Queens Own Highlanders

(Seaforth & Camerons)

Regimental Association

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Unveiling of new War Memorial 3rd June 2001

The unveiling of the new War Memorial in West Kilbride took place today at 1500hrs and was proceeded  by a march from the village’s train station to the site at 1400hrs.  The march off was led by the band of the Royal Marines, with standard bearers of the Royal British Legion and contingents from 52nd Lowland Brigade (RHF), The Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons & Camerons), Royal Naval Reserve and various local youth elements including the Boys Brigade.  In all about 350 personages took part in the parade and I cannot forget to mention the West Kilbride Pipe Band, who played so very well for us.  The parade was led and organised by WO1 Aitken MBE (RSM 52nd Lowland Bde TAVR).  I must compliment him and his staff for a job very well done, including our own WO2 Jimmy Stout (Ex Queen’s Own Highlanders) now of the Highlanders, in his skillful handling of both people and traffic,  and also his immaculate turnout.

I have to say that things did not look too promising on my arrival and despite fine sunny weather the village was deserted expect for a lone workman putting the finishing touches to the dais for the local dignitaries to stand on during the ceremony.  Said workman informed me that the march off was not scheduled until 1400hrs, and as this was only 0945hrs I asked when the timings had undergone such a drastic change from that posted in the RHQ letter of 1000hrs.  I was then told that the times had not changed and the event was always scheduled for the later start.  Oh well!  

What had started as such a promising day faded away, like the sun.  Luckily for us all the rain stayed off until after the parade, confirming yet again my belief that the “sun always shines on the righteous”.

This Memorial parade and dedication was very much a one man crusade from local resident William McSkimming who had campaigned for many years to honour the names of those who died during the WW1.  Now retired he was aided by the “Memorial Trust” in securing these four  six feet by three feet by eight inches stones in polished black granite with gold letting thereon.  This ensured that every villager who took part in WW1 and did not return home is remembered.

The names that follow are all members of The Highlanders Family

    • Lt  J Spottiswood Alexander  Seaforth                        11th Apr    1921
    • Pte            WL Aitken                1 Seaforth                        18th Jul      1916
    • Pte           A Barbour                 2 Seaforth                        20th Aug    1918
    • L/Cpl      GMC Denholm         9 Seaforth                       09th Apr   1917
    • Pte           D Dickie                     7 Seaforth                        30th Dec    1917
    • Pte           JM Russell                  5 Seaforth                      19th Jun     1915
    • Pte           RG Speirs                  4 Seaforth                        30th Dec    1917
    • Sgt           J Wigston DCM       6 Seaforth                         24th Jul     1918
    • Pte          AL Hyndman             5 Gordons                       12th Apr     1917
    • Pte          J McGillivray             8/10 Gordons              03rd Jul       1917
    • Lt             J McDonald                ? Gordons                       ???? Dec      1917
    • Sgt          T McLeish                   8/10 Gordons               11th Apr      1917
    • Pte          J MacLean                  1 Gordons                      02nd Mar     1916
    • L/Cpl     H Higgins                     7 Camerons                   25th Sep      1915
    • L/Cpl     R Hunter                      1 Camerons                   20th Jan       1917
    • Pte          HJ Stevens                  5 Camerons                   18th Sep      1917
    • Pte          J McDowall                 5 Camerons                   25th Sep      1915
    • Pte          JB McFarlane             7 Camerons                   25th Sep      1915
    • Cpl          A Sclanders                 5 Camerons                   25th Sep      1915
    • Pte          J Stewart                      1 Camerons                    11th Nov     1914
    • 2nd/Lt  WC Donald                  6 Camerons                    31st Jul        1917


Band of the Royal Marines lead the parade

Band of the Royal Marines lead the parade to the War Memorial

Highlander contingent march to the Memorial

The Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons & Camerons) led by Capt. McMaster.

Old Memorial
Arms Reversed, members of the Royal Highland Fusliers

Arms reversed at the the old Memorial.

Standard Bearers

Old War Memorial

Dedication by the various Church Ministers

Standard Bearers of the Royal British Legion

WO2 Stout, CSM Sp Company 1 Highlanders

Dedication by the three Church Ministers

Memorial unveiling

WO2 Stout, ex Queen’s Own Highlanders

Memorial unveiling. RSM Aitken MBE (RHF)( left)

New Memorial Headstones

New Memorial Stones

We will remember them.

A fitting tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice

Capt. McMaster 1 Highlanders lays his wreath

Capt. McMaster lays his wreath

The Parade was extremely well organised by WO1 Aitken MBE, RSM 52nd Lowland Volunteers based at Hotspur Street in the Maryhill area of Glasgow, and my congratulations go to him and his team for a fine parade.

The Dedication was made by the three denomination Church Ministers and then the lone piper gave us “Flowers O’ the Forrest” leading the way off the Memorial to the march past.  The march past was taken by the Lord Lieutenant of the area and then off to the town hall for a much deserved cup of tea.  The local MP for the area, Brian Wilson (Labour), was also in attendance and some 400/500 local spectators watched the event.

In the words of one worthy local “this is a big day for the village, and were are so pleased so many people and organisations came to together to make it a special one for us all.”

I could not agree more, those who gave their lives deserve to remembered in a special way.


More pictures and text will be added when they become available.  Watch this space!  Should you have anything for publication please let me know ASAP!

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