Kilrenny and Cellardyke War Memorial and 2020 Commemorations.

Due to the lockdown regulations Commemoration parades and group gatherings were unable to happen, and so members of the communities of Cellardyke and Anstruther paid their respect in different ways. Painted poppies on stones from Cellardyke shore with the name of a person lost were left at the Memorial

We had asked Bill Bruce of Different Video to take some drone footage of our Sea Queens laying the wreath so that those who were unable to attend could withess our act of remembrance. Bill has gone much further than this simple video and created a very moving piece with interviews and great shots of the town and event. Thank you very much for this poignant and fabulously shot piece.

Cellardyke Sea Queens, Jessie Barnett (2020 elect) and Ellie Deas (2019) laid a wreath from the Cellardyke Trust and the community

The wreath laid by our Sea Queens

We decided this year to make our wreath for multiple reasons, including environmental ones, we still donated to Poppy Scotland.

There are many different historical and cultural interpretations of plant symbolism. Here is one version for the 2020 wreath.

Oak.  Bravery, strength.  (Holm oak is evergreen)
Ivy.  Fidelity and friendship
Fern. Humility, but also for the Japanese it symbolises family and hope for future generations
Yew. Regeneration
Rosemary Remembrance.
Poppies Armistice day symbol, traditionally a flower of condolence

Unveiling of The War Memorial with Provost Black and Lieut Col T D Murray – Image courtesy of Kilrenny and Anstruther Burgh Collection –

Dundee Courier – Monday 13 March 1922, Unveiling of the War memorial


Kilrenny War Memorial Unveiled. Kilrenny Parish War Memorial, which has been erected on a commanding site at the Town’s Green, Cellardyke, overlooking the Firth of Forth, was unveiled on Sunday by Lieutenant-Colonel T. D. Murray, D.S.O.  

Previous to the unveiling a memorial service was held in Cellardyke Parish Church, when an address was given by Professor Arch. Main. Rev. J. MacNaughton, M.C., and Rev. James R. Lee also took part the service.

At the ceremony at the memorial Provost Black, J.P., presided. A hymn was sung by Cellardyke School children, and, following the unveiling of the memorial, Rev. J. R. Lee gave tho dedicatory prayer. Ex-service men, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, Brownies, and representatives of tho various public bodies and of Lodge St Ayle (No. 95), Anstruther, formed a conspicuous part of the large gathering at the ceremony.

The Memorial.

The memorial has a triangular base 11 feet wide, surmounted on each side by two panels, the one above the other.

On the lower panels are a laurel wreath and crossed swords, a figure of Black Watch soldier with fixed bayonet, and a navyman throwing a rope. On the panel above the crossed swords is the inscription: “In proud and reverent memory of those connected with the parish who laid down their lives in the Great War, 1914-1918.” The panel above the soldier gives the names of those who fell the army, and the panel above the sailor gives the names of those lost in the navy. The double panels rise to height of about 10 feet, and above them rises a circular pillar, on top of which is a large polished granite ball. The whole monument stands 23 feet high, and is made of beautiful Doddington stone. The names the fallen are:  

Navy— 1st Engineer Mitchell Anderson; Deck Hands John Bett, George Brown, Alexander Brown, Alexander Corstorphine, and James M. Gourlay; Skipper Andrew Henderson, jun.; Mate Alexander C. Keay; Deck Hand David Reid; Trimmer Wm. Tarvit; Mate Robert Wallace; Skipper Alexander Watson; and Deck Hand David Wilson, R.N.R.T. Second Engineer John Christie, Seaman James Dick; Seaman Robert Gardner, Stoker James A. Moncrieff; Seaman Wm. Reekie; Leading Seaman Robert Thomson; Stoker Wm. Watson; and Seaman John M. Wood. R.N.R. Master Mariner John Thomson, R.T.S.

Army—Privates David Bell, Alex. Bisset, Alex. Boyter (Brown), Alex. Boyter (Smith), Alex. Boyter (Bowman), George Corstcrphine, George M. Cunningham, Andrew H. Dick. John Doig, Angus Mac- Kay, C. M. Parker, Robert Sherriff. and James Black Watch; Lance-Corpl. Wm. B. Watson, Ptes. Alex. Watson and Robert Watson, Black Watch; Corpl. Charles Elder, Pte. Wm. Moncrieff, Second-Lieut. Thomas Smith, and Pte. John Smith, Royal Scots; Ptes. Andrew Halcrow, Wallace Low, and George Moncrieff, Gordons; Ptes. John Herd and Alex. Moncrieff, and Sergt. George Wilson, Canadians; Sapper Andrew Black and Sergt. D. Allan Clement, R.E.; Captain George M. Black, R.D.F.; Lieut. James Cairns, R.A.S.C.; Gnr. W. L. Cairns. Canadian Artillery; Pte. P. H. Keay, Canadian Engineers; Lance-Corpl. John Moncrieff, Seaforths; CorpL James Murray, Canadian Highlanders; Second-Lieut. P. O. Ray, R.F.C.: Pte. David Robertson, Scots Guards; Pte. Andrew Robertson, Labour Corps; Lieut. Robert Smith, M.G.C.; Lance-Corpl. John Thomson, A. and S.H.

A WW1 Story

There are many stories of losses and sacrifice – this is the transcription of a letter sent to the widow of Andrew Henderson, Skipper of his fishing boat the “Jane S” BK340 ( a hired fishing vessel). Andrew and both his sons were lost 11.5 miles south east of St Abbs Head, blown up by a mine, while fishing with the fleet for herring on the 14th August 1917. Two other Cellardyke crew members were also lost with the boat, James Wilson and Thomas Boyter

“It is with deepest sorrow that I write to you to offer my sincere sympathy in your terrible bereavement. I am the Officer in charge of the patrol boats which guard the Eyemouth fishing fleet and I was the last person to whom your husband spoke in life. He had sent a message to me that there was an obstruction in his nets so we had come within a boats length and I was asking him about it when the explosion, which was undoubtedly  caused by a mine becoming entangled in the nets, took place. When the smoke and spray had cleared away nothing whatever was to be seen except broken pieces of wood, and there was no sign of the crew although we searched the spot carefully for some time. I am quite sure that everyone was killed instantaneously and that no one can have suffered any pain. Before leaving the place I read the funeral service because I thought that you and the other friends of the crew would like this. I knew your husband very well and I often spoke to him since I have been on duty here, and only on Friday last I had a long talk with him about his sons and his new boat and I had a great regard and liking for him as indeed everyone here seemed to have. I understand that he was home for the weekend and I saw the boat on her way. As I suppose you only parted from him yesterday morning I feel that nothing I can say can really comfort you, but we all consider that in meeting his death while working to bring food into the country he has given his life for our cause just as much as a man who dies in the trenches.”

Andrew Henderson Jnr, lost with his father and brother