Sorn     Mauchline     Catrine     Muirkirk     Irvine Valley     Kilmarnock     Other

Mauchline war memorial as it was in the summer of 2011

Photo via Nancy Moffat
Photo Pheamie Smith

Mauchline war memorial (made of local sandstone) was unveiled on 20th May 1927 by Sir Hugh Trenchard, Marshal of the RAF.

Right: Facing the camera are: - Rev Wilson Baird (with hat), Rev Joseph Mitchell, Sir Hugh Trenchard, Major Dunlop, W Smith, J Findlay.

Jimmy Davidson provides the following list of names from the Mauchline War Memorial, and some other comments and observations.

"I often thought that it would be worthwhile to appeal for information about these men (try and match a photograph to a name or where they actually died) before the window of knowledge and opportunity closes forever with the passage of time. Some of the names listed must have died in the big set battles around Ypres and Passchaendaele.

The best that I could do was to lay a wreath as a mark of respect at The Scottish War Memorial between Ypres and Passchaendaele. I also laid a wooden cross at Tyne Cot Military Cemetery just outside the town of Passchaendaele in memory of the Mauchline men who fell in the Great War, see below."




1914-1918 War - West Panel (Facing Station Road)

David Stewart, Samuel Gibson, David Reid, Robert Reid, Robert McClintock,

Charles Gibson, William Barrie, James Vance, Samuel Bole, John G. McKerrow,

George Allan, Hugh H. Miller, Harry Mathieson, Robert Edgar, George McKerrow,

Matthew C. McIntosh, James Graham, William C. Jamieson, Alexander Barrie, Alexander Crawford,

Charles R. McKie, Aleaxander Learmont, John G. Blair, James Wallace, George Blair.


1914-1918 War - South Panel (Facing towards Auchinleck)

Alexander Baxter, William A. Lyell, Alexander McCurdie, Archibald Baxter, William G. Paton,

James M. Watson, Ronald Ritchie McCrae, Archibald D.McPhee, Robert Watson, Duncan Cunningham,

Andrew D. Kay, Robert Lambie, Hugh Ritchie, Thomas Conner, John Miller,

John Cairns, John Murchie, James Howie, Edward Potts, James Love,

George Caldow, John Hair, John Wyllie, William Cochrane, Andrew Howie.


1914-1918 War - East Panel (Facing Catrine Road)

Alexander Vance, Andrew McIlvean, Donald Stewart, James McKay, Robert Templeton,

James McLatchie, John Wilson, William Hammond, George Mitchell, Thomas Murdoch,

Andrew G.Richmond, James Reid, David Bell, Robert Winder, James McKie,

Robert Howie, Allan M.Aird, William McIlvean, Andrew Brown, Hugh D. Lambie,

George C. W. Corson, James S. McCartney, David McMillan, Robert Murdoch, William Harper.


1939-1945 War - South Panel (Facing towards Auchinleck)

William Crawford, John W. Dalgliesh, William Ferguson, John M. Halliday, James S. Jamieson, Andrew K. McBride, Archibald McLellan, William McVey, Samuel Murphy, James S. Ramsay,

George Rankin, Adam C. Reid, Thomas M. Reid, Douglas Seaton, Thomas F. Simpson, John Walker, George Wallace, James P. Wightman, James Williamson, Samuel J. Wilson.




Jimmy Davidson provided the following lines:


I gaze along the line of stones
That mark our weary broken bones
I often stand and wonder why
So many here were sent to die

Standing here in silence weep
Among the friends I choose to keep
But who decides to share my bed
Among the poppies silent bed

Did some great being have a hand
That we should die in a foreign land
What chance encounter placed us here
To stay as friends throughout the years

I feel the feet upon the ground
That search for me until I'm found
No old man here to fill this grave
For we were young and very brave

These words were inspired by a visit to Ypres in Belgium in November 2008. Together with members of Mauchline Burns Club, I was invited to attend the 90th anniversary marking the end of the First World War. This was a return visit for Mauchline Burns Club, whose members had been guests at the unveiling of the Scottish War Memorial at Zonnebeke, just outside Ypres in August 2007.

I witnessed The Last Post at the Menin Gate, Ypres, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, where all nationalities paid tribute to fallen comrades. The Menin Gate contains the names of 54,896 soldiers killed in battles around Ypres who have no known grave. But this only covers the period from 1914 until August 1917. The remaining 34,984 after this period until 1918 with no known grave, are recorded on the walls of Tyne Cot Military cemetery, close to the town of Passchendaele.

Around Ypres, there are over 159 Commonwealth War Grave cemeteries, and over 50 memorials and monuments. The monument to the Ayrshire Yeomanry is at St Juliaan, just north east of Ypres.

I was privileged to be asked by Mr David Russell (secretary) of The Cumnock and District branch of The Royal British Legion to lay a wreath on behalf of The Royal British Legion at The Scottish War Memorial that had been recently erected in Zonnebeke. This is in memory of Scottish soldiers killed in the battle of Passchaendaele in 1917.

This battle lasted 6 months, and claimed 508,800 allied troops killed, missing or wounded. The Germans lost 348,300. The allies advanced some 5 miles (Same distance as from Mauchline to Cumnock) The ground gained was 2 inches for every soldier killed. The last veteran from this battle Private Harry Patch died in July 2009. Passchaendaele was rightly remembered as being HELL ON EARTH.

During this time I also visited Tyne Cot Military cemetery, the largest First World War cemetery on the Western Front, with almost 12,000 graves. In the middle of the cemetery is a German blockhouse on top of which has been erected The Cross of Sacrifice, in memory of the dead of all nationalities.

I laid a wooden cross here in memory of the Mauchline men who fell during The First World War.

Incidentally, the singer during the church service in Passchendaele was Isla St Clair, who was the co presenter with Bruce Forsyth on the BBC's Generation Game.

The whole trip to Belgium was for me a truly memorable experience.

Lets We Forget

(James Davidson)


Jimmy Davidson also adds the following.

As a postscript i can remember speaking to Pheamie Smith's mother about the First World as it effected Mauchline all those years ago. She could remember seeing a band playing in front of the men marching through Mauchline on their way to the railway station to board troop trains. Everyone was outside cheering and waving flags. Some of them never returned being consumed in the industrial scale slaughter on the Western front around Ypres and Passchaendale.

As for local businesses, A & W Pollock supplied the British Army with gun carriages, carts and limbers, all shipped from Mauchline Station. W & A Smith (Box Works) could no longer produce tartan ware boxes because the ink dyes were unavailable. The company were however given government war work to make wooden aeroplane propellers.

Those from Mauchline who died in the First World War would actually have marched past the site of their own memorial (still obviously to be erected) while marching to Mauchline Railway Station and the troop trains, the main access to the station being via Station Road.

Quite a sobering thought.