Back in June 2018 we uploaded a report and news item about why there were two war memorials in the village of Elsrickle. The two war memorials at Elsrickle, South Lanarkshire
In that article and the report we asked if anyone knew more to get in touch. We’d like to thank the Frame family for doing just that and sending through their family history which explains more of the story and man behind it – their great grandfather and a fuller version of the poem.
We’ve added it below, reproduced with their permission:
The man behind the wee war memorial in Elsrickle
James Bishop was good Christian man who worked his own market garden, “Oxengate”, in the centre of the village. On occasion, I believe he employed some “puirhoose bairns” to help in the busier times.
It was James Bishop, after the erection of the larger memorial outside the old kirk in Elsrickle who “couldnae staun to see in ony measure man’s inhumanity tae man.”
He approached the minister and, I believe, some of the Elders at the time, to have all those who left from the village for The Great War and never returned, to be honoured on the new monument.
The minister would not have these “in-comers” and “puirhoose bairns” on “his” monument.
In anger, James Bishop was heard to call the minister, “Nothing but a stentin’ post in hell” , a wonderful analogy for the leader of the local Kirk! (A Stenting Post is the strainer in a wire fence – the big posts that hold all the smaller posts (stobs) tight and secure).
From that day, James Bishop and his family never returned to The Kirk, but travelled the few miles to Walston Kirk by horse and cart every Sunday, rain, hail or shine. My father (Hugh Frame) remembered some miserable trips in the cart as a young boy being dragged along to Walston Kirk!
James found the money and used the little plot of land “Richt at the ither end o’ the street, the tapmaist and forebye” to erect the small monument with just the two names. It was he who decided on the the vital fact, “They also died for us”.
Some years later, James Bishop (grandson of James Bishop) was approached about another name of a fallen hero who was not recorded on any other monument (Sergeant Peter Clark R.A.S.C.). Following consultation with my father they gladly gave their blessing to have the 3rd name added as he had “also died for us”.
James Bishop was my great grandfather. His grand son, James Bishop (deceased), was a police officer who served with Salford City and Greater Manchester Police Forces retiring as a Detective Chief Inspector and has a family of 11 surviving children.
His Great Grandson, James Bishop Frame (my brother), was also a police officer who served with Lothian and Borders Police and the Police Service of Scotland and retired as a Superintendent in 2018.
New South Wales, Australia
The full version of the poem
The Twa Monuments
There’s a wee auld fashioned village
that lies aff the beaten track
And I want tae tell a story that ma
memory brings me back;
For in that wee auld village is a sicht
that’s quite unique.
For you’ll find a War Memorial at each
end o’the street.
In that wee auld fashioned village were
twa puirhoose bairns brocht up.
Twa laddies wha gied their labour for a
bed and bite and sup.
But when they grew to manhood the
Great War it broke oot
And wae a wheen o’ others they donned
the khaki cloot.
Frae oot that awfu carnage, were some
that ne’er came back
to the auld fashioned village, that
lies aff the beaten track.
No in the quite kirkyard their last
Resting place was found.
But far frae bonny Scotland they lie
in foreign ground.
In memory o’ thae gallant lads a
Monument was raised
On which their noble sacrifice commended
was and praised.
Their names were also written there
but sad it was tae see
nae mention o’ the puirhoose bairns –
Surely it couldnae be.
For they along wi’ ithers, had laid their
young lives doon.
And just the same as others deserved
fair Honour’s croon.
No muckle wealth nor gear had they,
but whit they had they gied.
Their very life’s bluid they poured oot
And for their country died.
The minister’s attention was drawn tae
but he just dismissed the matter and
quite refused tae act.
But in that wee auld village wis a man that
to see in ony measure man’s
inhumanity tae man.
An’ sae tae richt the wrang that his
kindly hert felt sair.
A monument for their ain twa sels he
had erected there,
Richt at the ither end o’ the street, the
tapmaist and forebye
It stauns tae tell the story tae every
The words engraved upon the stane are
plain and clearly tell
That it’s for “Twa Gallant Heroes” who
in the Great War fell.
And underneath their honoured names,
without display or fuss,
The vital fact it simply states
“They also died for us”.
Oh, may we, like that honest man, gie
honour whaur it’s due.
Esteeming character and truth – be pockets t’m or fu’.
Far aften in the humble cot true riches
When in the mansions o’ the rich they
scarcely can be found.
And let us think o’Anither Yin who
gied Himself for us
And ask ourselves the question “Whit dis it mean tae us?”
Sure it cannae be that we, wi cauld herts can despise
The Love Divine that bore our sins, in
But may we like that honest man with every word and act
Let oor lives be a memorial to that great and glorious fact.