In addition to the Largo War Memorial which stands at the crossroads at the top of Harbour Wynd, there are beautiful memorial plaques within Largo Kirk to those who lost their lives in the two world wars. Like the main stone memorial, the memorial plaques took some time to discuss, design and raise funds for. Both memorials reach their centenary this year, as both were first unveiled in 1921, bearing the names of those lost in the First World War. The main war memorial was unveiled in June (see photograph below) and the plaque in the Kirk (shown above) in December.
In March 1920, the minister of Largo Kirk intimated from his pulpit that a meeting would take place on 4 April to discuss the possibility of a memorial tablet (or if sufficient funds could be raised a stained glass window) in commemoration of the fallen of the district. Unveiled in December 1921 by Sir John Gilmour at a special service, the Kirk memorial took the form of a four feet and six inches high mural tablet cast in bronze. At the top are the badges of the Royal Navy and the Air Force together with the Lion Rampant of Scotland on a shield surmounted by the crown and surrounded by a thistle design. The badges of every regiment mentioned on the tablet are displayed among laurel leaves as the border. The names, ranks and regiments of the 53 men lost are listed alphabetically. One recipient of the Victoria Cross is among those named - Lt. Colonel W. H. Anderson, one of the four Anderson brothers lost. The tablet was designed by architect William Walker of St Andrews and crafted by Charles Henshaw of Edinburgh (a firm founded in 1904 which still exists today). A plaque of a similar style was created for the Kirk after the Second World War, shown below.
Designer of the First World War plaque, William Walker, died suddenly on 7 February 1923, aged 39, from heart failure. Born in Cupar in 1883, son of a wine merchant there, Walker served his apprenticeship as an architect at the offices of Gillespie and Scott in St Andrews. He then formed a partnership with Andrew Haxton and set up an office in Leven, at 3 High Street. When the war came along, Walker mobilised with the Highland Cyclists' Battalion. He was stationed at Lundin Links and at Cupar prior to being sent to India. He rose to the rank of Captain but was eventually invalided home. Upon demobilisation, Walker set up his own office in St Andrews and was admitted to the Fellowship of the Royal Institute of British Architects (F.R.I.B.A.). As well as the Largo Kirk memorial, Walker designed war memorials at Dairsie Parish Church and Pittenweem Public School.