Honouring the brave

The Dennyloanhead Church where plaque was discovered
The Dennyloanhead Church where plaque was discovered

It has lain unseen and almost forgotten for nearly 30 years.

But now, a memorial plaque to four men who gave their lives in World War II will once again be on show – and the man who uncovered it would like to know more about the brave souls who are commemorated.

The plaque, bearing the names of four young men from Dennyloanhead, was erected in the village’s church - but when it closed and was converted into a fireplace showroom, the plaque was hidden under layers of plywood and plaster.

John Penman, who runs Cloybank Estate in Banknock, was working on a conversion of the old church when he came across the heavy, stone memorial, firmly fixed to the church’s wall.

He said: “I think it is too important to be hidden. I knew we had to take it and let everyone see it.”

The stone bears the names of four young men of the parish: James Coulter, Hamish Fraser, Dan Faulds and William Stewart.

The legend that accompanies the name simply says, ‘Faithful Unto Death’.

Now, Mr Penman is determined that the men who made the ultimate sacrifice will not be forgotten and he is appealing for any family members who know the stories of the fallen to come forward and contact him.

And he has ambitious plans to erect the stone in a new location – while getting the whole of the local community involved in the project.

He said: “I will be asking primary school pupils in the area to design a plinth or cairn that will display the plaque.”

He also intends that the young workers who attend Cloybank Estate through Falkirk Council’s employment training unit will become involved, learning stonework and how to care for the memorial as they study for SQAs.

Mr Penman has identified a piece of ground in the heart of Dennyloanhead that he believes will be an appropriate setting for the memorial and he has promised that the various youngsters who take part in the activities at Cloybank will be responsible for its ongoing upkeep.

If you have any information about the four names on the plaque, please contact John on 01324 841707 or 07515 876654.

You can also email cloybank@gmail.com and keep up to date with the project’s developments on Cloybank’s Facebook page.