By choosing this single Latin word, Teribus, William Beattie's father elegantly linked many aspects of his son's life. The word itself is said to have been part of the battle cry of the men of Hawick during the Battle of Flodden in 1513 - 'Teribus ye Teri-Odin'. A nineteenth-century song by James Hogg tells of the months after the battle when bands of English soldiers plundered the surrounding countryside, devastating the towns and villages. This continued until the following year when a group of brave men from Hawick turned the tide by attacking a band of English soldiers at Hornshole and carrying off their flag. The song claims that this action led to the turning of the tide against the English marauders who subsequently turned tail for home. The factual history of the event may be questionable but the legend has remained very powerful and the skirmish is still commemorated in Hawick to this day.
In June 1914, to mark the 400th anniversary, a bronze statue of a horseman holding the captured English banner was unveiled in the centre of the town. The sculptor was William Francis Beattie who had been born in Hawick, which made him a 'Teri', a Hawickman. Although the statue was unveiled in June 1914, the outbreak of war two months later meant that the final touches were not put to it until 1921, three years after Beattie's death.
Beattie had been a member of the Lothian and Border Horse since 1910, but in April 1915 he took a commission in the Royal Artillery in order to see some action. Four months later he was in France. Awarded a Military Cross in 1917 for the rescue of some wounded soldiers under a heavy artillery barrage, he was badly gassed in April 1918 and spent five months recovering before returning to the front on 20 September. He died of wounds thirteen days later in a Casualty Clearing Station in Tincourt.
On 29 July 1921 the Hawick News and Border Chronicle reported that a workman had that week finally cut the memorial inscription into the base of the 1514 monument:

"Erected to commemorate the return of Hawick Gallants from Hornshole in 1514, when, after the Battle of Flodden they routed the English marauders and captured their flag"

The work was carried out by William Beattie's father, Thomas, who also carved another inscription:

Merses Profundo Pulchrior Evenit
Sculptor: Major William F. Beattie MC RFA
A native of Hawick
Born 1886 Killed in France 1918

The paper reports that the Latin line is a quotation from Horace suggested as appropriate by Sir George Douglas, Bart, the meaning of which is - "You may overwhelm it in the deep; it arises more beautiful than ever".
William Francis Beattie was his parents' only child.