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RATTRAY, BLAIRGOWRIE, WAR MEMORIAL GATEWAY (DAVIE PARK)

 
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dhubthaigh
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
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Location: Blairgowrie, Perthshire

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:04 pm    Post subject: RATTRAY, BLAIRGOWRIE, WAR MEMORIAL GATEWAY (DAVIE PARK) Reply with quote



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dhubthaigh
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
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Location: Blairgowrie, Perthshire

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forum members may be familiar with the story relating to this memorial. I will, however, give a brief explanation of the circumstances.
In 1950 a Memorial Gateway was dedicated in memory of those men & women from Blairgowrie & Rattray who gave their lives during the Second World War. It was the focal point of a scheme which involved the enhancement of recreational facilities at the Davie Park.
Despite the Town Council taking custody of its safekeeping the memorial fell into a state of disrepair over the years, but certainly not beyond redemption. In spite of this for those natives of the town it stood as a reminder of the sacrifice made by many people in the town.
At the beginning of 2008, as part of a regeneration of the area, the gateway began to be demolished. I won't go into the debate surrounding it but, personally, I did not feel that this, for the purpose it represented, was right, and I raised the issue with many individuals and local bodies.
As a result the gates was refurbished and the pillars and small sections of wall were rebuilt. A new plaque was fabricated and one of the original 1939-1945 plaques was recovered during the process.
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dhubthaigh
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What it looked like just prior to demolition started;

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dhubthaigh
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The original dedication service;

WAR MEMORIAL GATEWAY
AT DAVIE PARK
______

Blairgowrie and Rattray
Commemoration of the Fallen
Dedication Service

The dedication of an imposing Memorial Gateway at the Davie Park on Sunday marked the completion of Blairgowrie & Rattray’s War Memorial Scheme - the enlargement and improvement of the park.

The gateway, in the middle of the Ashgrove Road side of the park, is a very substantial stone structure, its formal design being in keeping with its commemorative purpose. Semi-circular in shape, it is built of grey lime-sandstone from Camperdown Quarry.
Incorporated in it are two handsome ornamental gates, generously gifted by Mrs M’Lintock, Firgrove, Rosemount.
The gateway, on which there are two plaques bearing the dates 1939-45, was designed by Mr J. Russell Baxter, A.R.I.B.A., of Messrs Johnston & Baxter, architects, Blairgowrie, Dundee and Arbroath, who very kindly gave his services gratuitously. Mr Charles Farquharson, Rattray, was the contractor.
The circular space on the Ashgrove Road side of the gateway is paved and on the park side there will be planted flowers and shrubs.
The War Memorial and Welcome Home Committee was formed in the autumn of 1944, its chairman until 1946, being Treasurer (then provost) MacDonald. Provost Ogilvy was chairman of the committee, from the end of 1946 until his death last month. Provost Ogilvy had been, from early in 1945, convenor of the memorial sub-committee, and, as such, the carrying out of the Davie Park extension and improvement was under his supervision.
It will be recalled that the park was enlarged by the purchase of four acres on the east side from Miss Thom, the whole ground was levelled, and ample provision was made for cricket, football and hockey, besides putting. The planting of many trees and shrubs has beautified the park.
The improved park and its gateway commemorate the 71 men and women of the town and district who made the supreme sacrifice in the last war, and their names are engraved on plaques attached the the 1914-18 War Memorial in the Wellmeadow. These plaques were unveiled in June 1948 by Major-General D.N. Wimberley, former commander of the 51st Division. The company at the gateway dedication included friends and relatives of the fallen, members of the War memorial Committee and Town Council and representatives of ex-service organisations. Mrs M’Lintock and Mr J. Russell Baxter who were present had been specially invited by the committee.
The dedication service was conducted by Rev. E.G.S. Traill, M.C., Rattray and Rev. James Leithead, St. Mary’s.
Rev. Mr Traill said:- “WE ARE GATHERED IN THE SIGHT OF GOD TO SET APART TO HIS GLORY THIS MEMORIAL GATEWAY WHICH SHOWED FORTH THE SACRIFICE OF THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THIS COMMUNITY WHO, IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR KING AND COUNTRY AND IN DEFENCE OF HUMAN FREEDOM, WERE FAITHFUL UNTIL DEATH”.
After prayer, Rev. Mr Traill asked Treasurer MacDonald, the first chairman of the War Memorial Committee, to hand over the gateway to Provost Gilmour, representing the Town Council.
Treasurer MacDonald said:- “IT HAS BEEN GIVEN TO ME TO PERFORM THE LAST ACT OF AN UNDERTAKING, BEGUN IN SEPTEMBER 1944, TO INAUGURATE A MEMORIAL TO THE FALLEN IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR. THIS PORTAL WILL BE A MAGNET THAT WILL DRAW ALL EYES TO IT, AND WILL REMIND THOSE WHO’S ATTENTION IT ATTRACTS OF WHAT IS OWED TO THOSE IN WHOSE MEMORY IT IS ERECTED.
WE ARE, BY ARRANGEMENT, HANDING OVER TO THE TOWN COUNCIL, THE FUTURE CUSTODIANS OF THE WAR MEMORIAL, THIS IMPOSING STRUCTURE AND ASK THEM TO ACCEPT THE PERPETUAL GUARDIANSHIP OF THIS MONUMENT.
AS LOCAL AUTHORITIES ARE NOW EMPOWERED BY ACT TO INCUR EXPENDITURE ON THE MAINTENANCE, REPAIR AND PROTECTION OF WAR MEMORIALS, THERE NEED BE NO MISGIVING ON THE PART ON ANYONE THAT THERE IS ANY DANGER OF THE MEMORIALS OF BOTH WORLD WARS FALLING INTO A STATE OF DILAPIDATION FOR LACK OF THE MEANS TO PRESERVE THEM. IT WILL BE A CHARGE ON THE TOWN COUNCIL IN THE DAYS TO COME TO MAINTAIN THESE SACRED SUBJECTS AND IN THEIR EFFORTS TO DO SO, I WOULD SOLICIT FOR THEM THE MORAL AND PRACTICAL SUPPORT THEY DESERVE TO RECEIVE FROM THE CITIZENS OF THIS BURGH.
LONG MAY THIS MEMORIAL CONTINUE TO SERVE, DOWN THROUGH THE AVENUES OF TIME, THE NOBLE PURPOSE TO WHICH IT IS NOW TO BE DEDICATED, AND MAY THE MEMORY OF THOSE IT COMMEMORATES NEVER FADE.
IN MEMORY OF OUR HONOURED DEAD AND ON BEHALF OF THE WAR MEMORIAL COMMITTEE, I NOW ASK PROVOST GILMOUR, AS REPRESENTING THE TOWN COUNCIL OF THE BURGH OF BLAIRGOWRIE & RATTRAY, TO RECEIVE THIS MEMORIAL FOR ITS SAFE KEEPING IN TIME TO COME, AND I DO SO WELL SATISFIED THAT THIS TRUST COULD NOT BE COMMITTED TO MORE HONOURABLE KEEPING”.
Provost Gilmour said:- “SAY NOT- THE STRUGGLE NAUGHT AVAILETH, THE LABOUR AND THE WOUNDS ARE VAIN. FOR THESE MEN AND WOMEN DIED IN DEFENCE OF THE LIBERTY OF THIS, OUR NATIVE LAND, AND FREEDOM SHOULD NOT PERISH FROM THE EARTH.
THEREFORE, IN THE NAME OF THE TOWN COUNCIL OF BLAIRGOWRIE AND RATTRAY, AND IN ALL RESPECT AND REVERENCE, I ACCEPT THE CUSTODY OF THIS GATEWAY, TO BE KEPT AND MAINTAINED BY THE TOWN COUNCIL AS A TRIBUTE TO, AND IN MEMORY OF, THOSE WHO MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE“.

