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Memorial details

Memorial type
Window
District
Perth And Kinross
Town
Rattray, Blairgowrie
County
Tayside
Country
Scotland
Commemoration
First World War (1914-1918), Regimental Memorials
Maker
MR ROBERT ANNING BELL RA, MESSRS J & W GUTHRIE & ANDREW WELLS LTD
Ceremony
  • Unveiled
    Date: 2 December 1922
    Attended by: Mrs Hay-Wilson, Major General G S Sinclair Maclagan CB CMG DSO, commanding 51st Highland Division& Colonel A B Robertson CMG DSO, General Staff, Scottish Comman
  • Dedicated
    Date: 2 December 1922
    Attended by: Revd J Sutcliffe Allen
Lost
Not lost
WM Reference
81910
Current location

Little's Restaurant- The former Riverside Methodist Church
Riverside Road
Rattray
Blairgowrie
Perth And Kinross
Tayside
PH10 7GA
Scotland

OS Grid Ref: NO 18140 45322
Denomination: Undefined

View location on Google Maps
Description
Four Light Stained Glass Window with tracery, in the town which was their Headquarters during WW1, and the building where thousands of them sought retreat and a pleasant social centre. DESCRIPTION OF THE WINDOW The tracery contains, in the middle of the upper part, the emblems of the passion of our Lord, against a ruby background - the ladder, the column and the whip, the spear and the sponge, and the three nails. Below, in the centre, is the crown of thorns, surmounting a cross and resting upon the cup. These may be taken as a symbol of the suffering and endurance of the Labour men, as followers of their Saviour. The rest of the tracery contains figures of angels against a blue ground. These are holding scrolls with the words “Laborare est honore” and “Laborare est orare” Two smaller tracery lights contain the Union Jack on a shield, and the badge of the Labour Corps, with its motto “Labor omnia vincit” Then come the four main lights. In the upper portion of each, in the pointed head of the light is a half-length young angel, holding a scroll with the name of the figure shown below:- St. George for courage St. Paul for endurance The Patriarch Job for fortitude, and General Gordon for self-sacrifice Below each of these is a small square panel, containing a soldier in khaki forcing his way through a wood of thorns, intertwined with a scroll, upon which is an appropriate inscription:- 1. “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us: then had they swallowed us up alive”. 2. “These are they which came out of great tribulation”. 3. “My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it is also gone from me. In thee, O Lord, do I hope”. 4. “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”. Below these, again, are four small panels inserted in the border - sun, frost, rain, tempest, and below all the inscriptions:- “AND THEIR NAME LIVETH TO ALL GENERATIONS”. Around the soldier panels are border patterns made of the three nails, a cross, a star and the crown of thorns. Between them, on a ruby band which separates the main figures from the lower soldier panels is the Dedication of the Window:- “TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN MEMORY OF THE OFFICERS, NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS AND MEN OF HIS MAJESTY’S FORCES WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES WHILE SERVING IN THE LABOUR CORPS IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-18” and at each side of the main panels is a border made up of ruby quarries with a silver flame, these symbolise prayers arising upwards, and between the ruby quarries are panels with the Thistle for Scotland. On the silver white background of the principal figures are quarries containing St. Andrew’s cross and the emblem of labour. Coats of arms of Great Britain and the Colonies are placed irregularly, on red band, above and below the principal figures.
Inscription
Dedication in the 2nd Light-To the Glory of God and/in memory of the officers/non-commissioned officers/and men of his Majesty's forces Dedication in the 3rd Light-Who gave their lives/whilst serving in the/Labour corps in the/Great War 1914-1918 Base of Light 1-AND THEIR Base of Light 2-NAME Base of Light 3-LIVETH TO ALL Base of Light 4-GENERATIONS
Inscription legible?
yes
Commemorations
  • First World War (1914-1918)
    Total names on memorial: 0
    Served and returned: 0
    Died: 0
    Exact count: yes
    Information shown: Undefined
    Order of information: Undefined
  • Regimental Memorials
    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
Late 1977- Heavily vandalised, but repaired
Costs

Comments: Until Defence Cuts in 2005 the Royal Ordnance Corps had paid the insurance costs on a window then valued at £135,000

