In Memory of the Fallen

Impressive Scenes took place at Blantyre on Sunday 31st August 1919.

Almost one hundred years go, one of the largest parades ever seen in Blantyre took place that Sunday afternoon when a procession of military, demobilised men, Masonic Lodges, and Friendly Societies marched through the principal streets to the Parish Church at High Blantyre.

A memorial service was held in memory of the 260 local men who fell in the First World War. The military were under the command of Major Sharp, T.D., of the 6th Scottish Rifles, and among other officers present was Colonel Vandeleur, formerly Officer Commanding the Scottish Rifles.

The Scottish Rifles Territorial band headed the procession, and also led the praise in the church. Blantyre silver band, Auchinraith brass band, and the Salvation Army band were also in the procession, which was witnessed thousands of people.

The service in the church was conducted Rev. C. S. Turnbull, C.F., and all the other ministers of the parish took part. An overflow service was also held outside.

After the service the procession marched to a new cenotaph erected in Mr Alexander Craig’s avenue, and this was saluted by all. The former Blantyre Cenotaph is pictured in this rare photo, which hopefully is the first time you’ve seen. It should not be confused with the war memorial in High Blantyre Cemetery which was constructed a couple of years later.

The approximate location of this old memorial was where Larkfield Drive is now in High Blantyre.

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