Douglas cenotaph restored to glory

01-10-2015 Left to Right - Jim Smith, Thomas Cronin, John Mcaleer, Margret Thompson.  All involved with helping the Cenotaph get cleaned up. Picture Sarah Peters.
01-10-2015 Left to Right - Jim Smith, Thomas Cronin, John Mcaleer, Margret Thompson. All involved with helping the Cenotaph get cleaned up. Picture Sarah Peters.

When Douglas Community Council considered ways of commemorating the centenary of the start of World War 1, there was one practical thing needing done — the cenotaph needed renewed.

“The cenotaph was in a bit of a state,” said chairman Jim Smith. “We decided to see if we could get funding to renew it.”

The War Memorial was commissioned by Charles Alexander Douglas-Home, 12th Earl of Home and his wife Maria.

The sculptor was Alexander Nisbet Patterson, who was born in Glasgow and studied in Glasgow and graduated with an arts degree in 1882. He also worked on drawings for the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Unusually, the cenotaph, in the cemetery in Ayr Road, has a large crucifix on the top of it, and to clean it up and to repaint individually all the letters in the names of those commemorated on it, was a lengthy, time-consuming and expensive job.

“The whole thing had to be cleaned down, and it is a bronze crucifix on it and a bronze statue as well.

“There was a lot of work to be done to it, and it all had to be done in a very meticulous manner, to meet the War Memorial Trust standards, because this is quite an important war memorial,” explained Jim.

The total cost was some £11,800, but a grant was available from the War Memorials Trust, which was managing the Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund, on behalf of Historic Scotland and the Scottish Government.

That was money made available for communities wanting to tidy up memorials anywhere in Scotland.

And with grants also from the Renewable Energy Fund, and the Hagshawhill Windfarm Trust the community council was able to commission Lanark Memorials to do the work and restore the cenotaph as a fitting memorial to those from Crawfordjohn, Glespin and the village itself who made the ultimate sacrifice.