The gateway was then dedicated by Rev. Mr Traill who said:- “TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN MEMORY OF HIS SERVANTS WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES FOR CHRISTIAN FREEDOM”.
Rev. Mr Leithead read several appropriate sentences from Scripture and offered prayer.
The ‘Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’ were sounded by Mr A. Dishington and the lament ‘Flowers of the Forest’ was played by Piper George Nisbet. The benediction was pronounced by Rev. Mr Leithead.
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4966
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the great information and photos. Congratulations to all involved in getting the memorial saved.

I quite like the new gateway but then I had no emotional attachment to the old so I quite appreciate that others would prefer the old version - then of course the cost!

\Paul
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dhubthaigh
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
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Location: Blairgowrie, Perthshire

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today I attended the re-dedication service of the Memorial Gateway at Davie Park, Rattray.
The address was given by Brigadier Melville Jamieson, Lord Lieutenant for Perth & Kinross while the service was conducted by Rev. Dr Malcolm MacRae, Rattray Parish Church. Peter Wishart, M.P. for Perth & North Perthshire was also in attendance.
Along with members of the public there were representatives from the RBS (Scotland), local councillors, community council and Black Watch ACF.
Wreaths were laid, A bugler sounded "The Last Post" and a piper played a lament.
Ill update you regarding any article appearing in the local papers.

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kinnethmont



Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 1649
Location: Aberdeenshire

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:15 pm    Post subject: Memorial Gateway at Davie Park, Rattray Reply with quote

Mark

You are to be congratulated for all your efforts to keep this memorial in place, albeit, in an updated form. A great result.

It is quite unbelievable that the Council would have considered demolishing it without a care, or thought, as the the reasons why it was there or the effect their actions would certainly have on the family and frends of the 71 WW2 casualties.

Unfortunately there are some who do not appreciate the true importance of war memorials, and forget the chapters of local history they represent in our communities.
_________________
Jim

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

www.kinnethmont.co.uk
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stuartn



Joined: 13 Dec 2016
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:55 am    Post subject: WMR (ex UKNIWM) report Reply with quote

WMR 57548
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