01 June 2015: Rory Proctor wins essay prize
In our annual essay competition for Primary schools, we asked entrants to choose one of the memorials pictured below, and write an essay inspired by the entrant's chosen memorial. The essay was to be between 500 and 750 words long, with the winner being awarded the Howahill Shield (donated by 2008 resident Henry Douglas) plus a prize of £50. The school winners were awarded £30 each.
All schools showed enthusiasm and imagination, with the prize going to Rory Proctor of Burnfoot.
Rory chose to write about the Hornshole Memorial, and here is his winning essay.
Not just a lump of stone By Rory Proctor, Burnfoot Community School
Most people believe the Hornshole Monument is just a lump of stone but it has a real story. It symbolises the battle between the inexperienced youths of Hawick and the fully trained Hexham Raiders. All of the men had been slain at Flodden leaving the young boys of maybe fourteen or fifteen to save the town from being ransacked by the Raiders. Most of these boys’ fathers had probably been killed at Flodden and there was no doubt these Raiders had been at Flodden too. The boys were out to avenge their fathers. They gathered together a group of them. All of them acting brave but filled with sorrow and worry. Would they all die there or would they save their town? They heard of the Raiders from tales spoken from market traders and locals. They thought ‘this is our chance; I’m going to finish what my old man started’. I don’t think they ever thought what they were going to do would give them eternal glory.
|Rory Proctor being presented with the award by Cornet Hepburn|
The boys had done it they had avenged their fathers and came home with the flag. They had left home as cowardly boys but came home as courageous men. The townsfolk all knew them as the boys who battled an army of Raiders and came home unsullied and unscathed with the flag that would soon be immortalised. We still celebrate what the boys did during the Common Riding where we will elect a Cornet to represent one of the young boys who took on an army and came back home. The Cornet will have Ride Outs, Strives, Sing Songs, Chases and much more because of thes young boys. People will go visit Hornshole Monument and see a lump of stone that celebrates a battle held five hundred and one years ago that never got lost in the history books.
Every year on Kirking Sunday the Cornet’s Lass will lay a wreath to remember a battle, bravery and all those boys who didn’t come home as well as those who did. On the ride home from Denholm only the big four stop at the monument and pay their respects by standing in their stirrups to quietly sing Teribus. The Hornshole Monument doesn’t just have a story it has a heart, a soul, a mind and millions of memories. It is a reminder of those who gave their lives, those who risked it all and those who rebelled to save our proud town of Hawick. The Hornshole Monument is made of stone, bravery, courage and remembrance.
The winners were Lily of the Valley, O’Connell Street, with their stunning display depicting the Hawick songs. Second were Halo and third Deans and Simpson.
In the photograph are Frank Scott, club president, the proprietors and the judges, High School pupils Euan Welsh, Braden George, Eilidh Murray, Myra Pearce and Leanne Scott.