Trust fund/Scholarship
No
Purpose: Unknown or N/A
Sponsorship
Other
Details: Subscriptions from Officers and men of the Labour Corps in memory of their fallen comrades
Reference
  • warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/viewtopic.php?t=1616&mforum=warmemscot
  • From the church website: Riverside Methodist Church, Rattray, Blairgowrie Press Release Church decides to move out of 127 year old building The Methodist church have agreed that they will move out of their 127 year old building in Riverside Road, a landmark building in Blairgowrie. Members of the church council made the decision at a meeting on 1st May because they can no longer afford the upkeep and running costs of the historic 200 seat church. As well as the enormous heating costs there are also expensive issues to be dealt with in the fabric of the building. This decision was not made lightly. The church has a proud history in Blairgowrie since opening in 1887. In 1885 Mr David Borrie, a local businessman, had left his fortune for the building of a Methodist church in the town. The church contains several stained glass windows including a large war memorial window honouring those from The Labour Corps regiment who gave their lives in the first world war. The organ in the church is an historically significant instrument made in 1870 by Peter Conacher. The church will continue to meet in their building on Riverside Road whilst their professional advisers investigate possibilities for the future of the site. Once the future of the building is finalised, the church plan to continue to meet for worship and other activities at another venue in the town. Ends.
  • Glasgow Herald 8 May 1922 for the cost
  • Labour Corp Memorial Window Towards the end of 1977, exactly 55 years after it was unveiled and dedicated, the only National War Memorial Window in a Methodist Church to the men of the Labour Corps who gave their lives in the 1st World War was vandalised, and quite seriously damaged. The Minister and members of the Church Council decided that a detailed history of the window should be produced, and although little information is now available, it is known that in 1922 the sum of £800 was paid to the artist Mr. R.A. Bell, R.A. From early in 1917 Blairgowrie was the Headquarters of the Corps and during the two years following, well nigh 20,000 men of all ranks passed through the Headquarters. The average number of men stationed here being 3,000 to 4,000. Over 7,000 Officers, NCOs (Non Commissioned Officers) and Men were killed or died of wounds or sickness in many parts of the world. The Memorial Fund was started by contributions of the Officers and men of the Labour Corps in 1919 and over 1,300 of its ranks subscribed to it. It was their desire that the memorial should take the form of a stained glass window in the Riverside Church, in which thousands of the men had found retreat and a very pleasant social centre at the Church, (Rev. J.Sutcliffe Allen was minister at that time). This memorial window will stand as a token of remembrance and gratitude to them for their work well done and their splendid example of Christian and human ideals. In giving honour to all and remembering those who made the supreme sacrifice, let us not forget the living.
  • The Perth and Kinross ‘Doors Open’ website for September 2008 has the following entry: Riverside Methodist Church, Boat Brae, Rattray Description On the eastern bank of the River Ericht stands the Riverside Methodist Church. This church was built in 1887 by Alyth born architect David Smart. It is an unusual and curious design in that it looks very like an English country church with its decorative window moulds and stone spire, but, of course, all built of Perthshire Old Red Sandstone. Inside the church is the 'National War Memorial Window' that was dedicated to the men of the Labour Corps on the 2nd of December 1922. In 1917, Blairgowrie was the H.Q. of the Labour Corps with 20,000 men of all ranks passing through the town. Both officers and men contributed towards the memorial fund in recognition of the hospitality of Blairgowrie and the welcome retreat offered by the Riverside Methodist Church. Architect: David Smart Building Date: 1887"
  • LABOUR CORPS WAR MEMORIAL According to my promise to all who subscribed over three years ago to this memorial, I have pleasure in sending you a picture and description of the window, now erected in the Riverside Church, Blairgowrie, and inviting you, if you should be able to attend, to the UNVEILING and DEDICATION, on Saturday 2nd December. The committee was most fortunate in securing an artist, Mr Robert Anning Bell R.A., of Glasgow and London, one of, if not the most distinguished of stained-glass artists in Great Britain. The craftsmanship has been, under his direction, executed by the famous firm of Messrs J. & W. Guthrie & Andrew Wells Ltd., of Glasgow. The result is a memorial, we trust, in some degree, worthy of the sacrifices commemorated. I do not think there will be found in the country any memorial to surpass it in artistic beauty, in the wealth of appropriateness of its symbolism, or in the integrity of its craftsmanship. It will be one of the most permanent treasures of art in Scotland, and will witness, we believe, for centuries to come, the heroism and devotion of the men who gave their lives, serving in the Labour Corps. We are endeavouring to secure special railway facilities for any who may wish to be present at the Dedication. With all good wishes I am, yours faithfully, J. SUTCLIFFE ALLEN

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