1901 - Laying the Memorial Stone of the Monument at Tulloch Hill - In memory of David Stanley Ogilvie, 9th Earl of Airlie - 31st August 1901

Airlie MonumentThe ceremony of laying the memorial stone of the monument, which is being raised on Tulloch Hill, Cortachy, to the memory of the late Earl of Airlie, who fell at the head of his Regiment in the South African War, was performed with full Masonic Honours on Saturday. The function was of more than ordinary interest, not only to those within the Masonic circle, but throughout a very much wider sphere, and was attended by a large and representative assemblage from all parts of the country. The late Earl having been a Mason and a member of the local Lodge of Kirriemuir, which bears the name of his illustrious family, it was only fitting that the memorial stone should be laid will full Masonic honours, the brethren of the Airlie Lodge being associated with the various Lodges belonging to the Province. The deputations from these Lodges were very large and together they mustered between 200 and 300.

In that way they testified to the regard they held for the memory of their deceased brother, no less than to their loyalty to the craft. The morning was dull and threatening, but towards noon the sun shone out brightly, and the weather in the afternoon was all that could be desired. Early in the day there was a large influx of visitors to Kirriemuir, and long before the appointed hour for the ceremony the road leading to the Thrums to Tulloch Hill was thronged with all kinds of vehicles at 1.30.


Travelled from Kirriemuir in conveyance to Cortachy, where they were joined by contingents from other centres, who drove direct to Tulloch Hill. Arrayed in the regalia of the Craft, the brethren marshalled at the base of the hill, their order being as follows –Airlie (286); Alyth (732); Edzell Castle (870); Broughty Castle (486); Albert Lochee (448); Camperdown (317); Lour Forfar (309); Panmure (299); Forfar & Kincardine (225); Thistle Operative (158); St. James, Brechin (123); St Vigean (101) Glamis (99); Forfar Kilwinning (90); St. David Dundee (78); St. Ninian (66); Ancient Dundee (49); Operative (47); St. Thomas (40); and Montrose Kilwinning (15).

The procession, preceded by three stalwart pipers from the Glamis Pipe Band, began the ascent shortly before three o’clock, and as it wended its way at a slow pace for the summit it was witnessed by large numbers of spectators who had gathered on the roadway and on the slopes of the hill. Having reached a short distance of the memorial building, the procession halted and, opening to right and left, allowed the members of the Provincial Grand Lodge to pass up the centre; and now headed by the Kirriemuir Brass Band, under Mr James Lamb, playing appropriate music, the procession slowly approached the monument, where there was an assemblage of between 1000 and 2000 people.

The castle party included: - The Countess of Airlie, Lord Ogilvie and other members of the family, the Dowager Countess of Airlie, the Earl of Arran, the Earl of Camperdown, Colonel Fisher; Professor Ramsay, Edinburgh; Mr H.F. Lindsay Carnegie, Kinbethmont; Colonel Rait, C.B., Anniston; Mr Gavin Ralston representing the Earl of Strathmore, Captain Munro, Lindertis; Provost Wilkie, Kirriemuir; Mr John Ogilvie of Lisden. Amongst others present were: - Mr John Black and Miss Black, Cortachy; Mr T.M. Cappon, architect, F.R.I.B.A., Dundee; Mr James Wilkie, Kirriemuir; Mr Andrew Wightman, Cortachy Estates Office; Rev John Strachan and Mrs Strachan, Cortachy; Rev J.R. Strachan, Lintrathen; Mr & Mrs P. Stormont Darling and family, Lednathie; Mr & Mrs Mill, London; Mr William Whyte, Spott; Mr Alexander McKay, Auchterhouse; Mr & Mrs James Moffat, Mr Moffat and the Misses Moffat, Forfar; Bailie Sandeman; Mr R. P. Sandeman, Arbroath; Mr & Mrs Kidd, Downie Park; Mr Lawson, Rottal; Mr Steuart Lindsay, Crawford House; Mr R.J. Birnie, Chief Constable, & etc.


