On 19th May 1917, under the headline “Interesting Ceremony At Fairlie”, the Largs & Millport Weekly News reported:- “On
Tuesday afternoon an interesting ceremony took place, when the Dowager
Countess of Glasgow unveiled a war shrine which had been erected against
the wall of the porch of the Village Hall and gifted to the village by
Mrs Fergusson, Brooksyde. There was a good attendance of spectators
within the grounds of the hall at the appointed hour. The Rev. D.C.C.
Gollan opened the proceedings with prayer thereafter the Countess, at
the close of an appropriate and touching address, removed the Union
Jack, unveiling the shrine on which the names of all who had left the
village in answer to their country’s call are inscribed. The roll of
honour contains the names of 124 men, and of these ten have made the
supreme sacrifice. The framework, which is made of mahogany is
beautifully carved, and the work of the Rev. Arthur Allan, the top part
having the words “For King and country”, and in the centre of which is a
cross. At the close of the ceremony, the Rev. Arthur Allan proposed
votes of thanks to the Dowager Countess of Glasgow and to Mrs Fergusson,
and the singing of the National Anthem brought a most impressive
gathering to a close.”
In January 1920, the people of Fairlie met in the Village
Hall to give thanks to the returned servicemen. Each of the men was
presented with a gold medal, and Hugh Burden, who had been awarded the
D.C.M. for conspicuous gallantry, was presented with a gold watch.
Walking sticks were presented to David Jones and Adam Anderson, both of
whom had been severely wounded.
At the ceremony, the Chairman of
the Recognition Committee said, “Valued in terms of money the offering
might seem of small account; but valued in terms of the heart each token
was a pearl beyond price, for there was no home in the village that had
not contributed its mite towards the funds.”
research, we came across only one person who had heard about the Fairlie
medal – Mrs Hetty Marshall, whose father James Smith’s medallion is
On 9 November 1918, even before the Armistice had been signed, it was being reported that a movement was afoot to erect a memorial in the village in memory of the Fairlie men who had fallen in the war. Within a few weeks, a Memorial Fund committee was appointed, and by the beginning of December contributions to the fund exceeded £200.
By December 1919, the
committee had received plans for a Celtic cross, and work on the memorial began
in April 1921. On 21 August 1921,
following a service in the Parish Church addressed by Lt. Gen. Sir Aylmer
Hunter-Weston, “a great number of villagers and visitors gathered in a
drizzling rain” as the Fairlie War Memorial was unveiled by the Dowager
Countess of Glasgow.
Nearly sixty years
later, in August 1980, the base block had to be restored after it was badly
damaged when a car smashed into it.