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Memorial details

Memorial type
First World War (1914-1918)
  • Unveiled
    Date: 24 December 1922
    Attended by: Mr. James Jones of Torwood Hall
  • Dedicated
    Date: 24 December 1922
    Attended by: Right Rev. Dr. John Smith, Moderator of the Church of Scotland
Not lost
WM Reference
Current location

Larbert Old Church
Denny Road

OS Grid Ref: NS 85560 82220
Denomination: Church of Scotland

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Oak Screen with brass dedication/names plaque below, which is on a marble backboard
Inscription legible?
  • First World War (1914-1918)
    Total names on memorial: 125
    Served and returned: 0
    Died: 125
    Exact count: yes
    Information shown: surname, forenames, rank
    Order of information: surname
  • Screen
    Measurements: Undefined
    Materials: Wood - Oak
  • Plaque
    Measurements: Undefined
    Materials: Brass
  • Backboard
    Measurements: Undefined
    Materials: Marble
Trust fund/Scholarship
Purpose: Unknown or N/A
  • Falkirk Herald, 27th & 30th December 1922. To the Fallen Dignified and Impressive Ceremony Larbert paid yet another tribute to the memory of some of its valiant sons who rallied to the cause in the Great War, and who made the supreme sacrifice. In the Parish Church on Sunday afternoon, and in the course of one of the most dignified and impressive services in the history of the old grey edifice, a beautiful oak screen together with a brass plate containing the names of 125 fallen members and adherents, was unveiled and dedicated to the everlasting memory. There was a large attendance of the congregation, including relatives of the fallen, for the latter of whom accommodation was reserved in the centre area. The 2nd Larbert Company Boys’ Brigade and the Torwood Boy Scouts were also present. The chancel was occupied by the choir and the Kirk-session, there being a full attendance in both cases. Rev. John Fairley conducted the service, other clergymen present being the Right Rev. Dr. John Smith, moderator of the Church; Rev. W. Buchanan and Rev. M. P. Craig. The church was quietly but effectively set with evergreens and holly, festoons of which were suspended from the gallery, and also in the chancel. Both the screen and memorial tablet were covered with Union Jacks, lending an appropriate and significant atmosphere to the occasion. The Service The service opened with the singing by the congregation of Psalm 130 “Lord, from the depths to Thee I cry’dâ€� and prayer was thereafter offered by Rev. John Fairley. Then followed a chant, prose, Psalm 20, “The Lord hear thee in days of trouble;â€� the Old Testament lesson from II Samuel i, 17-27, read by Captain Ian Bolton; praise, Psalm 23 “The Lord’s my shepherd;â€� New Testament lesson from St. John xv, 1-19, read by Rev. W. Buchanan; and the singing of hymn 339 “For all the saints who from their labours rest.â€� Mr. James Jones, Torwood Hall, was then asked to perform the unveiling ceremony. Prior to doing so, he addressed the congregation in the following terms: - Before performing the high honour entrusted to and gladly accepted by me of unveiling this handsome and beautiful memorial in honour of our fallen brave, may I be permitted to address a few words to this large, and in many cases, bereaved assembly. In my opinion not one of the returned ex-service men, either in this country or in the Colonies, which sent their sons and brothers to assist in the Great War, would not have preferred to have their names enshrined upon a memorial tablet than to have returned home, and found their cause had been lost. One of the most valuable of the many lessons to be derived from the Great War, not only to each of us as individuals, but to each nation of the world, is that no ruler or people, no matter how effectively organised and prepared, can with impunity attempt un-righteously to possess by guile or force that which is their neighbour’s without the evil they would do to others falling with redoubled force upon their own heads, and this the men of culture and supermen of Germany have found to their cost. The lines of the hymn which we have just sung – “From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s furthest coast, Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host.â€� has suggested to me that the thought that the 125 honoured names now upon this tablet – most of them either members or adherents of this church – represent but a fractional part of these who have made the great sacrifice which retained for us the liberty and freedom we have, and, pray God, our heavenly Father, may long possess. May this immense sacrifice be ever to us a source of inspiration to emulate and keep in memory their noble deeds. Following the unveiling ceremony, Rev. John Fairley read the names of the men who were commemorated and the dedication ceremony, which included an impressive dedicatory prayer, was performed by the Right Rev. Dr. Smith. This done, an acknowledgement of the memorial was made by Mr. Peter Rae in a few appropriate and simple sentences, and then followed the playing of the “Lamentâ€� on the pipes by Pipers James Hunter, Rankine (2) and Clarkston, and the singing of an anthem by the choir. “How bright these glorious spirits shine,â€� taken from Paraphrase lxvi, 1, 2, 6 and 7. The Sermon The sermon was preached by the Moderator. Taking his text from Revelation xii, 11 – “And they loved not their lives unto the death.