James
Graham John
Hood John
Hunter Andrew
Hunter George
Hunter Neil
Lang David
Lewis William J.
Little Neil
Maley Joseph S.
Maycroft Thomas G.
McDavid Alexander
McInnes Donald
McKean William
McLauchlin Daniel
Paton Alexander
Paton John G.
Paton Robert
Pickett Joseph
Rae John
Rae William
Seaton Henry L.
Shearer Alexander G.
Sinclair Archibald K.
Sinclair Frederick B.
Stuart James
Taylor Robert
Turnbull George K.
Waddell James
Weir Duncan

After World War II it was further inscribed "1939-1945", and the names of the nineteen dead from that war:

Allan Hugh
Elliott William
Frame James M.P.
Graham William
Hamilton Graham
Hunter H. Laird
Hunter Thomas
Kennedy John
MacDonald John M.M.
McConnochie J. Hunter
McDavid Joseph
McDavid Kenneth McK.
McLachlan James
Neil Alexander
Sharp W. Clark
Smith Robert
Taylor Robert
Walker Alexander
Wright Norman

German Howitzers

In 1919 Millport Burgh was selected, along with many other Scottish burghs, to be given captured German ordnance as a form of memorial. This act by central government proved to be very unpopular as the public felt they were an unwelcome reminder of the war. Millport was to receive two howitzers (small field guns). Largs had been given a machine gun that was in such poor condition they sent it back!

Millport Council was split over the guns with Bailie Robertson and Provost Cockburn keen but Councillors Sinclair and Gardner opposed saying people didn't want them and it cost too much to transport them. So keen was the Provost that he said he would pay for the transport cost himself.

In January 1920 the guns had been delivered from Rothesay and left at the pier. No-one seemed interested in them now and the council couldn't be bothered deciding where they should be sited. Eventually the burgh moved them in March to inside the gate of West Bay Park.

As related these ordnance weren't popular in Scotland and the burghs started getting rid of them. Some were sold for scrap - as told in one of the Para Handy tales. Some "disappeared" it is said into the Clyde. Millport buried hers under the sea wall of the West Bay Park. Today one has been exposed by the weather and is becoming an additional attraction for visitors to Cumbrae.

New Memorial

In 2005 a new War Memorial was built on the west side of Cumbrae. It consists of a path, memorial garden, monument and metal artwork. The memorial was the idea of Ian Forsyth and was dedicated by Rev Marjory Mackay of the Parish Church.

The land it is on was donated by Willie and Matthew McIntyre. It was built by David Stevenson and the metalwork was by Ian McBay.

Useful website

Sketch design of the War Memorial.
Millport Boys Brigade and the townspeople gather for the unveiling of the War Memorial.
The Island's ministers at the War Memorial unveiling.
Col Colin Macleod Robertson dedicating the War Memorial.
The War Memorial with its old railings.
Opening of the new War Memorial in 2005.
Dedication of the new War Memorial in 2005.
New War Memorial showing the silhouettes of members of the four war-time services.
One of the German howitzers at West Bay.
One of the German howitzers built into the sea wall and now being exposed.

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