The story of the Memorial. 1930 saw ‘the proposal to erect in Galloway a memorial to the distinguished Scottish novelist, the late Samuel Rutherford Crockett’. Because of Crockett’s great influence across Galloway, the siting of a memorial became a matter of great controversy played out in The Scotsman newspaper. Heston Island, Clatteringshaws, ‘Cairn Edward’, Auchencairn, ‘Clachanpluck’ were among the places suggested. The decision to erect the memorial at Laurieston was finally announced on October 8th 1931.
The monument was funded by subscription and people worldwide, including Royalty, contributed. It was agreed:‘The only adequate memorial they could have to an author like Crockett was one which would interest people in his works and impel people to read them.’
The memorial was unveiled on Saturday 18th June 1932 at 3pm which by Crockett’s widow and Sir Herbert Maxwell. The monument contains a notable error - the date of Crockett’s birth is marked as 1860. It was in fact 1859. This became an issue when the 150th anniversary of his birth was overlooked in 2009. Celebrations in 2010 were consequently somewhat muted!
Some restitution was made at the centenary of Crockett’s death in 2014, which was marked by the republication (in paperback and digital formats) of 32 of his Galloway novels. (Missing from the collection are ‘The Grey Man’ which is mostly set in Ayr, and ‘Little Esson’, which is a disguised version of Kirkcudbright). The other ‘missing’ D&G novel was ‘The Azure Hand’ set in Dumfries, was republished in 2017 to mark the centenary of its first publication.
In 2016 the Memorial site was overhauled. However there is still structural work to be undertaken on the Memorial itself.