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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



An event which has been looked forward to in Alyth and district for a considerable time took place on Saturday, when the memorial erected in memory of the late Lieut.-Colonel Lord Airlie, Lieut. Nigel Ramsay, and Trooper Charles Wedderburn Ogilvy was unveiled by the Marquis of Breadalbane. In the earlier part of the year it was expected that the completion of the monument would have permitted of the ceremonial taking place much earlier in the season, but the delay has been altogether favourable, and the monument and its surroundings on Saturday looked in every respect complete.


The movement which has now successfully culminated in the erection of the memorial first took its inception in June last, very shortly after the arrival of the sad news of the death of the Earl of Airlie whilst leading his regiment at the battle of Diamond Hill. From the outset it was felt that Alyth had suffered in so special a manner from the South African War that, instead of joining with neighbouring communities in commemorating the fallen, it was fitting that it should have a local monument to commemorate its own gallant dead. Steps were at once taken to this end, meetings called, and a committee and collectors appointed, with the result that at the end of October over £200 had been collected. In the month of December Messrs Bower & Florence, Aberdeen, were commissioned to erect the handsome obelisk on the corner at the west side of the Market Square, Mr Cunnison, Blairgowrie, being entrusted with the laying out of the grounds. In the spring of the present year the monument was put in position, and since then various donations of vases, seats, &c., have been received, with the result that, apart from the commemorative purpose of the monument, the corner has been completely transformed, the cost being about £130 for the monument and £130 for laying out the grounds, &c. The following is the inscription:-


David Stanley William, ninth Earl of Airlie, Lieutenant-Colonel 12th Royal Lancers, killed in action (as he always desired to die) at Diamond Hill, South Africa, 11th June 1900.
Extract from Lord Roberts despatch, 12th June, 1900 - “I deplore the death of that gallant soldier, the Earl of Airlie”.
Nigel Neis Ramsay, younger of Bamff, Lieutenant 2nd Battalion Royal Highlanders, killed in action at Magersfontein, 11th December 1899.
Charles James Wedderburn Ogilvy, younger of Ruthven, trooper of the Fife and Forfar Light Horse, 20th Company I.Y., who died at sea, 6th March 1900.

Undoubtedly the heaviest part of the work connected with the memorial has been undertaken by Provost Johnston, who has been ably seconded by his committee. This gentleman, amid his many municipal duties, has been untiring in his exertions to secure donations, in his attention to details large and small, and in his efforts to overcome the many difficulties which inevitably cropped up. The result is he now has the satisfaction of seeing the monument standing complete in every detail, and practically free from debt.


The proceedings on Saturday began with the reception of the marquis of Breadalbane at the station. The marquis was expected per the 1.20 p.m. train, and by that time a guard of honour consisting of the Volunteers, numbering over fifty, and the Boys’ Brigade had been posted in readiness to receive him. At present, however, owing to sporting traffic, the trains are very late, and unfortunately the connection from the South had been missed. Accordingly a special run had to be made to Alyth Junction, with the result that the distinguished visitor did not arrive until 2.15. Provost Johnston welcomed him to the burgh, and the others on the platform, who were introduced, included Professor Ramsay; Mr T. Denroche Smith; Mr William Japp; Baillies Geddes and Smart; Mr Reid, Town Clerk; Councillors Whyte, Crichton, and Roberts; Rev. Mr Meikle; Rev. Dr Aglen; Dr Duke Mulloy; Messrs R. A. Millar, Lunan, etc. On emerging from the platform the Volunteers presented arms, and after a brief inspection had been made both of Volunteers and Boys’ Brigade, the part entered the Airlie Arms Hotel.


Here a large company had assembled to meet the Marquis, those present included:- Rev. Mr Meikle; Mr Japp, Broomhall; Provost Johnston, Baillies Geddes and Smart, Councillors Whyte, Roberts, and Crichton; Mr Reid, Town Clerk; Mr Yeaman, Burgh Chamberlain; Mr Smart, Burgh Surveyor; Mr John Grieve, Loyal; Lieutenant-Colonel Davidson, Kirriemuir; Dr Duke Mulloy; Mr John Smith jun., Airlie Brae; Archdeacon Aglen; Major Ogilvy, Ruthven; Mr T. Denroche Smith, Balhary; Mr Ogilvy, yr. of Ruthven; Mr Alfred Smith, Dundee; Professor Ramsay, Glasgow; Mr Alex. Lunan; Mr Cunnison, Blairgowrie; Ex-Provost Smith, Airlie Mount; Mr Black, Cortachy; Mr Carmichael, Arthurstone; Mr R. A. Millar, Greenbank; Mr John Howie; Mr Alexander Mitchell; Provost Jamieson, Rattray; Captain Proctor, Blairgowrie; Mr William Sidey; Mr Symington, painter; Mr James M’Murray; Mr Ogilvy, Blairgowrie; Captain Smith, Alyth; Captain Baxter, Blairgowrie; Lieut. Boyd, Coupar Angus; Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson; Mr D. S. Kidd; Mr Hay Balendoch, &c., &c.
Letters of apology for absence from the unveiling ceremony were intimated from the following:- General Sir Archibald Hunter; Sir J. G. S. Kinloch; Messrs Edward Cox; W. J. S. Barbour Starkey; Claude Ralston; General Clerk Rattray, Craighall; Major Whyte, Inverquharity, Kirriemuir; Arthur P. Nicol, Craigisla; Provost Templeman, Blairgowrie; Provost Anderson, Coupar Angus; Mr James Duncan, Drumfork; Provost Wilkie, Kirriemuir; Captain Hon. Major W. F. M’Intosh; Lieutenant Black, Blairgowrie; Mr W. Ramsay, Clevelands Basset, Southampton; Mr J. Sieveright, Oban; Miss Duncan, Drumfork; and Mr J. A. Stewart, solicitor, Perth. The letter from General Hunter, whose absence was very much regretted, was read by Provost Johnston, and ran as follows:-

