Nov 9 2012 By Jackie Grant
It will be a special day at Kirkton on Sunday when the close-knit community gathers to pay respects to those who gave their lives for their country.
For the past year, Gordon Bisset has worked hard to tidy up the First World War memorial just outside the village. Now that it is looking “a million dollars”, Mr Bisset believes the clean-up job has helped to secure a bit of local history.
After a wreath-laying ceremony at the spruced-up memorial, a book published by Kirkmahoe Heritage Group will finally go on sale after years of painstaking research on the history of the people whose names adorn the memorial.
The book came about because of the determined efforts of Connie Davidson, nee Hall. The Hall family was deeply affected by injury and death in both world wars.
She felt that the history of the men who had fought and died was diminishing and didn’t want that to happen. That was in 2009, and her goal has finally been achieved.
The “Kirkmahoe War Memorials” book will be officially launched in Kirkton Hall at 3pm. Admission is free and refreshments will be served. The book cost £15.
It was a labour of love not only by Connie, but also Morag and John Williams.
Morag said: “The driving force behind the publication of this book on the Kirkmahoe war memorials has undoubtedly been Connie. Soon after the publication of “Through the Lens Kirkmahoe” in 2006, she mooted the idea to Kirkmahoe Heritage Group, of which she and her husband are members, and it is suspected that the idea had been in her mind long before that.
“She was at the forefront of raising funds to finance the project supported by her family, other members of Kirkmahoe Heritage Group – Mary Harkness, May Jardine, Annie Sloan, Gordon Bisset, Charlie Gibb, John and Morag Williams – as well as the community council and the wider community.
“There are so many people to thank for their help in researching and preparing the book, but most important of all we owe a great debt of gratitude to the descendants of families who suffered losses. They are to be thanked for allowing interviews to take place in respect of the First World War and for sharing their family histories.
“In the case of the Second World War, each family story is unique and movingly told. We hope the book will be a big success and enjoyed by all who read it.”