Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald
of 6 June 1947 carried the following report.
WAR MEMORIAL PLAQUE
Unveiling Ceremony At Ardrossan
Manuel presided over the large gathering which assembled last Sunday afternoon
at the Garden of Remembrance in Glasgow Street for the unveiling and dedication
of a memorial plaque for those who fell in the Second World War. The service was
The praise was led by the combined choirs of the Churches in the town, accompanied by Kilmarnock Burgh Military Band, under the conductorship of Mr John W Mathieson. Paraphrases 'O God of Bethel' and 'How Bright These Glorious Spirits Shine' and Psalm 'The Lord's My Shepherd' were sung. The Reverend J S Clark, M A offered prayer and Scripture was read by Reverend J W Symon, M A.
Bailie Manuel, chairman, paid public tribute to the various organisations in the town who combined to raise the Ardrossan Welcome Home and Commemoration Fund which enabled them to give each returning ex-service man or woman a sum of over £6 and a like amount to the relatives of those who had made the supreme sacrifice. Ninety-three of their lads did not return. The total of the fund, £8224, was almost wholly disbursed. Some of it had been used to pay for the plaque. A little balance remaining would be handed over to the Town Council to make the Garden of Remembrance an even nicer place than it was at present. They could be proud in Ardrossan of the men they had raised. The whole community had been with the committee in their work and he thanked the committee for the devoted service it had rendered. He hoped they would be able to regard the Garden of Remembrance as hallowed ground in the coming years.
The Roll of the Fallen was read by Reverend Angus MacDonald, MA. 'The Last Post' and 'Reveille' were played by a bugler from the Royal Scots Fusiliers. 'The Flowers o' the Forest' was played by the Burgh of Ardrossan Pipe Band.
Provost Cunningham said "It is unnecessary for me to dwell at length on the purpose for which we are gathered here today and no mere words will alleviate the sense of loss which is felt by those whose dear ones will not return. They died that we might live. Their name will live forever. We are again remembering them with pride during this service of dedication and may their relatives find peace in visiting this now sacred place. The committee deserve commendation for their choice of a memorial and here may I pay tribute to a gentleman, a former member of Ardrossan Town Council, the late ex-Bailie Gilbert Lewis who first conceived the idea of a Garden in Glasgow Street. In a garden one finds peace, contentment, rest, and a constant reminder of the promise of life. Although this Garden of Remembrance is situated in one of our busiest thoroughfares, it is surprising to find, on entering it and sitting down, the calm and quiet atmosphere within its walled boundaries. Here one is close to nature in all its beautiful simplicity and gradually the feeling of a Higher Presence beside one renews, strengthens and gives one courage to face the trials and troubles of life. I close with these beautiful lines of the poet 'The kiss of the sun for Pardon; the song of the birds for Mirth. One is nearer God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth.".
The unveiling of the memorial was performed by Mr William McCubbin of Ardrossan who had three sons (the largest number from one family in the town) killed in the recent war. Mr McCubbin had about 47 years service at sea and served for over four years in the first World War.
plaque, which is of polished grey granite faces the central gateway to the Garden,
and contains the names of the 93 men of the town who made the supreme sacrifice.
The words: 'Garden of Remembrance' are fixed in black relief along the top and
underneath 'In grateful memory of those who gave their lives in the World War'.
The plaque was draped in the Union Jack and Mr McCubbin feelingly uncovered the
memorial. The prayer of dedication was then offered by the Reverend D A Galbraith
The chairman, Bailie Manuel, handed over the custody of the memorial to Provost Cunningham on behalf of the Town Council. The task of the Welcome Home Fund Committee, he said, had now been accomplished and recognising that this had been an all-community effort - the Town Council representing it - the Council would see that the memorial and its surroundings would be kept in good condition.
Provost Cunningham, in accepting the custody of the memorial, expressed the sincere appreciation and thanks of the members of the Council and community to the Welcome Home Committee under the convenership of Bailie Manuel, for the satisfactory way in which they carried out their task, the completion of which they had seen that afternoon. He gladly accepted custody of the memorial plaque.
The Benediction was pronounced by the Reverend Angus McDonald, MA. The Ardrossan Burgh Pipe Band played 'When The Battle's O'er' and the singing of the National Anthem was followed by the laying of wreaths around the memorial. While the wreaths were being laid, Kilmarnock Burgh Military Band played 'Sanctuary Of The Heart' ('Meditation' by Albert W Ketelby). The suitability of this composition for the occasion was very marked. It brought tears to the eyes of many. A wreath was placed by Provost Cunningham from the Provost, Magistrates and the Councillors of Ardrossan and one by Bailie Manuel from the Memorial Committee of the Welcome Home Fund. Others were placed by relatives of the fallen.