9th Earl of AirlieThe sketch of the monument was prepared by the architect, Mr T. Martin Cappon F.R.I.B.A., and F.S.A. (Scot), 30 Reform Street, Dundee. In design it is modelled upon the lines of the old border beacon or warning tower and is Scottish baronial in style, with somewhat of the character of the tower at Airlie Castle. It is proposed that the tower with its signal platform and beacon should be used on occasions of national or estate rejoicing. Beginning with the formidation, a cairn or platform is formed round the base with large boulders taken from the hill; while the base proper is set apart to tell the story of the life of the late Earl and his military service. In it are placed carved panels representing the arms of the Airlie Family, with inscriptions and the badges of the regiments in which the late Earl served viz., 12th Lancers, 10th Hussars, the Bays, Scots Guards and Hants Yeomanry. Before reaching the signal platform it is proposed to form in the upper storey, a small room, which may be used by the members of the family, and in which may be kept estate curios & etc. The whole of the outside rubble and heron work is taken from Herdhill Quarry, Kirriemuir, excepting the carved panels, which are from Corsehill Quarry, Dumfriesshire; while the inside rubble is quarried from the hill, and steps & etc., taken from the other Forfarshire quarries. The cost of erection will be about £1300 and its total height 65 feet. The contractors for the whole work are Messrs J. Gray & Sons, Newtyle; while Mr James Bremner, sculptor, Broughty Ferry, has executed the carving work, and Mr Thomas Dick acting as Clerk of Works. The general aim of the architect in his design has been to give a bold and striking effect suggestive of strength and dignity, carrying with it the associations of the House of Airlie, and also commemorating in some degree the distinguished qualities and character of the late Earl both as the chief of his clan and as a gallant soldier, the following is a copy of the inscription cut in stone panel over main entrance.

In the year 1901 under the sense of a great loss and feeling of sorrow, his own people, his countrymen, and his friends, united in raising this monument to perpetuate the revered memory of

 David William Stanley Ogilvie, 9th Earl of Airlie,

A representative peer of Scotland, Lieutenant Colonel commanding 12th (Prince of Wales’s Royal) Lancers, born 20th January 1856, who fell in action while gallantly leading his regiment at Diamond Hill, near Pretoria, 11th June 1900.

He was a brave and distinguished soldier, who served his country in the Afghan War, 1878-1879; in the Soudan Expedition. 1884-1885; and in the Boer War. 1899-1900. He was thrice wounded and mentioned in despatches. Full of all Christian and knightly virtues, he met death, as had ever been his desire, on the field of battle.

Through his short life he worthily bore the responsibilities, which God had entrusted him. Beloved by his own people, he lives in the hearts of all.

As a good servant of the Master, a truly noble man, a generous and true friend, a beneficent landlord.

Sons of Scotland who mourn his loss, may this memorial remind you of him of whom his commander said in his despatch – ‘I deplore the death of that gallant soldier the Earl of Airlie.’
Who true to the loyal and patriotic traditions of his ancient house, at the call of duty yielded his life of devotion to his God, his Queen, and his Country on the battlefield.

In far of South Africa, where he fell, all that is mortal of him now lies in peace, to rise again at the call of his great Captain, Christ. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ (2nd Timothy xi. 3)  















On reaching the platform at the memorial, the National Anthem was played by the band, after which the Hon. C. M. Ramsay, Provincial Grand Master Depute, in absence through illness of the Provincial Grand Master, proceeded with the ceremony of laying the stone. The Rev Mr Paisley, Brechin, Provincial Grand Chaplain then offered up prayer, in which he referred to Lord Airlie’s fidelity to duty and his heroism in the presence of danger. That memorial as it recalled Lord Airlie’s love of faithful service might be the means of strengthening the hearts of both young and old, with more fervent loyalty and devoted patriotism, with a growing and strengthening sense of duty for God, and of widening and deepening charity, one to another. Prayer was followed by the singing of the tune St. Paul, by a specially organised choir under the conductorship of Mr Doig, Kirriemuir. Thereafter the youthful Earl of Airlie presented the Provincial Grand Master depute with a mallet, which bore on one side the coat of arms of the house of Airlie, and on the other a silver shield with the following inscription: - “Presented to the Hon Charles Maule Ramsay on the occasion of laying the memorial stone of monument erected on Tulloch Hill, Cortachy, to the memory of the late Lieutenant-Colonel, The Right Hon., David, ninth Earl of Airlie – 31st August 1901”
The mallet was made from a block of laburnum wood grown on the estate and cut more than 30 years ago. Mr John Ogilvie then presented Mr Ramsay with a trowel, which was made of solid silver with a massive ivory handle, and upon it is an inscription, similar to that on the mallet. The Provincial Grand Secretary and the Provincial Grand Treasurer thereafter deposited in the cavity of the stone a leaden box containing coins of the realm, narrative, and lineage and life of the late Earl, a sketch of the monument and the particulars of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Forfarshire. The stone was thereafter duly laid according to the proscribed rites, and the impressive ceremony was concluded by the contents of the cornucopia being thrown upon the stone and wine and oil poured upon it. All through the ceremony was of a most impressive character.


