The mill town village of Neilston in East Renfrewshire was one of only about 3 villages in Scotland with no designated civic memorial site to honour its war dead. We were perplexed why this was so, Neilston throughout the years has raised tens of thousands for the national war memorial funds and contributed vast amounts of money to all local and National war effort, fund raising campaigns from world war one onward. Looking through historical data, Neilston as a small village has punched above its weight, time after time, in terms of population and size of district in its fundraising efforts.
Why so much effort was focused on these campaigns and yet nothing was done locally to honour the local war dead was an enigma to us.
Neilston Parish Church
The Parish Church with the memorial to the fallen in the Boer war, centre of the picture in the church grounds. This is the only public memorial in the village which honours the 3 local soldiers who died in the African war .over 200 other village lads are not remembered or marked in the village by any civic memorial
The Montgommery Family Grave in Neilston Cemetery, Matthew is buried at the St Imoges Churchyard cemetery, some 10 miles south of Reims in northern France
2nd Lieutenant of the Seaforth Highlanders
Matthew Montgomery, born on the 24th June 1883, in Eaglesham, Renfrewshire, son of Mr and Mrs Montgomery, of "Crumyards", Neilston; husband of Edith Winifred Montgomery, of Millview, Neilston, Renfrewshire. He graduated MA in 1908 at the University of Glasgow.
He was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Tardenois, part of the Battles of the Marne, on the 20th July 1918, aged 35. 2nd Lieutenant Matthew Montgomery is buried at the St Imoges Churchyard cemetery, some 10 miles south of Reims in northern France.
Matthew is also featured on The Scottish War Memorials Project forum website, and includes images of his memorial plaque, which is situated inside Neilston Primary School, where he was an assistant master, on the High Street in Neilston, Renfrewshire.
Neilston is one of only a very few Villages in Scotland that does not have a memorial or designated site where locals can gather to Reflect, Honour and Remember the brave souls from the area who have died in our defence in places far from home. The sacrifices made by so many for freedom needs to be remembered and war memorials play a vital role in ensuring that continues.
Our group has raised over £15,000 through fundraising and donations, we have fantastic support from the Village but need much more to make this commendable aim a reality, we would meekly ask if you would please consider supporting or cause by making a direct cash donation or by supporting our cause by other ways of benevolence suitable to yourself.
The research team are working through over 350 names from WW1 to the present day to ensure all relevant service personnel are included on our memorial, the surnames that are being researched, we find are the very same names being called out in the local schools today, Sons of the Village