On 27 June 1924, six years after the end of World War 1, the iconic Paisley cenotaph was unveiled at Paisley Cross, in remembrance to the 1,953 local men who had lost their lives during the war.
The monument was designed by Sir Robert Lorimer, with a sculptural arrangement by Alice Meridith Williams. Together they won a design competition which had over 200 other entrants.
The memorial was unveiled by Mrs McNab, a local lady who had lost three sons in the war. A breathtaking crowd of 20,000 filled the square and it is reported that there was a continuous stream of visitors walking around the monument the following week.
On top of the mighty plinth stands a bronze statue “The Spirit Of The Crusades” which portrays soldiers from the western front accompanied by a medieval knight on horseback.
The plinth itself has an inscription which reads:
“To the glorious memory of the 1,953 men of Paisley who gave their lives in the Great War.”
As per an article from Paisley Daily Express on July 28th 1924 “The idea which the group is intended to convey is that our men in the great war in their splendid determination were animated by the same spirit as the Crusaders, and were striving towards an ideal similar to that which stimulated them.”