At the close an address was given by the Provincial Grand Master Depute. He said it was not at all unusual that on occasions when any building of more than ordinary importance was in course of erection they should set apart some day as a sort of festival by which it was commemorated, So that its purpose might be widely known. As a rule on such occasions as these they looked forward almost exclusively to the future. Today saw them assembled from all parts of Angus – some brought together out of mingled feelings of regard and admiration for one, who was no longer with them. In Lord Airlie, from whatever side of his character they looked at him – from his life as a soldier or his life in Angus as a large proprietor, or as the head of a family at home – they could invariably come to but one conclusion, viz., that he was a man of sterling worth, of great courage, and of a most lovable and kindly disposition. Many of them had wondered and even marvelled at the extraordinary strength that he was able to combine and bring to such a degree of excellence in his various professions of life as a soldier and as a country gentleman of Scotland. They knew that as a soldier he had given the best years of his life ungrudgingly to that profession. No detail was too small to command his attention, and as a result he made himself looked up to by every rank of the army, from the very highest to the very lowest under his command, and he made a name for himself that they looked upon with pride in all parts of this country. Their only regret was that he was not more amongst them, but they knew that his profession prevented that. Whenever he came amongst them he took the keenest personal interest in all those whose interests were connected with his estates. He was personally known to all and his great wish a desire was to live in harmony with them and all that should prosper under him. Was it any wonder, therefore, that without the slightest effort so many of all classes in the county had spontaneously come forward and contributed to raise a memorial to Lord Airlie? He (the speaker) that the memorial would be looked up to in the future, not only by those belonging to the Airlie family, but by all who regarded him and respected him with veneration as a man who deserved well of his country – as he had served it nobly. They would look up to that memorial with admiration, and it would inspire and educate those who were to fight for them in the future.
Immediately after the speaker had finished his remarks the choir sang “Peace, perfect Peace.”


Mr John Ogilvie, in proposing a vote of thanks to the Provincial Grand Master Depute, referred at some length to the services of Lord Airlie in India, the Soudan and South Africa, remarking that no one was more devoted to his duty as a soldier than his Lordship. Regarding his many good actions in the county, he instanced the fact that he had not only given a site for a sanatorium near Dundee, but he had also provided a public park for Alyth. In many other ways he had also shown his public spiritedness. As a landlord he was a model, and his visits to the tenants from the highest to the lowest were highly appreciated. In conclusion, Mr Ogilvie called for a hearty vote of thanks for the Hon C. M. Ramsay for the very able way he had conducted the day’s proceedings.
The Hon C. M. Ramsay, in reply said that the enthusiasm of the late Earl of Airlie as a Freemason was very great, and it was highly gratifying on the present occasion to see such a gathering of the Masonic fraternity doing honour to one so devoted to the craft, and one who was a credit to it.
The National Anthem was then sung, after which the procession returned in inverted order to the base of the hill.


