Liverpool Scottish Memorial Stone
at the site of the Battle of Hooge
Paul Spenley (L.I. 1950 - 1956) writes:
Over the weekend of Sat.29 and Sun. 30 July in the Year 2000, in the Belgian town of Ypres three
commemoration ceremonies took place to honour all those killed in action whilst serving with the
The first ceremony was held at 5.00 p.m. on the Saturday with the unveiling and dedication of a new
Memorial Stone at the site of the Battle of Hooge. On the 16th June 1916 records show that 188
soldiers of the Liverpool Scottish lost their lives in one day whilst over the 4 day battle period of
542 serving Liverpool Scottish soldiers only 143 emerged unscathed.
Some main features of the Memorial had been shipped out from Liverpool and included the Regimental
Stone from above the door of the original barracks in Fraser Street and cobbles from Liverpool
streets to surface the ground around the Memorial. I placed a Cross of Remembrance here in memory of
the fallen Liobians.
The most poignant memory retained of this ceremony was that of the lone piper playing the Lament. At
first stationary at the Memorial the piper then moved off at a slow march down the farm track leading
away from the Memorial whilst still playing. This was a text book conclusion to a very moving
ceremony with the sunlight streaming down, occasional bird song from the adjoining wood, the wind
rustling the ripened corn growing in the field where the battle took place and the Lament from the
Piper. Not a dry eye to be witnessed amongst the 200+ assembled there.
At 7.30 p.m. the same evening we assembled in the town centre to march to the Menin Gate for the 8.00
p.m. Last Post Going on parade and marching in column line with the troop headed by the Liverpool
Scottish Pipes and Drums, followed by the soldiers resplendent in their kilted uniforms sent my inner
pride miles high.
This took rise from my representation of all 267 fallen in WW I who were Liobians, the wreath that I
was carrying to lay in their memory, and having in mind many were as young as 18 or 19 years old and
not long out of the Institute. The centre of the wreath bore "NON NOBIS SOLUM SED TOTI MUNDO
NATI" in bold capitals set against the portal and figurehead which graced the front of the
school magazine. This was placed against a shade of green close to that incorporated in the school
badge with a suitable message inscribed upon the accompanying card. The wreath was duly laid amongst
the Liverpool Scottish dedications set down at the Menin Gate.
The final ceremony took place on the Sunday morning in St.George's Memorial Church preceded by a
march through the town centre of Ypres. A memorial plaque to the memory of all the Liverpool Scottish
fallen is situated upon the inner wall of the Church and one final wreath was laid here.
Three other Liobians who had served with the Liverpool Scottish were in attendance and they
David Evans (L.I. 1948 - 1954), William (Willy) Weir (L.I. 1965 - 1971) and Stuart Keane (L.I. 1975 -
Stuart Arnold (L.I. 1958 - 1964) paid a visit to the Menin Gate on the following Tuesday and located
the wreath alongside the others that had been laid.
All credit must go to the Liverpool Scottish Regimental Council for the planning and organisation of
such a magnificent tribute to the heroes of Liverpool who died in such appalling circumstances.