â€� Dr. Smith said they were gathered together for a noble purpose. Thoughts would steal away today to the resting place of every warrior, to every sacred spot where a sailor or soldier was laid whose heart beat for the mighty work God gave him to do in his day and generation. No standard can be foundto measure the extent of their sacrifice. It seems like trying to measure the infinite. The infinite is in it. In the great and terrible day the youth stood at the beautiful golden gate of the Temple of Life, and looked right into the heart of all that was about him, and before him, and above him, and he sad “I can give all if my country needs it,â€� . . . and he laid down his life. Proceeding, Dr. Smith said he questioned if this was not the greatest sacrifice. They forgot everything else in its remembrance, and should have only thankfulness to God for raising up such gallant boys. No better and brighter heroism was ever seen in this planet than that which shone forth in those whose glorious memory they were celebrating today. It was a heroism which united them to every hero who died for his country on land, on sea, or in the air. But for their deeds we should have no country worth the name. We should have gone down into history unpitied, unhonoured, and unsung. Besides, a glorious name and memory. Dr. Smith said, there was a great hope. Of all questions that haunt the human mind none has for most people such absorbing interest as the question of re-union. Modern thought is full of it. All kinds of speculations are noised abroad. They heard of communications with those who have passed to the other side. They heard of fond parents in touch with their brave sons who fell in the Great War. They dare not deny the possibility. All things were possible to him that believeth. Of this he was sure – as sure as God Himself – that they would meet their dear ones again. It was easy to play with arguments against this great sustaining hope, when no tender tie of affection had been broken. But let one of our own flesh and blood bid us good-bye. The evidence of love is overwhelming. A dear one with Christ does more to illuminate the other world than all he books ever written. In conclusion, Dr. Smith asked how shall we best remember those who had died so nobly? They had left a work unfinished, he said, that it was us to complete. They died for their country. Ex-service men who came through the check and storm of battle, and those who carried on the work while our heroes fought and died – they had to live for their country. They gave themselves, their life, their all for great ideals and noble ends, and we remained to live for these ideals, and to seek those ends anew. Yes, and we owed it to them, too, to consolidate the work of the past and to build up a new and better land. Amid these restless and troubled times our obligation to build it out of their ideals and in their spirit of service was inexorable. Ours to take up the mantle that had fallen from their shoulders. Ours to bear onwards the torch that had dropped from their hands. Ours to do it in God’s name and to God’s issue, quitting ourselves like men and good soldiers of Jesus Christ – faithful unto death. During the time the offering (which followed the sermon) was being taken, the choir sang a memorial hymn and the congregational praise – hymn 320 “Step(?) on, belovedâ€� formed the first part of the concluding ceremonial. This included the sounding of the “Last Postâ€� and “Reveilleâ€� by Mr. John Aitken, the pronouncing of the benediction by Dr. Smith, the singing of the National Anthem, and the closing voluntary, “Funeral Marchâ€� (Mendelssohn) by Mr. G. D. Gillies, L. Mus., L.C.M. During the playing of this voluntary many evergreen and floral tributes were laid on the communion table by relatives and others. The Memorial Described The oak screen, which forms the principal part of the memorial, is placed behind the communion table in the chancel. The panelling and canopy is composed of British oak throughout and harmonises splendidly with the other furnishings of the chancel. The two outer panels contain two beautifully carved figures symbolical of Fortitude and Prudence, these being executed in Japanese oak. From the roof of the chancel is suspended an ornamental lamp. The brass tablet containing the names is placed on a marble slab which is affixed to the east wall of the church. It contains the following inscription: “The oak screen in the chancel was dedicated to the glory of God and in memory of those who gave their lives in the war 1914-1918.â€�

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