Grangemouth War Memorial

Grangemouth War Memorial

      The cenotaph is 27 ft tall and is raised on a paved and stepped platform 60 ft wide.   At the rear the cenotaph was connected to a circled wall terminating with the entrance gates into the park on either side.   These gates are elaborately cast in iron and lead into the park proper.   Crowning the cenotaph is a group of sculpture representing the British lion rending the German eagle.   The  original  scheme  had not included  the  eagle,  and  its appearance caused some consternation amongst the council who fell that  Britain ought  to  be  behaving  with greater dignity in Victory than  to  portray  the defeated Nation thus.   The names of the fallen are to be found in lead at the base.  On the front, under a carved cross is the inscription:

“In proud and grateful memory of the Men/ from Grangemouth/ Who went forth during these years of War,/ to fight for God and the Right,/ The names of those who returned not again/ are here inscribed.”

Underneath, carved on the stone are the words:

“To you with failing hands we throw/ The torch: be yours to hold it high.”

      The designer was  Sir John Burnett of John Burnett, Son and Dick, Glasgow.  The surrounding layout was the work of the Burgh engineer, Mr D A Donald.   The 1956 alterations were supervised by the Falkirk architects, Wilson and Wilson.

      The sculptor was Alexander Proudfoot of Glasgow.  The structural work was by J J & P M’Lauchlan, Larbert, and the gates by the Windsor Engineering Co Ltd, Glasgow.  Further work in 1956 was by Norman Robertson, sculptor, Falkirk.

      The cost of the monument was £2478, the ornamental park gates and piers £1625 (mostly paid for by 5 anonymous gentlemen), which with the stationary and other incidental expenditure came to a total of £4163.  The flower beds were paid for separately by the burgh council.   The work carried out after the Second  World War  cost  £1225  which  included £655 for the cleaning  of  the  monument  and re-chiselling of the eagle, £250 for adding the names.

      It was unveiled by General Sir George Ian Hamilton on Saturday 22nd September, 1923.  On the same day he unveiled a brass plaque to the 7th Battalion Scottish Rifles (Camerons) in the town hall, and a memorial tablet was also dedicated at the parish church.

      In 1948 it was decided to remove the crowning sculptural group and replace it with something simpler.   However,  lack of funds meant that the project had to be  carried  out by the town council who restricted the scheme and cleaned  the existing monument,  removed the railings attached to the cenotaph and  extended the  dais  to make it free standing.   On the side facing the park they added three Roman stones with lead lettering, each bearing about 44 names.

Geoff Bailey (2016)