The War Memorial in Harvey Square was unveiled in September 1921 by Lady Greig, wife
of the Liberal MP for Renfrewshire, Col Sir James Greig who delivered the address. It was
erected in memory of men from the district who died in the Great War 1914-19. The cost
was sourced from a national War Memorial Fund and from local fund raising activity under the auspices of the Parish Council Sports Committee.
Originally 63 names were engraved on the plinth. Recently,
an additional name has been added after research efforts by
local man, Bill Davy. At the end of the Second World War
the names of 19 villagers who lost their lives in that conflict
were added to the memorial.Both Rolls of Honour feature the
surnames and initials but not the regiment served in.
The monument is of granite and was sculpted by Messrs Scott Rae of Glasgow. The Celtic Cross has a strong similarity to St Martin’s Cross at the Abbey of Iona. This is certainly true of the embossed, west-facing aspect (front) of the shaft and wheel. The east-face (back) of the memorial features an incised long-sword known as the Sword of Sacrifice. The main dedication is on the West face of the plinth and reads;
IN MEMORY OF THE MEN FROM THIS DISTRICT WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1919
A Service of Remembrance has been held at the War Memorial in Harvey Square every
year since 1921. On Armistice Sunday each year the village pays its respect to those
named in the honour roll on the memorial plinth.
The Memorial Site.
There is no legal documentation on how permission was given for the site to be used for the Memorial or how ownership of the land was transferred. Generations of villagers have understood the land to have been provided out of the estate of the Harvey family of
Castle Semple. From1907 this estate was managed by Trustees, the last of the Harveys, James Shand- Harvey having emigrated to Canada. Ownership of part of the site was subject to a protracted legal dispute in recent years. The outcome has been to confirm that
Renfrewshire Council is the recognised owner of the central memorial and garden and both the tree-lined grassed areas to each side. This lay-out gives a pleasing symmetry to one of the most noted features of the village.
The honour roll is inscribed on the plinth and names are arranged in two columns on the North and South faces. The names of those who died in the Second World War are on the East face.
A low railing was erected around the Memorial some years after the unveiling in 1921.
HONOUR ROLL WORLD WAR ONE 1914-1918
J K DICK
E C LATTO
HONOUR ROLL WORLD WAR two 1939-1945
R A C CONNELL
N McL. GREGOR
R G JAMIESON
A W MILLIGAN
T J ROBERTSON
G A ROSS
R J RUSSELL
*Name added in 2014
This is a slightly amended version of an article I wrote for “Chatterbox” in 2014. Changes
are currently being planned to the layout of the Memorial grounds (September 2018). If
these are brought into effect the cherry trees in the central secion in front of the memorial will be removed and not replaced. That will be controversial. For many, the view of the Memorial has been enhanced by the presence of the trees particularly when they are in blossom. It produced one of the most iconic and most photographed part of the village.
The original article appeared to coincide with the 100th Anniversary of the outbreak of
the First World War. This update has been produced a few weeks before the 100th
Anniversary of the end of the conflict.
A small file of photographs and stories reflective of villagers who lost their lives in the conflict is held in the Community Library.