The Masonic brethren proceeded to the tenants’ hall, Cortachy Castle, where they were entertained at luncheon by the Countess of Airlie. The Earl of Arran presided, and on his right were the Hon C. M. Ramsay; Mr John Ogilvie, Lisden; the Rev Mr Paisley, Brechin; Provost Wilkie, Kirriemuir; and Ex-Provost Anderson, Arbroath; and on his left were Lord Camperdown; Colonel Fisher; Mr Alexander McKay, Auchterhouse; Mr J. D. Sprunt; The Rev John Strachan, Cortachy; the Rev Mr Strachan, Lintrathen; and Mr W. Rankine, Camperdown. Mr Wilkie, Solicitor, Kirriemuir, the Hon Secretary and Treasurer to the Airlie memorial, received apologies for absence from, amongst others, the following subscribers: - The Earl of Strathmore, Captain Sinclair, M.P.; Lord Provost Hunter, Dundee; Provost McDougall, Forfar; Mr William Japp of Broomhall, Alyth; Mr Edward Cox of Cardean; Rev John A. Honey, Manse, Inchture; Rev John A. Young, Manse, Comrie; Colonel Smith, Dundee; Mr. Young, Ascreavie; and Mr James Lamond, Inverquiech. Captain Sinclair wrote: - “I regret deeply that public business elsewhere forbids me the honour of attending the ceremony on Saturday to which you have been good enough to invite me, and that I am thus unable to witness in person and to share in the act of reverence and gratitude then to be done in lasting memory of one who will always be to me the Lord Airlie of my soldiering days, the devoted and gallant soldier who gave his life for his country. 
After the loyal toasts had been given from the chair, Lord Camperdown proposed the “Navy, Army and Reserve Forces”. He said he felt it quite unnecessary to say many words in proposing that toast, because he was quite certain that these subjects, the navy, army and reserve forces had been in the minds of them every single morning during the past two years (Hear, Hear), that toast came with the striking effect to Forfarshire men. They were met there to pay respect, mournfully but proudly, to one of the best Forfarshire men, whom it was his honour to be acquainted with, and as was so properly said on the hill, he was a good soldier honoured in the army. He was as straight, as honest, as simple, and as generous a man could be. He had one idea, which was how to do his duty, and one thought, which was for the welfare of his men, (Hear, hear) he supposed that in Forfarshire more families were grieving than in almost any other country in the kingdom, and if they could not erect monuments to all of them, it was not because they forgot them. (Applause.) He was glad to think that they had amongst them that day, Colonel Fisher, a soldier – a good soldier – a comrade for long of their late lamented friend, in whose hall they were now speaking. (Loud Applause.) Colonel Fisher commanded that most distinguished regiment the 10th Hussars and his period of commanding having run, he was not for the moment in active service, but he (the speaker) had no doubt that whenever he got an opportunity he would continue that career, which to the present time he had carried out with so much distinction (Loud and prolonged applause.)

Colonel Fisher in reply said it had been his proud privilege to have served for 23 years in the army in the 10th Hussars – (Loud applause.) – and he had had the honour to go through four campaigns in it. (More applause.) His first was with Lord Roberts in Afghanistan, where almost every arduous task was entrusted to Scotchmen to do – (Loud Applause) – and how nobly these Highlanders did it – (loud applause) – and to prove that the hero of Kandahar had ever since had a Highlander as supporter of his heraldic arms. (Applause.) The muster roll of Angus was a big one, and, alas! It had lost its leader, Lord Airlie, who fell, as he would have wished, in a charge at the head of his regiment, and they had just returned from the memorial, which they had erected to that glorious gallant soldier. (Loud applause.) He could say to them it was worthy of him, and for hundreds of years on that high hill it would speak of his fame and glory of the house of Airlie – (loud applause) – and surely it must say to all brave Scotsmen in future generations, if called to fight for their King and Country, “Go Thou and do likewise.” (Loud and prolonged applause.)


The Hon C.M. Ramsay proposed the “Countess of Airlie and other members of the Airlie and Arran Families” He said that no words that he could use that day would in any way express their feelings towards Lady Airlie and the other members of the Airlie family. (Loud applause.) From the mere material point of view they had been accustomed to know their hospitality from one generation to another, and they were grateful for their hospitality that day at the instigation and at the hands of that noble and gracious Lady the countess of Airlie. (Applause.) Lord Camperdown in his remarks reminded them that they must look largely to their sons and children in the future. That remark came very much home to them in Forfarshire when they consider the future as regarded the Airlie family. There were many of them who had had more frequent occasions of judging and gauging the character of Lady Airlie, and he was satisfied that no one of them would be a whit behind him in testifying to the nobility of her character and of the nobility with which she would bring up Lord Airlie – (Loud applause) – and her young family to follow in the footsteps of previous generations an to imitate the example of their honoured, brave and chivalrous father. (Loud applause) He thought if he might be allowed to say so that from a small incident, which took place at the monument that day there was every prospect of that hope being fulfilled. In presenting him on the top of the monument with a mallet, Lord Airlie looked straight in his face with a fine and manly look– (applause) – and said in the clearest and plainest tones – “I have the greatest pleasure in presenting this mallet to you.” They might be assured of this that he should treasure that mallet more than any other such memento presented on similar occasions, and he was satisfied that under the kind, fond, and loving guidance of his mother, Lord Airlie would grow to man’s estate answering in the fullest all the finest expectations that ever his mother or any of his tenant or belongings could possibly have of him. (Loud applause.) The Hon C. M. Ramsay passed a eulogy on the Dowager Lady Airlie, who, he said, was present at the ceremony looking, despite her years full of energy. He was sure they would be with him in wishing long life and success to those noble ladies that they might be long spared to go in and out amongst them. (Loud applause.) In conclusion, Mr Ramsay said he had not had the pleasure of meeting Lord Arran in this country. He knew his father was very frequently amongst them. He could assure Lord Arran, in their names, that they were willing to receive him warmly in their hearts from the regard they held not only for his sister, but, for a certain ex-tenant from the hold that his father had upon them. (Loud applause.)