Headquarters, Scottish District,

Dear Mr Reid, - Engagements are so crowded together that it follows, I suppose almost naturally, that one event interferes with another. I have to go to Aberdeen on Saturday to fulfil a military engagement, and this will prevent my keeping the engagement to be, if possible, at Alyth for the unveiling of the monument to the late Lord Airlie. I cannot possibly arrange things otherwise. Between now and 6th August I have, including a Sunday, which is a “dies non” for my purpose, to inspect Forth defences, Tay defences, Colonel Eustace Balfour’s regiment on their march through Scotland, as well as to be present and assist in presenting medals to 4th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders at Paisley on 5th and 6th. This, added to the routine work which falls to my daily lot, makes it impossible to do as I wish, i.e., assist at the unveiling ceremony at Alyth. - Yours faithfully,
Archibald Hunter.

After an excellent luncheon purveyed and served in Mr Pattullo’s well-known style, The Provost, who presided, in a word, proposed the toast of “The King” which was duly honoured. Thereafter Mr Carmichael, Arthurstone, briefly proposed “The Army, Navy, and Reserve Forces” coupling the toast with the name of the marquis of Breadalbane. Lord Breadalbane in reply, after thanking Mr Carmichael for his personal references, proceeded to say that they were all proud of the way in which the Army, including the Auxiliary Forces, had behave in South Africa. The battalion with which he was connected had taken part in the formation of three sections of active service man, and, along with the other Volunteers, these had all highly distinguished themselves. He thanked the company for the manner in which they had honoured the toast.
At the conclusion of the luncheon a procession was formed outside the hotel in the following order:- Pipe Band, Volunteers, Freemasons, Boys’ Brigade; carriages with Lord Breadalbane, etc.; Town Council, including guests, and general public. The procession wended its way through nearly deserted streets, most of the people having betaken themselves to the Market Square to witness


