They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:For the Fallen, Robert Laurence Binyon
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
I think it would be true to say that all churches in Scotland over 120 years old, from the largest in town to the smallest country church, will have within its walls or in its grounds a memorial to the dead of the 1914-18 war, with a smaller addition of those lost in the last world war.
The three large churches adjoining Byres Road were no exception. At the union of Belmont and Hillhead the Belmont memorial was moved to Hillhead Church and is situated round the Vestry door in that building.
The Kelvinside Memorial was not so adaptable. It could not be moved as it was part of the structure of the back wall. It was in a prime position. As you entered the church there it was facing you. It is still there, in what is now Oran Mor, but is now covered by a mural.
In addition, the peal of eight bells was installed in the Kelvinside tower as a memorial to the young men of Glasgow Academy and the Church lost in the 1st World War.
Why these memorials? No church escaped the loss of young men of their congregation. The Muster Roll of the then Kelvinside United Free Church records that 237 men and 22 women served with the fighting forces. Of these 31 laid down their lives. In addition many gave service as Volunteer Reserves.
In many cases there were more than one from a family. One, still with connection to Kelvinside Hillhead, had three boys and one girl serving – one of the boys being killed on the Somme aged 24yrs and buried in the war cemetery in Rouen. A full roll of honour can be found in the Memorial Books in the stand in the left alcove in the Kelvinside Hillhead building.
The memorial to those of Hilhead Church is on the wall of the chancel and there is of course the Teacher Window in memory of their son who was killed.
It is important that the names are on these memorials to remind us that those listed were people, young men and boys. They were sons, husbands, brothers and friends whose lives were cut short and did not have the joy of growing up.
‘They gave their tomorrow for our today’
– Rev Pat Lang
(This article was originally published in the Autumn 2016 issue of the Kelvinside Hillhead Parish Church Magazine)
Some upcoming dates for your diary:
Friday 1 March 11:00 World Day of Prayer Service (St John’s Renfield)
Saturday 2 March 10:30 Messy Mardi Gras!
Saturday 2 March Walking Group
Sunday 3 March 19:00 Joint evening service at KH
Sunday 10 March 19:00 Joint evening service at KH
Friday 15 March 19:30 ‘A Matter of Opinion’ discussion group
Sunday 17 March 19:00 Joint evening service at KH
Thursday 21 March 19:00 Kelvinside Academy concert (time tbc)
Saturday 23 March 10:30 Shoppers’ Coffee
Sunday 24 March 19:00 Joint evening service at KH
Sunday 31 March 19:00 Joint evening service at KH contact
The topic for this meeting in the “A Matter of Opinion” series is David Stow: ‘a sort of amateur teacher’ led by Glenda White.
The far-reaching achievements of a little-known local man: followed by discussion for those who like to discuss and the opportunity just to sit and listen for those prefer it that way.
Friday 15th February at 7.30pm – All welcome – we hope to see you there.