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    This image was created and shared by: Paul Harding

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  • Use this image under non-commercial licence

    This image was created and shared by: Paul Harding

    The image is free to reuse for non-commercial purposes under the IWM Non Commercial Licence. By downloading any images or embedding any media, you agree to the terms and conditions of the IWM Non Commercial Licence, including your use of the attribution statement specified by IWM. For this item, that is: © Paul Harding (WMR-61387)

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  • Use this image under non-commercial licence

    This image was created and shared by: Paul Harding

    The image is free to reuse for non-commercial purposes under the IWM Non Commercial Licence. By downloading any images or embedding any media, you agree to the terms and conditions of the IWM Non Commercial Licence, including your use of the attribution statement specified by IWM. For this item, that is: © Paul Harding (WMR-61387)

    Embed
    HTML: BBCode:
  • Use this image under non-commercial licence

    This image was created and shared by: Paul Harding

    The image is free to reuse for non-commercial purposes under the IWM Non Commercial Licence. By downloading any images or embedding any media, you agree to the terms and conditions of the IWM Non Commercial Licence, including your use of the attribution statement specified by IWM. For this item, that is: © Paul Harding (WMR-61387)

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Memorial details

Memorial type
Window
District
Western Islands
Town
Castlebay (Isle Of Barra)
County
Western Isles
Country
Scotland
Commemoration
Second World War (1939-1945), Second World War - civilians
Maker
John Hardman & Co. Ltd, Patrick Feeny
Ceremony
  • Unveiled
    Date: C1952
    Attended by: Local Clergy/Dignitaries
Lost
Not lost
WM Reference
61387
Current location

South nave
Our Lady Star of the Sea Church
A988
Castlebay (Isle Of Barra)
Western Islands
Western Isles
HS9 5XA
Scotland

OS Grid Ref: NL 66702 98285
Denomination: Roman Catholic

View location on Google Maps
Description
Three light stained glass window. Centre light depicts Mary holding baby Jesus in her right arm and ascending to heaven on a shooting star. Below her are two historic sailing ships in full sail. The right light depicts the three-quarter figure of a winged angel flying with arms outstretched from top left. Below the angel is a twentieth century ship at sea. The left light is the reverse of the right. During the Second World War the parents of those local men serving in the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy paid regular sums from their sons' separation allowance into a fund held by the Church. After the war the parish priest Canon Ewen MacInnes decided to spend the money on a memorial to commemorate all of those both Navy and Merchant Navy who served and died. In 1952 the new parish priest Canon Angus MacQueen commissioned the window. The variety of ships of different types and ages represent the service and sacrifice of all of the sea-faring services of the community. In the John Hardman Studio archives it is noted that the design was to make the figures stand out for miles when the lights are on inside the Church. During the wars the island had a population of approx. 1,100 people and 125 men were killed in both World Wars; 95% were members of the Navy and of these 75% were Merchant Navy. The top section of the central light with the figures of Mary and Jesus were completed to be exhibited at the ‘Art in the Service of the Church’ exhibition at Lambeth Palace in the summer of 1951 (in connection with the Festival of Britain). The Church also contains a brass memorial to those killed in World War 1 but unfortunately those from the Merchant Navy were not considered eligible to be included at the time. This is part of the reason it was considered important to have a memorial for all those killed, and various types of boats are depicted to remember all those who died.
Inscription
Centre light, base (on scroll): A REUL NA MARA GUIDH AR SON (Translation: Star of the Sea)
Inscription legible?
yes
Commemorations
  • Second World War (1939-1945)
    Total names on memorial: 0
    Served and returned: 0
    Died: 0
    Exact count: yes
    Information shown: Undefined
    Order of information: Undefined
  • Second World War - civilians
    Total names on memorial: 0
    Served and returned: 0
    Died: 0
    Exact count: yes
    Information shown: Undefined
    Order of information: Undefined
Components
  • Window
    Measurements: Undefined
    Materials: Stained Glass
Condition
History
In 2011, War Memorials Trust gave a grant of £10,000 towards conservation and repair works to the memorial. WMT Trustees agreed to a larger grant under the Small Grants Scheme in this case due to the large cost of the project which was in excess of £30, 000, as well as because of the urgent requirement for the works. Due to the location of the window in the Church it receives significant exposure to the elements in this coastal location. A major problem facing the window was that there was water ingress which in places was severe because in places the putty was falling out. In addition, some pieces of grass had cracked. This condition in addition to the memorial’s exposure to the weather meant it was high priority for the works to be undertaken otherwise further damage would be caused. The works to the memorial were both to the glass as well as the surrounding masonry. The works to the glass included its removal for conservation work at the conservators’ workshop. Best practice work with historic glass means that the glass is thoroughly recorded before any works are undertaken to ensure that all pieces are returned to their original location as well as ensuring there are records of the original condition and materials should any replacement be required. The glass was cleaned with minimal methods; cracks to the glass were repaired; the glass was re-leaded to the original details and sizes and the lead was soldered; the panels were sealed with putty and tied and the window was returned to its original position. The masonry works consisted of protecting the window whilst the glass was removed for conservation work. Previous inappropriate paint was removed and the stone was re-painted with a conservation ‘breathable’ paint. The use of household non-porous paints on historic stonework can be damaging as they do not allow the transfer of moisture in and out of the stone. Stone repairs and indents were undertaken where there had been previous damage from rust expansion of ferrous elements. Re-pointing was also undertaken where required and following re-introduction of the window.
Trust fund/Scholarship
No
Purpose: Unknown or N/A
Sponsorship
Public
Details: It was paid for from parents’ separation allowances for their sons in World War II
Reference
  • War Memorials Trust Bulletin No.58 (Aug. 2013) p.8 Published:War Memorials Trust London WM5039. Description repairs needed because of the window's coastal location. WMT grant £10,000.
  • www.warmemorials.org/search-grants/?gID=944

This record comprises all information held by IWM’s War Memorials Register for this memorial. Where we hold a names list for the memorial, this information will be displayed on the memorial record. Please check back as we are adding more names to the database.

This information is made available under a Creative Commons BY-NC licence.

This means you may reuse it for non-commercial purposes only and must attribute it to us using the following statement:

© WMR-61387

For queries, please contact memorials@iwm.org.uk.