They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.
“For the fallen” by Laurence Binyon, 1914
North Queensferry War Memorial
The obelisk, standing at the foot of The Brae, was first completed in 1921. It consists of a block of Granite, brought from the now silent Carlingnose Quarry a few hundred yards away.
This is particularly suitable, as a number of those commemorated, or their families, had worked in the local quarries.
It is some 4 metres high on a 1 metre square base and was designed by Mr H. Motion and unveiled on 19 June 1921, by Field Marshal, Sir William R. Robertson.
This was quite a significant event, as Sir William, apart from then being the Lord Lieutenant of Fife, was the only man ever to rise through the army from Trooper all the way to Field Marshall. He had been Chief of the Imperial General Staff and famously quarrelled with Prime Minister Lloyd George.
In retirement he became President of the British Legion.
The original site
The Memorial originally stood in Main Street on the other side of the Brae, in front of what was then North Queensferry Free Church.
It was moved to its present location on Main Street in 1963 after the Church (by then in the hands of the Church of Scotland) was declared beyond economic repair.
The site was bought by Fife Council in order to construct what is now Old Kirk Road and thus provide better access to the east side of the village.
The 1914 -1918 plaque
There initially appear to have been 26 names on a bronze plaque (supplied by Arthur Morton, Sheffield), but two further First World War names were added subsequently (this was completed in time for the unveiling ceremony).
It will be noticed that the names are grouped with Royal Navy first, in rank order, they are followed by the Army, again by rank and alphabetically.
Unfortunately the regiments in which the men served were not included and this has made it much harder to correctly identify those who bore frequently occurring names.
The 1939 -1945 plaque
Following the end of the Second World War, a second bronze plaque (Made in Inverkeithing Foundry), bearing the names of ten men who fell in this war, was added to the Memorial and unveiled on Armistice Day 1949 by Lt. Col. Napier, President of the local British Legion.
The men of the Second World War have their regiment included, although, we now believe that one is actually not
shown correctly, of which more later.
Fatalities omitted from the plaques
Research with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, has also revealed that they have a record of a further four fatalities, one from the First and three from the Second World War, all with recorded connections to North Queensferry, who are not named on the Memorial. They are:-
Charles Robert West
George Gordon McGregor
We have also learned that in the course of the 1914-18 war there were actually two fatalities to soldiers in the parish itself, apparently in training accidents. They were:-
George Cyril Olquin Paton
Henry Ernest Stewart
It seemed only fitting that we should include these six in our research.
Here dead we lie, Because we did not choose
To live and shame the land, From which we sprung.
Life, to be sure, Is nothing much to lose,
But young men think it is, And we were young.
When You Go Home,
Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Your Tomorrow,
We gave our Today
[Kohima, attributed to John Maxwell Edmonds]
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
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