Timely discovery of roll of honour

The newly restored plaque in Dailly Parish Church.
The newly restored plaque in Dailly Parish Church.

It lay in the dusty corner of a church loft for many years, stored away and forgotten, but in a timely find, a lost First World War roll of honour has been rediscovered in time for the commemoration of 100 years since the start of that catastrophic conflict.

The roll of honour was discovered in the loft of Dailly Parish Church. The framed scroll bears the names of 46 men and three women who were members of St Columba’s Free Church in Dailly who served in the armed forces during what became known as The Great War. Nine of those named were killed in action during the war.

The roll of honour has been cleaned up and repaired by church elder Jean McBride and is now on display in the parish church.

How it came to be there is an interesting tale in itself. St Columba’s church closed for worship in 1929 and several items were removed for safe keeping to the then St Machars Parish Church including a stained glass window with a marble plaque on the sill, which had been inserted in the free church by Eugene Wason of Blair MP and his wife on the safe return of their son Rigby from the war in South Africa where he served with the City Imperial Volunteers.

A memorial naming the nine members of the free church who died in the Great War was also placed in the church and now all three memorials are together again on display in time for the commemoration of the start of the war.

Like most other churches Dailly has several other items which are deemed to be war memorials, not necessarily commemorating WWI.

These include an alter cross displayed on the communion table which was gifted in 1919 by the Inglis family in memory of their sons, one killed during the Boer War and three others during WWI.

Two vases presented by the same family in 1916 commemorate two of their sons killed during the Great War. Again the same family placed a marble plaque in the church in memory of their son Alexander Inglis, aged 24 years, Captain 2nd Regiment Scottish Horse, who was killed in action in South Africa on October 30, 1901 ‘Whilst gallantly leading his squadron’.

Alongside this memorial plaque is a WWI temporary battlefield burial cross removed from Dailly cemetary in October 1997 for safe keeping. This cross was brought from a battlefield in France where it was used as a temporary grave marker for Lieutenant R. Inglis MC prior to his being reinterred in one of the many Commonwealth war cemeteries.

Behind the pulpit of the church there are seven wooden panels bearing the names of 42 members of the congregation who died during WW1, and three other panels bear the names of 13 members of the congregation who died during WW2.Dailly parish war memorial is situated in Church Square. It was designed by James A, Morris, a noted architect from Ayr who designed several buildings in Racecourse Road in that town. His son George was killed during WWI while serving with the Royal Flying Corps. The memorial was unveiled on November 13, 1921. Four bronze plaques contain the names of 55 men who died during the WWI and two sides of the column contain the names of 13 men who died during WWII.

The village of Dailly has one other war memorial which is nowadays sometimes forgotten. After WWII the Bargany family gifted a piece of ground to be known as the Memorial Garden in honour of those who did not return from WWII.

Opposite the primary school was a low lying area which would have made a good sunken garden but Girvan District Council, the ruling authority at that time, in consultation with the people of Dailly decided to fill in the area and turf it as a sports field, to be known as Memorial Park.

A suitable plaque showing the park’s name and background is long overdue.