Friday, 11 November 2011

Missing Dumfries War Memorial

Thanks to Paul Goodwin for another Blog article today. Paul found references to a memorial unveiling in Dumfries in 1922 but has not been able to trace the memorial, or even its original location. I'll copy Paul's words from the Scottish War Memorial Project.

Dumfries and Maxwelltown Painters

Location: Original location not confirmed but believed to be in the main bar of the Globe Inn, 56 High Street, Dumfries at OS Map Ref NX 972 759. Its current location is unknown.

The unveiling of this memorial was reported in the Dumfries and Galloway Standard and Advertiser of 26th April 1922 and in another local paper of the same date. In one paper it is reported that the memorial is in the Hall of the Globe Inn and in the other that it is in the Globe Hotel Hall. Over a hundred men from Dumfries and Maxwelltown Painters Trade had served in the war so we can suppose that the number of men at the unveiling would have been close to, or even exceeded 100. There are currently two Globe Inns in Dumfries, one is a small bar in Maxwelltown which has never had a hall and is large enough for only 20 – 30 people with no sign of any memorial so we can discount that. Local trades directories, enquiries at the Ewart Library and the local Family History Society show no other Globe Hotels or Inns at the period so that leaves only the one on the High Street.

The Globe Inn (High Street) has never had a separate hall, nor is there any sign of the memorial there currently. The Inn has been in the ownership of the same family since the 1930s and they have no knowledge of the memorial, nor have any major changes or alterations been made in their ownership, it is a very historical building. It is difficult to understand that the memorial might have been removed within just 10 or so years of its unveiling. All of the rooms are quite small and could not relate to the hall described except for one large (long) room which is now used as the main bar.

The newspaper reports the position as occupying a prominent position in the centre of the end wall of the room, facing the door. If this refers to the main bar then this is exactly where the doors are to the Ladies and Gentlemens Toilets. So that is the probable location, but what happened to it and when?

Transcription from Dumfries and Galloway Standard and Advertiser dated 26 April 1922.

Dumfries Painters Memorial

Roll of Honour Unveiled

An interesting gathering was held in the Globe Hotel Hall, Dumfries on Saturday evening, when a memorial to members of the painters’ craft belonging to Dumfries and Maxwelltown, who fell in the great war was unveiled with appropriate ceremony. The memorial, a symbolical figure of “painting” occupies a prominent position in the centre of the end wall of the room, facing the door. It is the work of Mr George Graham, one of the veteran members of the craft in the town, and of his son, Mr Claude Graham, who, unfortunately, was taken ill and died while the work was in progress. The painting has a representation of a female figure holding a palette in her right hand, while with the left she points to the inscription which occupies the centre of the upper part of the picture. The inscription is as follows: “In commemoration of those belonging to the painting trade in Dumfries and Maxwelltown who made the supreme sacrifice during the great war.” At the bottom left hand corner there is a shiedl with the painters’ arms and the motto, “Amor et Obedientia.” An ornamental border with the rose, thistle and shamrock intertwined encloses the symbols, and the list of
which are as follows: Second-Lieutenant J. M. Haining,, K.O.S.B.; Sergeant J. Hewitson, A. and S.H.; Corporal R. Constantine, H.L.I.; Lance-Corporal A. McGeorge, K.O.S.B.; Private A. McKenzie, K.O.S.B.; Private J. Bryden, K.O.S.B.; Private Albert Law, K.O.S.B.; Private J Coyle, K.O.S.B.; Private D. Bouskill, K.O.S.B.; Private R. Brown, K.O.S.B.; Sergeant William Brown, R.G.A.; Private William Neisham, R.E.; Private J. Nelson, S.R.; Private A. Jamieson, B.W.; Private J. McAdam, Con. R.; Private J. Graham, H.L.I.; Private Alexander McAdam, R.E.; Private R. Simm, R.S.; Gunner J. Bell, R.G.A.; Private Alexander Harrison, K.O.S.B.; Private Robert Jackson, K.O.S.B.

The memorial is enclosed in a massive oak frame, this part of the work having been executed by the late Mr D. Constantine.

(transcription ends)

In the article, there follows a description of the ceremony which mentions a welcome home ceremony for members of the craft which had been held in the same hall two years previously. Also mentioned that over 100 members of the trade had gone to fight and 21 had “made the supreme sacrifice”. The memorial was unveiled by the president, Mr Wilson who accepted it into their safe custody.

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