Maybole began its official
celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II with
a drumhead service organised by the local branch of the Royal British
Legion Scotland in conjunction with the community council on Sunday,
Everyone taking part assembled at Greenside instead of the
Railway Station due to the work being done on the footbridge.
Just before 2pm Colonel John Dalrymple Hamilton OBE TD DL
was invited to inspect the Colour Party and Alex Davidson brought the
Colour Party to attention to meet the Colonel.
Accompanied by Pipe Major Gavin Nicol, the Colours then
marched to the front of the parade to take up position behind Maybole Pipe
Band for the parade to Memorial Park via Ladyland Road and Kirkoswald
Also in the parade were Commander John T Lorimer, DSO,
Major John C K Young, Representatives of Ayrshire Area RBLS, Rev Dave
Whiteman, Rev David Jone, Superintendent Bruce Kennedy and Inspector
Stewart Gaudin of Strathclyde Police, Provost Gordon Mc Kenzie and
Councillors John McDowall and Ian Fitzsimmons of South Ayrshire Council,
David Kiltie, chairman of Maybole Community Council, British Legion
Branches including Maybole Ladies Branch, Representatives of Hollybush
House, Ex Servicemen, 1371 (Girvan) Squadron Air Training Corps, Maybole
Community Council, Maybole Community Association, Maybole Brownies,
Maybole Boys Brigade, Apprentice Boys of Derry, and pupils of Carrick
On entering the car park at the swimming pool the pipe band
marched along the front of the pavilion, turned and halted in line with
the head of the parade to form the left flank of a hollow square and the
remainder of the parade completed the rest of the hollow square around the
Drummers from the pipe band then stacked their drums and
the clergy took up position behind them. Maybole Branch Chaplain, Rev
David Whiteman BD then accepted the colours from standard bearers Robert
Malone and William Milligan and placed them over the drums.
Welcoming everyone to the Drumhead Service, Rev Dave
Whiteman said, “We are 60 years on from the cessation of hostilities and
the end of World War II and we gather today in our service of
Usually at our services of remembrance we hear Binyon’s
Lines and the Last Post but today they will be omitted because this is not
a Remembrance service but a thanksgiving service.
Today we come to especially give thanks for all who were
involved in the war on the Home Front.”
He then began the service with a prayer saying, “Let us
pray. Our gracious and eternal God we give you thanks for the world you
have created. We praise you for your great goodness to your people in
sending Jesus Christ to be the Saviour of those who trust in him.
Today especially as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of
the end of the Second World War we thank you for all who courageously
served our country in time of war.
We praise you for the graces of strength and endurance
given to our people in those dark days of danger and sorrow. We gather
today to remember and give thanks for all who were involved in the Home
Front, for the great virtues of strength and fortitude and courage given
to your people.
We give you thanks for all who laid down their lives for
our sake, make us worthy of their sacrifice, help us to strive for peace,
make us loyal to each other and above all to you our God and may the
example given to us by those who came through those dark years be an
inspiration to us all.
Psalm 121 was then read by Rev David Jones.
In his talk following the reading Rev Whiteman said, “Today
we come in thanksgiving to remember a time which was a time of total war.
747 men were conscripted from Maybole and 29 of those did
not return - we will remember them.
But today I want to concentrate on others who served our
nation so faithfully.
There was of course the 4th arm -- the Merchant Navy who
this nation depended on for supplies. My uncle was a captain in the
Merchant Navy and he was torpedoed eight times on the Atlantic crossing,
many, many merchantmen gave there lives.
We remember today the ATS, the WRENS and the WAAFs, and the
female ferry pilots who moved planes around the country.
Then there was the reserved occupation, and we remember the
Bevan boys conscripted into working in the coal mines.
The emergency services played their part, the auxiliary
fire service, the special constabulary with many retired police officers
called up to form the war reserve police.
Then there was the Home Guard, a big unit in Maybole and
I'm told they would have given the enemy a run for there money.
There was the Royal Observer Corps, the aircraft spotters,
the fire watchers, the ARP wardens, and there was a special reserve unit
set up to deal with rescue and first aid in times of air raids.
Then there were the essential war workers, the land army,
ambulance drivers, fire brigade, train drivers, communications workers
keeping the telephones and post going and the nurses and doctors.
The munitions factory at Girvan was a dangerous place to
work, folk I’m told developed yellow skin after working there.
The WRVS was formed in the war years, and the Red Cross
played their part with folk making what was known as comfort parcels.
The point I am making today is this, everyone was involved
in the war effort, even the youth.
The Guides, Boys Brigade and Scouts had litter drives,
collecting rubber one week, metal the next week, paper the next week and
so on. Children were used as runners to carry messages between look out
posts. and some were decorated for there bravery.
The schools were constantly raising funds for the war
effort, the Becephalus fund which sent money to Russia to help them
replace the horses killed in the war, the Spitfire Fund, the halfpenny
ship fund. Remember the ships on the halfpenny, this went to the navy.
Every school in Britain knitted squares to make blankets
for the troops; there was Dig for Victory when school playing fields were
dig up to plant vegetables; it was the era of the allotment and rationing,
and the kids went to work in the farms picking tatties. And of course the
evacuees taken from there homes to safer environments.
Troops were billeted in the shoe factory in Maybole and of
course many will remember the soldiers in the prisoner of war camp here.
I was born 15 years after the war so I do not remember it
and I cannot imagine it. But I’ve heard that in all the anguish and
heartache of war there was a spirit born. Everyone was involved in the war
effort, it was a time when everyone helped everyone else.
It was a time of total war and everyone was involved in
Today we come to thank God for them all, and especially
today we come to say ‘Thank you’ to them all.”
During the singing of the last hymn the Maybole standard
bearers moved to the front of the drums to receive their colours back
before the Benediction and the National Anthem.
After the drummers had taken back their drums the parade
left the park and made its way to the Greenside this time via Kirkoswld
Road, Whitehall, and past the Town Hall where the salute was taken by
Colonel Dalrymple Hamilton. The parade continued into School Vennel and
terminated at the Greenside.
Afterwards there was a light buffet in the Town Hall where
David Kiltie thanked everyone who had taken part in making the day so
successful and Mrs Georgina Cairns, chair of Ayrshire Area RBLS, also
thanked the organisers and everyone who had contributed to a wonderful