1978 War Memorial Plaque


IMG_2887During the 1970’s, the plaque bearing the name of Blantyre soldiers who lost their lives in WW2, was stolen from the War memorial in High Blantyre Cemetery. (Sidenote, I can’t think of anything more disrespectful!).

As Cemeteries were the responsibility of Hamilton District Council Leisure &, Recreation Departments back then, official set about on a complex task of creating a new list of names. It was difficult as they only had a grainy photo of the old plaque with which to start work from.

An appeal went out in local press in Autumn 1978 and with some detective work, council officials, by October were able to reproduce a new plaque containing the previous names and rediscovering a revised total of 71 men for inclusion. The new plaque cost £788, which in todays money was worth around £4,500.

Local Councilor James Swinburne commented that the council should be congratulated on their diligence on restoring the monument.

(I got to this point in the post and realised I didn’t have a photo of the new plaque, so I’ve just returned from the cemetery (6/8/17) and took this to illustrate. A good clear photo of all the names. Perhaps there are more to be added?

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said,

Gillian Cunningham I notice a woman’s name there. Could this be an interesting story ?
Blantyre Project Gillian, there IS indeed one woman on the war memorial plaque. Her story is told courtesy of Elizabeth Grieve show sent me the story in March 2016. It can be read here. https://blantyreproject.com/…/sarah-kerr…/

Thank you very much to Elizabeth Grieve who has shared her excellent research here about a very…
Thomas Barrett My dad’s uncle James
John Cornfield Lowlife things that steal anything from cemeteries not people at all same with the lowlifes that topple headstones no respect for anyone
Etta Morrison Does anyone know anything about about fairly new looking war memorial in Hamilton Public Park..visited park first time in lot of years ..should have taken a pic..its a lovely memorial with recent names on it ..
Etta Morrison Thanks Lisa for the info I missed that in paper..it really is a lovely modern memorial.. thanks for your help ..
Stewart Willis My uncle had pictures of the memorial and the plagues. They were handed to the council and used to compile the names for the new plague
Blantyre Project Im glad he did Stewart. It may have taken a huge effort to start again and seek those who had died in those years.
Billy Steven These Heroes died so that those SCUM could live. May they Rot in Hell
Maureen Simpson My uncle John Sutherland who was killed at only 21 years of age.
Marianne Stark Aitken But why would they steal it…..was there any value in the plaque’s materials? It seems so senseless 😔
John Cornfield Probably Brass cuz scrap metal
Blantyre Project Vandalism was blatantly rife in 1978 in Blantyre. Fires to public buildings, uprooting trees, break ins, burning down several churches. Crime reports seem elevated that year for Blantyre and I’m assuming it was a lack of community centres, things to do and a large part of the town boarded up awaiting demolition that caused part of that.
Mike Steven My great uncle Tommy is on the plaque and to find out that low life scum stole the original one really angers me especially as I’m an ex forces member
Andrena Black My grans brother Robert Frew x
Fairlie Gordon All in the name of ( scrap money ) I imagine , dad bloody sad !
Blantyre Project i would hope even a scrap merchant would question where the plaque was from. This is all obviously nearly 40 years ago, but still seems shocking that somebody would do that.
Caroline McDougall My great uncle Edward Hutton xx
Kaye Cunningham I have a picture of him and his grave at Kaster Lee that we plan on visiting next year.x
Colin Duffy My grans brother William young was the last name on the it then thay recovered the body of a pilot from Blantyre in France he is the last name now
Margaret Farmer Is there one for RAF members?
Blantyre Project not separately, no.
Margaret Farmer My uncle, James Strang, was from Blantyre. He died June 2, 1942.
BillandLexy Dorricott My uncle Jonathan dorricott was killed on his way to work on the Burma railway during ww2
Andrew Perrow Where is it going back up next week send me the address
Blantyre Project Andrew, it was replaced 39 years ago, just after it was stolen.
Blantyre Project picture is that replacement from the 70s
Andrew Perrow I do the war memorial tour of scotland was down that way last week
Marian Maguire Archibald Craig, That was Nancy Chalmers lost fiancé. May they both rest in peace, reunited again.
Arlene McWilliam Green Robert Hendry, my great uncle, lost at sea aged 22 is on there. Paul, I seem to recall my granny (Robert was her brother) sending his details in as it had been requested to do so in the Hamilton Advertiser when the plaque was stolen. I could be wrong but I think there were public donations to pay for it?
Blantyre Project Arlene – that definitely happened. I can remember reading in records that people were asked in the HA to send in any further details of people lost in the war and to suggest how to fund a replacement. It is highly likely that public subscriptions paid for the replacement, especially from the families of those lost.
George Beaton My uncle Edward Hutton killed in Belgium March 1945 aged 19 years
Blantyre Project what wonderful brave stories there must be behind all these names. I’d love to tell those in detail for each person. Perhaps one day when i’m done with buildings….
James Dempsey Archibald Harrison looks to have been entered at a different time from the rest of them. Did he die after the war as a result of his wounds?
Alasdair Gordon It was shocking – as well as pointless – that a war memorial was desecrated. Well done to all those who in any way worked towards its restoration.
Eddie Campaigne Edward Donnelly Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (my uncle) KIA Singapore 1st jan 1942 from Logan Street
Eddie Campaigne Pte Edward Donnely

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Maggie Twomey Great likeness to my Dad.
Eddie Campaigne I have one of Arthur in the Army in ww2

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Maggie Twomey Wow…Uncle Arthur changed in looks a lot over the years. Don’t think I would have recognised him if you hadn’t said who it was.
Eddie Campaigne here is your dad…Maggie Twomey don’t have one of him in uniform though!!

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Maggie Twomey Miss him like crazy. A very special man. Thanks for this Eddie.
David Mcintosh My Uncle David Mcintosh,is on this list.I did not know that.
Jeff Davidson Alison Muirhead Dorricott , maybe hubbys relative on his , not a common surname .


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