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Memorial Plaque

Linlithgow Academy War Memorial

From The Scotsman 26th June 1920.

WAR MEMORIAL AT LINLITHGOW ACADEMY

"Lieutenant-General Sir Frances Davies, commanding the forces in Scotland, yesterday afternoon unveiled a memorial tablet in Linlithgow Academy to former pupils of the Academy to the number of 25 who fell in the war. The ceremony was performed in presence of the parents of the fallen boys, also of the pupils of the school and the local companies of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides."

Memorial Plaque

This ceremony took place in the old Linlithgow Academy which is now occupied by Low Port Primary school. It is notable that the article mentions that 25 former pupils of the school died in the Great War while the actual number is 27. A close examination of the plaque reveals that two names have been added on at a later date. Presumably their omission was pointed out by relatives after the plaque was unveiled.

Memorial Added Names

When the present Linlithgow Academy building was opened in 1968, the plaque was hung in a prominent position opposite the assembly hall. Every year on 11th November, Armistice day, a wreath is laid underneath the plaque and a silence held in honour of the former pupils who lost their lives in the war between 1914 and 1919.

The plaque lists only the rank, surname, initials, regiment and date of death of the former pupils who fell in the war although it does record MC after the names of Hamish Macdonald and John Alexander Main which indicates that they were awarded the Military Cross for gallantry in the face of the enemy.

Research has revealed that one of the names engraved on the plaque is the wrong person. J.M Moffat, should actually be W.M. Moffat. A J.M. Moffat was the Post Master of Linlithgow and part time teacher at the Academy before the war. His son was William MacGregor Moffat who was a former pupil at the school. The plaque also incorrectly records his death as being on 23rd April 1917. William was killed on 3rd May1917. His regiment, the H.A.C Infantry (Honourable Artillery Company) and rank of Private are however correct.

J. McKay's surname is spelt incorrectly and should be MacKay. John MacKay was born at a time when various spellings of surnames beginning with 'Mac' could be used, so his name could be recorded as MacKay, Mackay, McKay, Mckay or even M'kay. His birth certificate registered him as John McKay but subsequent documentation such as census and military records list him as MacKay. The memorial to him on the family headstone also names him as John MacKay.

The names of George Fleming Burns and William Young were added to the bottom of the plaque at a later date

 

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