On Saturday 18 October 1919 the sub-committee of the Beith war memorial committee met on the peak of Bigholm Hill, where the Peace Celebrations bonfire had been held in November 1918, to assess it as a suitable place to situate the war memorial.  Having agreed on the site, they bought the hilltop from Mr Robert Ritchie of Bigholm Farm for £20.  Three designs were submitted for the memorial with the winner being a 17ft octagonal Celtic Cross which was designed and supplied by Robert Boyd McLachlan III (1846-1921), Monumental Sculptor of Westview, Beith at a cost of £612 plus £37 10s for the lettering.

The war memorial was unveiled on 06 November 1920 at Bigholm Hill, Beith.  The dedication ceremony was presided over by Mr J. A. Findlay, who was accompanied by Lieutenant General Aylmer Hunter Weston.  The names of the First World War dead are carved on the eight sides of the pedestal, along with three sides of the top base.  The pedestal also contains the inscription “Erected by the people of Beith and District in sacred memory of those from the Parish who laid down their lives for their country in the Great War 1914-1919.  Their name liveth for evermore”.

Following World War Two the war memorial was re-erected at Janefield Place, Beith and a dedication was held on 13 July 1947.  The memorial was unveiled by Miss M. G. Hamilton and the service was conducted by Rev. J. Murray Woodburn, B.D.  The names of the Second World War dead were added to the memorial by sculptor Andrew McLachlan which sadly included the name of his own son Private Robert McLachlan of the 5th Seaforth Highlanders who died on 28 October 1942, while trying to get help for a fallen comrade, and is buried in El Alamein war cemetery, Egypt.  Robert was the grandson of sculptor Robert Boyd McLachlan III.  The names of the World War Two war dead are carved on five sides of the top base.

Further Reading

Dictionary of Scottish Architects which confirms that Robert Boyd McLachlan (1846-1921) was the designer and sculptor.