A crowd of people gathered in Johnstone for a poignant ceremony to mark 100 years since a memorial statue was unveiled.

The event got underway at 12pm in the town square on Friday, May 10, in front of the cenotaph which was erected on that day in 1924.

Members from the council along with representatives from the police and fire service were in attendance, and laid a wreath to commemorate all those who have died during conflict and since WWI.

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The Gazette:

The Gazette: Renfrewshire's Lord Provost speaking at the memorial event on FridayRenfrewshire's Lord Provost speaking at the memorial event on Friday (Image: Anthony Flett)

Councillor Lorraine Cameron, Renfrewshire's Lord Provost, spoke about the occasion as one where people "gathered with a heavy heart but lifted by resilience."

During her speech, she said:  "This monument is dedicated to not just names but to people.

"The people behind whose names, their stories are bravery, sacrifice, and unwavering dedication to the ideals of freedom and peace.

"Each name represents a life laid down for service to our nation.

"And families who are poignant reminders of the cost of conflict and the enduring importance of honour and duty.

"As we stand here today, we're not merely observers of the past, but custodians of the future, and it's our responsibility to ensure that the sacrifices of those who came before us are never forgotten and that their courage and valour continue to inspire generations.

"But remembrance is not solely about looking backwards.

"It's also about looking forward with hope and determination.

"It's about committing ourselves to creating a world where the horrors of war are but distant memories.

"Where peace reigns supreme, and where the principles of justice and equality flourish."

The Gazette:

The Gazette:

Representatives from Johnstone High School, Thorn Primary, Fordbank Primary and Auchenlodment Primary School were some who attended.

The community were invited to hold a moment of reflection. People with wreaths were invited to lay them at the foot of the memorial.

The Gazette:

The Gazette: Colonel Peter McCarthy addressing the public Colonel Peter McCarthy addressing the public (Image: Anthony Flett)

Colonel Peter McCarthy, Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, reflected back on how the unveiling of the statue was a significant moment for the community.

He said: "Today we're here to rededicate the War Memorial in Johnstone that was unveiled exactly 100 years ago today.

"Newspaper articles of the day described the ceremony as being of a most impressive character.

"An ex Provost, WB Lang, who was chairman of the Johnstone War Heroes Committee, handed over the War Memorial to the custody of the town council and it was accepted by the then provers Keeney on behalf of the community.

"The Johnstone War Memorial is a striking monument that has sat conspicuously in this square for the last 100 years.

"Looking to the future, encouraged by seeing a good number of our young people present here today who come to witness this rededication of the Johnstone Memorial.

"May we also look forward with some confidence in the hope that the historic legacy that this monument to the fallen represents will continue to be faithfully preserved and safeguarded by the coming generations."

The Gazette:

Mark Cardle, United Ex-Services for the Johnstone and District Club, added: "I was deeply honoured to have had the opportunity to honour this significant milestone in Johnstone’s History and thankful for the support that I received during the organisation of the event itself, which proves the significance that this memorial holds with the people of the town.

"It is vital that people don’t forget the significance of monuments of this nature, we are merely custodians for further generations to remember the ultimate sacrifices made, which have shaped all of our lives thereafter."