The Scottish Military Research Group - Commemorations Project Forum Index The Scottish Military Research Group - Commemorations Project
(Registered Scottish Charity No. SC043826). Please visit our homepage at www.scottishmilitaryresearch.co.uk
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Birgham, Millennium War Memorial

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Scottish Military Research Group - Commemorations Project Forum Index -> Borders - Civic Memorials
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Merseman



Joined: 07 Aug 2013
Posts: 296
Location: Duns, Berwickshire

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:48 pm    Post subject: Birgham, Millennium War Memorial Reply with quote

Noticed this civic memorial from Berwickshire doesn't appear to be on the site, so I got some photos when I was passing through earlier.

Also my first shot at uploading some pictures, so fingers-crossed!


Birgham is a village of a couple of hundred people, located between Kelso and Coldstream, so very near the Tweed which marks the borderline with England. Historically it was a component part of Eccles parish - and one of 3 settlements in that parish, along with Eccles itself and Leitholm. Birgham has a pub, and a village hall - but no church. Casualties from Birgham are commemorated on Eccles Parish Church's memorial window.

However, back in 2000 the villagers decided upon a war memorial of their own, and this cairn and associated planting were erected. They are placed in the north-east corner of the only junction in the village, where the road from Eccles joins the Kelso-Coldstream Road. Sat in front of 'Treaty Park' it was, by my reckoning, the first civic memorial in Berwickshire since the Polish memorial unveiled in Duns in 1981.

It comprises a cairn of local stone - with a slate plaque (mounted on wood and secured into the cairn). To the left is another small plaque, explaining the background to the cairn, and to the right is a bench marked "Birgham 2000". Notably only Second World War individuals are listed by name and the Great War dead are included with previous conflicts under a collective phrasing.

As you can see in the photos, a fresh wreath has just been placed. At this time of year, the principals of the neighbouring town civic weeks - Kelso's Laddie and the Coldstreamer - lay a wreath during their rideouts.

Kenny


Last edited by Merseman on Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:07 pm; edited 3 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Merseman



Joined: 07 Aug 2013
Posts: 296
Location: Duns, Berwickshire

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote







Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Merseman



Joined: 07 Aug 2013
Posts: 296
Location: Duns, Berwickshire

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BIRGHAM MILLENNIUM
WAR MEMORIAL CAIRN

IN MEMORY OF THOSE VILLAGERS
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES

World War II
1939-1945

Private Robert Bell
Corporal Ian Buchan
Private William Galbraith
Flight Sergeant Thomas Paxton MiD
Flight Engineer Peter Purves
Sergeant John Smyth

And those from the Great War and before
whose names have passed into history

"When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say
For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"

Erected in 2000 to mark the millennium
and as a permanent memorial to our fallen
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kenneth Morrison



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 5330
Location: Rockcliffe Dalbeattie

PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a really "odd" tale about Flight Sergeant Thomas Galbraith Paxton, MiD on ww2talk.com about him being thought to be an Australian
http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/32568-ww2-australian-casualties-raaf-raf-etc-etc/

The posts include the following:

Tom Paxton was sent to the Middle East as a Sergeant in 1941. He was posted to 250 Squadron during the summer before being transferred to 30 Squadron for defensive missions in Egypt. Between June 1941 and February 1942, he won five victories. Promoted Flight Sergeant in early March 1942, he accompanied the unit when it was sent to the Far East aboard the HMS Indomitable. On 9 March, 30 Squadron moved to Ceylon in order to defend the island. On April 5, he was engaged in the interception of the first attack launched from Japanese aircraft carriers while based in Colombo. During the battle, Paxton managed to kill 2 Zero aircraft but is himself hit and forced to abandon his burning aircraft. Picked up and taken to hospital with second degree burns, he died two days later from secondary shock.

At this time 30 Squadron were flying Hurricanes from Colombo Racecourse.
_________________
Ken
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kenneth Morrison



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 5330
Location: Rockcliffe Dalbeattie

PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

p.s. - great photos Kenny.
_________________
Ken
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Merseman



Joined: 07 Aug 2013
Posts: 296
Location: Duns, Berwickshire

PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. I was using a pocket digital camera from the early 2000s, but if it is set to high res seems to do the job. It's a simple but dignified memorial.


Unfortunately I can't help any regarding Thomas Paxton. I have looked at the wartime chapter in the Coldstream local history "Second to None", but it doesn't mention him; not surprising as the book concentrates mainly on the burgh, and less on surrounding hamlets.

Interestingly and somewhat poignantly, that same Easter Sunday Thomas Paxton was fighting Japanese aircraft off Ceylon and ultimately being shot down, Coldstream man George Kerr was lost in the water below when the heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire - which left Colombo the day before, after the sighting of the approaching Japanase taskforce - was hit by bombers.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Birgham_man



Joined: 14 Oct 2014
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New plaque to be fitted to this cairn with the names of those villagers who lost their lives in WW1 the names are as follows:-

Private Nicholas Allan
Sergeant James Briggs
Private Walter Galbraith
Private Robert Hendry
Private James Scott

New plaque will be fitted for the 9th November 2014
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Merseman



Joined: 07 Aug 2013
Posts: 296
Location: Duns, Berwickshire

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



James Briggs appears upon Eccles war memorial - the stained glass window in Eccles Parish Church. None of the others appear upon Eccles, Leitholm or Coldstream memorial.

There is an article about the new plaque's unveiling in 2015:

https://www.berwickshirenews.co.uk/news/birgham-pays-tribute-to-its-ww1-fallen-heroes-1-3751013[/img]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
stuartn



Joined: 13 Dec 2016
Posts: 1315

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:41 am    Post subject: WMR (ex UKNIWM) number Reply with quote

WMR 79957

By the way the link to the Berwickshire News article isn't working, at least for me.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Scottish Military Research Group - Commemorations Project Forum Index -> Borders - Civic Memorials All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group. Hosted by phpBB.BizHat.com