|N E W S F E E D S >>>|
|Berriedale Index||A-Z of Caithness Places|
It is the first Memorial in connection with the First World War to be erected within the boundaries of Caithness and dedicated to the men of Berriedale and Braemore.
The ceremony of dedication was timed to begin at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. There was a gathering of about 400. In honour of the occasion there was a parade of the Dunbeath and Berriedale Post of the Comrades of the Great War, 46 men under command of their Captain, Mr David Henderson, Ramscraigs. The muster began at Dunbeath Post Office, some six miles from the site of the monument and the men walked all the way, being joined en route by members of the Post. Shortly before the Comrades had reached the scene the Duke and Duchess of Portland, Lord and Lady Titchfield, Lord Morven, Miss Alice Bentinck, the Countess Résy de Baillet la Tour, Mr and Mrs Gerrard Leigh, Major Baker-Carr, Dr Hunnard, Mr Yeates, Miss Purcell and Miss Fleming arrived from Langwell House.
The service was opened by Mr Caird Taylor with the first four verses of the 46th Psalm. Followed by prayer and readings from the Old and New Testament. Mr Taylor then called upon The Duchess of Portland to unveil the Memorial. The Duchess then stepped up to the monument and on pulling a cord the three large Union Jacks with which it had been veiled dropped simultaneously, revealing the panels with the inscriptions. The whole company remained standing in silence for a short period in honour of the noble dead and as a tribute of respect to all who had served.
“To the glory of God, and in loving memory of the men of Berriedale and Braemore who fell and who served in the Great War, we dedicate this Memorial -
“May it ever speak to us, and to those who shall come after us, a message of courage, devotion to duty, and readiness to suffer for righteousness’ sake - Amen.”
There followed the ‘Duke’s Speech’ during which he read the names inscribed on the monument of those who gave their lives for their King and county. The whole company stood while the names were read. Concluding the Duke said “My deer friends and neighbours - To those whose names I have just had the honour of reading, we can, I feel perfectly certain, apply the following, in my opinion, very beautiful and very appropriate words-
“Honour to the Immortal Dead-that great white company of shining souls who gave their youth that the world may grow old in peace.”
Their followed the Votes of Thanks wherein Mr William Grant, Braemore-whose son, Sergt. Thomas K A Grant of the Seaforth Highlanders, was among those who fell-thanked the Duke of Portland for providing the Memorial and beautiful site. Ex-Sergeant William D. Sinclair, D.C.M., of the 7th Seaforth Highlanders, proposed a vote of thanks to the Duchess for unveiling the Memorial. The Duke of Portland replied “I consider it a very great honour indeed to have had the opportunity of erecting this monument, and I should like to make this announcement - I intend to offer the monument to the County of Caithness. I hope the County will accept it, and that in the future - whoever may live here - it will be kept as a memorial of the courage and patriotism of those whose names are inscribed upon it. The Duchess also expressed her thanks.
Three pipers - Messrs. D Swanson, Watten; D Steven, Cruives, Wick, and G Stewart, Stirkoke then took their places near the Memorial and played a lament “The Flowers of the Forest,”
The proceedings were appropriately closed by the singing of the National Anthem.
The Memorial stands on a stone-paved terrace about 30 feet square, the site having been specially levelled on the rocks at the junction of the rivers of Langwell and Berriedale and between the old stone bridges. It is of grey Kemnay granite about 25 feet high and was carried out from designs and drawings by Sir Ernest George, R.A., and Mr Alfred B. Yeates, F.R.I.B.A.
The cornice of the entablature forms pediments to the front and back, and these contain a thistle ornament sculptures in granite. The inscription, “Their Name Liveth for Evermore,” in bronze letters is carried round the frieze.
On the body of the monument to the front, a bronze dedication plate (6ft by 3ft) is placed and on the sides, in leaded letters, are the names of the Killed, Wounded, and Those Who Served.
On the top stands the figure of Saint Andrew, typifying the rugged fisherman, modelled by the sculptor, Mr. Basil Gotto, and cast in bronze by Messrs Martyn of Cheltenham. The dedication plate was cast by Messrs. Elsley of London.
Sculptured on the lower part in front are the dates 1914-1918, and France-Belgium; on the north side, Palestine-Salonika; and on the south side, Egypt-Gallipoli.
The granite work was executed by Messrs. John Fyfe, Ltd, Aberdeen and the whole was erected under the superintendence of Mr. George King, the Duke of Portland’s factor at Langwell.
The Dedication Plate on the front panel has at the top a victory wreath inside of which is the motto-
HONOR ET GLORIA
And the following inscription :-
TO COMMEMORATE THE PATRIOTISM
Caithness County Council agreed unanimously to accept the custody of the Memorial presented by The Duke of Portland on 11th October 1920 together with the ground on which it stands at their Meeting held at Wick on 30th October 1920.
Information supplied by Joy Corley