Shortly after two o’clock spectators had begun to gather in the vicinity of the monument, and by the time the procession arrived a very large crowd was assembled on the western edge of the Square. A few spectators had been accommodated within the grounds of Airlie Brae, whilst the Industrial School grounds had through the kindness of Mr John Smith been thrown open, and were taken advantage of by large numbers.
On arrival the Volunteers, etc., lined the railing, whilst the invited guests passed inside the enclosure. Here, in addition to those present at the luncheon, the company included:- The Countess of Airlie; the Dowager-Countess of Airlie; the youthful Earl of Airlie; Sir James and lady Ramsay and Miss Imogen Ramsay, Bamff; Mrs Johnston and Miss Johnston; Mrs Ogilvy and Misses Ogilvy, Ruthven; Mrs Ramsay and Miss Ramsay, Glasgow, Mrs Hay Halkett, Balendoch; Mrs Hunter, Drumnacree; Mrs Denroche Smith, Balhary; lady Maud Whyte and Miss Whyte; Mr and Mrs Campbell, London; Mrs Mulloy; Mrs Smart; Mrs Aglen; Miss Geddes, etc., etc.
A small platform draped with red cloth had been erected at the side of the obelisk, and Provost Johnston having taken his place on this briefly introduced Lord Breadalbane, who said:- “I am confident I express the sentiments of all assembled here when I say that we sympathise with those who mourn the loss of those dear ones for whom this monument, which I am about to unveil, is erected. That the district should be proud of them is no wonder, and it must be a satisfaction to the bereaved members of the families of those heroes to whom the memorial has been put up that the public should have shown its sympathy and appreciation of their gallant services. This it has done by contributing so liberally towards the monument now to be unveiled to the three gallant soldiers who fell in the South African War. Field-Marshall Lord Roberts in a despatch of 12th June, 1900, said, I deplore the death of that gallant soldier the Earl of Airlie”. The Commander-in-Chief in South Africa knew Lord Airlie as a soldier commanding a cavalry regiment during the campaign. Some of us knew His Lordship as a distinguished cavalry officer in time of peace, and one who always took the greatest interest in the welfare of both man and officer in his regiment. Others assembled here today probably knew him best as a proprietor and a landlord, in which capacity it might truly be said that he shone, and neither he nor his amiable Countess ever lost an opportunity in furthering the interests of those who had the good fortune to call themselves his tenants. The next inscription on the monument is that to the memory of the late Nigel Neis Ramsay, of Bamff, who was a lieutenant in the second battalion of our Territorial Regiment, and who, like Lord Airlie, laid down his life for his queen and country in South Africa. Mr Ramsay had not the the experience as a soldier, nor had he seen the same amount of service as Lord Airlie, but though serving in an inferior rank he was equally popular among his brother officers in the battalion in which he served,, and had he been spared he would have proved a worthy successor to his able and much-esteemed father, Sir James. The third and last name on the monument is that of Charles James Wedderburn Ogilvy, of Ruthven. Unlike the other two gallant soldiers, he was not a soldier by profession, but he thought it his duty to serve his country in a less distinguished, though equally honourable, capacity as a trooper in the Fife and Forfar Light Horse, and left with the 20th Imperial Company of Imperial Yeomanry, losing his life in this regiment on 6th May, 1900. It is a matter of regret that the able and distinguished General in Command in Scotland, and who himself served in South Africa, is not present here today, as he fully intended to be with us in trying to show his sympathy and as a mark of esteem for the gentlemen of the county. I feel I cannot conclude without complimenting Messrs Bower & Florence, of Aberdeen, the gentlemen who carried out the design for the memorial; and the greatest credit is due to Mr Cunnison, Blairgowrie, under whose direction the grounds have been laid out. As the local officer commanding the local Volunteer Battalion I am gratified to see the manner in which the Alyth Volunteers have turned out today to honour the memory of those gallant men of whom we must all fell so justly proud for they way in which they one and all sacrificed their lives for the honour of their sovereign and country; and I hope that should a similar opportunity ever again arise, not only this district, but all Perthshire, and indeed all Scotland, will come forward to uphold the dignity of the Empire in the way in which the men of Britain of all classes have done in connection with the present war in South Africa”.
The cloth obscuring the inscription was then slowly drawn aside while the Volunteers presented arms. The national Anthem was also sung by the spectators, led by Mr Ogilvie’s orchestra and a small choir under the leadership of Mr W. P. M’Donald. Mr William Japp then rose to propose a vote of thanks to the Marquis of Breadalbane. In doing so he said:- “I have been asked to propose a vote of thanks to Lord Broadalbin for his kindness in coming here today to unveil this monument, and this I have much pleasure in doing. I hope I express the sentiments of you all when I say that in honouring us we do him honour. I do not intend to expand the kind and affectionate expressions which His Lordship has uttered in regard to Lord Airlie, Mr Nigel Neis Ramsay, and Mr Charles Wedderburn Ogilvy. These are very touching and true and well deserved. I would fair do so if it were necessary because I knew them from their boyhood, but it might be intrusive. This monument is the outcome of a wide and unanimous expression of sincere esteem and respect. It is placed here deservedly, and I hope for long years to come it will be reverenced as a testimony of our regard for these noble men who gave up their lives for their Queen and country. There is one sentiment which I desire to bring under your notice at this time and in this place. I have now seen four Earls of Airlie, and the fourth is a little boy, present with us at his mother’s side. May I ask you to express a silent but earnest wish that God’s blessing will be extended to guide that little boy to a successful manhood, and that he shall years hence adorn as his father did the ancient House of Airlie, which has existed in Forfarshire and Perthshire for generations, and is still loved by all of us. There is another sentiment which I would suggest to you for your approbation, and it is this, that the pious traditions of this monument, representative of all ranks, will be enhanced by the fact that the noble Marquis unveiled it on this occasion. I say no more, but ask you to give a hearty expression of thanks to the Marquis of Breadalbane, who is well-known for the readiness with which he responds to any public duty”.
Lord Breadalbane returned thanks for the vote, and, in the course of his remarks referred to the special interest which the late Lord Airlie took in volunteering, and also to his granting a site for an armoury to the Alyth Company.
The ceremony then concluded, the Volunteers marching off to be dismissed, whilst the crowd slowly dispersed.


In the evening a concert promoted by the Committee to defray necessary expenditure was held in the Town Hall. Provost Johnston presided, and there was a large attendance. Songs were sung by Messrs Wilson and D. Hill, Mr W. P. M’Donald acting as accompanist. A violin solo was rendered by Mr W. Barron, who also joined with Mr Ogilvie, Blairgowrie, in a duet; and the latter gentleman’s ladies’ orchestra rendered several selections.
The second part consisted of a display of war pictures, &c., by means of the kinematograph manipulated by Mr Feathers, Dundee, which was greatly appreciated.
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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
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Location: The County of Angus

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David McNay wrote:
Got this postcard from ebay the other day. The location appears to have changed a bit in the past 100 years.

That's an understatement, what happened here? It was once a pleasant looking park with seats and plants, now it looks like a barren ploughed field.

Another old pic from 1908.

And another, is the fountain still there?

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