The Earl of Arran, in replying said, he had been deputed by his sister, Lady Airlie, to tender them her most hearty thanks and her deep feeling for the way in which they had received the names that day of her and hers. (Applause.) She and they together had shared the loss in the death of her husband and their friend. They all knew him – some of them had the good fortune of knowing him intimately. They knew him, they loved him, and they admired him for his splendid character, his simplicity, his devotion to duty, and his love of truth; but when his work was accomplished it pleased the Divine authority to call him away, and it had left her to complete that work, which he had so nobly begun. He thought they all knew of her devotion to that place, and what wonder, for to look around he thought there was no fairer place on Earth than Cortachy Castle. (Hear, hear and loud applause.) Her great ambition in her life now, he though, was to – live amongst all her friends there – (loud applause) – and to bring up her boy in the path his father trod before him. (Loud applause.) Although he was his nephew, he thought they would excuse him when he said he was a splendid little fellow – (Hear, hear and applause.) – fond, honourable, and manly, and under the loving care of his mother, helped by the wise counsel of Dowager Blanche Airlie, he thought there would be no doubt that he would successfully follow in the footsteps of his father. (Loud applause.)


Mr Alexander McKay, Auchterhouse submitted, “The Provincial Grand Lodge of Freemasons” they were sorry to hear of the indisposition of the Grand Master, but they hoped it would be of a very short duration. His place that day, had been most ably taken by the Hon C.M. Ramsay a gentleman well known to all the country. (Hear, hear.) Mr Ramsay suitably replied.

Ex-Provost Anderson, Arbroath, gave “The committee of management.”   He said that the management of that day had been faultless and that they had succeeded in erecting a memorial worthy of their own labours, worthy of the Architect who designed the memorial, and worthy of the noble and gallant gentleman whose memory it was intended to perpetuate. (Loud applause.) To each and every member of that committee there best thanks were due, and to none more so than to the gentlemen who had officiated as chairman of that body, Mr John Ogilvie.

Mr John Ogilvie in returning thanks, said that when the news of the death of Lord Airlie reached the county it cast sorrow and gloom over the district, and a desire was at once expressed by all classes of the community that something aught to be done for the purpose of perpetuating the name of one who had distinguished himself as a landlord, as a soldier and as a commander in the army. (Loud applause.) The proposal was most heartily entered into, and money flowed in without any pressure being put on anybody, both from Peer and peasant. It was not confined to any class of people, and the number of subscribers totalled fully 900. The memorial being built was to be a national monument, because the death of Lord Airlie was a national loss to his country. (Applause.) He was a nobleman in every sense of the word. He had a great liberal heart, and no one could tell the amount of good he had done. (Applause.)

Provost Wilkie, Kirriemuir, proposed “The Architect.” And paid a high compliment to the work of Mr. T.M. Cappon, F.R.I.B.A., Dundee. Mr Cappon thanked them most heartily for the way in which they received the toast. He could only say that he had esteemed it a great honour to be associated with that work – (applause.) – and he should strive to carry out the design to its completion in the ideal form which he first conceived it. He was glad to have that opportunity of saying that the builders, Messrs Gray had shown so much ingenuity and energy in carrying out the work that he had no doubt of a successful completion on a very early date. (Applause.)

Mr Thomas Fenton, Foldend proposed ”The Secretary and Treasurer.” Mr James Wilkie, Kirriemuir who appropriately replied.
Mr W. Whyte, Spott, submitted “The Chairman”

Thereafter the proceedings, which throughout were of a harmonious character, were terminated.

Other Pages

Airlie Monument Programme
the 9th Earl's United Grand Lodge of England Diploma on him Joining the Mayo Lodge, Rawlpindi, India
9th Earls Certificate
The 9th Earl's Grand Lodge of Scotland Diploma on him Joining Lodge Airlie No.268
9th Earl's Certificate 2


©Transcribed by Iain D. McIntosh, 2014

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