The event was organised by Stonehaven branch and attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Kincardineshire Alastair Macphie, along with military organisations, civic representatives, emergency services, community groups and the Mackie Academy choir. Leading the procession from the Market Square were pipe bands from across the North East including the army cadets, Banchory, Granite City, Howe o’ the Mearns, Lathallan, Lonach and Newtonhill. 

The parade and rededication followed the form of the original 1923 ceremony, when the monument was formally dedicated and unveiled by The Right Honourable Viscountess Cowdray of Dunecht and Dunnottar Castle, who donated the area of the Black Hill for the memorial site. 

One hundred years later Viscountess Cowdray’s great-grandson, the Honourable Charles Pearson, unveiled a commemorative plaque. The plaque will eventually be mounted onto a specially designed cairn and form part of the ongoing restoration and upkeep of the memorial. 

Speaking at the ceremony Charles Pearson said, “I am deeply honoured to have been asked to unveil this plaque which represents the rededication of this beautiful war memorial at Stonehaven exactly 100 years after its original unveiling by my great-grandmother, Annie, the 1st Viscountess Cowdray.” 

A large poppy wreath crafted by volunteers from Poppyscotland was laid at the memorial by the Lord Lieutenant, accompanied by cadets representing air training corps, army cadet force and sea cadet corps. 

Pam Gerrard, Stonehaven branch Treasurer and event co-ordinator, said, “In the last 100 years, generations of us have experienced and witnessed so much change yet the war memorial has been a constant, watching over the town from the Black Hill as if standing guard. Today’s rededication ceremony brought generations of people together to reflect, remember and honour a monument that will forever remain timeless.” 

During the ceremony local piper Ian Dallas played ‘The Black Hill – 100 years’ which he wrote for the rededication. Ian’s inspiration for the piece was his great-uncle Frank Dallas, who is remembered on the war memorial Roll of Honour. 

Iain McFadden (aka ‘Skirlie’) played the haunting ‘Flooers o’ the Forest’ on a set of 100-year-old bapipes that belonged to Stonehaven Pipe Band’s first pipe major. 

“When I play these special pipes, I am always mindful of the 211 names inscribed on the war memorial, including the pipe major’s stepson, and the importance of pausing to respectfully remember them,” said Skirlie. 

The event committee wish to thank everyone for their invaluable support, including local businesses and individuals who gave their time and generous donations.

Pictures courtesy of Carlo Williams