Minto War Memorial

Minto War Memorial

In September 1921, Sir Douglas Haig was invited by the parishioners of Minto to unveil their War Memorial within the grounds of the church. Addressing the company, he said that "they were met to do honour to the memory of seven gallant men of their own stock, who left Minto Parish to fight for King and country during the Great War, and gave their lives to the most splendid of all causes".

Minto War Memorial is situated in its own hedged garden in the grounds of Minto Church. It is one of the most distinguished memorials to be found in the country. The base of stone quarried from Minto Crags is surmounted by a life size statue of a British soldier. Although he wears the uniform of a private soldier, the face of the statue is said to have been modelled on that of Lieutenant Esmond Elliot, the son of the 4th Earl of Minto who was killed near Ypres on 6th August 1917.

On the memorial’s completion, the Countess of Minto is reputed to have had the figure turned from its original position of facing the family estate because she said that "a British soldier never turns his back on the enemy". It now faces Germany.

The sculptor of the statue was Thomas J Clapperton, a native of Galashiels. Amongst his other works was the Flodden Memorial in Selkirk, the Canonbie War Memorial and the Jimmy Guthrie statue in Wilton Lodge Park.

Words courtesy of Derek Robertson.

Minto War Memorial
Minto War Memorial. Courtesy of Derek Robertson.
Minto War Memorial
Minto War Memorial. Courtesy of Derek Robertson.
Minto War Memorial
Minto War Memorial. Courtesy of Derek Robertson.